Ana Paula (Brazil)

I come from Sao Carlos in Brazil where I am doing a doctorate at the Federal University of Sao Carlos in the field of refractories. Co-operation projects between Sao Carlos and Limoges have been set up in recent years with 2 students in Master. So to promote a new exchange between the ENSCI and my university and, within the framework of the FIRE programme, it was planned that a doctorate student from the University of Sao Carlos should stay for 6 months in Limoges during the 1st semester of 2008. So I applied and I was accepted for the post. I particularly appreciate my stay at the ENSCI for the interaction with other groups it brings me, which enriches my knowledge in my field of studies. Moreover, this type of exchange is a great opportunity to meet people, laboratories, different companies in the field, in order to understand the world of refractories and all its prospects. After working on refractories during my doctorate, I now want to direct my career towards this subject. It is exciting work and I hope to succeed. It is pleasant to live in Limoges where the cost of living is within the reach of students. Concerning culture, there are many differences between Brazil and France. Of course, when you say “Brazil “, you naturally think of the carnival, football, the samba. But we are not just that. Our culture, rich and varied, has had many influences such as the Portuguese influence due to colonisation by the Portuguese Empire. Other aspects of our culture were brought by European, Asian and South American immigrants and African slaves. Thus, Brazil is a multicultural and multiethnic society. I like my life in France for the wide choice of cultural activities to be found here: museums, theatres, concerts… On the other hand, I must admit that I don’t much like the weather in Limoges which is often very gloomy.

Wen (China)

I came to study in France for the language, the culture and the landscapes. The training scheme proposed by the ENSCI seemed to me very interesting and multifunctional. In addition, it corresponded perfectly to my speciality at the university. During my studies at the ENSCI, I received an excellent scientific training which allowed me afterwards to work on a doctorate thesis. Parallel to this, the course in the company gave me very valuable experience within industry. From a personal point of view, the ENSCI introduced me to French culture and society. Today, I am working as a researcher with the Imerys group. I like the industrial world where we ceaselessly pick up challenges with economic and technical realities. The ENSCI is a school where we experiment with difference: learning know-how, life in a dynamic environment and, of course, learning the French language… French culture is very different from Chinese culture, my culture of origin. For me, the greatest differences are the concepts of family and philosophy. Traditionally, the Chinese population lives in the family and the education of the children is the most important duty of the parents. Taking their way of living into consideration, the French are more turned towards independence and freedom. What I appreciate most in France, is the people. In general, they are hospitable, well educated and open minded. They are involved in the future of our planet and more especially in environmental problems. What on the other hand I really don’t like are the administrative procedures and the many documents to be filled in which accompany them!!!

Amparo (Spain)

Coming from the University Jaume I in Castellon close to Valencia, I chose to come for this study stay at the ENSCI because I was very curious to know about life in France and in Limoges. In addition, I wanted very much to learn a new language. Studying at the ENSCI is for me the opportunity for a new experience. People here are marvellous and very open hearted, just like the Spanish. For me, the principal difference between Spain and France it is the gastronomy. What I like most in France but more particularly here in the Limousin, are the landscapes, and to breathe pure air every day. However, the weather here is often rainy and cloudy, quite different from my native region in the south of Spain (near Valencia). For the rest, everything seems perfect. Once my stay in France is over, I would like to enter the world of work and more particularly the sector of ceramics, in Castellon, my birthplace. It is a field which I like very much, which is why I would like to devote my career to it.