After only a few days, with many impressions in Togo, the travel group continued their tour on Thursday. By minibus they crossed the border into Ghana and drove through the streets in the direction of Accra. In Accra, the most important agenda item awaited the delegation: the signing of the MOU between the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University.
The past two days in Lomé, Togo, were impressive, emotional, hopeful and simply wonderful. The West African state was the second of three stops during the delegation trip of German scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University. Not only was an addendum drawn with the Université de Lomé, it also provided an impressive demonstration of the motivation and achievements of the 15 students from Track 4 “Biofuels and Bioenergy”.
There are some problems we cannot solve alone: We need help from partners and friends. This applies, for example, to the current research and education situation in Africa, but also to the supply of energy, ressources and food. The two German institutions, Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University, therefore signed an agreement on Monday yesterday with the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal, to help the university train the next generation of energy experts.
The nice thing about traveling is that you have the opportunity to get to know other countries and people. All parts of the world have different traditions and customs. It is important to be open to these habits and to get to know the culture and history of a country. On Sunday, the delegation therefore went to Gorée Island, a memorial to the hundreds of thousands of African men, women and children who had been sold into slavery.
Usually, a journey begins long before the plane, train or car is boarded to arrive at the destination. And this is also the case with the large delegation trip that will take colleagues from Forschungszentrum Jülich, RWTH Aachen University and the University of Rostock to West Africa. The objective is to visit the partners in Senegal, Togo and Ghana and to open up additional cooperation opportunities.
A Biochemist’s Discovery of Neurobiology
It is said that traveling broadens the mind. However, what is important for new experiences and a wider world view is the attitude when traveling. An enthusiastic traveler once said, ‚There is nothing wrong with setting goals, as long as you don’t let it keep you from setting interesting detours’. This little quote from Mark Twain describes quite well how Cole Wilson came to Forschungszentrum Jülich. The objective is quite clear in this comparison: gaining experience abroad and in research; the detour is the research field that awaited the young biochemist in Germany. But let’s start right from the beginning.
Dreaming big for a better future
Science and scientific exchange can create the foundations for a peaceful society. That’s the view of Dr. Sabreen Hammouda. The physicist lives in Garching and works as a postdoc in the PGSB Returner Program at the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science, Neutron Methods (JCNS-4). During her doctoral studies in Germany, the young scientist conducted research at Forschungszentrum Jülich. After her time in Garching, she has the opportunity to return to Palestine, however, she is already committed to supporting Palestinian students and actively shaping the research landscape in her home country.
Or: Insight into the culture, life and, of course, the science of Japan
Many people associate Japan with cherry trees in full bloom, snow-capped Mount Fuji, delicious food and friendly people. However, this highly technological country has much more to offer than these stereotypes. For example, Japan is also characterized by a diverse research landscape and top-class scientists. Felix Cüppers has the opportunity to get to know Japan’s scientific landscape during his fellowship. He is a doctoral student at the JARA Institute Energy-efficient information technology (Peter Grünberg Institute, PGI-10) and will spend a total of six months at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
About the adventure of living in another country and returning home
As diverse as the countries of this earth are, the people who inhabit them are equally diverse. The saying: ‘Different land, different customs’ sums this up perfectly. Of course, this difference can cause worries, especially if you plan to live in another country for a longer period of time. This was the experience of Dr. Nour Maraytta. The young scientist had the courage to leave her home country of Palestine to move to Germany for three years and complete her doctorate here.
“The most dangerous of all worldviews is the worldview of people who have not seen the world.” Alexander von Humboldt. Stays abroad help to better understand project partners, their wishes, needs and opinions. To expand your own horizons – both personally and professionally – stays abroad are irreplaceable.