My encounter with French life has indeed made significant change to my life

Séjour, Philippines
Gelito Joseph Sikat, Philippines

I was fortunate enough to be given a French government scholarship for several months to undergo a scientific research project at the "Institut Pluridisciplinaire de Recherche sur l'Environnement et Matériaux" (IPREM) . At present, I hold the position of Science Research Specialist II at the Industrial Technology Development Institute under the Department of Science and Technology. I would rather not go into the nitty-gritty portion of the research but what I would like to share is the profound impact this experience has given me.

My encounter with French life, culture, and scientific community in Pau, Bordeaux, and other places in France has indeed made significant change to my life. The chance to visit several places in France was really an overwhelming experience! I became instilled with a previously-nonexistent self confidence; what seemed impossible became a sudden reality and that thrilled me. I have no doubt that I will continue to evolve, mentally and emotionally when I set foot in France. And I was right! Fortunately, Campus France and the Embassy of France have given me outpouring support to successfully complete this endeavor, from the time of my departure until my return to the Philippines.

When I first arrived in France, I was mystified; how could I possibly assimilate into a culture different than my own? When, though, after several days of mental turmoil, my mind expanded to encompass this challenging experience, I began to view myself, and my actions, differently. What I know now is that, I wasn’t afraid to take this journey, and I know that the truth is, at best, a partially told story.

France has many facets, ones that will continue to attract students to it and it has been an interesting journey through several navigable crosscurrents for me. Indeed, the French scientific community gave me a solid background on several technological advances that significantly benefit the field of Science and Technology. I can’t begin to think of another experience that could have affected me as much as the immersion into the French way of life.

I guess I'll cut it short and I hope to write and experience more upon my return!

A bientôt la France !