Carmen from Mexico - “n+I?? programme of Edufrance
Before coming to Angers I already had a good job with Danone in Mexico and a future assured within the company. My ambition was to specialize in research and development of new food products, and to learn management methods, both of which are offered by Groupe ESA. I discovered the “n+I?? program of Edufrance which enables one to orientate and it facilitates admission procedure to a “Master degree?? in France, and thus I heard about ESA, Angers.
I had been toying with the idea of studying in France for several years. When a young girl I had come on holiday to France and had been impressed by its culture, its architecture, and its landscapes. But the only way I could make my dream come true was to get a scholarship, for which I needed solid arguments to put on my application. So I studied French for two years. Then I followed a course of food processing in one of the better Mexican universities, which was punctuated by several work placements abroad, principally in US. These experiences reinforced my desire to do a MSc abroad.
I managed to get a grant from the Ministère Français des Affaires Etrangères within the terms of the Programme Eiffel, which enables foreigners to study in France. Within the ‘n+I’ programme I did a crash course in French at Vichy, then followed the ‘Semestre de Transition’ which started in September at ESA, Angers. It is a three month course for “n+I?? students in an institution chosen by Edufrance, depending on the domain in which the student intends to continue his/her studies. Groupe ESA is the recognized centre for life science students, where one gets a scientific and technological upgrading, a furthering in French (notably technical vocabulary), without forgetting the cultural approach to the country.
Then I began my postgraduate studies for real in January. The course is really good : talks from invited professionals, marketing case studies, visits to firms, lectures in English by foreign visiting professors of agribusiness. I also did two work placements in industry : the first with Yoplait in Paris where I worked on fruit preparation and ‘fromages frais’; the second in Germany (my six months end-of-studies project) where I mixed biscuit making with dairy products.
Angers is a charming city in the Loire valley, which is renowned for its magnificent ‘chateaux’; it has its own medieval quarter, its pedestrian only streets, but also all that you expect of a big town : shops, bus network, sports clubs, bars, night clubs. Yet it has kept the feeling of a provincial city in spite of its proximity to Paris.
So now I am 26 and I have a double diploma ; MSc and ‘Ingénieur’ of Groupe ESA, Angers. I am back in Mexico with a lot more knowledge, a new attitude, a different idea about the world, but also and especially an exceptional life experience behind me. Henceforth France is my second nation.