What is ISEC?

ISEC is a new educational experience designed for people between the ages of 16 and 24, but we will also consider applications from those who are 25 if there are spots available. Our international scope will require you to be conversationally fluent in English. Perfection or proficiency isn’t required, but you should be comfortable reading, writing, and speaking  English. We won’t ask you for any certificate (though a Cambridge First Certificate, B2, or equivalent is a reasonable guideline). Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns about your English abilities.

The most important requirement, however, is an interest in science and a desire to learn more! Regardless of your background or education, any person from 16 to 24 years old can apply. Are you a high school student considering a career in science? Or do you enjoy scientific discoveries, even if you have no intention of studying physics at University? Perhaps you are a young university student who is already pursuing a degree in science. Do you want to carry out a project within your field? Are you curious about other fields and you want to discover how you can apply your knowledge to an interdisciplinary project? Maybe you considered studying  science and are still interested in learning more, but ended up pursuing a different field. Perhaps you are already working on a masters in a scientific field and you are looking for a hardcore, complex and challenging project. No matter your background in science, if you are eager to learn more, you came to the right place!

The main goal is to carry out scientific projects in an international, open minded, interdisciplinary, and collaborative environment. Each participant, according to his or her interests, will be assigned a scientific mentor. Our mentors are mainly final year Bachelor students, Master students, PhD students or young science teachers. Each mentor will propose several projects, adapting and tailoring them to the interests and capabilities of the participants. Each participant will complete one research project individually or in a small group, overseen by a mentor. We will all be working together in the same room and each mentor will be accessible to every participant, further promoting interdisciplinary collaboration. Once you have been assigned a mentor, he or she will contact you with some project suggestions, that can be modified to fit your skills and education. Keep in mind these are only suggestions – we also encourage you to come up with your own projects!

The project success will reflect the effort put forth during your stay at ISEC and we hope you gain some insight about how scientists really carry out research. At the end of the camp, you are expected to write a scientific report with the work done at ISEC and give a short presentation to your fellow participants. At the conclusion of ISEC, we will gather all the reports and upload them to our website (with your permission), so you can be proud of your work!  

Don’t worry – camp isn’t all work and no fun! That’s exactly why we consider ourselves a summer camp and not a summer school. We strongly believe that the best learning takes best when students are eager and motivated to learn, but also have time to relax and rest their brains. Whether you missed out on sleep-away camp when you were younger or look back fondly at such memories, you’ll have an opportunity to create new and memorable experiences at camp. At ISEC you’re going to front flip into the pool, sing songs around the campfire, and stargaze under the Milky Way. You’ll have the opportunity to be silly and laugh and remember that even as you’re growing up and taking on new responsibilities and stresses, there’s always room for a new friend and a good time.

At the beginning of camp, participants will be assigned to different teams. These teams will consist of 6 to 8 people. The teams will play an important role for non-scientific activities, which will be a vital  part of ISEC and will give us a break after a hard day of work. This activities will be diverse, ranging from cultural exploration and sports competitions to scavenger hunts and puzzle solving.

Camp Schedule

We will have some special days, but our daily schedule will generally be the following.

The day will begin with breakfast and announcements, mostly regarding special events and activities. After breakfast we will have a first working session of 3 hours where participants will work on their projects with their partners and mentors. Participants will then have some free time to spend as they wish (getting to know other participants, playing sports, taking a nap, playing card games, working on their project if they wish, etc). Afterwards the whole camp will reconvene for lunch, followed by additional free time. Then, we will have a second working session of 2 hours. After lots of hard work, we will gather as a camp for fun games, challenges and competitions. Such a long day will surely leave participants hungry and ready for dinner.

If you are excited and want to know more about this, you can read about ISEC 2022 and Online ISEC 2022! You can also read about ISEC 2019 here and Online ISEC 2020 here.