How I managed in following my research plan:

Going to Japan, I took on a completely foreign method of analysis. As every project has its ups and downs, so did mine, but in the end, I accomplished and learnt more than I expected I would do. During my stay, the research institute I worked at was very supportive of my journey in Japan and helped a lot.

Accomplishments and experiences I would never have gotten unless I joined the Summer Program:

As a participant of the JSPS Summer Program, I had the opportunity to get a multidimensional experience of Japan. Not only did I get to experience the working environment and culture in the research institute I visited, but I also got to experience the beautiful cities and sights of Japan, the tasty food and part of the daily life of the Japanese people. In addition to the research and travelling, I also had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of Japan Neuroscience Society (Neuro2019) in Niigata.

How I can make use of this experience in my future research:

First of all, trying a new method completely outside my comfort zone was a big challenge, but an exciting one. I gained a lot of confidence trying something new and finding myself solving problems I would never be presented to before. Secondly, working and surviving in a completely different culture and country is also a great challenge that prepares you for future collaborations and communications with people from all over the world.

Message for future participants:

Be open and ready for an amazing experience. You never know where you will end up, this might be an amazing experience with many new adventures in a beautiful country like Japan, and it can also give you new opportunities and projects for the future. Try as much as you can, both at work and in private. Only you set the limits of what you can experience in Japan.

Name: Anna Asratian

Title: Research engineer

Institution: Linköping University

Host Institution in Japan: Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR)