UCI Hosts French Engineers
In collaboration with the Laureate International Universities, UC Irvine Extension hosted 178 engineering students from Ecole Centrale D’Electronique in the heart of Paris, France.
‘All of them will be engineers and global managers,’ said UCI Extension International Coordinator Albane Arriza. ‘Many came here to the United States for the first time and didn’t really know what to expect but now many of them wish to return, which I think is wonderful.’
From about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., students attended classes and case studies, with a few additional hours of study afterwards.
Taking up residency in the Arroyo Vista dorms for four weeks was a new experience for the French students, since their Paris school is housed in a single building.
‘The campus here is so huge and [dorming] was a great experience,’ said 23-year-old embedded systems major Charles Elie Braga.
The students also embraced the unique teaching methods at UCI.
‘The teachers are very cool with the students,’ said 23-year-old embedded systems major Benjamin Ramel. ‘[The professors] cheer for the students a lot and they seem to enjoy working with us. In France, they are less communicative.’
Despite their arduous academic schedules, the French students managed to take a few breaks in order to supplement their American education on marketing and finance with an introduction to the American way of life.
‘For my first time in America, I learned about the culture mainly,’ said 21-year-old information systems major Maryse Levavasseur. ‘The most fun was my trip to San Francisco. I hope to come back [to America] but I don’t know when or where.’
Whether they were shopping in Beverly Hills, playing the slots in Las Vegas or enjoying a simple afternoon at UCI’s Anteater Recreational Center, the ECE students took full advantage of the finest of what America has to offer.
‘The students feel really comfortable and have appreciated very much the people both in the staff and the community,’ Arriza said. ‘They have been delighted with the weather, activities and business opportunities of Southern California.’
Out of 225 students from the graduating class of 2007 accepted to the program, 178 chose to complete their studies abroad at UCI rather than other schools they were offered in countries such as Denmark, Canada and Europe.
ECE’s curriculum focuses on a variety of emerging information and communication technologies, such as computer science, telecommunications and embedded systems on both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The group of future engineers will follow their trip with a six-month internship in a country of their choice before making the leap into the real world and the job market.