Top of the Top University: Story of Study at Grandes ecoles
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- Registration Date : 2014-10-02
Immediately after getting an acceptance letter from UST for the Overseas Study Support Project, I had to preparation for the overseas study because the preparation process was very tough. Studying abroad was not a normal overseas business trip for one week. Instead, participants stay on site for six months during the study period.
I had the most difficult times trying to get the visa issued. A visa must be issued for anyone intending to stay in France for more than three months. Since I didn't need a Student visa but a ‘Scientist visa’ which is issued to a researcher, post-doc, or invited professor, I had to wait longer than I expected, although I had to prepare less documents.
French public officials were so slow in handling relevant works, it took one month to receive the paper of convention d'accueil', a kind of invitation with the stamp of TELECOM SudParis from the Prefecture of Police of Paris. Then, an additional 15 days were spent on administrative steps at the French embassy in Korea. After that, I managed to have the visa in my hand.
I was seated uncomfortably in an airplane for the 12-hour long flight and finally landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Immediately, I had a mixed feeling of half anticipation and half excitement. When I got on the subway bound for TELECOM SudParis after going through immigration, dusk had begun to fall.
On my way to the lodge, the scene outside the window of the subway was gloomy, somewhat unlike my expectation. There were only blacks inside the subway and around the subway station where I got off. Then, I fully realized that I had come to a foreign country very far away from Korea, and felt kind of afraid.
However, my fear proved to be groundless when I was guided by a kind African-French lady and helped by ‘black brothers’ who brought my bags, arriving at my destination in safety.
TELECOM SudParis where I studied this time is a representative French university in Information Technology (IT) and Information Communication, especially in computer engineering. TELECOM SudParis is one of the Grandes ecoles called the ‘Best University’ and ‘Top of the Top’ at which a small number of selected elite are taught.
Even though the campus is located in the southern part of Paris and in the suburban area of a big city, its surroundings were quiet and tranquil, almost like Daejeon. Also, TELECOM SudParis was not unfamiliar to me because the campus was engaged in a joint project to develop a WoO (Web of Objects) technology for new media environment with our lab. WoO is a technology to make things interact with each other based on networking. With the same basic concept as the Internet of Things and Machine To Machine, WoO is a further development.
The labs of TELECOM SudParis conduct various researches including WoO, cloud structure, social-based network structure, and smart energy efficiency. Thanks to my experience in joint research, I could efficiently proceed with my task the same way as I had at ETRI. Other students from various countries such as Spain, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iran, working together at the lab, were all nice to me, thus making me not feel lonely.
The presence of Professors Gyu-Myeong Lee and Su-Chang Park ？Park who helped me to study here significantly contributed help to make it easy to get familiar to this new life. Particularly, Professor Park, who lived in a high-rise apartment building at the center of Paris that looked out on the Eiffel Tower and Seine River, often threw a small party to build and boost teamwork.
Parisians are never in a hurry with whatever work they are doing. They tend to handle everything slowly by the book.
It takes one week to open a back account. In case of account transfer, money is actually transferred the next day after the Internet Banking？based transfer. It is not rare case that a large-scale project will be completed even more than 10 years after its commencement.
Of course, there is no rule without exception. Among Parisiens, some of them put the aesthetics of quickness into action as Koreans do. My academic advisor at the lab, Professor Noel Crespi is the right example of this.
He was on the go all day, making me wonder ‘What kind of person is he?’ He had interviews with students every 10 minutes. Although he was French, he spoke English at a quick-firing gun speed. Whoever we are, whether Korean or Parisian, those of us working for the same sector have similar characteristics.
The computer network that I am working on does not require high-priced experimental devices and thus, there is no location limit to achieving outstanding outcomes.
However, studying at TELECOM SudParis was an invaluable chance to realize many things. By sharing space with many foreign students all studying a similar topic, I was able to have an internationally-wide view, not only about our research but also overall life.
Furthermore, the chance to stay overseas for six months took me to another world of perception that I could not have experienced from a business trip or travel. It was a precious opportunity for me to realize that another world is not an abstract place but a specific space that my hand and feet can reach. I sincerely hope that more opportunities can be given to many more students in UST in the future.
Lastly, I’d like to give an advice to USTians who are preparing for the Overseas Study Support Project. The name of the university should be specified and confirmed when research performance is ted for the Project.
UST students just fill in the name of the relevant research institute and instead, easily miss out the name of universities. In this case, hopefully it should be noted that the relevant research will not be included in the performance in the course of selecting a successful applicant for the Project.