Name: Ketki Chinoy
Internship Placement: Research Intern at Duke-NUS Singapore
Walking into the ice cold lab at Duke-NUS in the morning is the perfect way to wake up if the traditional Singaporean coffee, Pokka, hasn’t already. The lab smells strongly of the chemical concoctions left to react over night and experiments that have been worked on all night. As other members of the lab walk in, we being our daily briefing of tasks which need to be completed and any updates there may be. I then spend the day with on of my two supervisors, who are post-docs in the lab, working on cell cultures, data analysis and preparation for future experiments.
Lab work requires an unpredictable time commitment as one does not know how their experiment will turn out and if they need to change or redo it. Due to this variability, planning my evenings revolves around flexibility of activities. Most days my day begins at 9am and ends at 7pm, so by the time the day is done I am exhausted and lazy to make myself some dinner. But don’t worry, this is a fantastic thing! Singapore is a foodie’s dream destination. There is cuisine from all over the world available for all range of prices. I simply pick a new spot everyday and use the fantastic MRT system to hang out the restaurant or bar for the evening. Most of the evening hotspots come with a great view of the city, a buzzing street, the beach or a river so it proves to be a fantastic place to meet some people and relax.
The weekends allow me to explore the city even more! Aside from the internationally acclaimed Singapore Zoo, Bird Park, Botanical Gardens, Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa, there are a ton of vibrant museums, festivals and electric nightlife throughout the country. Traveling is so simple because of the wonderful public transport systems and also because traveling from one end of the country to the other is a maximum of one hour by road!
It has been one month since I first came to Singapore and I have already made memories to last a lifetime, both personally and academically. I still have one more month is this truly gorgeous country and I cannot wait to see what this month unravels for me!