Toronto Times - Emergency cash
A MSc student biology is embarking on an adventure to do a research internship in Toronto, Canada. For nine months. A leap of faith into a new world. In nine short, monthly pieces, he gives an impression of what it's like.
I'm at the border exchange office. A place where you can withdraw foreign currency. I'll need some emergency money; for the first week at least. What if my credit cards all say denied when I'm in Canada? A friendly face hands me a hundred-dollar bill. The front of the bill immediately catches my attention: a scientist behind a microscope, a DNA helix and a little jar of insulin. It's an tribute to the Canadian research culture. "A sign!" my parents said a little later. I don't know. Staying alive and not ending up on the streets, in a city – a continent – where I don't know anyone, that's priority one. And doing some cool science. That, too.