This summer (2014), the international department of EPITA organized for the first time a summer camp session, a tailor made program of short duration. This summer camp was created especially for international high school graduates, to provide them with an opportunity to attend cultural courses, to get orientation sessions on the majors selected for their future, to visit Paris and the top 20 sight-seeing places! End of July this year, EPITA welcomed a group of students from Lebanon and China, aged from 15 years old to 18 years for a period of two weeks. For most of them, it was their first time in France, and we’d like to thank our representatives in Lebanon, Mr. & Mrs. Haddad for the communication & all other initiatives.
We interviewed the attractive and young group of students, and found out that even though they were all minors, they had different characters were already forged within.
The majority of the students applied to our summer camp, because of the country, “most of us were very attracted by the country, especially of the capital Paris and the school is located in Paris and we have always heard that France is a beautiful country, now we can’t say the opposite” said two of the students.
“We also chose EPITA because of the major “Computer science”, personally I’m interested in and I wanted to learn more about it… I hope I will join and study at Epita or in another school in one or two years. “- Explain Bachar Masry, a Lebanese Students who just completed his high school graduation with an international baccalaureate.
During this period the students were accommodated in “Relais Accueil” in the 13th district of Paris. They were all very satisfied regarding this experience, culturally and academically. After the summer camp experience the students now feel more autonomous, independent and matured. “It was just amazing being here, with the rest of the students, we are all different, it wouldn’t have been the same, even if one of us wasn’t here, living and helping each other every day have changed us in multiple ways” said some students of the group.
We asked them what they thought of the different people you encountered with, during the different courses or intercession; did they help you in changing your option?
“Yes, our meeting and the different appointments with the French education embassy was literally amazing, they really helped us and they were very concerned about us, we thought that we’re disturbing them, but that wasn’t the case, immediately, we felt comfortable… they took their time to explain us, advise or guide us in our different questions or doubts”.
“I think the environment and the French culture helped us too, we felt good in the neighbourhood and when we visited all those beautiful monuments such as the Eiffel tower, Les Champs Elysées, went on bicycle around the Saint- Germain en Laye, it was just great and we wanted to stay longer and thought of living here.”
We were very pleased to know that everything went well. We asked them few more questions to better understand their experience.
– “What was your favorite visit or monument?”
“Disneyland obviously was the best day!” claimed the group. “It was just in perfect timing, we had a wonderful weather and it was just another world, so amazing and magical”!
– “What were the differences in cultural you met in France compared of your country?”
“The food, it’s so different from Lebanon or China. I think it’s the only thing where we are better than you in France, it’s the food!” Jokes Wael, the youngest student. “No seriously, when we eat outside, the meals were delicious, but when it came from the caterer, it wasn’t really that good for us, there were too many vegetables”.
– “Ok, understood for foods, we will definitely do better next time”… “What did you think about the French people? “
Students claimed “French people are very friendly, and everything is so well organized, there is a queue everywhere, its make people organized and respectful, roads are very clean as the subways… it’s really different from Lebanon or China.”
Lastly we asked them if they wanted to come back to France for their higher studies, if yes then which major?
Most of them wanted to come back to France to continue their higher education in different major as petrol engineer, business, human resources, fashion or medicine, some of them were interested to study Computer Science at EPITA as well.
“The trip was perfect and everything went as it’s supposed to be, so thank you for letting us have a great time in the most amazing place in the world” – said one of the students.
– “We’d like to thank you all for your time spent with us, it was a real pleasure hosting you and to have you at EPITA, we wish you all the very best for your future and hope to see you soon in Paris”.