My name is Heba, I am an Egyptian from Cairo. After my bachelor studies, I decided that I would like to join an ERASMUS MUNDUS program for my Masters. The MaMaSELF program was a very attractive option so I applied for it. During my study period in MaMaSELF, I received the ERASMUS MUNDUS scholarship which made it possible for me to join. The MaMaSELF program offers multidisciplinary courses which accommodated my different interests (courses in the UR1 and TUM focusing on physics related topics, in UM2 and UNITO focusing on chemistry and in LMU on geochemistry) and stressed on the importance of large scale facilities in the respective fields. This diversity proofed valuable later as it helped me with the choice of my PhD project. I spent my 1st year in the UR1 and the 2nd year in LMU and TUM. The three universities are among the best European universities and offered excellent courses. In addition, we were encouraged to spend time at large scale facilities and at partner institutions outside of Europe (Japan, Russia, USA, Brazil and Switzerland) during the first year internship and for the master thesis. I chose to do my master thesis at the ESRF (European
synchrotron radiation facility) on the study of local electronic and magnetic structure of strongly correlated materials (transition metal oxides) using spectroscopy. During this period I learned how to design and conduct experiments in synchrotrons. Besides, this experience broadened my scientific network and opened several career possibilities for me. I then decided to continue studying the same topic and found a my PhD thesis in the Netherlands.
Furthermore, a very enjoyable aspect of the MaMaSELF program is the cultural diversity offered by the program. Not only do we have the chance to study/live in at least two different European countries, but we also had the chance to meet people from all over the world who joined this international program. Now I have many good friends from all over the world. The MaMaSELF program has definitely been an inspiring journey for me!