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New Chinese CSC PhD’s are welcomed at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry. On the 28th of September 2012 a three week introduction program started especially for this new incoming group of scientists.
Moving to a different country can be quite a challenge, but also a lot of fun. This year our introduction program started with a tour through the city of Leiden. This was a great opportunity for our new PhD’s to get to know Leiden and also to see the important buildings from Leiden University. The Academic Building (1516) is an example of that and is also the oldest building of Leiden University. In four years this will be the building where they will defend their Thesis. The procedure of the ceremony was already explained. Taking a seat in the defence chair while being ‘watched’ by all professors that have their paintings on the wall of the ‘Senaatskamer’ can already bring out the buzz that one will definitely feel in four years time.
The introduction program also maintains subjects to ease participants into the Dutch culture. Speaking and listening in English is something to get used to. Three to four times a week there’s an English class to help out with pronunciation and improve listening skills. And of course the Dutch can be strange people compared to the Chinese culture. During one day of the program a Chinese teacher will elaborate on the major differences between the Dutch and Chinese culture, and of course interaction is partly in Chinese. Other subjects of the program are Scientific Integrity and Lab safety regulations.
Besides the serious subjects ‘fun’ and ‘social activities’ were also included. Isn’t it nice to learn from other Chinese PhD’s what (food)shops and markets to go to and how to arrange some basic things in the Netherlands. Interaction with others helps to feel welcome and at home in Leiden. You start with a group of friends away from home and get to see and do fun things. Examples on this year’s program were a bowling night and a day’s excursion to the Capital of the Netherlands: ‘Amsterdam’.
The Leiden Institute of Chemistry wishes all the new CSC PhD’s good luck on their research!
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