Thank you for your interest in EuroScholars, a unique research study abroad program in Europe. In each edition, this newsletter aims to keep you updated with the latest program developments!
University Spotlight: University of Geneva
Founded in 1559 by Jean Calvin, the University of Geneva (UNIGE) is dedicated to thinking, teaching, dialogue and research. With 14,490 students of more than 140 different nationalities, it is Switzerland’s second largest university. It also has the highest rate of female enrollment (61% against a national average of 50.1%) in Switzerland.
Université de Genève, photo contrubuted by Erard Jacques
UNIGE’s buildings are spread across the city, thus ensuring a strong link between students and city life, whilst a number of research centers are located in the nearby countryside or by the lakes.
UNIGE is composed of seven faculties (Sciences, Medicine, Arts, Social Science and Economics, Law, Psychology and Educational Sciences, Theology) and the School of Translation and Interpretation. There are also several interdisciplinary Centers (informatics, neurosciences, environment, etc.). UNIGE offers more than 280 types of degrees and more than 250 Continuing Education programs covering an extremely wide variety of fields : exact sciences, medicine and humanities.
Excellency of the research
Université de Genève, photo contributed by Erard Jacques
The excellence of UNIGE relies on the quality of its research, particularly linked to teaching in the field of life sciences (from gene to patient), physical sciences (from atoms to galaxies), neurosciences (from neuron to philosophy), historical sciences, environmental sciences, finance and society. UNIGE is host and co-host to six National Centers of Competence in Research: Frontiers in Genetics, Material with Novel Electronic Properties (MaNEP), Chemical Biology, Affective Sciences, Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases and LIVES-Overcoming vulnerabilities in a life course perspective.
The National Centers of Competence in Research «Affective Sciences» has proposed a project to EuroScholars’ students. The Faculty of Sciences has also proposed three projects in physics: Optical Properties of Novel Superconducting Materials, Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy, and Solving Structured Ordinary Differential Equations.
The strong reputation of UNIGE stems from the talent of its researchers. Among them, Professor Stanislav Smirnov received the Fields Medal on the August 19, 2010. This highly regarded distinction is awarded every four years and is comparable to the Nobel Prize in the field of mathematics. Stanislav Smirnov was rewarded for his work in the area of Statistical Mechanics. Ten Nobel Prize Winners have taught, researched or studied at UNIGE.
The Department of Mathematics at UNIGE offers the possibility for EuroScholars students to be integrated in the research project of Professor Gander, who is currently working on Decomposition Methods for Wireless Networks.
The University of Geneva and International Organizations
Université de Genève, photo contributed by Erard Jacques
UNIGE stands out as one of the 20 best research universities in Europe. UNIGE is active in the European Union Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, and regularly collaborates with institutions such as the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the European Southern Observatory (ESO), a European organization for research in astronomy, the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. Moreover, it maintains a privileged connection with the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN).
Based on its unique international presence in Europe, UNIGE has continuously strengthened its ties with the international and non-governmental organizations established in Geneva, such as the United Nations Organizations (UNO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Together with the Faculty of Law and a number of top international organizations, several projects are currently offered to EuroScholars students : Research Handbook on Intellectual Property Licensing, Refugee Flows and the Transnational Ethnic Linkages, and Governing Water.
Through such projects, EuroScholars students will have the opportunity to build contacts with the different international organizations which in turn could help them secure an internship in Geneva.
Perspective from a Current EuroScholar: Emily Woods (Rhodes College) presently in Zurich
Although I have only been in Zürich for one month, I have already had some great experiences and met many interesting people. Upon my arrival, Nadin Saxer from the University of Zürich's international office provided me with many resources and suggestions for getting settled into the city. Anna Steinlin, a member of the laboratory where I am working, also showed me around the city. Everyone in the the lab has been similarly welcoming, friendly, and helpful.
I spent the first two weeks taking an intensive German course at the university. This course helped me meet many other international students. I have stayed in contact with many of these students since the end of the course, and we have travelled together around Switzerland on the weekends. For example, last weekend we visited Mt. Pilatus (see side photo). ESN, the university's international student organization also provides many opportunities for meeting and socializing with other students, such as weekly pub nights and weekend excursions.
But there is more to life than socializing; I have spent the past two weeks in an intensive training course in the lab. Starting tomorrow, I will begin work on my own research project, in which I will be examining whether microRNA expression is affected by hypoxic conditions in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. I'm looking forward to immersing myself in research and can't wait to see what else is in store for me during my time in Switzerland.