Doing interdisciplinary research on musical instruments at McGill University was exciting, writes AJITH DAMODARAN.

Going abroad is always exciting and my dream of doing so came true last summer.

I got an opportunity to conduct a part of my research work at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, through the Commonwealth scholarship.

The Canadian commonwealth scholarship programme provides short-term exchange opportunities for candidates from the Commonwealth countries for study or research in Canada at the master’s or doctoral level.

I got an opportunity to work with the structures and composite group, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering for developing high performance composites for music instrument structures. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, I was also associated with Schulich school of Music.

Centre for interdisciplinary research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT), a research centre at McGill, is also providing research internships for international students. I was also a beneficiary of the same. Incidentally, various Indian musical instruments are extensively researched in this part of the world. McGill also supports various interdisciplinary projects.

The fellow students are supportive, friendly and the research updates are presented to the supervisors in the weekly group meeting. Most of the projects are carried out in collaboration with other universities and industry partners.

This research internship also opened up opportunities for pursuing a career in research.

Research opportunities are plenty, and I believe every student should try to do internships. During my stay, I also got an opportunity to present my research work at international conferences.


Montreal is one of the best cities in North America for students. One of the remarkable aspects of the city is that, it is bike-friendly and there are separate lines for the bicycles.

The city is clean and people are generous. STM transport is also helpful for roaming around downtown. Experiencing different cuisines every weekend and meeting people from around the globe was also a good experience.

The city is vibrant and it is a mix of French and American culture. Further, the North American winter was also a pleasant experience.

There are many indoor games and outdoor games options. While the Montreal winter is very cold and beautiful, sometimes with the wind chill, the temperature can go up to minus 35 degrees.

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