Report - Research Stay in Pusan by Ekaterina Bagaeva

In September 2023, Ekaterina Bagaeva did a research stay at Pusan National University in Pusan, South Korea.

Text: Ekaterina Bagaeva

Since the end of 2022, the topic of research stay slowly began to appear in our discussions with my supervisor.  We were considering various research groups studying eddies' modeling but overall decided to contact Prof. Dr. Christian Franzke, an expert in atmospheric stochastic modeling. As I found out later during the research stay he has a broad range of scientific interests, but first things first. We reached out to Prof. Franzke, who confirmed his interest in hosting a guest PhD student. And I haven’t told you yet about the destination. South Korea, Pusan National University, what an exotic place for the research stay! 

I began preparations. Timing was settled (right after the summer break), duration was defined (3 weeks) and the tickets to cross the entire Eurasia were bought. Pleasant little things have remained: to have online meetings to discuss the working plan for these 3 weeks, to find the perfect Airbnb near the university, to plan the weekend trips…  

On September 1st, when all the students in my home country started the new academic year, I moved to the East.  Everything went very smoothly and on Monday we were already having the meeting with Prof. Franzke. On the same day, I was introduced to the working group of young scientists, and we had lunch together in the Korean mensa. I think after these three weeks, the concentration of kimchi in my stomach reached a critical amount.

I am very grateful to Prof. Franzke, who found time to meet and discuss intermediate results every second day and also was always available by phone, despite the high workload. We ended up with the idea that I’m currently implementing in FESOM2. And what is also great is that we are in contact after the research stay and keep meeting biweekly. During the last week, I had the opportunity to give a talk about my PhD work in front of an ocean modelling group. I believe it went well, because there were quite some questions.  

It's time to come up with the summary. During this short time South Korea gave me a chance to get to know it. The working environment, the urban design, the Korean weather with sunny and rainy days, delicious food and the most important for me - people there. As a nice bonus I did weekend trips to Seoul, to the DMZ between two Koreas, did several hikes to the temples and around Pusan.