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The 14th Kudowa summer school was held from June to 8.6 2018 in a small Polish resort town Kudowa-Zdroj right on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic and was organized by the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion (IPPLM). The main topic of the school was "Towards fusion energy", and the participants from all over Europe, including Poland, France, the Czech Republic, the UK, Germany, Italy, and others came to discuss related issues and show their research, and I was grateful to be one of them.

The programme of the school was very rich and high-quality: it combined plenary sessions of invited speakers’ lectures, short talks given by the students about their research, and different cultural activities. The lectures covered a broad range of topics, such as Plasma basics and fusion energy, Inertial and Magnetic confinement fusion and Plasma-diagnostics and technology, although the subject of the school mainly concerned various aspects of laser fusion and lasermatter interaction studies. These lectures were given by professors working directly on the most significant large-scale projects nowadays, such as ITER in France, JET in the UK, Wendelstein 7-X in Germany, NIF in the USA, and ELI-beamlines in the Czech Republic. It was very interesting to see students’ presentations and to become acquainted with their research topics. Also, it was a great motivation for students that the best three presentations could receive a very nice award.

As for me, the majority of the talks was very informative and inspiring. I especially enjoyed those connected to laser fusion and laser-matter interaction, since my research field is strongly related to these topics. The school was very well organized not only in terms of lectures, but it also provided a number of cultural events, bringing all the participants together in an informal atmosphere, and leading to a stimulating exchange of views, experiences, ideas, and useful suggestions. I believe that this socializing with other participants will surely contribute to future collaborations. The social program included a welcome reception and a banquet at the Trail of Disappearing Professions’ Farm, where local dishes, barbecue, and drinks were served accompanied by Polish music, and a half-day excursion to Klodzko fortress, where we learned a lot about medieval history. Besides, it was really great to discuss diverse scientific topics with students and professors, all gathered by the fireplace and cooking sausages over the fire.

The participation in Kudowa Summer School was undoubtedly one of the best experiences I have ever had. Not only have I gained a lot of knowledge and received immense motivation for my future work, but also met and built a friendship with many people who share a sincere enthusiasm for science with me. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the organizers of the school for the unforgettable experience and to FuseNet for providing me with the financial support that enabled me to attend this school.

- Valeriia Istokskaia