The dream of many scientists is to learn and develop current knowledge and skills to improve conditions and research possibilities in their home laboratories.
One of the most common ways for the non-European scientists to achieve this goal is to visit advanced laboratories in Europe for either short or long term periods. However, they may encounter some of the difficulties which I have already experienced. First of all, most of the young scientists don’t trust themselves to contact colleagues to ask for collaboration. The next step and most important one is, to find qualify and successfully gain a grant for the visit abroad. Now the young scientists are ready to move one step further and so they put their motivations and ambitions in suitcase and leave.
Leaving family at home and moving to the unknown. Further difficulties arise when they arrive in their host institutions. They may have communication problems coming from themselves or from colleagues in host laboratories or both. Day by day, both sides adapt to each other, and work becomes easier. Each day, from early morning to late afternoon, sometimes till the evening they think life in lab is magnificent; to learn something new and to be a part of a well-organized team, this is satisfying… As soon as they meet the life out of the lab, they start to explore their surroundings. The different cultures and life styles seem strange sometimes. At this point most of them start to isolate themselves and than life becomes tedious because they feel alone, far away from home, family and friends. Some of those young scientists with positive attitudes leave those problems behind and manage to live comfortably both in science and life.
The difficulties some of which I cited above are hard to cope but actually paltry reasons those should not block your accomplishments. International mobility of scientists is important in life sciences, especially for the young investigators who are at the beginning of their scientific career. If you want to be more qualified, to share data, information, and experiences, and to follow current scientific developments, you have to move. Despite of all the difficulties, you should always remember this idiom “no pain, no gain”.
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