Known for natural beauty, real community and unabashed authenticity, Vermont is a popular visiting spot among wanderers of the world. It’s also the location of one of the United States’ top college cities. Named a “Top Adventure Town” by National Geographic, Burlington, Vermont, is acclaimed for more than just its access to great skiing and hiking and lake and mountain views. It’s drawn acclaim as one of “15 Hottest Cities for the Future” (Business Insider) and a “Top 10 Tech Hub” (Forbes). A mecca for recreation and a growing center for business and tech, Burlington is also home to a nationally ranked research institution, the University of Vermont.
Founded in 1791, the University of Vermont (UVM), is the fifth-oldest university in New England (after Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown). There, students at every level, including 1,400 graduate students, are working to move humankind forward across the sciences, medicine, engineering, arts and humanities.
“At UVM, we believe that academic learning is inextricably linked to civic and social responsibility,” says Tom Sullivan, President of UVM. “From our commitment to a sustainable environment, to our support for the arts, and our dedication to cutting-edge medical research, we strive to serve our local and global communities. We know that by working together and supporting each other, we can achieve greatness.”
A safe and welcoming community with an international airport just 10 minutes from campus (and Montreal a 90-minute drive away), UVM is a great fit for international students looking to further their education. UVM offers a distinctive learning environment which enables students to develop culturally-relevant, problem-solving and communication skills that make them effective leaders and real-world, innovative thinkers.
Working across disciplines on the world’s greatest challenges
UVM has over 50 academic programs that lead to a master’s degree and over 20 programs that lead to a doctorate. What makes the UVM graduate program so unique is the interdisciplinary focus that cuts across several departments and areas of study. This means students who enroll in one of the eight interdisciplinary graduate programs offered can capitalize on the strengths of each faculty, from those in biological and biomedical sciences to those in environmental and ecologically-focused programs.
With a total of $138 million in research awards offered this year, combined with a top-notch faculty, this institution is a place where local and international students can find success through collaborative, multidisciplinary study.
A great learning environment
At UVM, students get to work with the best faculty but also stretch their independence to work on their own projects. Estelle Spear, a Ph.D. student working on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research, found support from her faculty mentor, as well as the opportunity to design her own experiments. “I chose to pursue my Ph.D. at UVM because there are great research facilities and faculty that offer a very supporting environment for learning,” she says. “Everyone is very open to collaboration.”
International students attending UVM join some of the top students in the U.S. As a first-year Ph.D. student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, Aaron Schwartz was thrilled to receive the coveted National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, a highly competitive award for students across the U.S.
The university also offers its own fellowships, many of which are available to international students. For example, graduate student funding is available through the university’s Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) grant, which is an international collaborative graduate student training grant, specially designed to improve how social sciences and humanities connect to ecological and economic realities and challenges of the Anthropocene.
Make a difference in the world
There are many benefits of pursuing an education that focuses on research, but one of the most fulfilling is the ability to make an impact. For Samantha Alger, a Ph.D. student of biology, research involving the protection of Vermont’s bees helped influence legislation which aims to conserve and protect pollinator populations.
“I urged legislators to restrict the use of neonicotinoids by disallowing their use by homeowners, and gain regulatory control over seed coatings,” says Samantha. Her work eventually won a prestigious award valued at $140,000, which continued to support her work.
Meanwhile, Joyce Thompson, an international student from Ghana, found success at UVM working on a dissertation on mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that affects the mesothelium – the protective cellular membrane of the lungs, the abdominal cavity or the heart. Through her project, Joyce was selected to attend a course on medical and experimental mammalian genetics at the Jackson Laboratory in Maine. Ultimately, Thompson’s work resulted in six published papers and a post-doctoral position at the University of Michigan.
At the University of Vermont, students are nurtured and given the opportunity to develop their skills to contribute to society. If you’ve always wanted to use your degree to do more than just gain a job, UVM is your chance.
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