Psychology and Neuroscience – Shashwat Mittal, Year 11
Over the last nine days, I have been lucky enough to attend American University in Washington DC to take part in the National Student Leadership Conference, Psychology and Neuroscience program, with 73 other international students.
Within the program, I gained first-hand experience in diagnosing patients during the clinical diagnostic simulation and we with met doctors and scientists in the field. I had the opportunity of meeting the CEO of the American Psychological Association and discussed the breadth of career options in Psychology and Neurosciences.
We visited one of the National Institutes of Health centres and met with scientists from the NIH who spoke to us about the branches of the NIH and the various internship opportunities available. One of the scientists also came to the university to deliver a lecture on possible treatments for hereditary diseases. We also visited Uniformed Services University and talked to both students who were looking to be medical professionals in the Navy and military psychologists.
In addition to the field trips, we spent time on campus learning a lot of in-lab work and workshops about social, developmental, abnormal and forensic psychology. Aside from the coursework, we did a ropes course and learned key leadership skills such as conflict resolution, communication, teamwork and commitment. The leadership component of the program is invaluable.
Overall, I made new friends, met new people, learned a lot and had enormous fun. I would strongly recommend the NSLC program to all students who are interested and would definitely go again if I had the chance.
NSLC also runs other programs, such as forensic science, medicine and healthcare, game design, public policy, intelligence and national security, and engineering. A diverse range of programs are conducted at different universities as well, so there is something for everyone.
Engineering – Nicholas Crellin, Year 10
My experience at NSLC is one that I will never forget.
Although I have always been interested in aeronautics, I did not know a lot about engineering before departing. I was excited about the program and I was ready to experience something new. Overall, the NSLC program taught me so much about the field of engineering and just how expansive it is.
In my course, we visited Lockheed Martin and the NASA Goddard Centre. These experiences gave me an insight into the possible career options available as well as the diverse equipment that these centres produce.
In addition to these experiences, in groups of about 15 students, we built a sea robot and an RC car. These challenges were key to the program and helped us to develop our communication and engineering skills. Throughout the NSLC, we also had a series of workshops with a leadership counsellor. These sessions helped us develop leadership skills and have fun at the same time.
The course also provided us with social time – events and excursions – to interact with those in the same, and on the last night other, courses. I met so many people from many different cities, countries and backgrounds. These people made the experience what it really was – invaluable. The NSLC program was amazing and I would sincerely love to do it again.