International News Desk – At Home and Abroad

At Home: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program now Open.
The 2014-2015 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships competition has begun. Scholarships worth $50,000 per year for up to three years are being given out to highly motivated and competitive students who plan on pursuing their doctoral degrees at a Canadian university.

The program is open to Canadian citizens, permanent Canadian residents, and international students, with a deadline of November 5, 2014. More information can be found on the government of Canada website.

Around the Globe:Smart Drug use on the rise in European Students
The New York Times recently reported on the increased use of “smart drugs,” drugs that are thought to increase cognitive and memorization capabilities, across Europe. While no longitudinal surveys have been done, the anecdotal evidence is that more students are using these types of drugs more often in response to the heavy pressure being put on students to excel at their courses. At the end of 2012, a Swiss study found that one in seven students reported using some sort of enhancer in the months leading up to their exams, while in May of this year, that number had increased to one in five, as found in a national British student newspaper.

Some reasons for the growth in their use include how these drugs are now widely available through the internet., with some students are saying that you almost need to take these drugs simply to be on a level playing field with other students who are already taking them.

Boris Quednow, an assistant professor and psychologist at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Zurich also puts some of the blame for the increase in use on the media, which suggests that these drugs are effective for this sort of thing when, in reality, their effectiveness is by no means proven.

However, one first year medical student counters this by pointing out that whether they make you smarter or not, many of the reduce the need for sleep, and the additional time that provides for revision and review has the same effect as if they actually made you smarter when it comes to university testing.

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