Trophée Polytech Neige 2019

On the weekend of the 25th of January, the Bureau des élèves of Polytech Annecy-Chambéry is organising the annual Trophée Polytech Neige (TPN). Every year the responsibility of organising the event is passed between Polytech Grenoble, Clermont-Ferrand and Annecy-Chambéry, next year the BDE of Polytech Grenoble will be given the organisational role.

This year it takes place in the skiing domain of Puy-Saint-Vincent, a commune of the Hautes-Alpes department. The skiing domain has 75km of marked slopes with altitudes between 1400m and 2749m.

Over the weekend around 400 students will have the occasion to ski and exchange and create relationships with students from the entire Polytech network. The 3 day event consists of access to a skiing domain, with various activities and competitions being organised. Accommodation, meals and transport are provided.

The participants will be able to compete in skiing competitions, a cheerleader competition, and a cart race with the carts being constructed by the students.

Faiz, Fatin and Sabrina: The Malaysian students of Polytech Grenoble – Interview

The moment I learned there were Malaysians students in Polytech Grenoble I was immediately intrigued. I had always been aware of France’s assets in terms of education and how attractive it is to foreign students. The diversity of the students that populate Grenoble is undeniably significant, although the foreign students you usually encounter tend to come from East Asia, Northern America or simply from Europe.

I met Fatin and Sabrina on the first day of the intensive English course where their story was brought to my attention during a dedicated “Mingle time”. After they quickly explained their background and where they came from, I remained curious about certain details. For instance, the reason they had chosen France as their country of studies and their incredible proficiency in French (that made me wonder if French was taught in Malaysia???) still eluded me.

For this reason, I am pleased to get to know more about their story and to share it with you. I thus bring to you Fatin, Sabrina, and their friend Faiz as well –who kindly answered my questions!

Did you know? Malaysia is a country located in South East Asia. Its capital is Kuala Lumpur and its official language is Malay and English is a recognized language, which is why some schools teach their students in English.

To begin with, please take note that France’s and Malaysia’s educational systems are very different. As Fatin explained during our first English class when asked by our teacher, students in Malaysia are offered the opportunity to study abroad by the government. Their choosing France can seem a bit off in a world where English-speaking countries are besieged with an ever growing number of foreign students and that is what is what my first question dealt with.

Me: Why did you decide to study in France and not in another country?

Sabrina: The main reason we chose to study in France is the standard of education which is generally high and the reputation of the academic institutions. France offers a wide range of interesting courses, some of which are not available elsewhere.

Sabrina went on to praise France’s gastronomy and its landscapes, adding that “for passionate foodies, France is the place where you discover great taste and great execution. Not to forget that France is the perfect place for a vacation. It is a very beautiful country; every part of it is breathtaking and unique”.

I then turned to Faiz who shared his own experience of having the opportunity to study abroad right after high school.

Faiz: After getting my SPM results, I got a scholarship offered by the Malaysian government to pursue my studies overseas. Honestly, I randomly chose France as it was the first European country that came to my mind at the time. France’s educational standards are somewhat better than in my home country, especially in engineering. I also wanted to learn a new language, which is why I chose France rather than an Anglo-Saxon country.

Me: By the way, when did you arrive in France?

Fatin: We arrived in 2015, around three years ago. Roughly forty Malaysian students came to France under the program.

Fatin got closer from her friends during the one-year course that took place in Tours. She added that there is a Malaysian students’ association in France that organizes various events for Malaysians to meet and get to know each other. The association, called MASAF, gives tips about the life in France and acts as an intermediate platform for the cohesion of Malaysian students.

Me: Would you say that many Malaysians have the opportunity to study abroad?

Sabrina: To come and study here in France, we had to compete with everyone else to get the national scholarship. It was a challenging process: the outcome greatly depends on your interview performance and your exam results.

Sabrina then explained that it is still possible to study abroad without financial aid from the government, but not everyone can afford to pay the tuition fees since the European currency is higher than the Malaysian ringgit.

You may have picked up that the Malaysian system does not quite work the French one. Faiz mentioned something about the SPM (the Malaysian Certificate of Education) that Fatin then explained more thoroughly.

Me: What are the main differences between France’s and Malaysia’s educational systems?

Fatin: The main difference between the two is that we graduate high school with the SPM which is an equivalent of O-levels (Editor’s note: O-levels are now UK’s GCE and are of a slightly higher level than the French brevet). This explains why we had to do a one-year course when we came to France: to make sure we had the level required by French baccalauréat.

She went on to explain how the Malaysian system works:

Fatin: In Malaysia, after graduating from high school, students can choose to pursue their studies by doing a one-year foundation course or a two-year diploma before continuing with a bachelor’s degree. Other than that, the difference between Malaysia and France is that most of the syllabus in Malaysia is taught in English, which is our second official language, while not a great deal of subjects are taught in Malay, our official language.

If you have ever conversed Faiz, Sabrina or Fatin, it must have come to your mind that they master the French language perfectly. To study in a foreign country is difficult enough with all the cultural differences and the adaptation to a new lifestyle; hence I came to wonder how they came to learn French. Did they have to hit the ground running and learn it on the spot or was French taught in their schools?

Me: How did you learn French exactly? Did you learn it in Malaysia or right here in France?

Sabrina: French isn’t a language widely spoken in Malaysia. Actually, we did not speak French at all before coming to France. Thankfully, we had a year of intensive French classes in Blois or in Tours before entering tertiary education. We keep practicing French in school with friends and teachers and in public. After all, the best way to learn a language is in a country where it’s spoken.

After the one-year course, many Malaysians elected to pursue with a technical degree in an IUT. Sabrina herself chose this path before applying to enter in PRI in Polytech Grenoble, along with Faiz. As for Fatin, she studies in IESE. They are all first year students.

After learning about their background I asked Faiz about his plans for the future. As it turns out, they are all required to serve a 6-year bond in Malaysia, as agreed in the scholarship contract. Apart from that, Faiz does not know in which country he would like to work in the future, but considering his impressive path, there is no doubt that he will find it soon enough.

Matthieu Olivier, president of the theater club

Matthieu, a student in GGC at Polytech Grenoble, is the president of the school’s theater club. He explains us who he is, the origin of the club, and their plans.

Who is Matthieu?

Matthieu did seven years of theater before his two prepa years, during which he stopped because he lacked of time. He missed it a lot, and of course joined the theater club right after arriving at Polytech Grenoble last year when he heard that it existed.
As Matthieu was the most active member last year and that he loves theater, managing a group and organizing events, he gladly took the previous president’s role this year as she couldn’t do it again. He truly cares about each member of the club: he helps them strenghen their qualities and fill their gaps but also designs for each one of them a role that fits them best.

The origin of the club.

The club was created last year for the first time in Polytech Grenoble by Helia. She studied two years at Polytech Tours for her PeiP before coming to Grenoble and was a member of Tour’s theater club. She wanted to keep on practicing and performing when she arrived here but there was no existing club, so she decided to change that.
And that’s how the club was born! Matthieu felt pretty lucky to join the school the same year.

The club’s daily life.

The club’s goal is to put on not one but two plays this year (just like last year): one before Christmas and the second one before Easter so that everyone, even the 5A, will be able to come and see or participate. Before starting to write anything, they got to know each other and did some exercices for several weeks. Theater requires multiple skills: speech, acting, improvisation, confort with the audience… Which they all improved together through exercices. Matthieu was the one directing these exercices: he repeated the same ones he did with his previous groups (with Polytech and before), but also searched online for new exercices and invented or tweaked a couple other ones.

The Christmas play.

They started working on the Christmas play since the last holidays. At first, they searched together for a theme that would be interesting but also fun to work with: this year they chose Christmas. Once the theme was settled, they started doing some improvisation exercices on it. These exercices brung them a lot of ideas that they then used to put on the play. Here is a glimpse of the plot: a villain will try to bring chaos to Christmas, but the Christmas elves will try to stop him.

Future plans.

The team from L’Hexagone, a theater in Grenoble, contacted Matthieu to give the group a couple lessons once in a while, and maybe even collaborate during one of their plays!

Photo du club de théâtre

Belle année 2019 !

Bienvenue en 2019 ! Le blog de Polytech Grenoble vous souhaite une excellente année ! Qu’elle soit remplie de joie et de réussite !

Quant à nous, on vous retrouve la semaine prochaine pour de nouveaux articles ! Bonne fin de vacances !

Joyeuses fêtes !

Déjà 29 articles en ligne sur le blog depuis son lancement en septembre ! Et ce n’est pas prêt de s’arrêter, 2019 nous réserve bien des surprises… Mais avant cela, tout comme vous, on va prendre quelques vacances bien méritées !

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

How to make a success of your Christmas presents?

Christmas is fast approaching and you still have not done your Christmas shopping? Everyone knows that finding gifts is not always easy. But do not panic ! This article will give you tips to find for sure the ideal gifts.

First, do not absolutely look for the element of surprise. Of course surprises are always a pleasure, but they can also be very bad! So do not hesitate to ask the person concerned what they want for Christmas, at least you are sure to hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately it is not always so simple since there is a 90% chance that the person answers you « oh that’s nice of you but I have no idea what I want ». And in the remaining 10%, there are those who want an off-budget gift. That’s why you should not hesitate to make a group gift! Because if you thought you were the only one without ideas, think again. It is therefore very easy to make a beautiful gift even with a tight budget when several people participate.

If you’re still out of ideas, think about the person. What are his hobbies? What does he need? What does he NOT need? And do not forget to focus on quality over quantity. Indeed, a big package under the tree is always making dream but when its content is disappointing, it’s worse than anything.

As far as I’m concerned, I prefer gifts that last in time, those that make me think of the person who gave them to me everytime I see them. So do not bet on the ephemeral gifts, it would be a pity that nobody remembers your gift (even if chocolates are always a pleasure). Another tip would be to avoid decoration gifts. We do not all have the same tastes, it’s cumbersome and it’s likely to end up in a closet. In addition, it will prevent you from attending a (bad) acting performance of a person who claims to adore his gift.

Finally do not forget to talk about your gift to the one who receives it when offering it. Without epiloguing either, explain to him why you made him this gift, and why to him particularly. This will allow him to see the importance you give him and therefore to appreciate the gift even more.

Christmas Market

From November 28 to December 30, the traditionnal Christmas Market takes place in the streets of Grenoble, especially in the Victor Hugo and Grenette squares.
The market is composed of more than a hundred of mountains chalets, where you can find craftsmen or even restaurateurs who present and sell us regional products, and lots of other products related to Christmas.
You can savour a good mulled wine or a hot chocolate for the youngest, taste gingerbread or a famous and delicious raclette sandwich.
It is also the best place to find gift ideas for your loved ones!

Not far from the place Victor Hugo, in the Square of Doctor Martin, you will also find exhibitors’ chalets : these chalets form the Market of Social and Solidarity Economy.
This market is composed of five different exhibitors :

  • « Mix’Arts » : offers regionnal and organic gastronomic items,
  • « La Fabrique du Trièves » : also offers gourmet items, local products and also clothes, accessories,
  • « C’est fait ici » : a local craft stand featuring games and toys for the yougest, and decorative items,
  • « Grenoble Equitable » : a fair trade booth,
  • « Deuxième Acte » : a stand dedicated to the reuse of used objects.

« Le Bistrot de la Mixture » will give you the opportunity of savouring a « Truffade du Vercors » along with a delicious Christmas beer !