Kenza Martin

Germany-Braunschweig Program

Before taking part in SENSE, I could have never imagined research to be fun. Actually, I did not like research at all. I am studying Human Biology as a major. Later on, I want to become a doctor. That is why I need to go to a Medical School. I had never worked in a laboratory and never ever thought of doing so. Then I chose to take part in SENSE because I needed to get laboratory experience for my studies. The program gave me the opportunity to travel while doing this. Additionally, I expected that SENSE would give me an opportunity to explore biology from a laboratory focus, as well as meeting others.

The SENSE program met my expectations and beyond. I got the opportunity to work on a small project in the field of microbiology including the cloning of plasmid-DNA and the following transformation of different bacteria. After this transformation process, I tested the new abilities the bacterium got from the introduced foreign DNA. While doing the laboratory work, I was able to learn all the basics needed for working there. I had only read about these procedures in my genetics class before. The people I was working with were all willing and eager to help me so that I got to know the basic procedures needed for working in a lab. That gives me a solid foundation for further research. Now I can say the laboratory work on an actual project changed my view of research. It is easier for me to imagine working in a laboratory because working in a lab is fun. This might help me when I am doing my doctor’s thesis.

Furthermore, I also was able to meet many people from different countries and walks of life; an experience I am grateful for and owe to the SENSE program, and this was what I liked best. I also appreciate the help given by the International Office in supporting my adjustment to Germany. I am really glad about this because as a person in a new country much of how good your experience is depends upon your adjustment to the new country and the International Office made sure that it was smooth.

Kenza Martin studies Human Biology and Africana Studies - Bioethics at the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY Albany) in her junior year.