Syn2Psy Blog Series II

Email exchange between ESRs (Elisa Corti and Ágata Silván)

Hi Bonita!

Cómo estás? How are you in Copenhagen?

Here in Coimbra everything is ok, it’s been raining for a whole month and now I really miss the sun. Fortunately, it’s not as cold as in Copenhagen, but I couldn’t imagine Portugal to be THAT rainy. I hope it’ll be sunny as soon as possible because I want to visit every single spot, every beach and city, I want to learn how to surf and take this great opportunity to enjoy.

And also, you won’t believe, I can say something in Portuguese! My favourite sentence is “this is not yellow”, that might seem quite useless but, who knows? I will start a Portuguese class next month and I’m really enthusiastic, I think it’s fundamental to know the language to integrate in what will be my home for four years and I can’t wait to get really contaminated by Portugal. On the other hand I’m scared as hell, I’m far from home and everything here is different and quite challenging, from the food to the streets and the habits of people. I miss home but I’m happy and determined in cultivating my passion.

I can’t wait to see you again in Paris!

Hi, Elisa bonita!

It is good to hear that everything is going well in Coimbra, and I really hope that sunnier days will come soon for you! I am afraid that here in Copenhagen the weather is not much better so far. To be honest, I really miss some light hours during the day (here it gets dark at 15:30 now!!). It is a great place to live though, and during these days people traditionally place candles in almost every corner of the city, so it warms the spirit a bit. I can’t wait for you and the others to come here and share the experience of Copenhagen with you, and I already miss the feeling of being altogether there learning and enjoying Coimbra. Hopefully, Paris will be even more exciting, as we might be able to present some data from our projects! I am sure we can learn so much from each other.

I understand perfectly how you feel about home and the challenges to face in a new environment, lab and culture. The fact of starting a PhD it is quite challenging itself but doing it in a new country and in a complex (but also fascinating) topic as neuropsychiatric disorders it is just crazy. It feels both stimulating and scary at the same time! Fortunately, all of us are full of passion and ready to prepare for becoming independent researchers in neuroscience. Sounds exciting, right?

I am really looking forward to hearing from your advances in the project, and please keep me updated with all the details of your experience in Coimbra!

Hugs, Ágata

Text by Elisa Corti and Ágata Silván

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