My international exchange experience in Epitech – Interview with Fang-Chi
“Epitech is outstanding for its learning methodologies based on practical skills emphasizing learning by doing and doing while learning. This school is very different from my home university. In Epitech every student needs to set their own goal and achieve it by themselves. Moreover, the tools that we used as well as the projects we worked on are exactly what nowadays companies are looking for.”
About Fang Chi
Fang Chi comes from Taiwan and she’s doing a master’s degree in computer science at the National Chung Cheng University. In the spring semester of 2022, she decided to follow a semester exchange program in Epitech. Below we can see her full testimony regarding her study exchange experience in Epitech:
Why did you choose to study in Epitech?
The main reason that I have chosen to study in Epitech is because it offers many project courses that require a lot of teamwork with classmates, which was in line with my expectations for the exchange. In addition, Epitech is outstanding for its learning methodologies based on practical skills emphasizing learning by doing and doing while learning. This school is very different from my home university. In Epitech every student needs to set their own goal and achieve it by themselves. Moreover, the tools that we used as well as the projects we worked on are exactly what nowadays companies are looking for.
What are the biggest differences between education in your home university and Epitech’ learning methodologies?
In Epitech there are no courses, nor professors, so we need to design these courses by ourselves, find what we should learn and set our goal to make it. In my home university we have courses and professors that teach students in classroom. Both methodologies have their different pros and cons. Although we can acquire knowledge easily from context books or different PowerPoint presentations that the professors provide, we can’t have a chance to decide what we should learn, and we can’t learn self-paced.
What did you enjoyed the most during your study exchange in Epitech?
I really liked making lots of new friends either French or international students, hanging out with them, watching them play football or trying to complete different projects together. It was a very interesting experience for me to meet communicate and get along with people from different cultural backgrounds. During my study exchange experience in Epitech I have also had the chance to travel around Europe such as Iceland, Italy, Croatia etc. These places have conquered me with their wonderful natural landscapes and stunning cultural monuments.
What is your best memory of this study exchange?
It’s hard to pick one. If I must pick one, I choose the C++ pool. In the C++ pool, we needed to stay at school from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 5 days or 6 days a week. It was a really tough time. However, we have spent so much time at school, we had tons of time coding together, discussing lots of things, and had a much better understanding of each other. I’ll miss that time.
What did this experience bring you? (on a professional & personal level)
I’ve chose to study cyber security and computer numerical analysis, so on a professional level I now understand better how websites and servers are hacked; if we understand this we can know better where we should enhance our server. I have also a better understanding on how to predict the trade of stocks through prediction models and some other strategies.
On a personal level, I can say that now I’m no longer afraid to speak English and French to people and I have the courage to face various difficult moments. Besides, every time I meet and talk with new people, or I go to another city, I broaden my vision and enrich my experience.
Do you have a funny story to share with us regarding the cultural differences between France and your home country?
Yes. At first I was very surprised to see that the way French people greet each other is very different from my country. In Taiwan we only wave our hand to say “hello” or “goodbye”, but in France (or maybe in western culture) there are many ways to greet, like kissing on the cheeks, shaking hands etc. And the most surprising thing for me was to see that if they greet a group of people, they will spend time on greeting them all, one by one. At first, I didn’t know how to do that correctly, but a French colleague taught me step by step. It was funny but also an interesting experience for me.
If you could give some advice to our future international students, what would that be?
Try to make friends with the French and other international students, enjoy your time and seize the day when you are here. Try hard to complete your projects, and try to ask questions actively. In this new education system, If you don’t ask, maybe you’ll get nothing in the end. It’ll be a rough time, but it’s absolutely worth it. We are what we do and hard work will pay off in the long run.