BREAKTHROUGH RESULTS The first student to attend SAF’s inaugural summer research program discusses how the unique opportunity has nudged him closer to realizing a longtime dream. ast summer, in a laboratory at L Johns Hopkins University, Yangchen Zheng felt time running out on him. With two weeks left of the SAFfacilitated research program, he swiped a wire loop across a Petri dish, hoping this time to succeed at the experiment—isolating a phage, a virus that attacks bacteria. “There were only two weeks left of the program,”he writes in an email,“and I was quite worried about whether I could finish my project.”
14 | CONNECT 2016
When he failed at that fifth attempt, he sought the help of his professor. Together they discovered his phage had an irregular form that been mucking up his results. Finally, success! “That was another ‘aha’ time in my science career,” says Zheng, “and I felt quite excited about that.” Today, Zheng is hoping to achieve yet another breakthrough. The Biotechnology major from Sun Yat-Sen University in China has dreams of earning a graduate degree from one of
America’s leading research institutions. He’s not alone. As foreign applications to U.S. graduate schools continue to surge, prospective international candidates are increasingly undertaking undergraduate study abroad as a way of gaining an admissions advantage. And with science being an especially sought-after program, many aspiring candidates like Zheng are seeking to pull ahead of competitors by participating early in real scientific research experiences at U.S. universities.
What's new at The Study Abroad Foundation.