PhD internship

Dear habrayuzer, narrator I am not outstanding or even successful, but I want to share my experience with you. With this topic, I pursue two goals, firstly, once again to open the curtain over studying abroad, maybe to encourage someone to continue their studies, and secondly, to tell friends and those who are interested about what they had to go through, so as not to tell the same thing many times.
It will be about an internship at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa under the Erasmus Mundus program in computer science.

About Erasmus Mundus

You can read more about the program on the site . There you will find universities - program participants and all conditions. But, I hasten to upset, according to rumors that have reached me, the program has been suspended. In August, the acceptance of applications for the last set of participants was completed and the continuation of the program is still unknown. Everything is paid by the European Union and according to the same rumors, the program has not passed accreditation, so there is no new set, or not yet.
I learned about it from my professor, then future professor, last year. He came to the dean with a question about the possibility of internship abroad in graduate school and after the good news that there were enough opportunities, he went to prepare for the entrance exams to graduate school.

University of Lisbon

With this article, I would like to say that if there is even the slightest desire to continue studying abroad, then you will succeed. Getting anywhere is pretty easy. But every year your opportunity to leave decreases. I’m not about potential opportunities, but about your individual. Every year you are becoming more and more accustomed to the routine. Work, then family, then children. And I'm not saying that you can’t leave, you can! But fear also appears. I noticed this on myself, a year ago I would have left without any delay in my thoughts, and this year I had a feeling of fear about how things would turn out. And older friends asked me the question: “Are you not afraid?”, Although they themselves have considerable experience in both internships and travels. With age, fear enlarges the eyes and only something serious can push forward to drastic changes in life.
So, there is a desire - do it! If it is not possible to use internship programs, exchange because If you have already completed your studies, dozens of grants for studying at world universities are awarded every day. Also, my friend Pavel, with the help of our professor, found out about the University of Trento in Italy, applied for a grant and entered the role of an applicant, six months later he won another grant, already for full studies in graduate school, which is insanely happy, we will remember about it later.
Let's go straight to the university.
The official website and a map where you can find it here .
The Faculty of Science and Technology is not located in Lisbon itself, but in Monte de Caparica, Almada, Setubal.
So, entry to the university.


The territory is really huge! A lot of buildings in many of which I have not visited, and probably will not visit, as unnecessary.
Entering not the territory, we see such a picture. To the right behind the palm trees you can see the building in which my "department" is located - CENTRIA (Center for Artificial Intelliegence), department of Informatica of Faculty of Science and Technology.

Here is the same building from two more angles.

There are a lot of glass doors at the university, here is an example.

I was given a job in the group that is involved in the project, where the professor assigned me.

Regarding the local graduate students, I am not ashamed to call them people engaged in science, not far-fetched. The level of English amazes me, I am very ashamed of my English in front of them. I would say that many people talk even without an accent, without thinking, on almost any topics that were raised.
Upon arrival, on the second day, at the university, one of the students of my professor defended his Ph.D. To protect came 2 professors from Germany, 1 from the University of Madeira, 1 from the University of Lisbon, and two from UNL. The defense was really interesting, there was a presentation exactly 20 minutes and then another 2 hours 40 minutes questions, then a meeting for 1 hour and then a solemn award with a PhD and congratulations. During this time, a lot of questions were asked, turning into a discussion. Everyone knew his work. The questions were why you made such a statement on page 94 or suggested just such an algorithm. It was interesting.
Every Monday at the department held, a kind of meeting. Where professors and graduate students gather. Basically, in turn, everyone tells something interesting: he invented something and is studying this issue, or saw interesting new information on the topic of another author, but in order not to reread the book to everyone, he makes its presentation.
Two words about the Efficient Reasoning with Rules and Ontologies project, which I will work on as a team with the rest. It consists in searching in the vast expanses of the Internet, well, or of any text, these or other hidden dependencies. In general, the keywords associated with this project are: SemanticWeb, KRR, Belief Change, Ontologies, Logic Programs, Hybrid Knowledge Bases, Updates.
It should be very interesting, for now I am joining the project, the topic. At first it’s hard to connect your knowledge base in Russian with new knowledge in English.

I will return to the university and give some more photographs.

There is a small museum at the faculty, though there is only a photograph of one stand.

But the most technologically advanced in appearance, from my point of view, is the library building.

Also on campus there is a semblance of a kindergarten, whether this is true and I don’t know who leaves children there.

Further photos of the dining room.

This is a common dining room. But there are also restaurants and cafes in every building. Regarding prices - lunch costs 2.4 euros. This includes soup, the second with salad, a freshly baked roll or fruit, and dessert or yogurt and water. The food is delicious and there are really a lot of it. It’s hard for me to eat everything, after breathing hard. Moreover, the dishes are very diverse every day. Bottom line, I'm quite happy with the nutrition at the university.
On the territory of the faculty there are also sports grounds: 1 mini football field, 1 beach volleyball field, 1 basketball court and 2 tennis courts.

About the sport. Probably everyone is engaged in it. There are a lot of sites for football and tennis and it is difficult to find the time when they are empty. Prices are very affordable: an hour of renting a court costs 3 euros at the university, and in the area where we live, in a park where, by the way, the courts are much better, the price is 5 euros per hour.
I’ll give you a couple of photos from the university and finish it.

A little bit about yourself

I forgot to mention, I am a graduate student of the Faculty of Informatics and Robotics at USATU. The dean and, concurrently, my professor, are just a great woman and teacher. She does a lot for the faculty, establishes relations with Europe, with two hands “for” joint projects, internships, etc. Therefore, we have very frequent guests from abroad with lectures and speeches.
I am 25, I have a bachelor’s, master’s diploma and a very useful work experience. From the third course, i.e. Since 2008, I started programming, so to speak, full-time. And I want to say just a huge thank you to my first in this regard, the company in which I worked - Ufanet. For three years, I just got a huge baggage of knowledge, combining everything with full-time education. I will not dwell on the details, technologies and projects. Last August, I left for a startup! At the moment, the team is about 15 people in Ufa. I want to say a few flattering words about this project. The project is really interesting, with a cool team, with huge ambitions and plans for the future. The team gathered really worthy, where you can rely on each other. Then I got tremendous experience in teamwork. About the project, you can take a closer look atsite combining all this with graduate school. I’ll mention it again, this is a startup, and you can’t just work in it, either you become infected with it and plunge into it, or you don’t and leave. I got used to it, we raised it together and I don’t want to leave the project at this stage of its development, therefore we have already agreed on my role in the further development of the project.
So back to the Erasmus Mundus. Documents had to be submitted before December 2011. The package consisted of a resume, a certificate of knowledge of English, a recommendation from a professor in Russia, a letter from a professor from the university where you were going (naturally, you had to choose the area you are interested in, see who is doing this, contact the professor and convince him that you are him you can help and you are interested in research in this area) and, of course, a motivation letter why you want to go on an internship. As a result, in February a commission gathered, considered applications, and points were awarded to each participant. The maximum was 40 points, of which I scored 36. All were evaluated according to 4 criteria: your academic achievements, i.e. the average score, your articles, diplomas, olympiads, etc .; Separately considered a motivation letter;
You can choose the duration of the internship, or rather you choose it right away when you fill out the documents - from 6 months to 3 years, if I'm not mistaken. I applied for 1 year from July 2012 to July 2013, but due to family circumstances, as well as the launch of the open beta system in which I put the year of life at the end of August, I postponed the start of the internship to the end of September 2012.
According to the conditions programs after the start of the internship, we can’t refuse it, it sounds like harmless, but if you don’t like something, you won’t be able to refuse. Under the terms of the program, you as a participant are paid for everything: a round trip trip, insurance, visa costs, allocate 3,000 euros at the conference, and also pay a scholarship, in my case, as a PhD student - 1,500 euros per month. And if you refuse the program, you will have to return everything.
So, in fact, the collection and visas.
I will be brief here, but I want to dwell on the fact that I was not leaving alone, but with my wife. In addition, at the time of departure, she was in the 32nd week of pregnancy. Yes, soon I will be a father!)) We started collecting documents back in June, already in 4 months and oh no wonder. I don’t know why and who the Portuguese think they are, this is actually the country of destination, but the list of documents was simply huge, and even with translations notarized. And our bureaucracy played a role. I needed a certificate stating that I was a graduate student, and they could only give it to me on the 20th of August, because everyone who had the right to sign was on leave since July. But, with small nerves, we received our visas 2 days before departure.

Previous experience

This is not the first experience of living abroad. The first time it was in 2006 under the well-known and then very popular Work and Travel program. We all really liked it then and we decided to return back to the city of Williamsburg, Virginia in 2007, which we did. My friend, from the first year, Pavel pavelk2, before leaving for the second time, knew that we wanted to leave not only for the summer, but to stay there longer. As a result, at the end of the summer, having precisely decided that we were staying, they took an academic at the university with the help of their mothers, began to reissue the documents and remained there until March 2008. By the way, it was in this summer that I met my future wife, whom I took from Omsk to Ufa in August 2008.
Everything was certainly not as purposeful and useful as that of Oleg from this postbut still. It was great, and I would never trade this experience.
During these four years in Russia, English was forgotten, so in the beginning it was a bit taut.


So, there was a tiring flight and we are in Lisbon.
An acquaintance in Lisbon helped us find the apartment, so when we arrived we spent the night in a hotel and drove into the apartment the next day, by the way, here is a link to the ad . The amount of 400 euros per month + the cost of gas, water and electricity (how much this month I do not know yet).
View of the Costa de Caparica



Right, green is the park with tennis courts. By the way, on such a small district there is 1 full-fledged football stadium for juniors, about 5 mini-football fields and 5 tennis courts. This is what I met.
The area is very quiet, sleeping can be said. Especially at this time of the year. A lot of apartments in the houses are empty, shutters are closed. I would say that half of the apartments were purchased by people for the purpose of a summer stay here.
The Portuguese, like all Europeans, good-natured, smiling, are ready to help, and their help was very useful to us. The country, like ours, is bureaucratic. In order to register with the wife in the hospital, it was necessary to collect a couple of documents - this is a passport, a fiscal number (something like our TIN) and proof of address. In order to get a fiscal number, you also need an address confirmation. We went to arrange it with a woman who rents us an apartment (she is 68, and her husband is 78). Even she did not know that 2 people were needed to confirm this document, and just on that day her husband was not in the city. As a result, we went the next day and ordered this certificate, which, by the way, is given for each institution separately and it took 3 days to complete. They already went to the local tax office with her to get a fiscal number, and as it turned out, a person is needed for the residents of the Russian Federation who will vouch for us and we again had to bring these wonderful people closer to evening in order to arrange everything. I want to note that they have electronic queues everywhere, everywhere! I’m talking not only about state bodies, municipal institutions, but even at the pharmacy, in the queue in Auchan for meat or cheese, just everywhere.
I want to mention a little people who rent us an apartment. They are really very kind and helpful, and I don’t even know what we would do if it weren’t for their help. In their years, they look very young, like their son, who is 38, and the first time we saw him, they thought that they were 27 years old. Here they somehow decided that it’s too late to get married, have children, and at 35 they look like us in 25 in Russia. They are similar in appearance and in thinking and goals, but more thoroughly or something. Those. this is the norm for a man’s first child 35 years old and older, and this is probably why children here are very loved and worshiped, and everything is not important whether it is your child or not.
Let’s get back to my beloved’s pregnancy and the queues, for us they’re not here)) seriously, when they see a pregnant woman they miss and help everywhere and as they can, at the checkout counter in a store, in a hospital, just everywhere. And yes, even medicine during pregnancy is free, absolutely. Even taking into account the fact that we are not Portuguese citizens and do not yet have a residence permit, having completed the documents described above, we checked in at the hospital and went to see Dr. Ramil Ramazanov, who is Russian and comes from Bashkiria and graduated from our local BSMU. By the way, there are a lot of Russians in medicine, and they are valued more than local ones.
Transport here is mega expensive by Russian standards: one trip at least 1.5 euros subject to the purchase of tickets in advance, the driver is more than 2 times more expensive, we had an unpleasant experience when the tickets ran out. Basically, everyone uses travel cards, but also the one whose cost depends on the district where you need it, i.e. something like the radius in which it will operate and varies from 25 to 60 euros per person per month. As for transport, they joke here that it was not the Portuguese who introduced it, because it is mega punctual here. There are special bus lanes on the roads and you can almost always get there at the same time. They joke, because it seems like the Portuguese are slow. Although, among my friends of the Portuguese, I have not met such. Both at the university and our friends, are quite punctual and responsible.


Everything here is very cheap by European standards. Prices for everything or as in Ufa or below. For example, a trip to the fruit store today cost 300 rubles for Russian money, but it was bought: watermelon (6 kg), grapes (0.5 kg), mini melon for 0.5 kg, 4 persimmons, 1 kg of apples, tomatoes (0.8 kg), eggs (12 pieces, which are incidentally mega expensive 60r) and greens. Also, for some reason unrealistically cheap pork and mega-expensive beef. Small animals are sold in stores simply by skinning them.
Rabbits I
also liked in Auchan, greens are neatly irrigated with cold, moist air .

Playgrounds and Sports

As I said already, they are actively involved here. Let me give you a couple of photographs taken at half past eight in the morning on Saturday.

And the runners

, by the way, about running. In Russia, I had attempts to start running, but each time I literally forced myself to do it and therefore rarely succeeded. In addition, after a kilometer I was ready to lie down and lie. Immediately, due to climatic conditions, I started a run from 3.5 km and I won’t say that I was tired. For example, today I set my record for the distance of 6.62 km in 32 minutes. And I even like it.
As well as surfing. I have not had time to try, but I will definitely do it. There are a lot of surfers here! I go for a run at 8 in the morning, and there are already 30-40 people per 1 km in the ocean. The waves here are gorgeous, but the ocean is cold, almost all year the water temperature is around 20 degrees, a little warmer in the summer and colder in the winter.

Internet and telephone

Here telecommunication services are quite expensive here. For example, the Internet costs the first 3 months of 15 euros and the next 21 euros per month, this is ADSL at a speed of 12 MB / s, but stable speed and a landline phone are a gift. Mobile communication is mega expensive. How I miss MTS with the Super MTS tariff, in which 100 rubles was enough for me for a month. There is minute-by-minute billing, with an average cost of 1 minute at 20 cents, i.e. 5 minutes of conversation 40 rubles, though this is for calls to the subscriber of another operator. We are fortunate that for international students the university provides a special tariff with a monthly fee of 5 euros and all unlimited tariffs inside.


Especially expensive cars are hard to meet, Class C prevails. And diesel, oh diesel, here it is on all cars, even the Japanese and diesel ones. I think I have not met a car with a gasoline engine. And a lot of small cars, in particular, Smart.


I would like to once again note the knowledge of English among the local population. I can’t say that everyone knows him, because this will not be true. But you can speak it almost everywhere: in shops, in the market, in sports. plaza, in the bus, hospital, etc. But a population under 30 knows the language very well. There are several factors, and I’ll mention one important one: here in the cinema all the new items are only in English, though with subtitles in Portuguese, all the new and popular American TV shows are without dubbing and this, in my opinion, is cool!


Instead, I want to repeat again, there is a desire to continue my studies - Go ahead !!!
After 3 weeks, I will say what we like. Like the country, the city. Lisbon is a beautiful place with interesting architecture. A huge number of museums, monuments and simply interesting places. But you can write an entire article about him separately.
Daily ocean walks are also great. By the way, there is still 25 in the afternoon, but it’s true that the wind is cool in the evening.
Future plans - I will not disclose them completely, but for the next year I have 2 graduate schools, Russian and Portuguese and work on the project part-time, as well as a small participation in the local GDG, but so far they are not very active.
Let me give you some more photos of where we managed to visit.

PS Football. I forgot to mention their passion - they are sick with football. For matches, even the local championship, people disappear from the streets.

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