More than 120 international scholars, representing 37 countries, joined diplomats, academics and funders to celebrate Imperial’s global ties.
Scholars from the USA, China, India, Latin America, Europe and Africa met to share their stories and experiences of Imperial with funders such as Chevening, DAAD, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, and Fulbright.
The students were also joined by Embassies and Science Attachés from China, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, Sudan, Thailand and Trinidad and Tobago.
Vice President (International) Professor Maggie Dallman welcomed the scholars and said: “Imperial is the UK’s most international university and – despite current political obstacles – we are determined to deepen our collaboration with partners in Europe and around the world whatever the outcome of negotiations.
“My own lab flourishes in this diverse climate. I am the only British person in my lab; and it is the collaboration across cultures and boundaries which drives our science and innovation.”
Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice Provost (Education) said: “Any university is only as good as its students and staff and we are proud to count some of the most brilliant young minds among our students.
“More than 60 per cent of our students are international and our commitment to international collaboration and research is strengthened by our international student community.”
Diego Mesa (Chile)
Diego, an Earth Science and Engineering PhD student whose scholarship is funded by the Government of Chile, said: “International students like us have much to offer to Imperial, the UK and the world.
"It’s our duty to step up and light the way. With our different backgrounds, skills and experiences, we can bring the winds of change to this world."
Courtnae Bailey (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Sponsored by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, Climate Finance research postgraduate Courtnae said that she loved Imperial because of its support, clubs and societies, and assistance from the careers service.
But she said most importantly, was Imperial’s inclusivity and initiatives to make all students feel welcomed.
Courtnae said: “My time at Imperial has transitioned me from just aspiring to be an engineer, to a researcher actively trying to find solutions to tackle global issues and have great impact.”
Yiyun Brian Chen (China)
Second-year Materials PhD student Brian, from Shanghai, decided to join Imperial after Professor Molly Stevens visited MIT, where he was studying.
Brian funded by the China Scholarship Council, said: "“While I was studying at MIT, Imperial’s Professor Molly Stevens visited to give a seminar and I was fascinated by her work and technology from her lab.
"I decided that Imperial would be a good place to continue my studies and further my career. Imperial has a really international environment.
"When I’m in the lab I hear people talking in different languages, and I think that working with people from various backgrounds really help stimulating novel and innovative ideas."
Zahraa Alkalby (Iraq)
Funded by Chevening, petroleum engineering student Zahraa spoke about why she decided to apply to Imperial. She said: “Imperial has a great reputation in the industry and it was a really good opportunity to learn from the best.
"Many people who I have met in my work have been Imperial alumni and are of a very high calibre
"Imperial is both intensive and rewarding and you feel that you learn a lot and will be prepared to go into industry.”
Moises Gomez Soto (Chile)
Moises is a PhD student in Civil Engineering focusing on sustainable recovery materials from electronic waste.
Moises said: “Imperial is a world top ten university and the top institution in that field.
"When I was researching where to continue my studies I saw the name of an Imperial professor in books and journals.
"I enjoy living in London and like to be here. You can do a lot of things here when you have free time."
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