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Interview with Gabriel Tzinmann (EPITA, Class of 2014), president of the association Epiworld, on the signing of this aagreement and the importance of the international dimension of the school.


View of the University of Amsterdam
EPITA recently signed a new cooperation agreement with the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) for organizing exchanges of students and teaching staff. The University of Amsterdam, the largest university in the Netherlands, has over 28,000 students spread over nine different faculties. This accord is the opportunity to appraise the weight of the International aspect at EPITA with Gabriel Tzinmann (EPITA, graduation year 2014), president of Epiworld – an association  that aims at creating festive events between local and overseas students on school premises.
What is so interesting about this new agreement?
The agreement was signed in continuation of international position of EPITA. It will enable new exchanges between the two entities and promote cultural diversity. It is essential for students of EPITA to be able to adapt to different cultures and get used to different accents of English worldwide. Thus, students will be able to discover Amsterdam and a university setting completely different from that proposed by EPITA.
What is the contribution of the international experience for a student?
Nowadays, it is inconceivable not to master the English language. Companies are creating more and more international projects and any software engineer must be able to work with people of different nationalities. To make this possible, it is imperative to focus on cultural differences and develop a spirit of open mindedness.
An international experience allows a real personal development: we acquire another outlook on life and we enrich ourselves by experiencing the differences in various regions of the world. In addition to discovering a new country, international students learn to adapt to other cultures: living there is the real training.
At what point does the international aspect come into play for a student at EPITA?
Nearly half of the students discover the international aspect in the second part of the second year of preparatory classes. Many academic exchanges are proposed including from countries like South Africa, England, China, South Korea, the United States, Finland, Ireland and many other countries. It is also possible to go abroad during the engineering program, as  an exchange student or for an internship.
Are there any recommended destinations or modes of exchange?
There is no bad mode of exchange or bad destination. Each country has its own peculiarities and customs. Students have a panel of choice to extend their cultural and intellectual viewpoints. In general, students living an international experience often want to redo it, even if in some cases they face difficulties in adapting to the foreign culture. It is therefore strongly advised to first consult with the specificities of each region before choosing a destination.
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Students gathered at the initiative of Epiworld in a pancake house
How is the the international aspect implemented at EPITA?
The international platform plays a key role at EPITA; it is imperative to validate at least one academic semester abroad, and many courses are taught in English during the engineering cycle. Students wishing to extend this international experience in a professional setting can enroll in the new course called “Global IT Management” which allows to carry out projects with students enrolled in International Masters at EPITA. It is also possible to meet the foreign student community, via  EpiWorld, and create strong bonds of friendship while developing one’s professional network at the same time.
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