What SUR Students Say!

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Cicely Day, University of Warwick, UK

Day Cicely.jpeg

Simply put, the SUR program is a life changing experience. From the academics, to the other participants and Switzerland itself, you will find the opportunity an enriching and unparalleled one. Diversity is a key theme. From waking up on my first morning in Switzerland, I began meeting people from across the world: Iran, South Korea, USA, Italy… to name but a few. These people have become firm friends, and it was exciting to travel with them across Switzerland during the summer (hikes to see the Matterhorn and city trips to Zermatt stand out), whilst remain in contact and support one another with our studies henceforth. Diversity was also seen in lab projects we undertook. It exposed me to areas of research I hadn’t considered before, as well as fields I hadn’t even heard of. The visits to various foundations and industry throughout the summer meant I came away with a solid grounding of what a career in research could look like. These visits were held jointly the EPFL program, and the intimate relationship of these programs is another unique factor, maximising the breadth of (scientific) discussions.

My experience in the Hardtke group was fantastic - I felt integrated and included in the lab dynamics, whilst advanced experimental and computational skills in confocal microscopy, python and further data analysis. My positive experience mirrored my fellow participant’s, even though some did not have prior lab experience. In these situations I know the participants felt supported, with supervisors taking the time to share their expertise.

I would recommend applying to anyone who is passionate about Biology, would like to explore careers in the field, but also loves to travel and socialise in international environments. I know this summer has left a lasting imprint in my mind of where I want to be for my doctorate studies!

Yelyn Kim, Seoul National University, South Korea

Lim Yelyn.jpegA lifetime experience in Lausanne! There were so much to learn and achieve, in spite of the limited time period, both in terms of academics and social life. I was very overwhelmed by the quality of the research environment provided by my lab and I cannot thank my supervisor and my principal investigator enough for guiding me through the research project and helping me construct my future career plans as well. It was definitely challenging to an extent but also very rewarding especially after the poster day where we got to present and share our posters with peers. Summer 2022 in Lausanne wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for these 13 other peers from all over the world. We have built such a strong rapport and lifelong memories together in Switzerland! Last but not least, I would also like to take this moment to sincerely thank all the fellow directors of the program too.


DSC00176 copie 2.JPGMohamed Abdo, Misr University for Science and technology, Egypt

This summer has truly been an amazing experience for me on almost all levels. I have gained alot of scientific and practical knowledge, however more importantly the personal experience that I got through interacting with so many different people of wildly different cultures and scientific backgrounds was definitely mind blowing. I can honestly say that in these two months, I have found a second family in the amazing new friends that I made, my mentors and my lab colleagues.
In the end I would like to thank everyone who helped make this program possible and gave all of us this opportunity, you're amazing and your efforts are truly appreciated!

DSC00162 copie 2.JPGViktoria Gavriova, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

Honestly, I did not know what to expect, because it was my first experience in internships abroad, so, I was a little bit scared. But it was worth it 100%. The summer 2019 is one of the most significant in my life for sure, and it is not just because of science. Of course, I learned so many new things and due to my supervisor and principal investigator, I realized my special field in biology. Moreover, I met so many incredible people from different countries, who inspired me and we spent great time together during the program. So grateful to all our organizers and the Laboratory that accepted me!

DSC00169 copie 2.JPGGabriela Radulova, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria

As the summer in Lausanne was my first time abroad, I found it trilling! I felt free with this opportunity to travel and learn new things and had the pleasure to be in a lab with so many fun and hard-working people. I highly recommend the program to anyone that wants to fill their eyes with beauty and make friends for life. I can say that the Alps and the people in Switzerland changed a part of me that will forever remain calm, beautiful and appreciating. This also served as a huge steppingstone for my future career. The things that I have learned in the science research field will help me shape my views of what type of scientist I want to become. Huge thank you for the meetings, aperos and never-ending information of what the world and science could give you!


Laura Limonta, University of Medical Sciences of Havana, Cuba


SUR_unil-epfl_2018-4467-crop645x740.jpg (SUR Unil EPFL 2018)This summer stands out to be one of my more endearing experiences. Thank you all for the knowledge, the work, the meetings. I discover the excitement that comes along with being a researcher and all the path I can take to become one. Also thanks for the excursions, the country and the friends that, I am sure, will last a life time.

Sincerely grateful,



Marta Dafne Cabanero Navalon, University of Valencia, Spain

51 - copie-resize340x226-resize165x110-crop110x110.jpgI take profit to thank once again SUR programme this wonderful opportunity. It has been an amazing experience, in which I have learnt a lot, and has deeply increase my passion for science and research. Thanks for trusting me in the selection process and I hope some day you can feel proud of me and of the science seed you have grown on me.
And lastly, once again thank you Laurence for all your help and kindness. You are a great coordinator and you have taken care of us very nicely! For me it has been a pleasure knowing you and if you come one day to my city, I would be very happy to show it to you! (it is really beautiful!).



Liza Darrous, Lebanese American University, Lebanon

Liza_picture-resize110x146-crop110x115.JPGIn Switzerland, I got the experience a place I'm glad I can now call my second home. With it's kind welcoming poeple and breathtaking cities and nature, I was able to grow as a person and make new friends from all around the world. The lab and my mentors aided me in my research journey with patient hands and wise lessons that have helped me gain valuable knowledge and confidence to shape my future in a research career. Without all your help, I wouldn't have gained so much from this wonderful experience. For that I sincerly thank you!

Mihaela Roxanan Huhu, University of mdeicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila, RomaniaMihaela_Roxana_Huhu-crop650x691-resize110x116.jpg

I was a SUR UNIL student in 2015. I want to take the opportunity to thank you again for giving me the chance to do research at the highest standards.  This programme was a key-factor in deciding that I want to pursue a career in research.  It was such a rewarding experience!  I entered medical school because I was fascinated by the interactions between cells in the human body, by the complex connections and processes.  Medical school did not manage to fully fulfill my wish to understand it into more depth. After the SUR  UNIL programme, I had the revelation that research was that thing that was missing!!

Besides the scientific part, I also enjoyed the social part of the programme; I stayed in touch with some SUR students and we are even visiting each other.

Please extend my thanks and appreciation to the entire team that is organizing this wonderful programme and food luck with this new summer programme!



Marianne Clémence, University of Oxford, UK

M. Clemence.jpgI would like to let you know how much I enjoyed taking part in the SUR programme. I've really benefited from this experience and I feel a lot more confident about taking the next steps in research, as I start to think about graduate studies. What an amazing place to have done it as well; Switzerland is truly stunning, and it was great to share it with so many interesting people. Thank you so much for organising everything!

Ivan Mikičić, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Mikicic.jpgThank you Laurence, Richard, Marie-Paule, Winship and all the others for the wonderful organization of the summer school. I think this is a good opportunity.



Beatrice Tyrrell, University of Cambridge, UK

Beatrice _Tyrrel.jpgI would like to thank the entire leadership team of the SUR Programme and my host laboratory for making this wonderful opportunity available to me as a young scientist. I have never had such a productive and memorable summer as the one that I have just spent in Switzerland. The Programme enabled me to learn fundamental skills that I will continue to use in my research career, to meet and work with leading scientists, and to grow in both ability and confidence. Our beautiful surroundings really did make for a ‘beautiful summer’, and memories made with the Programme participants will stay with me forever

Kaisar Dauyey, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

Dauyey.jpgSUR Programme is a rare and outstanding chance for any student to discover a whole new world of research. Reading about science is interesting, but doing science with your own hands feels much better. Of course, the programme was intellectually intense and challenging. But during these two months I've met so many intellectual and creative people and made friends from all over the Earth. I enjoyed research, life in Switzerland and travelling in Europe. Forget your troubles, and apply ! You won't regret it!

Savita Rani, Queen's University, Canada

Rani.jpgI wanted to thank you all for making possible this fantastic opportunity to experience scientific research in beautiful Switzerland. This has truly been an unforgettable summer thanks to all your hard work and the company of my fellow summer students. It was refreshing to be with like-minded peers from across the world and share both intellectual and travel experiences with them! I also greatly appreciated the chance to connect with esteemed professors in the fields of biology and medicine. Again, thank you so much for providing this unique opportunity, I wish all the best for all future SUR programmes. Also, if you are ever in Canada, please do let me know!

Usama Mukhtar, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan

Mukhtar.jpgThanks for an amazing summer.
These have been the memorable days of my life.



Yueying Wang, Shaanxi Normal University

Wang.jpgIt was the first time I went abroad to study and live, but it was one of the best choices I have ever made. I am quite lucky for choosing Swiss, Lausanne, UNIL and Benton's Lab. I really want to go back one day. Thank you all for your care and kindness.

Bhaskar Mitra, VIT University, India

Mitra.jpgThe SUR Programme was probably the turning point of my life. Normally its very difficult and competitive for Asian students to make it through, but those who make it can have an absolute heavenly exposure in the field of research and development. Today I got nominated for Commonwealth Scholarship 2013 by Government of UK and MHRD, India for getting accepted as a masters student in University of Glasgow and University of Leeds for 2013 -2014. I got a wholesome experience in Uta Pazskowski`s Lab of Plant Molecular Biology. Although it was new to me but I felt too energized to get myself into this position where I could learn value added knowledge and wisdom.

Wegdan Abdel Moemin, Kasr, el Ainy Medical School, Egypt

Moemin.jpgSo that I never ever forget this experience (yeah I still haven't recovered) I made a video talking about my experience. Hope you like it! (watch out, its over 25 mins long long!)

Link video

Chai Tiancong, Tianjin Universty, China

Tiancong.jpgThanks for organizing the programme. I really learned a lot in this two months and enjoyed the experiments, the food and the landscape very much. I highly recommend Cornelia Reimmann's lab. Your know my English is not good. She was very patient and direct me in person. Everyone around me was very kind. So I think anyone will benefit a lot in her lab.



Anna Nguyen, Loyola University, Maryland, USA

Nguyen.jpgWords cannot capture how thankful I am for having had the opportunity to participate in this programme. When I received the acceptance e-mail, I remember replying and saying it was a dream come true, but after these 8 weeks in Lausanne, I can sincerely say that the experience has exceeded any dream I could have ever imagined before! It has truly been a moving and motivating experience to attend the weekly seminars and to receive encouragement from such highly accomplished scientists who are so passionate about research and discovery. My time spent in the lab has also been nothing short of amazing as I was paired with an amazingly supportive mentor who guided me along the roller coaster ride of research.

And of course, I will never, ever forget the friends that I have made during my time in the SUR Programme. This summer has introduced me to such a loving group of talented scientists who come from all corners of this world. Over these two short months, I feel like I've been able to embrace so many cultures and develop a second family. The discoveries and friendships formed throughout this programme just go to show how positive, valuable, and essential cross-cultural communication is as we advance into the future.

I could go on forever about how much I've enjoyed my time with UNIL, but I would like to end this message by thanking you all for your hospitality: for welcoming me into your programme, Switzerland, and even your home (for an amazing barbecue, by the way!!). As cliche as it may sound, this summer has been a truly positive, life-shaping experience thanks to all your hard work. I wish every student could receive the type of support that I've had encountered in these past two months.Bye for now and keep in touch!

Connie Shi, University of Michigan, USA

Shi.jpgI had a really great two months here in Lausanne learning both inside and outside the lab. I feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of the program this summer and had the opportunity to learn new techniques in a different area of research. If future SUR applicants ever have any questions about the program, I'd be happy to talk about the experience.

Luc Lebon, UNIL, Switzerland

Lebon.jpgWhat a pleasure to see the photos of the programme on the website of the School of Biology. Thank you very much. So many good memories of this absolutely amazing programme! I believe that all participants agree that it was the most beautiful summer of them all!



Kira Fischer, Maastricht University, Netherlands

Fischer.jpgAlthough I am learning exciting facts about cancer at university, I was sad to leave Lausanne. Now I have a feeling that is similar to homesickness, because it was the best summer I have ever had. During this ten weeks I learned more than during two years of studying. Moreover, I made a lot of new extraordinary friends. I am very grateful for this unique experience. Thanks to you and Winship I felt comfortable immediately. Thanks also for taking care of everything. You make staying in Lausanne very easy and unproblematic. Whenever the CIG could need some assistance in the lab, please let me know. I would be glad to come back!

Courtney JnBaptiste, Bethune-Cookman University, USA

JnBaptiste.jpgI really enjoyed the summer, thank you for all the efforts you put in to help make this experience possible. I hope that we can meet again either in St.Lucia or Switzerland!

Lieu Hai, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea

Hai.jpgAgain, I would like to thank you for your efforts to help us with a very great summer program. I hope to see you some day when I have chance to get back to Lausanne.

Ruichen Sun, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China

Sun.jpgIt was a wonderful experience for me to be able to participate in the SUR Programme. I have learnt a lot of new things through the program and in Benton's lab. I am planning to come back to CIG in February in Benton's lab, staying 5 more weeks here. Thank you for your hospitality and help of everything.


CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 40 10
Fax +41 21 692 40 05