During summer 2021, 19 international undergraduate students participated as virtual interns in the pilot of the International Summer Research Program (ISRP), conducted in collaboration with the Baskin School of Engineering.
Students from four universities: Amrita University and IIT Kanpur in India, KAIST in Korea, and Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia were hosted by 10 faculty in three departments: computer science and engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and computational media.
“I had nine qualified applicants for my project last year and I selected one that turned out to be quite excellent. This student was from a university with which I was unfamiliar, but the ISRP gave me a chance to engage with the student directly and I was impressed. That student is interested in applying to UCSC this year. This is a great recruiting tool,” said Matthew Guthaus, Professor in Computer Science and Engineering.
At the beginning of the internship, the Global Programming team provided a comprehensive virtual program orientation and campus tour designed to introduce interns to program staff and the campus culture.
Interns individually met with their faculty mentors to discuss the research plan and decide on deliverables. Over the next eight weeks, students met regularly with their faculty mentors and other members, including other student interns and graduate student researchers, to receive continued guidance and feedback.
Overall feedback from participants was quite positive, with many commenting about the practical benefits of learning how to work as part of an international team, and the value that this research experience imparts on their future academic and career plans.
“Getting to interact with a group that is [geographically], culturally different than the ones that I am used to, made me understand how people from different parts of the world [can work together],” said Vamsi Krishna, an ISRP Student Intern from Amrita University. “Now I feel like I can take up grad school owing to the fact that I am able to fit in an international team pretty well. I hope to be physically at Santa Cruz in the near future for my master’s, hopefully.”
For summer 2022, the program is expected to expand to somewhere between 5 to 15 partner universities around the world.
The Division of Global Engagement is conducting outreach to each school/division to communicate to faculty about the in-person summer 2022 program.
Any faculty interested in hosting a student intern should submit a project description to Global Engagement as soon as possible so that applications can be drawn from partner universities for faculty review and selection in January 2022.
For more information, see the ISRP webpage.
The ISRP represents an achievement in campus internationalization, connected to Goal 1 – Expand and Enhance Globally-Focused Research and Engagement.