My name is Rayssa and I am a chemical engineering student from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. I am currently in my 5th year and I'll be graduating by the middle of 2022. Doing an exchange program abroad had always been my dream. When I first knew about the Living Lab program, I decided to apply immediately!
The idea of doing an internship in the Netherlands sounded like a great opportunity for my personal development. It happens that my experience here is even better than I imagined. Since September of 2021, I've been working at the Centre of expertise in Biobased Economy (CoE BBE), at Avans University of Applied Sciences, on a research project regarding the valorization of sewage by producing bioplastics out of it. In my project, specifically, we are studying the anaerobic digestion of residual streams from food processing to produce volatile fatty acids which are gonna be used as feed for the bacteria that will synthesize PHA, a biodegradable and biobased plastic.
What I like the most about the internship is the collaborative environment that the Centre of Expertise offers us. The autonomy and the technical support that we have made my experience a unique opportunity to develop hard and soft skills. In addition, it was a great opportunity to get to know new people from all around the world, which made this exchange even more special.
For those who want to experience this amazing opportunity in this beautiful and captivating country, my advice is: to practice your English and don't be afraid of following new paths in your academic period. These experiences can be challenging, but the more challenging the experience, the more we grow with it. Coming to the Netherlands with the Living Lab Brazil was the best decision I've ever made.