Vroni Czotscher

PhD student – Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (Technical University of Denmark)
“The experiences I had and the things I learned during those short but busy five days continue to inspire and help me in my work.”

Our tastebuds tingled in anticipation of our next Delft experience. After the closing comments of the last workshop of the day, we grabbed our things hoping to make it in time. It was high on our bucket list of things to do in Holland. And it simply had to be done – cheese tasting! The ripening process and all the different flavours. And there’s me thinking it was all just Gouda! I left with a shiny, red ball of Edam under my arm, a nice present to take back home.

I will never forget those five wonderful days in Delft. I’d heard about the IDEA League Summer School from a friend whom I’d met while studying for my bachelor’s in Aachen. She recommended applying. It would broaden my horizons; I’d learn something new and meet people from all over the world. Although there were several Summer Schools to choose from, Ethics in New Biotechnologies at TU Delft sounded perfect. It really suited my interests and aspirations and was a welcome addition to the subjects I was already taking as part of my master’s in industrial biotechnology in Munich.

Being surrounded by students from faraway lands – Brazil, England, Italy, Iran, India and Korea – was fascinating. We possessed unique personalities and had different cultural backgrounds, and it was sometimes difficult to communicate, but we found a way.

The IDEA League Summer School was my first taste of life studying abroad. It boosted my confidence. I was inspired to try new things, and it helped me to develop a broader international perspective. The result – I’m now doing a PhD in Copenhagen collaborating with colleagues from all over the world.

“Looking back, I can see how the programme provided an insightful overview of ethical issues in biotechnology. But it also encouraged me to follow my goals and pursue a career on an international stage”.

The experiences I had and the things I learned during those short but busy five days in Delft continue to inspire me in my work. Bioprocess engineering and the sustainable production of biomolecules is central to my doctoral research at the Technical University of Denmark.

My advice to future Summer School participants – get plenty of sleep before you leave and be open-minded! The programme is intensive, but you will gain so much. And there’s lots of fun activities to do after class with your new friends: sightseeing, eating out, dancing or just doing your own thing. It’s a full-on experience but definitely worth it!