Alicia Pardo, 2nd year MEDfOR student from Spain went back to Spain for a Summer Internship. In her words:

"I am Alicia Pardo, MEDfOR student (now sencond year student in Padova´s University, Italy) and I am going to tell my experience doing my internships during the summer.

After a long period looking for a good place (with some difficulties in the processes), I found a great place in Spain. These difficulties are referred to the administration process. People  who are working in different administration processes are sometimes slow when you need an answer from an email (for example). With this, my advice is that you need to start looking for internships as fast as possible; if not, you may will not have the opportunity.

My internships were developed in the CSIC (Superior Council of Scientific Research). I was working in a project of gypsum soils. It is one of the most important projects working with gypsum soils. The great question to solve is: How can the plants that live in these kind of soils survive? Because we need to remind that the conditions of places with these soils are extreme.

My work consisted in different activities: I was working with plants and soils. Regarding the soil, I had soils from different parts of the world (Siria, Spain…) and I needed to make different physical processes of the samples. Once I did that part, I needed to prepare the samples to send to other laboratory in Spain as the same time that I was measuring some chemical properties as the pH or conductivity.

Regarding the plants, same as soils, I had samples from different parts of the world. I also needed to do a physical process (cutting leafs, drying them in an oven…) and then mill them to extract different characteristics from the plant.

You needed to do every process carefully, because the lost or the mixture of a sample with other signified the lost of that plant with the respective soil in the study; so you needed to do everything extremely concentrated not to make mistakes.

The experience has been amazing, everyone was so kind and nice with me, explaining every process in a clear way. I am so happy of have been doing these internships because I have learnt many things and I am now more concerned about what is the researching field."