Internship program draws top international students to Queen's

Internship program draws top international students to Queen's

July 25, 2013


By Wanda Praamsma, Communications Officer

Queen's in the World

Some of the world’s best undergraduate students are studying at Queen’s this summer through a unique research internship that pairs young talent with Canada’s leading researchers.

The Mitacs Globalink program matches students and professors in all disciplines, and has been working with Queen’s for the past two years. This year, Globalink brought nine students from India, China, Brazil and Mexico to campus.

“Through the Globalink program, top international students get the chance to work in Queen’s state-of-the-art research labs, learning from our experts while experiencing a new culture and academic environment,” says Jim Lee, Vice-Provost (International). “It’s equally rewarding for our professors, who benefit from the students’ research skills, enthusiasm, and diverse perspectives, and it's another way in which we can internationalize our campus. We are extremely pleased to be a part of this partnership.”

Three of the Mitacs Globalink interns at Queen's this summer are (left to right) Luis Alberto Arvizu Gutierrez, from Mexico; Saulo Braga Ferreira de Sousa, from Brazil; and Ajay Koti, from India.

Ajay Koti, an undergraduate student from India, is at Queen’s for 10 weeks this summer through Globalink, studying with Keyvan Hashtrudi-Zaad in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mr. Koti was drawn to Queen’s for its reputation as a top university in the country and for its expert research in haptics, a tactile feedback technology. Specifically, Mr. Koti is working on the analog control of direct current motors in haptics systems.

“The quality of the research facilities here speaks volumes about the importance placed on research and innovation,” says Mr. Koti, who studies at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, in southern India. “This internship is giving me the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology, the happening things in my field.”

Queen’s Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss is thrilled about the experience the Globalink program gives both students and researchers.

“This is a win-win for everyone involved. The international students receive significant research experience and knowledge, and our professors value the talent of these students and the research help they provide,” says Dr. Liss.

Saulo Braga Ferreira de Sousa, a Globalink student from Brazil, says being on Queen’s campus, and living with exchange students from several different countries in Victoria Hall, has given him the opportunity to make new friends from all around the world – and to practise his English.

“This is my first time abroad and my first time speaking English in a professional environment. It’s a challenge but it’s the beauty of the program, and is very important for the work I want to do,” says Mr. Braga, who studies industrial engineering at the Universidade Federal Fluminense and is working with Mohamed Ibnkahla in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Next year the Globalink program expands to include students from Turkey and Vietnam.

Mitacs, a national, non-profit research organization funded by federal and provincial governments, is currently accepting applications from faculty members across Canada in all disciplines who are interested in working with an international intern in summer 2014. Mitacs funds travel, accommodation and stipends, and handles all student applications. More information is available on the Mitacs website.