The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), in coordination with the Study Abroad Center, launched the UROP Research Abroad Fellowship. This fellowship recognizes research or creative projects conducted abroad by UCI undergraduates under the guidance of UCI faculty, or projects resulting directly from an undergraduate’s experience abroad. We are pleased that seven students were awarded in the inaugural year of 2015-2016:
Antonia Bacigalupa Albaum, International Studies
The Current Status of the Malvinas/Falkland Islands Conflict and Barriers to Peace
Aliza Asad, International Studies & Public Health Policy
Syrian Refugee Health Care Response in Turkey: Current Response and Future Policy Amendments
Bernard Beronio, Anthropology
Perspectives on Sleight-of-Hand Magic among People of Different Genders, Ethnicities, and Socio-Economic Classes in Orange and Los Angeles Counties
Laura Hunerberg, Sociology
Cultural Lives Compared: American and Dutch
Harwood Garland II, Anthropology
Longitudinal Tropospheric Gas Analysis in South Pacific
Dagmawit Mengestu, International Studies
France’s Model of Integration and Assimilation: How its “Color-Blind” Approach in Policy-Making and Research in Social Science Poses Great Challenges for Citizens of Immigrant and Non-European Origins
Jasmin Pannier, Art History
Reformation Politics and Costume in Hans Holbein’s Portraits
Students are increasingly combining research and study abroad with up to 20% of returned study abroad students reporting they’ve done it.
A wide variety of majors are represented including international studies, political science, anthropology, art history, neurobiology, computer science, engineering and more! Many of these students presented their research at the UROP Symposium in May. See and hear about their experiences in our most recent YouTube video.
Some students participate in study abroad programs where research is a major component.
Neurobiology major Charlene Tran said her summer lab experience in Japan was a dream come true. Being a member of a chemical engineering lab that focused on the chemical engineering aspect of Alzheimer’s disease allowed her to form strong professional relationships with professors in Japan which will be a huge benefit in her professional career.
“Being a full time researcher was an amazing opportunity. Every day brought a new challenge, and it allowed me to experience not only the frustrations of an unsuccessful experiment, but also the pure joy when a breakthrough occurs,” explained Charlene, whose paper she completed during her program will be published in a scientific journal!
Aliza Asad, whose research project focused on the health care response to Syrian refugees in Turkey, explained how doing research abroad enhanced her research experience, “When you visit an area you are researching you gain a perspective you wouldn’t if you were simply reading documents at UCI. My study abroad experience served as an opportunity for me to see the relevance of my topic in the world.”
Many students propose their own research projects which not only allows them to strengthen their research skills, but also make their study abroad experience much more meaningful.
Antonia Albaum confirmed that her research on the Malvinas/Falkland Islands conflict enhanced her study abroad experience because she was able to engage with the host culture in a more unique and deeper manner than she would have without the research component.
Medha Asthana, who studied political life within a university climate in Chile, explained that focusing on her research topic completely transformed her study abroad experience, “It was my field work of attending university debates, student marches, student government meetings, various political ceremonies, and more that fortified and amplified my entire study abroad experience.”
Doing research while abroad can bring unexpected benefits as Katie Khuu explains, “When I studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, I met all three authors of the paper that my research project with Professor Pearl is based on. I took a class with Professor Frank Keller, met with Professor Sharon Goldwater, and finally collaborated with Dr. Stella Frank. I actually didn’t know that all three of them would be at Edinburgh. I was so amazed that these names on the paper could now be linked to distinct faces and voices. I loved the moment when I realized that I could finally talk somewhat intelligently with Professor Pearl about the research that we’re doing. Achievement unlocked!”