Despite a somewhat disrupted program due to the health situation, 501 third-year engineering students were able to spend their first semester abroad as part of Go-LaSalle. They returned to their respective campuses on Monday, January 17.
57 students have completed their Go-LaSalle in the form of an academic semester in Europe. "I am doing a "Grado en Ingenería Agroalimentaria y del medio rural" at the Universidad Politècnica de Valencia, in Spain," explains Jana Khalil, a 3rd year student-engineer in i-SAFE (Agronomy and Agro-industries engineering program in English) on the Rouen campus.
The Go-LaSalle experience removed her doubts and fears about going alone to a foreign country. "In my professional life, this experience will allow me to never have fears about an environment in which I will not have my marks. If there is one thing I am convinced of today, it is that I can adapt anywhere and to any situation. All it takes is a little bit of curiosity and a lot of willpower."
For the others, the school has adapted. Since the health crisis has made it difficult to welcome students to our partner universities in the La Salle network, the school has been able to bounce back by offering an internship period for those who could not complete an academic semester. By showing agility, UniLaSalle has thus enabled 361 3rd year student-engineers to benefit from this first international experience provided for in their academic program. The 88 remaining students exceptionally did an internship in France.
This is the case of Manon Bibaut, (3rd year i-SAFE - Rouen), who went to Latin America.
"I was planning to go to Costa Rica for a semester of study as part of the Go-LaSalle program, but this was not possible because of the Covid-19 pandemic. So I did an internship there and that allowed me to see new horizons, new cultures and practices, particularly with regard to coffee, which is not grown in France," explains the student, who did her internship at an agronomic center in Turrialba.
Rafael Clairon, also in his third year of engineering in Agronomy and Agro-industries in Rouen, even took advantage of the opportunity to perfect his professional project. Wishing to move to Sweden after his studies, he did his Go-LaSalle in a small organic farm located about sixty kilometers north of Göteborg. "I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to discover this country."
I mainly learned how a permaculture-type farm works. This can be useful in my professional life because I believe that permacultures are the future of agronomy (to limit the environmental impact of this sector). Thus, any knowledge on this topic is beneficial."
Back in France, all the students agree that Go-LaSalle has helped them progress.
For Hortense Rigamonti (3rd year Agronomy and Agro-industries - Beauvais), who went to Egypt for an internship, "I'm sure it will remain a unique experience in my career. I was able to discover the multiplicity of jobs and opportunities offered by an engineering degree and better imagine my future in a company. I learned as much about myself: ability to adapt to a brand new environment, meeting new people, ... as professionally: writing reports, questionnaires, interviewing people in English. And more globally I learned to integrate the codes of a company, its meetings, events."
After 6 months spent in the mining industry in British Columbia (Canada), Camille Poulain (3rd year Environmental Engineering - Rennes) sees her future a little more clearly. "All of this has led me to meet incredibly interesting people from different backgrounds who have more or less inspired me for my future projects and challenges. I have further sharpened my career direction and know/understand what I like and don't like."
What does she remember about Go-LaSalle? "It was a very rewarding experience, a real challenge for someone like me who has never left her family outside of a vacation context, and it made me grow personally and professionally."
Where did UniLaSalle students go on internships?