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BARNARD Cornelius, from South Africa

PhD at Irccyn, graduated from EMARO 2009 2011

Published on June 29, 2011
Centrale Nantes "is a leader in its research areas and our masters group has had the opportunity of being taught by some of the brightest and most dynamic researchers in Europe".

My French adventure started in September 2010. I came to France to finish the second year of the European Master in Advanced Robotics at Centrale Nantes, the first year being done in Warsaw, Poland.

Centrale Nantes was very well prepared for the influx of foreign students. Besides the administrative support, we were quickly engaged by the younger French students to join the various sports, clubs and societies.

A well known fact is that the language of science is broken English, France is not exempt from this rule, however the teaching staff at Centrale Nantes are accessible and ready to help enthusiastic students.  The school is a leader in its research areas and our masters group has had the opportunity of being taught by some of the brightest and most dynamic researchers in Europe. In the field of robotics, the active research areas are diverse, ranging from manipulator, bio-inspired and bio-medical robotics. The university is well connected with other research initiatives around the world and we have attended a wide variety of conferences and seminars on the cutting edge of development in our field.

Studying abroad proves to be more than just studying. In the city of Nantes, there is a list of enriching activities and attractions. The French lifestyle and culture is something to experience, food, shopping and taking time off are serious pastimes. Being in Europe allowed me to visit 12 different countries in my two year period abroad, I have also made friends and met people from all over the world.

The opportunity has opened doors which I never even thought of knocking on, it has been a great journey so far and I remain curious to see what lies in the road ahead! I, as well as many of my class mates found exciting PhD positions because of the quality of the research we were able to do at Centrale Nantes.