A Journey Abroad: Ugo Genereau’s Study Exchange Experience in Canada
“This experience has been a thrilling journey of acquiring new skills and overcoming challenges and has taught me to be more independent, confident, and adaptive. It’s been a journey that has enriched my knowledge in not only theoretical mathematics and technology, but also in marketing and business. Overall, it has truly been a transformative experience. “
Meet Ugo Généreau, a 21-year-old student from Epitech Nantes. Born in Paris, Ugo has a diverse array of interests, including music, history, arts, poetry, literature, politics, video games, cinema, astronomy, biology, chemistry, and of course, IT. It was his passion for IT that led him to discover Epitech, a school that offered the “learning by doing” approach he was searching for.
Ugo developed a love for IT as a teenager, starting with basic algorithmics on a calculator. Throughout his primary and secondary school years, he found himself frustrated with the more traditional, academic approach to education. However, at Epitech, he finally found the hands-on education he was looking for. Despite having already learned so much, Ugo still has a deep desire to continue learning about IT and is particularly interested in the field of Data Science.
Finding the Perfect Study Exchange Destination
As in Epitech all of our 4th year students are doing a study exchange abroad, one of the main reasons Ugo chose to study at Epitech was the opportunity for a study exchange program abroad. And for his exchange year, Ugo was on the hunt for a university with a wide range of courses in various subjects, as well as the chance to obtain a second diploma. That’s when he discovered the Université Laval in Québec City, Canada.
The Université Laval fit all of Ugo’s criteria, offering a diverse selection of courses and the opportunity to earn a second diploma. However, there was one drawback – the university was French-speaking, and Ugo was hoping to practice his English. Despite this setback, Ugo still felt that the Université Laval was the right choice for his study exchange.
Ugo’s Arrival Experience in Canada
Entering Canada requires a lot of administrative procedures, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 months. However, Ugo was lucky enough to have a smooth process and arrived in Québec City without any major issues.
Upon his arrival, Ugo was struck by the historical beauty of the city. He says, “I was shocked, if not mesmerized by the beauty of the city. It has an historical city center with old architecture which I really enjoyed.”
But what left a lasting impression on Ugo was the kindness and cheerfulness of the inhabitants of Québec City: “The people are always friendly and helpful. If you meet the gaze of someone on the bus, for example, they will most of the time nod or smile at you, which would be unheard of in France.” says Ugo.
Ugo was also impressed with the cosmopolitan atmosphere at Université Laval, where he was studying. With around 40,000 students from all over the world, Ugo was able to make friends with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. He says, “Laval is a cosmopolitan university with people from all around the world, and I made friends with people from Central Africa to Iran, just to name a few.”
The university itself was a huge campus of 1.2 square kilometers, with an impressive sports infrastructure and over 70% of the campus made up of parks and small forests with wildlife such as squirrels and beavers. Ugo was able to adapt to this new environment quickly, thanks in part to the well-maintained infrastructure, even during heavy snowfall. He says, “I adapted quicker to this new environment than I thought. The infrastructure is always maintained, even during heavy snowfall, and you can take a bus ride whenever you need to.”
Balancing Personal and Professional Life Abroad
During his time as a student exchange in Québec, Ugo was able to balance both his personal and professional life in a way that was both enjoyable and challenging.
On a personal level, Ugo was thrilled by the environment of Québec. He shared, “I really enjoyed the overall environment of Québec and hanging out in the city. It was a real pleasure, something I wouldn’t do regularly in France.” The smooth climate, with temperatures averaging between -3 to -5 degrees Celsius, added to the enjoyment of his walks in the city. Ugo also developed a ritual, where he would take the tunnel system beneath Laval University to walk from his room to his faculty. “I would take the tunnel system beneath Laval University to go by foot from my room inside the campus to my faculty without even stepping outside!” In addition, Ugo was able to make new friends from around the world, which only added to his overall experience.
On a professional level, Ugo appreciated the diversity of courses offered at the Université Laval. He commented, “I really enjoyed the courses. Some were better than others, with some being exclusively theoretical, while others were centered around a project session which is similar to what is being done in EPITECH.” Despite the challenges, Ugo found the courses engaging and not overly difficult.
Ugo’s Take on What he Gained from Studying Abroad
Ugo’s study exchange in Canada was a rich and rewarding experience that brought him an abundance of new skills and perspectives. He was able to delve into theoretical mathematical and technological knowledge, as well as gain valuable insights into marketing and business.
According to Ugo, “This experience taught me a lot about theoretical mathematical and technological knowledge that you wouldn’t learn in EPITECH. I also learned a lot in marketing and business with new skills that I will try to use for my own end of studies project.”
But the exchange experience also had a profound impact on Ugo’s personal growth. He discovered a newfound independence, adaptability, and confidence in himself and his interactions with others. As Ugo put it, “I found myself to be more independent, more adaptable and dynamic, as well as be more assured and confident with others.”
Overall, Ugo’s study exchange in Canada was a transformative experience that provided him with a unique set of skills and experiences that will serve him well in his future endeavors.
Ugo’s advice to our future tek4 students
Ugo offers sound advice for future Tek4 students planning to study at Laval University:
“Don’t let the immigration procedures scare you, they are long but self-explanatory and must be done in advance” he emphasizes. Ugo acknowledges the varying levels of difficulty in the courses offered at the university, stating, “Some courses are fairly simple, like a course in Frontend programming where you learn how to use VueJs, while others are extremely difficult, like a course in mobile robotics which requires advanced mathematical knowledge.”
Ugo also stresses the importance of being prepared for the workload and the need for good organization and time management skills. “You are advised to allocate 9 hours of work for each course” he says. “And take this opportunity to study about management or marketing as Laval offers courses in business and company management which can be helpful for your end of studies project.” According to Ugo, these subjects can prove useful for future careers.