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Research experience for non-US undergrad?

  1. Dec 27, 2014 #1
    Just finished freshmen year of university, and I would really like to have some research experience at one point before graduation. Well, I should not have much problem getting into my school's research lab since professors here are always asking us to consider joining their lab. And I would love to do that, but that isn't the only thing I want.

    a) I would like to have an opportunity to participate in research conducted in other institutions aside from my school. I just want to see what it's like elsewhere.
    b) I want an actual, organized program. The lab experience with my professors is more like "you can work for me any time" rather than an well-planned program designed specifically for giving undergrad students an ideal research experience.

    My advisers don't know any programs like this, and I tried searching the web, checking websites that may have this information (my school, government science institute, physicist's society, etc). I found absolutely nothing. I guess REU isn't really a thing in my country? (Some schools have programs like this but they are for those schools' students only so...)

    So far I tried getting some information about REU programs in USA but a lot of them are only for US citizens/residents or students that attend US universities. The programs I found that I am eligible for isn't really ideal as they either start before or end after my summer break (which is from forth week of June to last week of August). Taking a semester off is an option but is it really worth it? I honestly don't want to make awkward 3 months of doing nothing and delay my graduation that much just to attend a 6-week program.

    I'm trying to find other options so if anyone can give me information on programs that I can apply I would appreciate it greatly. It doesn't have to be US program but I want the language of instruction to be English since it's the only foreign language I'm good enough to study physics in. Also, if there's a program that falls into my winter break, (from forth week of December to last week of February) that would be even better. Should self-funding be required, I think I can spend 5000 USD maximum.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2014 #2


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    It would help to know which country that is.

    Do you have some rough idea about the topic of that work? Cleaning lenses in a lab is probably easier than proving some theorem in quantum field theory without courses.
  4. Dec 27, 2014 #3


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    I'm not sure what exactly you're expecting from an "organized" program. And I'm not sure what the ideal undergraduate research experience is.

    You have professors that want undergraduate students to assist with research. I'd jump on that. Otherwise if you're looking to get into a specific field, you can target specific places and people that are working in that field.
  5. Dec 28, 2014 #4
    South Korea. :)
    I guess I mean something like REUs in US universities by 'organized program' (although I figure REUs aren't that *organized* or whatever haha maybe I chose the wrong word.) Of course it is great that professors want me to help with their research, and I will jump on that. I already talked about this with some professors and currently trying to make up my mind between couple research I was offered to assist.
    However, since one project leaves me with free summer break and the other with free winter break, I wanted to do something with it. Also, my school's physics labs are either condensed matter or quantum. Although I would most likely pursue a career in quantum information, I (hopefully) have the rest of my life for that, and I really want to experience other fields (such as nuclear physics or optics) while in undergrad. In order to do that I need to go to some other institution since my school does not really have any. One summer (or winter) will be enough for that matter and that's the only time I got so I want something that's meant to be done within university vacation. That's what I mean by wanting a summer program :oldsmile:
    I'm planning on going to grad school in US so some experience in US can possibly be helpful, too.

    My dad's friend actually said that I am welcome to spend my winter at his NMR lab so maybe I'll do that even though with one winter isn't enough to learn much about his research.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
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