Dreaming bigger: voices from the Non-Member State Summer Student Programme

The Non-Member State Summer Student Programme represents a unique opportunity for students worldwide to spend a summer getting involved in some of the world’s biggest scientific experiments at CERN. The programme specifically targets advanced undergraduate and early stage graduate students of physics, computing and engineering mainly from developing countries.

In 2019, CERN hosted 142 students from 67 countries around the world. Along with the intensive 8-week scientific training, students received lectures and the opportunity to work in laboratories with CERN experts.

Nirandi Jayasinghe, a computational physicist from Sri Lanka, says, “during my bachelors, we did not have much budget for research purposes. Even though there are many talented people in my country, they are not able to implement their ideas and get hands-on experience because of lack of funds. At CERN, I can get work done in laboratories and do my best with my ideas.”

The summer programme at CERN is truly an exciting and unforgettable experience for the students. For some, the first summer outside their own country.

 “The last 4 weeks at CERN have made me dream bigger! I feel like I am on another planet. Being at CERN has given me opportunities that I would never have gotten otherwise. This experience has made me speechless”, says Bougatf Nidhal, a Computer Science student & Programming instructor from Tunisia.

For others, researching on-site at CERN not only inspires them in pursuing a scientific career, but also encourages them in building the research capability and economy in their own countries.

Aya Beshr, a double major in Physics and Chemistry from Egypt states, “my work at CERN involves using machine learning. This is completely new to me! In my country, we do not use machine learning, especially in the data analysis sector. This is why I am trying to benefit from this technology. I hope that when I go back home, I can contribute to my country and make people aware about this field of study.”

The Non-Member State Summer Student Programme also enables students to experience CERN life and meet other like-minded young people. Juan Carlos Rojas, a Physics student from Costa Rica, states, “the experience of being at CERN has meant a lot for me in life. It has been a reminder that yes, life can be this good.”

 


The Non-Member State Summer Student Programme is an Education & Outreach project supported by the CERN & Society Foundation. As many as 58 students in 2019 were fully supported by the CERN & Society Foundation thanks to the generous contributions of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council and other donors.