Shiv Nadar University students make the best of summer opportunities worldwide
When Vasundhara Verma, a fourth-year Life Sciences student of Shiv Nadar University, first stepped onto the University Of Heidelberg campus this summer, she noticed a sign that inspired her.
"It referenced the university's motto, Semper apertus, which translates to Always Open," she said. "It was like an eye-opener for me. It helped me to be open and receptive to new ideas while I was on the beautiful campus as part of the DAAD-WISE research internships I received to work on molecular biology."
Select university students have been spending the summer for the past years or being part of research internships at prestigious universities worldwide. When they return, they bring fresh perspectives and new work cultures, which enable them to engage in academics with fresh vigour and confidence.
"The professionalism, work ethic, and excellent work-life balance taught me to become more punctual, either in reaching the university on time or attending research group meetings. Completing day-to-day tasks assigned during the internship within the stipulated time also taught me to plan my work. This helped increase my productivity," says Aditya Verma, a fourth-year Chemistry student from the School of Natural Sciences. He had spent the summer at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, as part of the DAAD-WISE Research Internships, working on a project related to inorganic materials chemistry.
This year also saw three students avail of the MITACS Globalink Research Internships to visit Dalhousie University and the University of Quebec, Canada. Tanya Gianchandani, a fourth-year Economics student who worked on 'public service motivation in organisational behaviour' at Dalhousie University, says, "I would, any day, recommend students inclined towards research to avail the opportunity. It is a great experience not just making you a better researcher but also teaching life skills and growing your personality."
However, Amaan Tariq, who went for a research internship at Johns Hopkins University, has some advice. Tariq says grades aren't the only factor determining their landing an internship. "The statement of purpose and motivation for particular research is the most crucial point," said the fourth-year biotechnology student who worked on mapping intracellular magnetic fields via GEM.
"While the focus on internationalisation of the higher education sector is important, equally significant is the global exposure that international mobility offers students. As an Institution of Eminence, we feel our students should learn best practices from the best global universities," says Dr. Suneet Tuli, Dean of Research and Partnerships.
One of the most significant pushes to explore options at foreign universities is the exclusive Opportunity for Undergraduate program (OUR) offered by the university. The program enables undergraduate students to undertake funded research projects with faculty members in any discipline. Many undergraduate students have published their research work through this initiative.
"The curriculum at Shiv Nadar University is rigorous, multidisciplinary, and innovative. It is designed to provide many choices to the students, including the option to spend a semester abroad. This, coupled with the fact that we have an excellent set of faculty members, ensures that our students not only get admitted to some of the best graduate programs in the world but also do very well in them. Students also get excellent placement and make rapid progress in the industry," says Professor Partha Chatterjee, Dean of Academics.
At its essence, the university's outbound mobility and exchange program is a comprehensive program that provides students with a valuable international experience while ensuring they receive the necessary support to succeed academically and personally during their semester abroad.
The experience of Abhay Italiya, studying B.Sc Research in Economics and Finance, sums it up. "It may take a while to adapt to teaching strategies at a foreign university, but Shiv Nadar University has done a great job of almost replicating the same international practices. Though understanding a foreign accent may be tough for the first few days, everything else will be great," says Italiya, who spent the summer semester at the University of California, Berkeley.