Out of the twenty-six students attending the AFEC, I am the only attendee from the Western Hemisphere:
Last year’s cohort of 21 also had just one from the Western Hemisphere. I wonder if this is an accurate reflection of the applicant profile, or if the selection committee preferentially accepts Asian applicants — hopefully I can extract this information from the course coordinators and update this post accordingly. I’ll venture a guess that this particular course doesn’t get very many applications from American students because it is aimed at young(er) grad students, who are usually taking and/or teaching courses during this time.
That said, I’m very excited to work with students from such a diversity of places, including North Korea (!) and Benin (!!). Other things I am excited for: Xishuangbanna’s canopy walk (blog post by another visitor), small turbulance-prone commuter planes, and the distant prospect of finding whacky new fungi.
PS: I included the gender columns in the table above in case anyone is interested in that. Only ~25% of the students are females, but I don’t have anything new to say about that. Maybe I will if I get to Marlene Zuk’s discussion on on role of gender in science today!