The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) is an independent student exchange organisation. It provides students in technical degrees (primarily Science, Engineering and the applied arts) with paid, course-related, training abroad and employers with highly skilled, highly motivated trainees, for long or short-term projects. IAESTE is a non-profit organization, managed in the UK by the British Council. It fosters student exchanges between universities to enhance the careers of scientists. Typically, students spend about 10 weeks at the host institution working on a range of different research projects and have the opportunity to attend social events organized by IAESTE. For more information, click here.
Case studies of two IAESTE students:
Vanessa Luzuriaga Univerisdad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador (2014)
During my IAESTE internship at Cardiff University in 2014, I had the opportunity to learn about one of my research interests: behavioural ecology. I worked mainly on crayfish and parasitology; learning about animal care and experimental design, while assisting PhD students with their specific research projects. Most of the work was based in the Cardiff Aquarium, but I also had the opportunity to participate in fieldwork, conducting river habitat surveys, trapping crayfish and collecting invertebrate samples. Coming from Ecuador, it was particularly interesting to work in several temperate ecosystems and slow water rivers. Aside from the Welsh countryside, our fieldwork took us to London where we had the opportunity to take in the urban, as well as the rural, sights. The work environment was full of friendship and fellowship. After my undergraduate degree in Biology, I am planning to focus my postgraduate research in behavioural ecology, conservation biology, phytochemistry and/or ornithology, which are my current interests.
Kamila Mystafina from Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan (2013)
During my summer IAESTE placement, I worked with the Cardiff University Otter Project and the crayfish research group. I was taught how to conduct post mortem examinations of otters found dead in the UK (mostly road kills) and I investigated the changes in bone mineral density and the size of otter bacula from archived samples. It was suggested that these changes are associated with the level of endocrine disrupting chemicals, and may lead to problems with reproduction in otters. For the rest of my time, I worked with PhD student Jo James, who is investigating the impact of invasive crayfish on native crayfish species. I assisted with fieldwork and an experiment investigating how parasites affect health and behaviour of crayfish. This experience greatly furthered by research experience and this summer I will be travelling to the US to participate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison summer program.
Previous IAESTE students and their project titles:
2016 Paul Wetten, Argentina: The effect of flow rate on parasite transmission and shoaling behaviour of fish
2015 Jana Smolová, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Czech Republic: Impact of parasites on invasive Pumpkinseed fish
2014 Vicky Mallouri, University of Cyprus: ‘Cardiff University Otter Project’
2011 Jacqueline Cristina de Oliveira Xavier, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil: ‘Aquatic health and fish pathogens’
2009 Sarah Müller, University of Rostock, Germany: ‘Parasite control’
2005 Vira Chechenyeva, Ukraine: ‘Otter parasites’
2004 Jingyuan (Summer) Yang, Zhejiang University, China: ‘Host specificity of gyrodactylids’
2003 Tina Frisch, University of Copenhagen, Denmark: ‘Genetic variation of Gyrodactylus spp.’