Incoming: Valerie from the USA and Hassan from Lebanon
Valerie May is an American student with a Bachelor degree in chemistry from the Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. Hassan Alkhatib is a Lebanese student who graduated as a pharmacist from Beirut Arab University in 2017.
Both Valerie and Hassan came to Bordeaux in September 2017 to follow the Master (year 2) program Analytical Chemistry of Drugs and Natural Products.
Why did you choose to follow this Master program?
VM: This program covers various scientific disciplines that really interest me. These disciplines include drug design, research and development within the pharmaceutical industry, microbiology, natural products and many more. The international aspect of the program was also extremely appealing. Before this experience, I had never been to France or Morocco. This Master program represents a great opportunity for me to spend substantial time in both of these beautiful countries.
HA: During my bachelor degree, my studies were focused on clinical and community pharmacy with few courses that covered quality control and analytical methods. This is the reason why I chose to study the M2 in Analytical Chemistry of Drugs and Natural Products – I wish to strengthen my theoretical and practical experience in this domain.
What are your objectives during your period here in Bordeaux?
VM: My stay in Bordeaux and participation in this Master program contributes to my overall objective of preparing for a dream career in pharmaceutical research!
HA: The University of Bordeaux provides a rich studying environment with highly-developed facilities and experienced teaching staff. This M2 represents an ideal opportunity to master new, important skills and to find an internship in a pharmaceutical company where I can continue to discover a domain previously unknown to me.
What are your impressions of Bordeaux, the people, the city?
VM: The city of Bordeaux is a world of its own. I found it to be an exciting, lively place to live. The University of Bordeaux as well as the city counts many international students and inhabitants while maintaining a strongly prevalent French culture.
HA: Bordeaux,the destination itself, was one of the reasons I chose this Master program. It is a beautiful, historic city, rated as a top tourist destination with visitors coming from throughout the world. Bordeaux boasts a lively social scene as well as numerous restaurants where not only the finest French food but also foreign specialties may be tasted. If you are looking for fresh air and adventure, you can head for the beach which is less than an hour away. All in all, Bordeaux offers a great setting for living and learning!
What has your learning experience been like so far?
VM: Challenging! As an international student, I have had to adapt to new cultures, become more responsible and improve my sense of professionalism.
What have you discovered with this international experience so far?
VM: Compared to America, I find that the French higher education system sets very high standards for its students in terms of academic capability and self-motivation. From a cultural perspective, I've noticed a strong bond between the French people as well as a high acceptance of foreign people to their country. I'm very pleased with my studying experience here in Bordeaux. In addition to the benefits associated with learning about how others live their lives, I have also learned a lot about the importance of going beyond one’s comfort zone.
HA: I am now embarking on the next chapter of this M2 adventure which is a 2 month project management internship in Morocco. So in the meantime, thank you Bordeaux for all the good memories and for sure, I will be back soon!