21 Aug. 2017
IJEP Internship Program 2017 Surya Dwarakanath (IIT Kharagpur)
|:Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
|:May 10th-July 19th, 2017
|:Prof. Hiromasa Suzuki' s laboratory
Enter the Land of the Rising Sun….
First time abroad, not knowing what to expect I landed at the Narita Airport on the 9th of May. For paying my first rent I had to go to Shinjuku and there, I got lost! Shinjuku for me, seemed like a place out of the world. Fortunately, a kind gentleman helped me find the Shinjuku Station, the only reason I even reached home! At that point of time itself, I realized how helpful the people in Japan were and could guess that my experience in Japan was bound to be good.
The University of Tokyo….
The university more than met my expectation I had formed about it. Walking in the university lanes for the first time was a remarkable experience. The first thing, I felt was that I should utilize the learning opportunity in every way possible. As the days passed, the campus engulfed my senses. This beautiful and serene campus located in the middle of the bustling city is a sight to behold and a pleasure to work in.
The first friends, who I made here, were obviously, my lab mates. I had a great amount of fun with them. I went to the Tokyo Dome City and a karaoke (one of a kind experience in Japan) with them. A lab mate had accompanied me on my journey to Yokohama and Kamakura as well. The second set of friends was the people from the Water Polo team of The University of Tokyo. I am a part of the water polo team back at IIT Madras and wanted to play some water polo in Japan too. Three hours of practice three times a week was one of my best times in Japan and got me closer to the people from the team. I learnt a great deal from them and am going to use what I learnt back at my institute.
So many memories of mine are based here. Most of the friends I made in Japan are from the University of Tokyo.
Suzuki & Ohtake Lab
I had chosen the Suzuki and Ohtake laboratory for conducting my research internship. First week into the internship, I had my problem statement given by Prof. Suzuki and Prof. Ohtake. The clarity of definition of the problem was impeccable. I exactly knew where to start and to end. I had been given the goal of 3D printing a product made from Silicon Rubber with varying Density. The project was challenging and it took about two months to complete the goal. After completion, I could clearly feel an improvement in my programming skills, analytical skills and my approach in problem solving. My professors and lab mates helped me whenever I needed it due to which I could complete the goal in time.
It is said that travelling is one the most beautiful experiences. I found that to be true during my travel in Japan. Visiting 19 places in two months, I can say that I travelled a lot. I visited cities like Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nikko, Sapporo etc. and went on some adventures such as climbing Mt. Fuji and cycling the Shimanami Kaido highway. Every place was beautiful and interesting in its own way. The Gion area in Kyoto, the Shimanami Kaido highway, Itskushima Shrine in Hiroshima, Hell valley in Hokkaido have their own charm and are some of my personal favourites.
Having seen a good amount of anime and manga, it was not a problem to grasp the Japanese language. I managed to learn some Japanese, to a level where I could hold basic conversations. Learning Japanese helped me connect with the country on a deeper level. I could learn things I would never have come across if I hadn’t learnt the language. After all, what better way to communicate with the locals than their own language?
A once in a lifetime experience….
It would not be wrong to say that my stay in Japan was one of the best experiences of my life. I have enjoyed every bit of it. My internship gave me much more than just the technical knowledge required for the project and I would like to thank IJEP for that. I am taking back not just the physical certificate but also a huge amount of memories and experiences. I hope to return to Japan again. Sometime definitely!