What is the Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC)?
BIYSC is a two-week international summer science program that aims to stimulate scientific talent among young people from all over the world. It is meant to encourage their enthusiasm for pursuing scientific research and careers in science. BIYSC is intended for 132 undergraduate students from 16 to 18 years old. It has been designed with the aim to offer the participants a world-class experience by allowing them to work in English in small groups, on different scientific and technological challenges proposed by international research centers based in Catalonia, who are involved in cutting-edge research.
The program also offers its participants the possibility to enjoy the company of peers that share their same passion, attending scientific lectures given by leading researchers, and debating and discussing with them the most successful discoveries and scientific advances that are taking place worldwide.
How is the program developed?
The fifth edition of the BIYSC will take place in Barcelona from July 5th to 16th 2021. During the 12-day program, students participate in one of the 11 research projects offered (10-12 students per project) and work with the scientists on their project of choice. The academic program is demanding, about 6 hours a day. This does not mean that there is no time for other activities or free time, but BIYSC is not a normal summer camp. Here participants have to work hard and in the end, they will appreciate how much they have learned.
The research projects offered at BIYSC encompass different areas of theoretical and experimental sciences, such as physics, chemistry, medicine, biology, mathematics, biomedicine, biochemistry, genetics, neuroscience, astrophysics, biotechnology, engineering, etc. The projects’ content is adapted to students aged between 16 to 18 years old (10th to 12th grade*) and the vehicular language of all projects is English. Each project is led by a team of scientists, who will be responsible for guiding the students through their research and transmitting their passion for science, and encourage, engage, and stimulate the participants’ scientific interest and abilities.
Besides the research activities, there will be also conferences given by invited speakers and leisure activities (out-door games, touristic visits, excursions, movies, debates, etc). The staff team of the program will lead most of the leisure activities. Finally, the Opening and the Closing Ceremonies will take place at the start and at the end of the program, respectively; and on the last day of the campus, the participants also present their project to the rest of the groups and parents attending.
* Grades corresponding to 4th grade of ESO, 1st and 2nd grade of baccalaureate in Spain.
Where is the BIYSC held?
The activities within the two-week program will be concentrated in Barcelona.
During the program, the accommodation will be at ÀGORA BCN International University Residence, located in a privileged setting closely connected with the heart of the city downtown. During these days, participants take part in the different research projects, which are held in the research centers distributed around the city. All leisure activities during those days also take place in Barcelona, and the Opening Ceremony is held at the UNESCO World Heritage Site La Pedrera (Casa Milà), the headquarters of Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation.
Our participants will also have the opportunity to enjoy the BIYSCience Sessions, scientific dissemination lectures, and debates; as well as making the final presentation of their project’s results before the Closing Ceremony on the last day of the campus when families and researchers are invited to attend.
Find out here more information about the Accommodation.
What is the cost to participate at BIYSC?
The cost assumed by the student for participation at BIYSC is 2,600€. The total cost of the stay includes accommodation and meals from July 5th to 16th 2021, the material used in each of the projects, transport to the research centers, activities and programmed visits, remuneration of the researchers, lecturers, and staff, and accident and civil responsibility insurance.
Participants are responsible for seeking financial assistance to support their attendance. Nevertheless, as BIYSC selection process is based on the qualities of the candidates, no student will be excluded from the program for economic reasons. Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation will consider providing scholarships for local students with difficulties to meet the cost of tuition. Please, contact us if this is your situation.
What are the requirements to attend BIYSC?
- Date of birth between January 1st 2003 and December 31st 2005.
- Good academic record, which must be accompanied by an eagerness and motivation to participate in the program. We look for talented and curious young people who, apart from having good academic results, have a genuine interest in scientific research.
- Good command of the English language.
- Intention to pursue a career in science.
- Commitment to make the most of the opportunities offered by the program.
Find out here more information about the Candidates’ Profile.
How are the participants chosen?
We look for young people with interest, curiosity and commitment to science. To find them, we are guided by the personal statement and motivation letter that applicants write and where we expect them to show their interest in science, their personal and school projects (hobbies, participation in science contests or fairs, awards received, reading habits, musical instruments that they play, etc.) and everything they consider to make them perfect candidates for this opportunity. The answers to the questions in the application form are also important, as well as academic records, and the assessment and feedback received from the school teachers in the charge of the recommendations.
Find out here more information about the Selection Process.
Do participants need to know English?
English is very important in science and it is the only vehicular language during the program. Therefore, it is an essential point for the selection and absolutely necessary to attend BIYSC.
Do I get a certificate of attendance?
Yes, all participants are issued with a certificate after completing the program.
Can I get a supporting letter to help me obtain a VISA?
Yes, please contact us if this is your situation.
What time should I arrive on the arrivals day?
On Monday, July 5th, 2021, participants should arrive before 5 p.m. local time at ÀGORA BCN International University Residence (Passeig dels Castanyers 21, 08035 Barcelona) where the BIYSC Staff Team will be waiting for them to do the check-in. At least one staff member will be waiting participants arriving at the airport, train or bus station for their pick-up. No student will be left alone at any time. There will be a bus shuttle service from Barcelona Prat Airport and Barcelona Sants Central Station scheduled in accordance with the arriving times of all students. Students arriving later than 3 p.m. will have to arrange the transportation to ÀGORA BCN International University Residence on their own.
If required, international students may arrive to Barcelona on Sunday July 4th, 2021. Pick-up service by our staff will be provided, but the accommodation for the extra night is not included.
Find out here more information about the Schedule of the program.
What time should I leave on the departures day?
On Friday July 16th, 2021, participants will be able to leave ÀGORA BCN International University Residence before the final presentations and the Closing Ceremony, when there will be a little snack for all participants, parents, researchers, and attending guests.
There will be a bus shuttle service only for students from La Pedrera (Casa Milà) to Barcelona Airport and Barcelona Sants Central Station at 3 p.m. Family members can also be provided with this service, but at an extra cost.
We advise participants to get the departure flight or train from 7 p.m. on and not before, to have enough time to do the luggage check-in, if needed.
Find out here more information about the Schedule of the program.
What do participants in other editions say?
"Fantastic two-week experience full of science, an incredible opportunity to everyone who wants to take part of this enormous world of research.”
"BIYSC has given me the opportunity to get to know firsthand how some of the best scientists work in multidisciplinary projects.”
"It has opened my mind and curiosity to many topics I had never thought of.”
"This experience has changed my mind and opened my eyes to a new world, the scientific universe.”
"Just the idea of young people coming all around the world to learn makes me feel very lucky.”
"It has been an amazing experience not just for approaching me to the real science, but also for opening myself to a lot of amazing people.”
"I've learned, I've discovered how is it to work in a real laboratory and I've met amazing people that have now become my friends.”
"It was something that I will never forget. A true and worthwhile experience.”
"It has been the most enriching experience I've ever lived in my life.”
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Where is the accommodation?
During all the program (July 5th to 16th 2021), the students will live in ÀGORA BCN International University Residence, located in a privileged setting closely connected with the heart of the city downtown.
Facing the Horta Labyrinth Park and the University of Barcelona Campus, ÀGORA BCN International University Residence has the best views of the city of Barcelona. It is well connected with the metro to the city center and the research centers implicated in BIYSC 2021.
Find out here more information about the Accommodation.
Will I be sharing a room?
At the ÀGORA BCN International University Residence, all rooms are double or triple with a private bathroom. All participants will be allocated with students of the same sex.
Do I need to bring towels or sheets?
No, clean towels are provided in both the ÀGORA BCN International University Residence. Sheets are changed once a week.
Are there laundry facilities?
Yes, the ÀGORA BCN International University Residence provides this service at an extra cost.
Can I keep my belongings safe?
Yes, rooms will be kept closed, but be aware to take care of your belonging during the day.
Is there internet?
Yes, free Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and also throughout.
How many meals do we have in a day?
Three main meals per day are included (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Breakfast is at 8 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m. and dinner at 8 p.m. Breakfast and dinner are in ÀGORA BCN International University Residence. Lunch will be provided in the research centers where the different projects take place.
What happens if I have special dietary requirements?
Dietary requirements can be catered for, please contact us before your arrival. If you have a serious dietary requirement or allergy we recommend you bring provisions with you.
Can I stay for extra nights before and/or after BIYSC?
If booked in advance, rooms in ÁGORA BCN International University Residence may be available for participants that arrive earlier or wish to leave later. All arrangements must be made directly to the residence and the cost for the extra nights is at the participant’s own expense. See below for the contact details:
Please, also contact us in advance at email@example.com to keep us informed if you finally book extra nights either in the residence or at any other place of your choice.
Can I visit family and/or friends in Barcelona during the program?
No, you cannot. We advise you to visit family and/or friends before or after the program. Leaving the program is forbidden and it will be punished with immediate expulsion.
Can my family attend?
Family members will be able to attend the day of the final presentations and the Closing Ceremony at La Pedrera (Casa Milà). During the rest of the program family members are not allowed to be present.
How much spare time is there?
BIYSC offers a full program with a very busy schedule. However, there is also some free time which you can use to visit the city with other participants or relax at your leisure.
How much spending money I need?
All meals, program activities, and transports are included in the participation fee. Extra money may be required for optional excursions or visits, additional snacks, or souvenirs.
Is there a dress code?
Most research projects require students to dress in long trousers and closed shoes while being in the lab. However, also bring clothing and footwear appropriate for hot weather. Participants should dress smartly for the Opening and Closing Ceremony.
What if I am homesick?
The staff is available 24 hours a day to help with any problems you might have.
Who do I turn to if I have problems during the program?
Each participant is given a buddy member of the staff to be their contact. Staff are experienced to deal with any problems, as they all have been in your position before. They are available 24 hours a day, and the program coordinator is on-site at all times and can be reached on the emergency telephone number, which will be given to you upon arrival.