Ein Interview mit der Chemikerin Elena Chulanova

Elena Chulanova
Elena Chulanova
Foto: privat

Elena Chulanova war Gastwissenschaftlerin am Institut für Physikalische Chemie mit einem Stipendium des DAAD im Zeitraum vom Herbst 2020 bis Herbst 2021.

Wir führten das Interview mit ihr auf Englisch.

Dear Elena, with our interviews we want to give an insight into the everyday life experience  and research projects of international visiting researchers  at the University of Jena. Our talk takes place in demanding times (during the second Corona lockdown). We would be very glad, if you could give us a short insight into your research activties and your life daily routines outside the university. How much did the pandemic and the lockdown affect your work as a researcher?

For me it was more or less ok, because I’m a chemist and during lockdown we were still in the lab and could meet and have a talk. We were making organic two-dimensionals materials (thin films) with photoluminescent properties. For my husband, who is currently also a visiting researcher in Jena, it was harder. He works in the field of economics and everything was digital and he cannot have direct contact with people at his host department.  

Did you make use of the digital events and get-togethers which the Welcome Point organized of the International Office organized to connect with other international visiting researchers ?

Yes! I was really suprised by the quality and the pattern which the people in the Welcome Point/ International Office do their job! Yesterday we had painting evening as part of the Welcome Points‘ digital Stammtisch and it was so cute. I have  been to three universities in Germany and it’s the most helpful Welcome Point/International Office here in Jena I have  been supported by so far.

You stay with your family in Jena West. How do you like it?

Yes, I stay here together with my husband, we are both guest researchers at University of Jena and have stayed here  since  October 2020 . We came here right in the middle of the second lockdown. For the first half year we stayed at the university guesthouse in Forstweg, now we live in our own apartment, It is pretty close to my laboratory, that‘s useful. My favorite place in Jena West is actually everywhere! In ten minutes you can be up on the hill and have a spectacular view over the city. I epeciallylike the Landgrafen hill which is close to the Institute for Physical Chemistry.

What is your impression of Jena in comparison with other places in Germany?

What I like in Jena, it’s very green and close to nature. Everywhere you go in the city you have a nice view. To be honest, when I applied for a scholarship here I was a bit afraid. You hear a lot of things about  East Germany and I thought it was not a nice place to live in. But I was proven  completely wrong! Maybe because of the lockdown it looked like a city without a lot of life and a lack of activities, but in the last weeks there were a lot of people in the city again  and it all was very lively and spirited.

Can you describe your staying in Jena maybe as a drink or a color?

For the beginning my stay here in Jena seemed to be like Earl Grey with honey, it was pretty cloudy, windy and rainy. But during autumn there even were pretty bright colors, all was yellow and the hills were shining. And for now it’s totally green, everywhere it’s bloomy and flowy and smelly and if it would be a drink it would be a tasty lemonade!

Elena, many thanks for your answers, all the best for you and your family!