Name: Amir Kuvanyshev
Course Studied: International Master’s in Subterranean Reservoirs of Energy
Studied at: Center Geo-Energies, University of Lorraine, France
1. What made you decide to study in France, at that institution?
After obtaining my Bachelor degree in Geology, I started to search for the best way to build my career. At that time, I realized that a Master’s degree from a sound school was extremely important for any science major. With that in mind, I tried to find a good program that would fit my needs and be affordable as well. This program was the Subterranean Reservoirs of Energy offered by the Center Geo-Energies, an international joint Master’s program by the University of Lorraine, Kazakh National Technical University, and Kazakh National University.
I knew this was exactly what I needed, as this program shares all the up-to-date western scientific knowledge and industrial experience of local professionals. Another reason to choose it was the role of France in the world energy industry. Companies like Total, Areva, CGG, Schlumberger, Engie (GDF Suez) and etc. prove its importance, as such companies would never appear in a country with insufficient scientific background.
Moreover, a very important advantage of getting a degree from a French university is that it is strongly supported by the French Government, represented by Campus France. This support includes all aspects of student life. More specifically, I won a scholarship that covered all my financial expenses, received help in obtaining my visa, and was constantly getting tips about living in France. With all this support, I could really focus on my education.
2. Why did you choose to study that course at that institution?
Having a quite broad degree in Geology, I knew that I needed to go for a more focused specialization. Nowadays, engineers with specific knowledge are more demanded than the universal ones. Since I did not have an exact preference at that time, I was looking for the best program in terms of its quality and organization. The Center Geo-Energies perfectly met all these criteria.
3. What did your family and friends think of your decision to study abroad?
As I had obtained my Bachelor degree abroad, my family and friends were not surprised when I decided to continue my education in a western university. The only question was regarding the exact institution and the country. In the end, they also were not surprised when I told them that I was going to France, for the reasons that I mentioned above.
4. What were the main differences you found between studying in the USA and studying in France?
In general, even though the US and French educational systems differ in degree names and course durations, they still share the same attitudes to science and research. The way courses are taught are similar as well. And the students, well, they are all the same everywhere.
The main difference I can think of is the lecturers. In France, we had many lecturers from industry. They were actual employees of companies like Maersk, Total, Schlumberger and others. As a result, they gave us a lot of very helpful, practical knowledge.
5. How did you adapt to living in a different country?
here was no need to adapt to living in France. The food is quite diverse and everyone can find something they like. For example, there are many Arabic restaurants and grocery stores that are very similar to those we have in Kazakhstan. But of course, I would suggest trying those dishes that you will never find back home. In terms of getting around, the public transport works well and all the information is available online. So surfing the web can prepare you for any trip, from local routine to international travelling. And if we talk about the social life, just be open to other students and you will immediately find friends to hang out with.
6. What did you enjoy most about your experience?
The greatest part of this experience was of course the opportunity to learn about the culture of France and other countries of the European Union. I have visited Paris four times in my life, and still have not visited all the sights and attractions. The number of interesting places in the country is innumerable. In addition, the union regulations lets you travel freely to other countries, so you get a chance to learn about the whole of Europe.
7. What advice would you give students thinking about studying in Europe?
The main advice is to follow the educational program. As I said earlier, it is well organized and balanced. Therefore, if you do everything on time, you will have plenty of free time, which can be spent for travelling! Travelling is the most amazing thing that can be done in Europe. And a very sophisticated system of public transportation lets us do that safely and on budget.
8. How do you think your time abroad has helped your studies and/or your career?
Having a diploma from a western university is always an advantage. Moreover, with a Master’s degree from a sound school, I feel I became more interesting to top rated international companies. The number of interviews I have been invited to proves that this time was spent profitably. Most importantly, I feel my professional advance. So in terms of my choice, there are no doubts at all.