Amber (ESR4) did her 2nd secondment from 08/01/18 to 26/01/18. She left Galway in Ireland to Dijon in France.
The secondment experience was a fantastic opportunity to practice my very limited and rusty French, and also to experience the French culture in a way that you cannot during a holiday. I enjoyed the city of Dijon itself, the architecture, the shops, the scenery and the variety of cuisines offered in local restaurants. The secondment was beneficial for both my work and for myself, as it helped to improve my confidence speaking French and to experience how another lab operates. I learned some lab techniques and practices which have been useful in taking back to Galway. I had expected to find the language barrier much greater than I did, as I had been warned that few people in Dijon speak English, but I think I struck lucky as nearly everywhere I went there was someone who spoke at least a little bit of English. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience and I would have no hesitation in returning in the future if a similar opportunity arose.