Students from Delft University of Technology, visiting the School
of Physics at UNSW (right) Exchange student Lutz Goehring in
the third year laboratories in the School of Physics
UNSW has one
of the largest proportions of international students of any university
in Australia. In addition, hundreds of students from overseas spend
one or two sessions studying at the University as exchange students.
In 2001 several
exchange students from overseas universities joined the School of
Physics. Four students came from Germany: Jens Prussiet and Lutz
Goehring from the University of Bonn, and Konstanze Jaehne and Meike
Vogt from the University of Munich. Ilana Benjaminsen, from the
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Philip Gilpin,
from Boston College, USA, were also upper year exchange students
studying in the School. While on exchange, these students took the
opportunity to study courses not available at their home institutions.
They also took advantage of the many opportunities for practical
experience offered in the School, completing the third year laboratory
courses, and undertaking research projects in areas such as quantum
computing, atmospheric physics, and biophysics.
Many other exchange
students who are not physics majors also studied in the School of
Physics in 2001. Many of these students came from colleges in the
USA, and studied first year physics courses here in the School.
In July, 30
students from Delft University of Technology, in Holland, visited
the School. These students were visiting Australia for several weeks
to find out more about Physics in this country. They spent the afternoon
learning about the research carried out by the Departments of Biophysics,
Environmental and Applied Physics, and Astrophysics here at UNSW.
Not all exchanges
involve students visiting Australia. Four students from the School
of Physics took the opportunity to include an exchange year in their
degree: Asbjorn Frisvoll at Nottingham University, Gareth Forster
at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Tim Burns at the University
of Glasgow, and Sam Freney in Sweden.
Physics is an
international discipline, and in their future careers many students
will find themselves working overseas, or collaborating with international
colleagues. Student exchanges provide the opportunity to spend time
living and studying in another culture, and also to find out about
areas of Physics not taught at their home institutions. As one of
the students from Delft commented after hearing Dr Mary Beilby from
the Department of Biophysics talk about her research on charophytes
I have never heard the words green, slimy and physics used
in the same sentence before!