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Science-Engineering Internships Win International Best-Practices Award

The Institute of International Education (IIE)
announced yesterday the 2008 winners of its Best Practices in International
Education awards, and the first prize went to an internship program in Japan for
science and engineering students. The NanoJapan initiative that won the top rating
provides undergraduate summer internships in nanotechnology at Japanese labs.

The program is run by University of Tulsa in
Oklahoma and Rice University in Houston. The two schools fund the initiative
with a grant from National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for International Research and

NanoJapan is open to freshman and sophmore students
from any American institution with an interest in nanotechnology. Student
interest in nanotechnology will be evaluated on the basis of their studies in
topics such as nanoscale semiconductor devices, nanophotonics, and carbon
nanotubes. While students in any discipline may apply, engineering and physics
majors are preferred. And while the program encourages applicants with no
previous travel to Japan, applicants need to demonstrate an interest in Japanese
language and culture.

The program’s learning experience doesn’t end with
the internship. On their return, the 2007 NanoJapan interns took part in a colloquium (PDF) at
Rice University where they presented posters on their research. According to
IIE, the program has encouraged 6 of the 16 2007 participants to continue their
studies in Asia. Applications for 2008 NanoJapan internships close on 8 February.