Le réseau Polytech mobilisé pour ses élèves en difficultés

En cette période particulière, les étudiants peuvent être confrontés à des difficultés. Le confinement implique pour certains d’entre eux la perte de leurs petits boulots et emplois saisonniers. Les stages, également source de revenus, sont pour beaucoup annulés. Enfin, la restauration universitaire est suspendue. Ainsi, des élèves peuvent connaître des situations précaires. Nos étudiants étrangers peuvent également rencontrer des difficultés pour financer leur rapatriement.

Mais le réseau Polytech défend des valeurs de responsabilité et d’esprit d’équipe. Aussi, la Fondation partenariale Polytech propose, au nom des 15 écoles d’ingénieurs polytechniques des universités, de venir en aide aux étudiants qui en ont le plus besoin. Il est possible de faire un don à la Fondation pour soutenir les élèves en difficulté.

Pour toute demande d’aide, il faut contacter

10 ways to stay occupied during the Covid-19 confinement !

Through this tough period of confinement, here are some easy and fun ways to stay occupied and avoid boredom at all costs:

1) Keep your body active!

We may not be authorized to practice a sport in groups or meet up to go running or biking, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop practicing! We can still keep our body healthy and it is strongly recommended. What better way to fend off the virus?

Take your running shoes or your bike and go burn off some steam! It’s a first great start to getting your mind off of staying home all day, and especially gets you some fresh air.

As long as you’re alone and (don’t forget!) your authorization paper, you’re good to go! Who ever said confinement meant no physical exercise?

You can even have your own workout session right in your living room if you want! Try to keep things different and active every day and you won’t even remember why you’re in confinement.

2) Read a book!

Maybe it’s finally time to dust off one of those books off the shelf and get reading! How long has it been since you were supposed to read a book but never got around to it? Now is finally the time!

You might even be surprised at how fast you’re going to finish it and how much you will like it! You’re going to be looking for the next book to read in no time. And time sure does fly by when you’re into a really good book!

3) Everyone’s favorite: Netflix

How many series have you been putting off watching and now you finally have the time to? All of those great series your friends have been telling you all about, but you never got around to? Or maybe even a new documentary you want to see?

How to spend a great afternoon and relax? Time to wrap yourselves in a great big blanket, sit yourself on the couch, maybe even with a nice cup of tea in hand, and spend the afternoon in front of the TV!

So many amazing series just waiting to be discovered… all hands on deck!

4) Time to catch up the lessons you got behind on in class?

This is probably our least favorite topic, but also one of the most important ones. While some schools may have started the online schooling, not all of them have, so hooray we have an extra week or two of vacation!

But like all normal students, not everyone has been keeping up with all of their classes. Maybe you didn’t pay attention in a particular class or didn’t understand everything the teacher was explaining? Well now is the perfect opportunity to get on board and up to date! Especially since soon we will have to juggle online classes as well… so much fun to come!

5) Learn a new language!

Always wanted to learn another foreign language but never had the time? Well now you do! Why not make the most of it? There are plenty of free courses online you can take to learn the basics of any given language such as Spanish, German, Italian… maybe even Chinese or Russian? Apparently more and more people are taking these languages as they are the future of commercial interactions.

So if you want to widen your horizons, why not start now? Duolingo, for example, is a great app you can download and is a very easy way to start learning the basics! You start with new vocabulary words, basic conjugations, how to form a sentence… and the levels keep going. At the end of the confinement you’ll almost be fluent!

6) Confinement doesn’t mean we can’t socialize

Even though we are all stuck in our homes, it doesn’t mean we can’t have a social life or keep contact with our friends and family!

As we live in a world full of internet, everything is possible. We can still hang out with our friends, even hundreds of kilometers apart. Organize a video chat night, have a good laugh about our new living conditions, it’s almost like they are right there with you!

Give a call to your families, make sure everyone is okay and show them you are thinking of them. Every little action counts, and without free movement, keeping each other company from time to time is essential.

7) Play Games! Board games, card games…

Even if we do live in a world full of internet, it isn’t everything! You can have just as much fun playing a board game with a member of your family, or all together after work. Board games are a classic and sure way of having fun as a group and taking our minds off of our problems.  

Card games are also very diverting! And so many different games exist, try discovering new ones and learn them as a family. And if you are alone? You can play Solitaire! There is no way of getting bored at home if you really look for ways to stay occupied. There will always be something waiting for you.

8) Maybe it’s time to reconnect with your musical side?

Other possibilities to make your day better: put on some lively music in the house or learn to play an instrument. There is no reason for the house to be silent while we are all confined inside together! Maybe you have a piano at home or a dusty guitar you have always wanted to learn how to play. Now is the time to start! It may hurt your ears a little bit at first when you don’t get the notes right, but once you start getting it, you’ll never be able to stop!

And if you don’t have an instrument at home, that’s not a problem! You can even do music with two sticks or pens and do the drums. Though that might drive your parents crazy very quickly if you use them too much.

Have some fun!

9) Sunny outside? Time to get some air!

Although we are supposed to stay inside and have minimum contact with people, hopefully you possibly have a balcony or a small garden where you can escape to and go outside. Take in the beautiful sunlight while you still can and breathe in the fresh air. Nothing is stopping you from chilling on a chair outside and just bathing in the sun! You may even come back with a tan! Wouldn’t that be a surprise?

10) Learn to cook or bake!
Something else you can do during your spare time is finally learning how to cook real food! As students, our main dishes are based on spaghetti, rice or other carbohydrates, all easy and fast to cook. But maybe we can widen our horizons a little bit and stop being lazy and think healthy? There are certainly a lot of easy dishes we can make, but just never take the time to do them. We don’t have that excuse now, do we?

Baking is also a very good way to have fun! Preparing a nice dessert like crepes with Nutella or jam, a nice cake… And the best part about baking is you can do so much with such few ingredients! Look up a recipe on the internet or look through a book and try new things! I’m sure your families will be delighted to taste whatever you prepare for them…hopefully!

PS: Be careful not to gain too much weight with all of the delicious sweets or dishes at home! We all know how tempting they can be…

Semester abroad – Interview of an exchange student

When it comes to travelling, Ava is the best at it. Having already lived in the US and New Zealand, last year, she did her internship in Brazil and went to Colombia for a short vacation. When she heard about the ORA student exchange program, it was a given she would try and apply. The ORA program (which stands for Ontario-Rhônes-Alpes), offers less than 65 spots to Rhônes-Alpes student to study in a participating university in Ontario. Her choice? The university of Ottawa. Since she was the only applicant from Polytech Grenoble, but also thanks to her grades and her motivation, she was chosen to study there for one semester.

L’université d’Ottawa où Ava a pu partir en échange étudiant pour un semestre
© University of Ottawa

What motivated you to study abroad ?

I’m not fond of the French school : you’re forced to choose most of the time. For instance, when I was in high school, I had to choose between literature, sciences, or economy, and I hated that experience. Since I have studied in the US, I have experienced the Northern American way of teaching and learning: I already knew how it worked and I knew I prefer it. When I had the chance to live this experience again, I decided I would go for it.

The hardest part was not to get her application accepted, but to find a room not far from the university. The number of rooms in student housing is very restricted when it comes to international students. Although she had applied early, she did not manage to get housed by the university and had to find a room thanks to a Facebook group – PVTiste at Ottawa – the day right before the start of school. After 2 months of search, you can imagine it’s not easy to find a room from afar.

In any case, it didn’t quench her thirst for an experience abroad. Mainly, her ability to make friends so easily remained the same.

How did you manage to fit in with the other students?

I am a very social person, so it was not very complicated. I was forced to say no to some social activities, at times, because my boyfriend was in Montreal and my cousin lived there too. It was kind of hard to have to say no.

What could strike the most when studying in a Canadian university is the impressive diversity. Amongst others, Ava met a girl from Iran who shared about her culture, which is often misinterpreted when living in the Western world. She also got to study with Indian and Chinese people, and found her classes rarely attracted Canadian natives, apart from her biology class.

What surprised you most about Canadians?

They always wear their heart on their sleeve. One day, when I was playing Pokemon Go, people thought I was lost and tried to help. Plus, they are so spontaneous, and always live in the moment. When I visited Niagara Falls, I asked a woman to check on my stuff while I went to the bathroom. I talked to her in French and a woman she didn’t know began chatting with her. When I went back, it was like they were best friends. They connected instantly. It’s so incredible to see people be so joyful all the time, so it makes the list of things I appreciated the most. Another thing struck me when I arrived, but it’s about Canada in general: the cold!  

Other than Montréal and Ottawa, did you get to travel and visit other cities?

I got to visit Chambly, a small town which is 40 minutes away from Montreal. It’s a touristic town where my cousin lives, although it’s pretty calm most of the time. I had the opportunity to go to Niagara Falls. I wanted to go to Quebec City but I didn’t have the time. It was the first Canadian city I discovered when I went to Canada four years ago and I really meant to go back there. What’s important when travelling is to set one’s choices and priorities and I decided to go to Montreal often to visit my boyfriend.

Apart from that, the end of term can become intense when it comes to exams and homework. Hence, deciding to travel at the start of term and stay put at the end is a wiser choice than planning a big trip around Ontario days away from finals.

Canada’s federal parliaments during the summer

The benefits of studying abroad also reside in an improvement in speaking and understanding the language of the visited region. As for Ava, she didn’t notice much improvement because she had been practicing English for a very long time. However, it should not deter other students who struggle with English or other languages from attempting to have similar experience.

As Ava insists, “To improve your English you need to speak. Ottawa is a bilingual city so it’s possible to find people who speak French”. For people who are afraid to go in too deep, Ottawa can then be an interesting way to be fully immersed while being able to fall back on French-speaking friends. “Don’t be scared to talk and don’t be shy, especially in front of native speakers. Nobody has a perfect English; you need to overcome that fear”

What were the downsides of such a big trip?

There weren’t many downsides. I would just mention the price of the roundtrip from France to Canada. Aside from that, I did not miss my friends more than usual because I study in Grenoble and they live in Paris. I’m also used to being away from my family (who live in New Caledonia), and it turns out, a 17-hour difference is better tolerated than 8-hour difference!

What advice would you give to students who want to study abroad?

I would tell them to go ahead, to not be scared! Use this opportunity because it can only be a good experience. You’ll discover so much about yourself. In fact, you’ll discover as much about yourself as about the country you’re visiting.

As for her future, Ava is not sure where wants to work and live. “There are so many countries I need to visit before being able to make that decision”, she says with a chuckle. She does want to go back to Canada, however, but “not to live there because it’s incredibly cold!”. If we take out that part of the equation, she asserts she would spend her entire life there because it is an amazing country.

From visiting a country to adoring it, the experience of studying abroad stands out as a way to discover oneself and learning about the different cultures it is home to. If studies abroad are a part of you project, I’ll cite Ava and say: do not hesitate and go for it!

Joyeuses fêtes de fin d’année !

Le blog de l’école va prendre deux semaines de vacances bien méritées ! L’occasion de souffler un peu, de profiter de ses proches, et de préparer de nouveaux articles pour la rentrée ! On a déjà hâte de vous retrouver !

L’ensemble de l’équipe du blog de Polytech Grenoble vous souhaite de passer de merveilleuses fêtes de fin d’année !

Filières genrées – Je suis fille unique dans ma classe

Je suis étudiante à Polytech depuis plus de deux ans et cela fait quelques mois que j’ai débuté la troisième et dernière année qui me sépare de mon diplôme. Dans moins d’un an, je suis entièrement lâchée dans le monde professionnel, avec mes connaissances scolaires et mes idéaux sociaux, et je pense que, comme nombre de mes camarades d’école, cela a tendance à m’exciter autant qu’à m’effrayer quand j’y pense sérieusement.

Mais en attendant, je suis toujours assise en salle de cours avec la promotion d’étudiant.e.s que j’ai rencontré.e.s à mon arrivée en troisième année en INFO (à l’époque, nous étions encore les RICM). Peut-être se rappellent-elles.ils du tout premier amphi que nous avons partagé. Pour moi, c’est encore si clair que je pourrais croire que c’est arrivé hier. Ou plutôt, même si les murs et les gradins de l’amphithéâtre sont brouillés par la mémoire vacillante, les paroles résonnent encore.

« L’amphi des TIS, c’est à côté les filles ! »

Première phrase que j’ai entendue lors du premier amphithéâtre du premier jour de rentrée. Du sexisme ordinaire jamais corrigé, jamais confronté. Pourtant, il ne s’agissait simplement que d’une blague potache, je l’espère sans arrière-pensée. Et puis, dans les statistiques, il est vrai que la population féminine a toujours été plus élevée dans la filière orientée santé que chez nous. Sur le moment, je n’ai pas été choquée. Je ne le suis toujours pas. Cependant, cette phrase me revient souvent en tête, quand je suis en cours, avec mes ami.e.s, même seule chez moi. Je sais que c’est elle qui m’a poussée à écrire cet article.

Aujourd’hui, en raison des différents départs en semestre à l’étranger, nous sommes cinq filles sur trente-sept étudiant.e.s dans la promotion. Pour les personnes qui préfèrent les pourcentages, nous représentons un peu plus de 13,5% de la population de la classe. Beaucoup diront que c’est peu, d’autres argumenteront que c’est un chiffre qui reflète la réalité du monde du travail. Quand on regarde les différences par spécialité, on trouve 20% d’étudiantes en Multimédia et seulement 5% en Systèmes, un petit chiffre qui s’explique par le fait que je suis toute seule dans cette option. Autant vous dire que j’appréhende le jour où j’oublierai de mettre un tampon de rechange dans mon sac.

« Dyson, vous connaissez bien les filles, vous savez, les aspirateurs et les sèche-cheveux ! »

Cependant, cette situation n’est pas nouvelle : déjà au lycée, les classes d’option scientifique comptent généralement moins de filles que de garçons, un écart qui s’accroît lors des premières années d’études supérieures dans notre domaine. Que ce soit en prépa maths, en PeiP ou en DUT info, mes camarades et moi nous sommes quasiment toujours retrouvées en minorité. L’habitude a donc balayé les possibles inquiétudes que nous pouvions éprouver à chaque début d’année scolaire, au point qu’en septembre dernier, personnellement, ces interrogations me passaient au-dessus de la tête.

Il faut dire que, pour la grande majorité du temps que nous passons en classe, notre genre importe peu. Moins en tout cas que nos capacités de réflexion, la qualité de nos commentaires de code et notre comportement face aux professeur.e.s et aux intervenant.e.s. En travaux pratiques ou en projet, les groupes se forment par affinités, sans distinction de genre. Les interrogations en cours magistraux ou en travaux dirigés peuvent tomber sur n’importe qui, notamment sur celles et ceux qui tentent de se cacher derrière leurs camarades !

« Je suis arrivé [dans ce cours], j’étais bien content, c’était rempli de filles. »

Cependant, il arrive que certains propos maladroits soient prononcés dans ce cadre strictement académique, voire professionnel. Des phrases prétendument innocentes dont j’ai pu entendre nombre de variantes au cours de ma scolarité ici.

Que ce ne soient que des connaissances ou des ami.e.s proches, en passant par certain.e.s professeur.e.s et intervenant.e.s peu délicat.e.s, la réponse à une quelconque indignation reste la même : « Je ne pensais pas à mal, c’est juste une blague. » Une blague. Une blague qui est toujours orientée en direction des étudiantes. Une blague qu’il m’arrive parfois de prononcer moi aussi, toujours sur un ton purement humoristique. Une blague qui fait souvent mal, sans que cela se voie de prime abord.

« Je ne connais personne ici, mise à part [telle étudiante] Sifflements moqueurs pleins de sous-entendus sur la nature de leur relation qui fusent dans l’amphithéâtre.« 

Alors pourquoi ne réagissons-nous pas, en tant que victime ou en tant que témoin ? À mes yeux, plusieurs facteurs doivent être pris en compte :

    • ces remarques nous ont été répétées maintes et maintes fois au cours de notre scolarité, et l’habitude aidant, nous n’y faisons plus attention ;
    • nous avons, malgré nous, absorbé ce discours sexiste et il est devenu notre norme ;
    • la peur de l’ostracisation est également à prendre en compte : nous sommes un groupe classe, une micro-société régie par ses propres règles, et personne n’a envie de passer pour le.la forcené.e de service, la personne sans humour ni second degré ;
    • les examens ne sont pas anonymes : nous avons potentiellement peur de voir nos notes pâtir d’une remarque pourtant justifiée à nos professeur.e.s.

« Elle, elle est forcément passée sous le bureau pour avoir la moyenne dans cette matière… »

Je ne dis pas que mes camarades, collègues, professeur.e.s sont indifférent.e.s au traitement dégradant que peut subir une élève de genre féminin au sein de notre promotion. Je souhaite juste souligner que, parfois, elles et ils ne se rendent pas encore compte du poids que portent certaines paroles.  Mais heureusement, les mentalités évoluent. Les gens s’ouvrent au dialogue, comprennent la critique et même commencent à s’insurger à leur tour. Les remarques sexistes prononcées par les intervenant.e.s provoquent un vent de contestation au sein de l’amphithéâtre, les propos incriminés sont rapportés à nos responsables parce qu’ils ne peuvent être tolérés à l’école. Le chemin est encore long, mais nous progressons tous les jours.