Five Foreign Students at KIST School Share Their Stories
- Date : 19-12-31
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These are just several of the comments expressed by foreign students conducting research at KIST where there are currently about 200 international students acquiring R&D skills in science and technology by participating in national joint research projects. The students have come to Korea to join KIST School, which was established jointly by KIST and UST (University of Science and Technology) in 2017.
KIST School has approximately 500 alumni around the world (as of 2018). Graduates continue their research careers at prestigious universities and government-funded institutions equipped with real research experience and strong adaptability.
“My dream is to become a researcher of many talents” Meet Laura Bilbao Broch. A member of the KIST Center for Functional Connectomics, she has an unusual background by having lived in six countries over the past seven years. “I wanted to experience life in Asia. That is one of the reasons why I thought of working and living in Korea” she explains.
She is currently working at KIST on developing GEVIs(Genetically Encoded Voltage Indicators). Bilbao Broch explains a GEVI is a protein that can sense membrane potential in a cell and relates the change in voltage to a fluorescent output. is a protein that can sense membrane potential in a cell and is involved in the change in voltage to a fluorescent output. Using GEVIs, you can report neuronal voltage from
dozens of neurons in a single field of view. She says, “GEVI is a new research field that I encountered for the first time at KIST. As I came with hopes of acquiring new knowledge, I am enjoying participating in the project.”
It’s been several months since she came to Korea. “I feel comfortable living here now, as you can see from how I use chopsticks with ease,” she jokes. “KIST has a full array of research facilities and equipment necessary for projects, and researchers here are top experts in their fields,” she adds, factors which contribute to her satisfaction with life at KIST.
With a goal to become an “well-rounded scientist,” she believes, “It’s natural to become an expert if you spend most of your time in one area. But I am interested in learning theories and skills from a wide range of fields.” She adds, “I would like to become an well-rounded scientist by participating in diverse projects.”
“I wanted to live as a researcher in the country of Taekwondo”
Cininta Savitri from Indonesia is a student researcher at KIST’s Center for Biomaterials. She is studying ways to develop biomaterials by synthesizing naturally-obtained CDMs into artificial material such as polymer.
“I fell in love with Korea while taking Taekwondo classes as a child,” Savitri says. She found out about the KIST School program when she was considering a doctoral degree. She applied in order to grab the opportunity to experience “living in the country of Taekwondo.”
As she explains, “The programs supported by KIST School were very interesting. They are research-centered and give you the chance to actually conduct research and become an author of a paper.” She adds, “High pay and a full scholarship are benefits that came to me and that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.”
“KIST encourages and leads researchers to come up with creative ideas through programs such as the Idea Contest,” Savitri states. “From facilities to experiments and so forth, KIST has a well-provided environment.”
She adds, “Although I am doing research in Korea, I am able to expand to the global stage through collaborative studies with researchers in various institutions around the world, which I am happy about. Our lab is conducting joint research with labs in China and the U.S. It’s a great advantage to have the opportunity to work with talents and resources there.”
“Through R&D, I wish to provide a solution to my country’s energy problem”
Tran Huyen Dang is a student researcher from Vietnam. Taking a doctoral program as a member of the Clean Energy Research Center, she is working on metal catalyst research, conducting experiments on the oxidation of methane and optimizing all conditions for reaction in order to find industrial applications for renewable energy.
Her interest in renewable energy comes from her desire to make a positive impact on Vietnam’s environmental and energy issues. This is also why she chose Korea for doing research. Korea’s history of development played a role in her decision. “Korea quickly advanced its science and technology and achieved exceptional growth. Coming to KIST has given me so much training in creative research. Living and studying
in Korea is a huge opportunity for me.”
After graduating from KIST School, she plans to join a postdoctoral program to gain additional research knowledge and skills and study research trends.
？“Korea’s R&D policy to solve global issues impressed me”
Denis, a student researcher at the Clean Energy Research Center, is now in his second year living in Korea. He is working on research related to the conversion of CO2 to formic acid, which is known to be a more stable and adequate material for hydrogen storage and transport
compared to hydrogen, gas, or liquids.
Having come to Korea through a program administered jointly by Belarus Science Academy and KIST, Denis says, “I was curious about meeting new people and their research culture. I applied without hesitation and started my internship.”
He thoroughly concurs that KIST is an excellent place for R&D. Talking about the Korean government’s S&T support, he explains, “Korea has S&T policies to solve global issues. These aren’t easy issues for countries to try to solve, so I was impressed by Korea’s long-term investment.”
He hopes to continue his research career in the field of chemical catalysts and engineering. As he explains, “I plan to keep taking on new challenges, keep growing, and obtain various knowledge.”
To researchers abroad who wish to come to Korea he gives the following advice, “It is difficult to stop what you are doing and come. But you need to learn to let go if you want to adjust to a new environment. There is fascination in getting to know a new world and learning unpredictable things. In these aspects, Korea can be the best starting point.”
“Faced with the ever-increasing incidence of cancer, I wish to study the topic of prognosis”
At KIST’s Molecular Recognition Research Center, you will find student researcher Eda Ates working on field studies necessary to develop a new biomarker.
Ates found out about KIST School by chance on the internet. She applied with hopes of conducting a wide range of research with talented colleagues and world-class facilities and says she is happy with her life at KIST.
Above all, she is attracted by joint global research projects where you can collaborate with many talented researchers. She says, “KIST has highly educated students from around the world. Because they come from such a diverse cultural background, the school provides an environment where you can understand and learn from different cultures.” She adds, “I am particularly satisfied with the facilities where you can effectively conduct experiments and the fact that you can exchange opinions about science topics and strengthen creativity.”
Her future challenge is to do R&D on biomarkers related to cancer. Reflecting on her future, Ates muses, “I don’t have any specific plans about the future yet. But I am interested in acquiring various knowledge in biology and finding a new biomarker for cancer.” She continues by saying, “Many suffer from cancer, which is increasing each year. I will start an experiment under the topic of finding biomarkers necessary in the process of cancer prognosis and treatment.”