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A multicultural experience for X 2017 international students – part 2

26 international students who entered the Ingénieur Polytechnicien program are currently doing an immersion internship at the French Institute of Languages and Services (IFLS) in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, a beautiful town in the south-west of France. This cultural and linguistic internship lasts 4 months and contributes to their successful integration.

From September 19, 2017 to January 15, 2018, 26 international students follow an intensive language program at the French Institute of Languages and Services (IFLS). These 26 students coming from China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine and Greece have 15 weeks to perfect their French before the start of classes in January on École Polytechnique’s campus.

A total immersion program

This linguistic program is very intense: besides a 6-hour of French lesson per day, students are surrounded daily by the French language and culture. They are accommodated by French families who host the students during their whole stay. Within their families, students learn everyday life vocabulary, discover how they live and last but not least, the French cuisine! They also have plenty of activities with the IFLS such as visiting cities and villages, outdoor activities, vineyard visits… Moreover, they have to join an association, that they select, and each Wednesday afternoon, they take part in it: art, sport, volunteering, culture… the choice is wide!

Sport: much more than a mere hobby!

Sokratis, Greek, 21, coming from the National Technical University of Athens

Sokratis (the first Greek student coming directly from a Greek university) comes from Athens, the capital city of Greece, a real cultural shock for him to find himself in this small town! But according to him, there’s a real community life in the town which makes it really lively and pleasant! He doesn’t have time to get bored! He plays piano and goes to the gym club, where he practices bodybuilding several times a week and is a member of the association Les amis du Musée de Gajac, which aims at publicize, help and foster the museum. He knew a person in Greece who studied at l’X and he started to make inquiries about l'X and he discovered its excellent reputation throughout the world. The reason why he choose the school: the broad spectrum of opportunities that gives École Polytechnique. After several weeks, he is already able to have serious discussions in French whereas when he arrived, he didn’t speak a word in French! He is convinced he made the right decision.

Minh, 21, Vietnamese, coming from the Hanoi University of Science

Zhiyuan comes from Haiphong, the third city of the country. He plays basketball and runs a lot. He discovers the region through running. He really enjoys living in Villeneuve and discovering many aspects of the French culture. He likes the local landscapes, the authentic architecture and his host family, where he eats very well! He discovered stuffed tomatoes and it’s definitely his French favorite meal! His main difficulties in French are the oral comprehension. He already was a bit familiar with the French language before coming to Villeneuve but he progresses much faster since he lives there. He thinks French is a beautiful and romantic language! During his studies at l’X, he would like to learn Chinese and to swim. He also wishes to take part in the Vietnamese association of l’X and why not the one of beer!  

Nikita, 22, Russian, coming from the Novosibirsk State University

Nikita comes from Novosibirsk, the third city of the country. He loves sport and practices several activities: he has been playing basketball for four years. He already skydived several times. In Villeneuve, he goes to the gym club (where he meets the other international athletes of the IFLS!) and also likes running in the French countryside. He loves the French cuisine, particularly the culinary delights of the south-west such as foie gras or magret de canard (duck breast). Already adapted to the French culture! He came to École Polytechnique for the numerous work opportunities. He would like to work in the artificial intelligence, he has done an internship in Russia in this field and since, he is convinced it is the sector he wants to work in. If he had the opportunity, he would like to create a startup at the Drahi Center.