Before graduation, we had a chance to go on a study visit in Italy. While the trip was mainly academic, everyone in the program was excited because it felt like an international field trip. The 2 places we visited were the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The trip began with us flying from Stockholm to Milan, Italy where we then took the train to Parma.The next day, we went to EFSA which is in Parma, Italy. During EFSA we had speakers presented on topics about risk assessment of pesticides and risk assessment communication.
We also had a time to explore around Parma.
Our second stop was JRC, located in Ispra, Italy even though we stayed in Angera, a town about 20 minutes away. During our time in JRC, we had debates about in vitro (alternative methods) and AOPs, and lectures including validation. We also toured around the facilities to get a glimpse at the working life there.
We stayed in Angera for 3 days before we went back to Stockholm. In the mornings we went to JRC for lectures and various activities and in the evening we were free to explore around. Angera is a town with astonishing views, the scenery is a bit more different than Stockholm. It felt like a little lake side town, old, and quiet, but so peaceful and calming. It was the perfect trip to wrap up the 2 years of Toxicology studies.
Before the group went on this trip we had been separated for a while. During our last semester, my classmates were scattered doing their own research for their thesis project. Even though we had monthly meetings via the internet, the semester definitely felt different from the previous semesters when we were physically in the same classroom. This trip brought our class back together as a whole. People were excited about traveling together even with the pressure of finishing their defense presentations and other assignments. While we battled our stress about an uncertain future, we stayed positive and enthusiastic about what graduation could mean for us. Although we don’t have all the answers yet, we know that with the knowledge we have learned in these past 2 years, we all want to and will try to make the world a better place for us and our future generation.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt
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