Imperial College London

International students gather at Imperial for summer of research


International students at the welcome afternoon tea

Twenty two students from six universities around the world will be hosted by Imperial for research projects over the summer.

The undergraduate students, who will be hosted in eleven different departments from Chemical Engineering to Mathematics, were welcomed to the College by Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Provost (Education), at a an afternoon tea.

The students are all participating in the International Research Opportunities Programme (IROP), which presents a unique opportunity to gain international research experience and to experience life in another country during the summer break.

Curiosity and willingness to travel

Imperial students also have the chance to spend 8 weeks at one of the College’s partner Universities, such as University of British Columbia and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This allows them to broaden their perspectives, gain new experiences and develop their skills.

Welcoming the new students, Professor Buitendijk praised their curiosity and their willingness to travel and try new things. She discussed how students from different backgrounds “think about issues from slightly difference perspectives” and encouraged them to make the most of everything Imperial has to offer.

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Provost (Education)
Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Provost (Education)

We spoke to some of the international students about what they hope to get out of their summer at Imperial.

Imperial-MIT connections

Imperial’s deep connection with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was evident, with 14 MIT students coming to spend their summer at the College.

Kevin Costello, a mathematics student from MIT said: “What attracted me to the programme was Imperial’s reputation as a science and technology school and the chance to spend the summer abroad. I’ve been really enjoying the atmosphere on campus, and visiting the museums. I’m doing maths research with Professor Liebeck - representation theory, how it relates to algebraic objects. He is guiding me on different paths to take in research. In the future it’s a possibility to study again here at Imperial.”

Bioengineering student Christy Goglia said: “I am excited to experience a new city - I knew Imperial had a strong department in Bioengineering. It’s exciting to experience another top university. I am working on tissue engineering...studying the skin on the bottom of the foot and what makes it stronger than skin on other parts of the body.”

Kailyn Bryk, a fellow MIT student studying Chemical Engineering added: “It’s a great university with great opportunities and cultural opportunities. The researchers here showed me how they’re using VR headsets in chemical engineering which I haven’t seen before.”

Aeronautics student Andrea Badillo said: “I am interested in international collaborations and am excited to come to London. I’ve never really travelled outside North America so coming to Europe is great. During my time here I am working on drone collision avoidance.”

MIT students Andrea, Kailyn and Christy
Andrea, Kailyn and Christy

Learning from other cultures

Liseth Campos, Civil and Environmental Engineering student from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador said: “I really wanted to experience London and I am learning so much. The whole experience here has been amazing. It’s nice to learn from other cultures because they have a lot of qualities we can learn from.

“I’m in a hydrology research programme, I am learning how to modulate hydrologic systems - it’s really cool. When cities grow, it alters the water system. You hear all the time that pollution is killing the world but studying it makes you realise that it is a fact. I knew Imperial was a really high level of education and it was one of the best ranked universities in the UK and the world.”


Joanna Wilson

Joanna Wilson
Communications and Public Affairs

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