It is beneficial to get out of one’s comfortable bubble, thinks Ph.D. student from India
Valli Kamala Laxmi Ramya Chittoory came to CEITEC BUT from India. She says she always wanted to pursue Ph.D. in Europe and CEITEC projects and programs made her the most excited. She admits that the Czech ways of working are way different from the Indian education system, but she likes having more freedom. And believes everyone should try studying or working in a different country for some time as it broadens horizons.
CEITEC Ph.D. student Ramya Chittoory claims that Europe has been her destination for a higher degree for a long time. “I started looking and applying for doctoral programs during my Master's studies. Colleague of mine whom I met during my summer internship in India showed me some CEITEC publications and recommended to check out CEITEC to see if there is something that interests me,” Ramya recollects.
As her Master's thesis was focused on organic chemistry, she found interesting projects in the Advanced Ceramic Materials research group. Under the lead of doc. Ing. Petr Dzik, Ph.D. she focusses on the morphological modifications of photocatalysts and their influence on photocatalytic activity.
For now Ramya aims to finish her project and studies. However, she hopes she will find a way how to combine both academic life and her passion for art in the future. “I don’t how and where it may all come together but I want to keep working on both my passion as well as stay in the profession,” Ramya explains.
In the Czech Republic she enjoys some of the cultural differences and different approaches to work and research. “In India, we work for long duration of time. It is normal you spend long hours in a lab. What I really like here is the flexibility of working hours. I have much bigger freedom in organizing my time and adjusting the work to my own rhythm. That way my mind isn’t suffocated after hours and hours in the lab,” Ramya adds.
She also appreciates a flatter structure that allows her to discuss all ideas and thoughts. “In India, we have stricter hierarchy. Here I can openly discuss with the group. No matter their position. And no matter if it is a silly idea or a brilliant thought,” says Ramya.
Although now she enjoys her experience, she admits that beginnings were sometimes hard. “At the beginning, I felt lonely. It was also because of the timing. I arrived just before Christmas holidays, so for two weeks there wasn’t pretty much anyone around,” explains Ramya. She also adds that some people tend to guard their private space. “We say hello when we meet but there is nowhere to go from there,” she points out.
Her time in the Czech Republic made her change or adjust some opinions. “It definitely changed me. Even my parents see the change and they keep telling me that maybe I am all grown up now,” says Ramya with a laugh. And she recommends anyone with the opportunity to go out and see the world. “It is great and useful to get out of your comfortable bubble,” Ramya adds.
That’s why she also represented BUT and CEITEC at a recent virtual trade fair in India to introduce projects and possibilities, Indian students and graduates have in Brno and shared her living experience in Czech Republic.