5 Apr 2024


What Is It Like to Go on the Melbourne and Cambridge Exchanges?

We talked to two Max Planck Law researchers, Irene Carlet (PhD Candidate) and Irene Domenici (Senior Researcher) about their experiences on the Max Planck Law exchange programme. In 2023, Carlet spent a semester at the University of Melbourne and in 2021, Domenici spent a term at the University of Cambridge.

Carlet, who engaged in comparative research on no-fault compensation schemes for vaccine injuries, found the interdisciplinary approach at Melbourne Law School to align perfectly with her academic focus. She worked under Associate Professor Paula O’Brien, which allowed her to deepen her understanding of the Australian legal system and actively participate in academic activities related to health law. Carlet expressed gratitude for the welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment at Melbourne Law School, where she expanded her network with public health and constitutional law experts.

Domenici, on the other hand, engaged with the Cambridge Reproduction initiative, contributing to seminars that emphasize interdisciplinary research in reproductive health. Her time there broadened her perspective on the importance of research on issues concerning reproduction and its significance in contemporary society. The unique college life in Cambridge provided a refreshing cultural experience that Domenici found especially rewarding. It fostered a strong community spirit and openness, and led to lasting friendships.

What advice would they give to future participants in the exchange programme? For those thinking of Melbourne, Carlet says:

I recommend prospective exchange students to actively engage with people at the university, attend seminars and engage with the nice academic community. Looking back, I’d probably stay at some university accommodation, if I had the chance, to network even more.

While Domenici offers the following for those looking to experience a term at Cambridge:

Before embarking on the exchange, take some time to outline what you hope to achieve in terms of research and connections with fellow researchers. Don’t hesitate to reach out to professors and researchers at the partner university. Despite their busy schedules, many are eager to engage with exchange students and offer support. Building these connections can lead to valuable insights and opportunities for collaboration.

Image: Irene Carlet (left) and Irene Domenici (right) on their respective exchanges.

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