Bohye MIN (Exchange in Fundamental course) Bohye Min is an international exchange student from Kyung- Hee University, South Korea. She attended Epita and spent 6 months studying Computer Science and French along with other international master students.
– Why did you choose EPITA?
Actually the main reason was the location, but during my stay I realised that there are many many other reasons to study at EPITA. I have since also heard that EPITA is very highly ranked as regards computer related studies.
I love Paris and am enjoying every day at EPITA. It’s a real joy to be here.
– Did you have concerns about coming to France and studying at EPITA?
I was worried about French people…I had heard a lot of bad things about them- that they could be rude, that they didn’t care what other people thought, that they’d only speak in French. It was difficult at the beginning, I felt ignored and unwelcome on many occasions. But then, after taking ‘culture shock classes’, I understood their mindset a bit better.
As far as EPITA was concerned, I was worried about the difficulty of their courses. I wasn’t sure that I would be capable of the level required. After a few weeks, I realised that the courses were very well explained by the tutors, and that the fundamental classes were not hard (although some of the classes were more so). I took them with my classmate, which also helped.
– What are your feelings and comments regarding your exchange semester at EPITA?
Frankly, I do feel now that I could have made more of it. I should have studied more and spent more time with my international friends. I think exchange students, myself included, can tend to be shy. We aren’t just here to study, but also to learn about a new culture and to meet new people. I tried to mix with students from other countries, and was successful up to a point, but I now have to go back to Korea, and I do feel as though I have missed out on some part of the potential experience. It was just a start… I would like to stay here for longer
– Were you satisfied with the welcome and the assistance you received from the school staff?
Yes, the integration week was really exciting. The international officers are all very kind, and I know they really made an effort with me, especially Miss Celia Fernandez, Miss Sarah Semari and my French professor Miss Alice Million. I got lots of assistance from Miss Magali Sainte-Luce also- she is the nicest, most wonderful woman I have ever met!
– What was your relation with your « buddy »? Do you think that this program helped you with your integration into France and at EPITA?
It really helped. My buddy was really kind and cool. He helped me a lot. We spent a lot of time together. As a fundamental student, I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to make friends with French people. My buddy and the buddies of my other friends were always together, so it was easy to have joint parties.
– In the main, what did the experience of the exchange program bring to you? What difficulties did you have? What and when was your favourite moment?
This exchange program has made a huge difference to my life. This has been my first experience of foreign culture. Firstly, I had a lot of problems with certain administrative processes like the OFII and CAF. Fortunately at that time, Magali helped me a lot, and I felt very touched by her kindness and attention. There are a lot of differences between my country and France. I had to adapt a great deal to get along with this new culture. There were many problems to face and surmount, some of them alone. I learnt how to deal with other cultures and people, how to cooperate, how to get along together. Unlike the master students, the international exchange students are here just for one semester. We have to adapt to our new surroundings in a very short time and we get homesick easily. During this short time, I learnt a lot about France and the international mindset. I will never forget this experience!