Stanislav Piletsky (Department of Chemistry), UBC Summer 2017
I will look back upon my time spent in Vancouver as a formative introduction to international research. My time spent working in the research group taught me the importance of international collaboration for the development of new theories and technology. Sending individuals or teams to work with other groups abroad helps create intellectually diverse communities in a way that just sending research papers rarely accomplishes.
Similarly, my time spent exploring Canada taught me the importance of travel as a means of invigorating the mind and facilitating creativity. Adjusting to new roles within a new group makes any student more versatile. This is a quality that is becoming increasingly rare as research groups delegate tasks to the individuals with the most experience, and in doing so invite the one-track-mindedness that overspecialisation is so prone to creating.
The university campus is well placed on the outskirts of Vancouver, with easy bus access downtown as well as a number of beaches and forests that are worth exploring. The research group I worked with was well skilled, but friendly and sociable. The provided accommodation was a short walk from campus, in a very pleasant neighbourhood occupied by mostly academics.
There are a number of events that take place in Vancouver during this time of year; Canada Day, the Honda Celebration of Lights and British Columbia Day to name a few. I would recommend this placement to anyone who plans to work abroad in the future; it was an excellent opportunity to experience international collaboration while building a new skillset and new friendships in Vancouver.
"My time spent working in the research group taught me the importance of international collaboration for the development of new theories and technology"