yuri, Qatar

In the world of science today there are many agreements on joint research and the exchange of highly skilled people. I am very happy to have been able to participate in the bilateral work being carried out by France and Russia.

For me it all started at the end of 2005, when someone suggested that I look into a scientific project that was being developed under an agreement between the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Techniques Industrielles et des Mines d’Alès (France) (EMA) and the National Institute of Technology at the Technical University of St. Petersburg (INST-UT). At the time, I only knew a few words of French, but my knowledge of English helped me a great deal.

I did my first internship in France in early 2007 with support from the Languedoc-Roussillion region of France. In my three months of work at EMA I collected experimental data that not only helped me write my master's thesis but also proved useful to our French colleagues. For that reason they encouraged me to continue my research, which had to do with the phase formation of titanium dioxide (TiO2) on different media. The results of this work may be useful in photocatalysis.

Back in Russia I continued to study French at the Institut Français in St. Petersburg. I also took part in events organized by Campus France, such as encounters between French and Russian students, French university fairs, and meetings devoted to the sciences. Those events helped me expand my intellectual horizons as well as to prepare the documentation necessary to apply for a French government grant, thanks to which I was able to complete a second internship.

The following factors influenced my choice of EMA and France in general:
– A qualified staff at EMA and the availability of equipment essential for my scientific work
– A welcoming attitude toward foreigners and the well-organized mentoring system of the EMA alumni association (Association des Internationaux de l’EMA)
– The variety of recreational options
– The opportunity to travel and to learn the culture of France.

Having now completed my second internship, I'm continuing to work on my dissertation at INST-UT and still attending Campus France events (such as a meeting of recipients of French-government scholarship and an expo on French education). I hope to defend my dissertation in France as well as in Russia and to pursue bilateral scientific work. 

I hope that my experience will encourage other students to have confidence in their ability to get a great education and to contribute to the development of bilateral relations between France and Russia.