The trio got to taste what research is all about through hands on experiences and by diving straight into research projects in the different labs they worked in. For Lisa, this meant developing and testing new properties of hydrogels for medical use. Rengaraj was engaged in the synthesis of light-responsive polymeric ionic liquids for use in energy storage. For Ida, hard work on microwave-assisted synthesis of antiperovskites in the lab rewarded her with a co-authorship on a research paper.
When asked which memory will linger, they all agree that meeting engaged researchers as well as the other exchange students, many of whom they still keep in touch with, was one of the most memorable things.
The exchange can also be a life changer at the career level. For example, Lisa tells us that she got an offer to continue as a PhD student in the lab she visited. Something worth considering when the November rains roll in.
Most things went smoothly for the Chalmers students, but a good advice is to file for the VISA at an early stage since it took quite some time says Rengaraj. When we asked them if they have any other advice for students who are thinking of applying their unanimous answer was:
(but don't forget sunscreen, it's California after all).