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Summer Research Programs for International Students in Asia: HRSE vs. ASDAN (LUMIERE)

Updated: Aug 2, 2023


As summer approaches, aspiring students from Asia are presented with the exciting opportunity to enroll in summer research programs, unlocking valuable hands-on experience and insights into their chosen fields. Among the myriad of choices, two prominent contenders stand out: the High School Research Science Experience (HRSE) and the Lumiere Research Scholar Program extended through ASDAN. Both programs offer unique pathways for international students in Asia to immerse themselves in the world of scientific research. In this blog post, we undertake a thorough comparison of these programs, focusing on key facets like lab exposure, mentorship quality, social skills development, and the nurturing of essential skills for future achievements.

Lab Experience: HRSE's Immersive Pathway vs. ASDAN's Online Approach

The heart of an exceptional summer research program lies in its capacity to facilitate genuine lab involvement and provide a tangible research milieu. HRSE takes a proactive approach by providing students with the chance to work within a physical lab setting. This unique opportunity enables them to experience firsthand the ambiance of an authentic college and research environment. The credibility garnered from association with a reputable host lab, esteemed university, and renowned professor enhances the authenticity of the student's research endeavors. On the other hand, ASDAN's Lumiere Research Scholar Program predominantly hinges on online 1-on-1 interactions with PhD mentors. While personalized guidance is a notable advantage, this approach lacks the palpable lab dynamics and collaborative experiences that are pivotal to real-world research settings.

Quality of Mentorship: In-Person Engagement vs. Virtual Interaction

Mentorship is the cornerstone of a rewarding research experience, and the mode of engagement significantly impacts its caliber. HRSE's commitment to in-person internships translates into direct engagement between students and seasoned researchers. The privilege of working closely with experienced professors not only deepens the understanding of research methodologies but also fosters enduring mentor-mentee relationships. These relationships often extend beyond the summer program, serving as invaluable networks throughout the student's academic journey. In contrast, ASDAN's model predominantly relies on remote online interactions. While this approach has its merits, it falls short in replicating the immersive and real-time mentorship that is pivotal for nurturing a holistic research experience.

Social Skills and Networking: HRSE's Distinct Edge

Research skills, while vital, do not function in isolation; the ability to navigate social settings and forge lasting connections is equally crucial. HRSE excels in this regard by cultivating an environment that encourages interactions with peers, professors, and researchers. These organic interactions contribute to the development of vital interpersonal skills, effective teamwork, and the confidence to navigate professional scenarios. These skills are indispensable in any career and are honed through genuine face-to-face interactions – a strength that HRSE effectively harnesses. In contrast, ASDAN's online model may limit the depth of mentorship and potentially impede the robust social growth of participants.

Cultivation of Essential Skills: Pioneering Opportunities and Self-Reliance

Beyond research prowess, a comprehensive summer research program should equip students with versatile skills applicable across various academic and professional domains. HRSE takes a proactive stance by empowering students to seize existing opportunities and proactively create new ones. This emphasis on outreach and self-driven initiatives positions students to stand out in the competitive landscape of scientific research. Conversely, ASDAN's Lumiere Research Scholar Program may inadvertently encourage a reliance on paid opportunities, potentially hindering the development of self-reliance and resourcefulness – traits indispensable for sustained success.

Real-World Experience: HRSE's Distinct Advantage

One of the key differentiators that sets the High School Research Science Experience (HRSE) apart is its unwavering commitment to providing students with authentic, real-world research experience. HRSE's immersive lab environment places participants at the heart of scientific exploration, allowing them to engage in hands-on experimentation, data analysis, and collaborative problem-solving. This tangible involvement mirrors the day-to-day realities of professional researchers and equips students with invaluable skills and insights that transcend theoretical knowledge. In contrast, ASDAN's Lumiere Research Scholar Program, though offering personalized mentorship, falls short in replicating the genuine research environment. The online 1-on-1 interactions, while beneficial, lack the tactile engagement and dynamic group dynamics that are essential components of true research immersion. As Asian international students seek to make informed choices for their summer research endeavors, HRSE's emphasis on authentic, real-world experience stands as a compelling reason to opt for a program that not only imparts knowledge but also molds future scientists and researchers through hands-on engagement.


In the realm of summer research programs for Asian international students, the High School Research Science Experience (HRSE) and the Lumiere Research Scholar Program extended through ASDAN offer distinctive approaches and advantages. While both programs aim to deliver valuable research experiences, HRSE's immersive lab environment, face-to-face mentorship, emphasis on social skills development, and cultivation of essential skills set it apart as a comprehensive and impactful choice. The skills gained through HRSE extend beyond the boundaries of a lab, empowering Asian international students to excel not only academically but also in their future careers. As students embark on their summer journeys, the choice between HRSE and ASDAN's Lumiere Program becomes pivotal in shaping their trajectory towards success.

When evaluating a high school research internship, it's imperative for Asian international students to carefully assess the opportunities and experiences offered by each program. The immersive lab environment, hands-on mentorship, emphasis on social skills, and focus on essential skill development make HRSE an outstanding option for those seeking a transformative summer research experience. As you make your decision, remember that the skills and networks you cultivate during your summer program can profoundly impact your academic and professional journey. Choose wisely and pave the way for a future brimming with accomplishments and triumphs.

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