Sara Abdelnasser Kamal Mohamed Zahran

This internship is a dream coming true for me. Which combine between both the Japanese culture that I love and research which I am interested in. And it helped me answer some of the questions that were in my mind like: Do I want to continue in the research path? Am I passionate about it? Do I want to do my masters or PhD in Japan? And I think for students like me who have the same questions, this internship would be a good opportunity.

I was assigned to Kawakami sensei's lab: The Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology. Thanks to Kawakami sensei my eyes were opened to a new Zebrafish world that I hadn't experienced before. And thanks to Aki-san and Akira-san I was able to acquire new experimental skills. I will never be able to thank them enough. And each lab member for showing me great kindness and sharing their knowledge with me that guided me as this was very different from my field in University. This lab felt like a family for me.

On these 6 week Journey I learned that it's okay to feel lost when you are experiencing a new field or situations, because in the end you learn how to be brave to face it all and be smart to learn from it. Every single person I met during the 6 weeks added something to my experience.

I made many wonderful memories and friends. I experienced the Japanese festival vibes, tasty Takoyaki, Fireworks, Japanese cuisine, shrines, and beautiful nature everywhere. I enjoyed the Japanese classes with Miyauchi sensei and the beautiful traditional tea ceremony she made for us. Because of Mishima's convenient location, I was able to make small trips to Tokyo, Izu, Kamakura, Atami and hike Mt Fuji.

Hiking mt Fuji is one of my 2019 highlights. I learned that it wasn't not about reaching the top but about what you encounter throughout the whole Journey whether they are people or situations. It's never easy in the beginning, but it is worth all the efforts in the end.

Special thanks to NIG education team that guided us even before we reached the NIG and during our stay. And to every NIG member who contributed in this internship to give this amazing outcome.