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Student life

"We lived the BEST experience!"

École Polytechnique students can apply to various scientific courses organized in European universities by the local BEST - Board of European Students of Technology - groups. Kenza, Maxime and Jean, tell us about their experience during those BEST summer courses.

Jean Tarbouriech spent one week in July at the University of Rome Tor Vergata for a course on "space technologies".

Sweden, Greece or Italy: BEST - the Board of European St udents of Technology - can take you just about anywhere in Europe, as experienced this summer by three École Polytechnique students, Jean Tarbouriech, Maxime Radmacher and Kenza Sbai, who each participated to a BEST course. Those courses, taught by professional people - faculty, industrials, commercials and scientists - provide new knowledge and skills for participants on a given topic and take place in a European university located in one of the 33 countries where BEST groups are implemented. "We are very lucky to have a BEST group run by École Polytechnique students: thanks to them, all of us are eligible for BEST courses and we all have a chance to live this truly unique experience", comments Maxime, who took a course on sustainable energies in Patras in July.

Jean and Kenza were also very enthusiastic about their experience and strongly encourage their classmates to apply. "When taking a BEST course, we get out of our comfort zone and discover a different education system", comments Kenza, who studied the Internet of Things and its applications to the medical field at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH). During her week in Sweden, she learnt about the technologies available in the vizualisation studio at KTH to manage and interact with large amounts of data, such as haptics, eye tracking, multitouch and various stereoscopic systems. She also visited the research and innovation department of a local hospital and met the founder of Evothings Studio. Through her exchanges with the other students, Kenza was able to compare her academic training to theirs: "Some are very fluent in English, some are great  HTML5 or JavaScript programmers, others are better designers. We have complementary approaches and qualities".

Kenza also enjoyed discovering Stockholm and sharing time with students from all over Europe outside the course, all while improving her English since it is the language used in all BEST courses. The multicultural aspect really interested Jean as well, who was at the University of RomeTor Vergata to study space technologies, a course which gave him an overview of how the space sector plays an increasingly central role in the efficient functioning of modern societies and their economic development. He says: "I saw this trip as a great opportunity to share ideas and anecdotes with people my age from dissimilar cultural backgrounds. I wanted to discover new cultures, languages and lifestyles". Jean loved every aspect of this human and cultural experience, considering that "this was one of the most intense and enriching weeks of his life". Maxime agrees, adding: "I now have a place to stay in about ten different European countries!"

Kenza Sbai took "a step into the future" at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in June.