École Polytechnique encourages students to acquire international experience during their studies, offering them various opportunities to study and work abroad.
An internationally-oriented education
École Polytechnique has integrated an international element into its curriculum for many years. This strategy provides students with a solid international profile, enabling them to confront the challenges of the multicultural world in which they are to evolve. To work in France or abroad, international expertise and intercultural skills are essential for future graduates.
The importance of modern foreign languages
In the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program, the study of English and one other foreign language is compulsory, with the option to begin studying an additional 3rd language. Students have many languages to choose from, including courses in Japanese, Chinese, Russian, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Students are also required to spend at least 12 weeks abroad, either studying at another university abroad or undergoing an internship in another country. In addition to learning languages, the goal is for students to experience other countries first-hand and thus to evaluate their potential for pursuing future careers after graduation.
International research collaborations
École Polytechnique laboratories have a large number of international research collaborations which offer many opportunities for exchanges and internships with some of the world’s leading research centers. These collaborations also enable PhD students enrolled at École Polytechnique Doctoral School to complete their thesis projects with joint supervision at a laboratory abroad.
A large network of universities and businesses
Thanks to its network, École Polytechnique offers many possibilities to students seeking international experience:
- in a business internship, at leading companies in various sectors or at start-ups
- for academic studies abroad at the world’s best universities.
École Polytechnique has developed partnerships with over fifty universities in nineteen countries to facilitate admissions procedures, thus exempting students from certain tuition fees with its partners.
Assistance with a 4th year abroad
The Career Assistance and Resource Center and École Polytechnique International Affairs Office assist students with preparing their international stays for the 4th year of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program, according to their profile and ambitions. About 170 specialized programs located all over the world are available for 4th-year students to choose from.
The 4th year of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program is inherently a double-degree program, as it allows students to simultaneously earn their diploma from École polytechnique, as well as a Master’s degree from the partner establishment of their choice, in France or abroad.
Thus 35% of École Polytechnique students spend their entire 4th year at top international universities: TU München, EPFL, ETH Zürich, KTH (Stockholm), Politecnico di Milano, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, Stanford, MIT, École polytechnique de Montréal, Tsinghua University (Beijing), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of São Paulo, etc.
All of the internships that have been integrated into the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program may be completed abroad.
During their enrollment, students thus have the option of spending time abroad every year, if they choose:
• In the 1st year, the personal development and military internship can be completed at an international humanitarian organization.
• In the 2nd year, students undergo a business internship, often coupled with a linguistic immersion period for the 350 students who choose to complete the internship abroad.
• In the 3rd year, the research internship may be completed abroad, in a research center or laboratory that may or may not have an established partnership with École Polytechnique.
• In the 4th year, students may choose to complete their final end-of-studies internship abroad, whether or not they have completed their specialized studies in France or abroad.
International Orientation and Assistance
An increasing number of Polytechnicians approaching the end of their studies seek to continue their academic or professional careers abroad, with one of our international partners. Many students seek to develop and enrich their international profile, whether or not they intend to begin their professional careers abroad. The choice of where to spend one’s 4th year is an important step in the Ingénieur Polytechnicien curriculum.
École Polytechnique provides a variety of resources and services to assist students who wish to study or work abroad:
- Vice Presidency for International Relations,
- The Career Assistance and Resource Center,
- The Office of Academic Affairs,
- The Graduate School,
École Polytechnique professors and researchers, as well as Alumni, are available to give advice to students and assist them in defining their career plans. Throughout the year, the Office of International Affairs organizes informational seminars, individual and group interviews, and training sessions for preparing applications to international programs and companies.
X Forum, the annual École Polytechnique job fair, enables students to discover many different partner companies and organizations who come to present their internship programs and career opportunities. It also serves as an opportunity for students to hone their career plans and prepare to enter the professional realm.