Testimonial: Leying Zhang
– Leying Zhang, exchange student from SJTU Paris Elite Institute of Technology (SPEIT*), China
Where did you live?
I stayed at the ECLA residence in Massy because for a 6-month stay I could not access the CROUS residences. It costs 830 € per month (2021/2022 rates) before the CAF housing allowance. ECLA Massy is located near the train station, so it is very convenient and many international students stay there.
How did you adapt to the French culture and the courses at Télécom Paris?
I was used to the requirements of a French engineering school thanks to my studies at SPEIT, so it was not difficult to adapt academically to Telecom Paris.
Adapting to the culture and activities was more difficult. For example, there are a lot of parties and many of them go on until late in the evening, but my biological clock is really a big obstacle because in China, going to bed early and getting up early are considered good habits.
But we are well accompanied to acculturate ourselves.
- As soon as I arrived, I joined international student groups on Facebook and WhatsApp that organized visits.
- The BDE (the students’ union) organizes activities such as visits to Paris: Montmartre… I really enjoyed these visits and I had the opportunity to meet some very nice friends.
- I also really enjoyed the “Tandem**” project: every week we discussed a topic related to our interests. This allowed me to deepen my understanding of France and I think my French partner also gained more knowledge about China.
** Tandem projects are language and intercultural courses in pairs with a French student and an international student.
I chose to take courses in Data Science and Image Processing. I had already studied artificial intelligence for audio processing in a lab in China. Image processing and natural language processing are two popular research domain in AI, and these two fields covered my two main interests. But unfortunately, the course I most wanted to take, Analyse des signaux de musique et de parole: méthodes et applications (Music and Speech Signal Analysis: Methods and Applications), did not start until the second semester, so I could not attend it.
The courses were a bit complicated but the teachers were really nice. The practical classes were the most useful, especially to understand the Image courses.
I took 4 courses in each track. I really appreciated the strong logic behind the 4 courses, especially in the Image track. At Télécom Paris, there are many professors who are specialized in their field and have developed very structured courses with clear relationships between each course.
I also really enjoyed the English class on non-fiction writing. It was a really interesting and useful class. It was different from the many traditional classes of my professors in China who focus more on grammar issues.
I even started to study Spanish and I met a lot of Moroccans during this class who speak Spanish very well.
I participated in the promotion of the Forum, organized by both the students and the Telecom Paris corporate team: students can meet companies offering internships and job opportunities. I made Moroccan friends by participating in buffets and meetings.
I attended the French Village, another event organized by the students and the International Relations. It was very interesting, I had the opportunity to taste many culinary specialties from several regions of France. I particularly liked the Alsace booth.
During the ATHENS week, I traveled to other cities with Chinese friends, like Berlin, Budapest, Prague and Vienna.
At Christmas I travelled to Finland and visited Helsinski and also Rovaniemi, the official home of Santa Claus. It’s great that students have a lot of time off. These holidays allow me to relax, go on vacation and enjoy the scenery in different French regions and European countries.
I encountered some administrative problems in France, such as extending the validity of my residence permit (titre de séjour), applying for CAF (accommodation allowance), health insurance reimbursements and vaccinations. Despite some inefficiencies on the part of the administrative staff, the problems were eventually resolved. I think that patience and active search for solutions are very important in France, which is also a very valuable lesson I learned here.
Testimonials: Guillermo, Ali, Asma Vladimir, Zhu (videos)
Guillermo Toyos, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
24 month-Double Degree Engineering program
Asma Zineddine, Sup’Com Tunis, Tunisia
24 month-Double Degree Engineering program
Zhu Liao, China
Master 2 Integration, Circuits & Systems at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris)
Ali Keshavarzi, Iran
Data and Artificial Intelligence PhD-Track program at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris)
Vladimir Kondratyev, Russia
Two-year dual degree engineering program
Testimonial: Ijaz Ahmed Navas
My name is Ijaz Ahmed Navas. I am from the National University of Singapore (NUS). I am enrolled in the French Double Degree Programme (FDDP) at Télécom Paris* to obtain the MSc in engineering (diplôme d’ingénieur) in addition to my NUS degree. I have received a French Embassy in Singapore Scholarship for my 2-year studies at Télécom Paris.
About NUS, my home university
NUS is one of the premier universities in Singapore and Asia in a variety of fields including science, medicine, law, engineering, arts and social sciences. NUS offers Bachelor’s degree courses (basic four-year courses) and a range of graduate and postgraduate degrees. As one of the top universities in Singapore, NUS takes a holistic approach to education relying on:
- Opportunities for exchanges with partner universities around the world, France being a significant partner,
- Strong internship possibilities with some of the leading international companies.
NUS is constantly evolving its curriculum to meet the job market current needs. It also introduces new programmes relying on its partners to provide students with relevant skills and opportunities by supporting successful start-ups to allow them to thrive after their university education.
Why I study in France and at Télécom Paris
I was initially interested in the French Double Degree Programme offered by NUS through its partnership with the most prestigious French Engineering Grandes Ecoles among which Télécom Paris. My experience was exceptional from the start. Usually exchanges last from six months to a year. However, this programme allows us to experience living in a new culture for two years. In order to be admitted, we have to follow a preparation (special mathematics and physics classes) and to pass the French school entrance exams and interviews. Thanks to this process, I feel I am not just an exchange student but also truly a Télécom Paris student for two years. Moreover, at the end, I will be receiving the Master of Science in engineering degree (diplôme d’ingénieur) from the Télécom Paris Grande Ecole as well.
In addition to the prestige of the school, I was attracted by the French culture, which has always fascinated me, from the art and literature to the food. Through this opportunity, I hoped to visit the cities as well and experience living in an environment that is so rich in history.
I was pursuing an electrical engineering degree at NUS and I had a keen interest in the field with very specific goals for my post-graduate career plans. Therefore, Télécom Paris was an excellent fit because of its Grandes Ecoles academically rigorous but also its practical curriculum and its focus and specialization in informatics and electronics. Applying to the FDDP program at Télécom Paris provided me with the formidable challenge of studying in one of the French Grandes Ecoles but also allowed me to focus on my areas of interest to build upon my previous skills acquired at NUS.
What I like at Télécom Paris
I enjoy the courses very much. They are short, spanning over 8 weeks but are densely packed with content and practical work. I can therefore acquire a wide breadth of knowledge in a short period. At Télécom Paris, we also have heavily project-based courses that I find interesting and very creative as it gives me more freedom to explore the topics concerned.
Aside from the technical courses, the language courses and the “formation humaine” courses (humanities) are enriching as well. The French language courses both teach the language and introduce the culture. They give me a strong understanding of the environment I am living in and allow me to appreciate the city and surroundings better when I visit them.
The welcome activities were also excellent. Due to its large body of international students, the school places much emphasis on being welcoming and appreciating the diversity of thought.
The extracurricular activities I enjoy
The BDE (Student Union) is a strong student organization, which has provided excellent opportunities for the international students to integrate with the French students. The main one was the Integration Weekend, which allowed me to interact with the French students and get to know them in a stress free environment. The section of the BDE that is in charge of international students affairs have also organized trips and cultural events for further interaction and mixing.
We may also participate in the many Télécom Paris associations and clubs, which allow us to grow our soft skills and non-academic talents.
My final words
Study in France at Télécom Paris is a rare opportunity to explore a fascinating culture and at the same time expand your academic experiences.
*The French Double Degree Programme (FDDP) is a partnership program between NUS and a selection of 6 French Grandes Ecoles: CentraleSupelec, Mines Paristech, Ecole des Ponts Paristech, Ecole Polytechnique, ENSTA Paris, Télécom Paris.
Testimonial: Nghia Nguyen Danh
My name is Nghia Nguyen Danh, I come from Vietnam. I am enrolled in the Master of Sciences in Engineering at Télécom Paris as part of a double degree program between Hanoi University of Science & Technology (HUST) and Télécom Paris. And, this year, I am also a Master 2 student in Data and Artificial Intelligence at Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris). The master at IP Paris is an option offered for the last year of the MSc in Engineering at Télécom Paris.
My studies at Hanoi University of Science & Technology
I completed my engineering program at Hanoi University of Science & Technology before coming to Télécom Paris. HUST was my dream school as well as it is for many other students who love science and technology in Vietnam. There, I studied Electronics and Telecommunications, in the Talented Class. Honestly, when I entered the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications, I didn’t think I will learn so much and receive such a great assistance from the teachers, and professors. Very early on, my professors informed me about the exchange and association programs and that’s how I got to know about Télécom Paris and the cooperation program between HUST and Télécom Paris.
Recipient of the Eiffel Scholarship
I am very grateful that both Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) and Télécom Paris have helped me so that I could receive one of France’s most prestigious scholarships: the Eiffel Scholarship program of Excellence. With the very supportive assistance from the incoming team at the Télécom Paris’ International Relations Department as well as the great help from my home university, I was granted a very good funding.
Why I chose France
When I was in Vietnam, I expected to prepare for my career by doing a Master’s Degree in a foreign country, which technology and people are moving fast in abreast with the latest developments in the field. From my personal research, I knew that France would be an ideal place for me to fulfill my professional objectives. Firstly, I knew that France is home to many well-known télécom companies and is heavily invested in this important area through education and expert exchanges. Therefore, I really wanted to study in this environment, both to study and to see opportunities to contribute to the overall development of the industry. Secondly, although France has a progressive education system, the tuition fee here is surprisingly smaller than in other developed countries, such as the UK and the USA. This helps France become a very attractive country for learners around the world. For an international student like me, that means a lot as my family and I did not have to stretch too much financially.
Why I chose Télécom Paris
I got to know about the double degree agreement between Hanoi University of Science and Technology and Télécom Paris, which allows graduate students from HUST to undertake a 2-year Master’s Degree at Télécom Paris. I was really interested in this program because Télécom Paris is one of the best technical universities in France. My study advisor and professors particularly recommended the Data Science program offered at Télécom Paris emphasizing that it is recognized as the university’s signature course of study. In addition, Paris is the economic and technological center of France as well as one of Europe. In fact, many of the world’s leading technology companies choose Paris for their headquarters. Therefore, the most appealing part of the Télécom Paris curriculum was the six-month engineering internship in the second year that I intend to do at one of the many prestigious French tech firms.
What I like at Télécom Paris
After more than 1 year studying at Télécom Paris, I feel very satisfied with the courses, especially the professional courses. Most of them are really cool and interesting. What was very helpful in developing my skills are the many lab work sessions that always accompany the theoretical courses. Another thing that I like about Télécom Paris is the very high density of international students. It is great for me to be able to understand more about different cultures.
However, it is unfortunate that I came to France during the pandemic period. Last year, all of my courses took place online. I did not have many opportunities to meet many friends or participate in cultural activities at school. However, I feel that I will have fond memories if I can participate more this year in activities organized by BDE (Bureau des Elèves, student union).
What I want to tell future students
I just want to tell future students at Télécom Paris this one sentence: “Future engineers, come to Télécom Paris to learn, to research, and to experience a learning environment full of professionalism and French culture.”
Testimonial: Eya Ghamgui
My name is Eya Ghamgui, I am 24 years old, and I am originally from Tunisia. I am a student enrolled in the double degree program in Engineering at Télécom Paris and currently following the MVA Master*.
I had a scientific Baccalaureate specializing in mathematics in 2016. Then, I decided to follow the engineering curriculum because I am passionate about new technologies and artificial intelligence. This is why I want to deepen my knowledge in these fields to contribute to future innovations. That is why, I chose the Preparatory Institute for Engineering Studies in Sfax. During these two years, I was among the top 10 of my institute and I finally reached the 29th place of the national entrance exam to engineering schools. This allowed me to enter the École Polytechnique de Tunisie, which is the best engineering school in the country.
In this school, I was the major of my class for two years. Moreover, I was able to deepen my scientific knowledge such as mathematics, physics, computer science and electronics. Also, I had the opportunity to develop my project management, teamwork, and communication skills. In my second year at this school, I chose the SISY (Signals and Systems) option. In this option, I had the chance to study data science and telecommunications. My rankings in these two years allowed me to be accepted in a double degree program between Télécom Paris and the École Polytechnique de Tunisie.
At Télécom Paris, I chose two tracks: Imaging and Data Science. These two tracks were the basis of my training in imaging and data science. The Imaging track was an initialization to several fields such as medical imagery, satellite imagery and digital imagery using several methods such as bayesian and variational methods, object detection methods, etc. The Data Science track was like a complement to the Imaging track. We learn how to process large volumes of data and analyze them using algorithms. During this year, we also had the opportunity to work on several projects to put our theoretical knowledge into practice.
* Following the Master in Mathematics, Vision, Learning (Master MVA) at Institut Polytechnique de Paris is one of the options offered during the third year of the Master of Science in Engineering (diplôme d’ingénieurs).
My home school
École Polytechnique de Tunisie is one of the centers of excellence of the engineering system in Tunisia. This school offers a multidisciplinary training that allows students to adapt to the professional environment and to open up to broad scientific fields.
Three options are offered in the second year to specialize in one of the following fields: SISY (Signals and Systems), MEST (Mechanics and Structures) and EGES (Economics and Scientific Management). In addition, this school offers two opportunities to visit companies in Tunisia and abroad for one week per year. Students travel together, visit companies from different sectors and participate in additional cultural activities.
Why I chose France and Télécom Paris
Studying in France has been a dream for me since I was a child because my father often told me about his wonderful experience with the French educational system while studying in France. In addition, France is a country with a rich culture, and it carries values that are dear to me, namely freedom, equality, and respect for others. I am bilingual, and it will surely be a great experience to practise French with native French people. The French language is a language that I consider important since French is the fifth most spoken language in the world. Furthermore, studying in one of the prestigious French schools is a good opportunity for me to open up to the international world. Add to that, Télécom Paris welcomes students from all over the world and joining this school allows me to interact with other cultures, make a new circle of friends and live a unique experience.
Télécom Paris offers the education that I want to pursue. It is the only school specialized in the digital field. Moreover, the school is known for the quality of its teaching and for its ultra-generalist aspect. Indeed, it offers internships and masters in all fields of study. This school also offers many class projects that allow me to deepen my skills, work in teams and share my know-how with the group. On the other hand, it has a good opening to the international world: It has several partnerships in 41 countries including 33 double degrees. The associative life within the school is very rich, with more than 70 clubs and associations that offer various activities to the students (e.g.: sport, culture, music, junior business, design, etc.).
Although I arrived in the covid-era, the welcome week was rich in activities and in reunion with the administration which explained us very well the school system, the courses, and the tracks. The courses at Télécom Paris are of very good quality. The teachers are cheerful and explain the courses very well using applications and practical exercises that make it easier for us to understand the course. In addition, we had the chance to practise languages, especially French and English. Honestly, my level in French and English has improved thanks to the activities and writing we do in class. Moreover, Télécom Paris offers us the possibility to test our level and to work on it further by taking two exams (linguaskill in English and TEF in French).
For the last year of the Engineering program, Télécom Paris offers the possibility of enrolling in one of the most prestigious masters programs, such as the MVA Master’s program in partnership with ENS Paris-Saclay and the Data Science Master’s program, two masters managed by the Institut Polytechnique de Paris*. These masters are of great value, open the way to valuable internships and allow us to enrich our professional career in the field of study we wish to pursue. In my case, the MVA master is unique in France. By following this master, I have the chance to acquire a lot of technical skills and to improve my scientific rigor, because the courses are taught by the best professors and researchers in France.
To conclude, the schools in France are full of opportunities. Studying in these schools offers the possibility to study in world-class higher education institutions all over the world. So, if you are very ambitious and want to build a prestigious career, you should do your best and join one of these schools.
*Télécom Paris is a school of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, which offers a wide range of master’s and PhD degrees.
Testimonial: Carla Geara
I am from Lebanon, and I am enrolled in a double degree program with my home university Lebanese University – Faculty of Engineering. I am currently pursuing my third year at Télécom, and I am doing the Master in Mathematics, Vision, Learning (MVA*) with IP Paris.
After getting my baccalaureate in general sciences in 2016, I passed an entrance exam at the Lebanese University, where I completed two years of preparatory classes (intensive courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science), followed by two years of Electrical and Telecommunication engineering. These two years allowed me to enhance my knowledge in electrical circuits, telecommunication systems, and software engineering. I was between the top of my class, which helped me get accepted in Télécom Paris with an Eiffel scholarship.
At Télécom Paris, I followed two tracks: Image (IMA) and 3D and Interactive Systems (IGR). The IMA track covers several topics related to satellite imaging, medical image analysis, computational photography, and machine learning. The IGR track allowed me to deepen my knowledge in 3D rendering, virtual reality, data visualization and software engineering.
* Following the Master in Mathematics, Vision, Learning (Master MVA) at IP Paris is one of the options offered during the third year of the Master of Science in Engineering (diplôme d’ingénieurs).
My home university
The Lebanese University – Faculty of Engineering is known for its very high level of education in Lebanon. The system is similar to the engineering schools system in France: we first complete two years of preparatory years, followed by three years of engineering in one of four tracks: mechanical, electrical and telecommunication, civil, or petrochemical. The difference is that we pass the entrance exam before the preparatory years. After the fourth year, the school offers students the opportunity to pursue their studies abroad in a double degree program or masters’ program in multiple universities.
Why I chose France and Télécom Paris
I have always wanted to continue my studies in France. In fact, France is one of the countries with the best educational systems and the richest cultures. In addition to that, as someone who has studied in a francophone school and university, France seemed like a natural choice for me, and a good opportunity to practice the language. My home university also offers many conventions with French schools, which was also one of the motivations that pushed me to pursue my studies in France.
There are many reasons that motivated me to choose Télécom Paris in particular. After following many courses in my home university, I found myself most passionate about computer vision, and therefore I wanted to pursue my studies in that field. I found that Télécom Paris offers the curriculum that suits me best: the courses in Image and 3D Interactive Systems cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of several interesting topics in computer vision. In addition to that, Télécom Paris is very known for its high ranking among the engineering schools. It also offers a lot of professional opportunities, as it has several partnerships with the most important companies in France and worldwide.
What I like about Télécom Paris
I personally had a very good experience at Télécom Paris. Even though I arrived during the pandemic, the BDE was still able to organize a very safe, and amazing integration weekend (WEI) full of fun activities. During the WEI, I was able to meet a lot of new students from multiple nationalities. The students and administration were also very nice and offered a lot of help to the new students.
In addition to the main tracks, Télécom Paris offers courses in “Formation Humaine”, “Humanités Contemporaines”, and “ATHENS week” that allows students to gain general knowledge and learn new skills, in topics that are not necessarily related to their majors, such as theater, public speaking, leadership… Which can be very beneficial on a personal, social and professional level.
The school also organizes a forum every year, where students get the chance to make connections with multiple companies and startups.
In addition to that, the associative life in Télécom Paris is very rich. In fact, there are a lot of associations and clubs (theater, sports, food, music…). There are always fun events and activities organized by these clubs, which is something that I really appreciate about Télécom.
What I would say to encourage students to come and study on Télécom Paris campus
I would say that deciding to pursue my studies at Télécom Paris is one of the best decisions I have taken. Even with the pandemic, the student life was very rich and I was still able to make a lot of unforgettable memories.
Alessandro, María, Hendrik, Philipp, João (videos)
Alessandro Morina, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
María Ibáñez de Opacua Lomoschitz, ETSIT, UPM, Madrid, Spain
Hendrik Schmidt #1, Hasso Plattner-Institut, Potsdam, Germany
Hendrik Schmidt #2, Hasso Plattner-Institut, Potsdam, Germany
Philipp Schlieker, a Double Degree student from TU Munich
João André Pestre, UFRJ, Brazil
Where did you study before coming to Télécom Paris ?
What was it like to arrive at Télécom Paris ?