Laser & Photonics in Aquitaine 

Exchange Students Testimonials

Hello and welcome ! Every year non-local students come to Bordeaux University (Bordeaux - France), INRS (Montréal - Canada) or COPL-Laval University (Quebec city - Canada) to experience a new city and all that our Institutions have to offer. If you are a non-local student, what will you learn and experience at our Institutions ? Find out how other non-local students feel about their exchange program.

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Doing a PhD is already awesome!! So what if I had the opportunity to do a double PhD between two amazing countries separated by the Atlantic Ocean by around 5 000 Km overseas. For some, living in two different countries is not in their comfort zone, but for me, this is one of the best adventures of my life and I do highly recommend it for anyone who loves adventure and challenges. It is one of the best experiences ever, where you can develop more your personality, your professional network and your social life. Living between France and Québec, where you experience different cultures, different ways of life, different ways of work and different people is just unbelievable. In addition to that, taking advantage of the professional expertise, the versatile equipment’s and way of thinking of the two countries is priceless in my opinion. To sum it, the combination of these two universities offers me the best student/researcher campus ever.

Alain Abou Khalil
PhD student between 
CELIA-Bordeaux University (Fr) & COPL- Laval University (Ca)

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Native from Montréal, Québec, I did a standard schooling, from primary school to a master in AMO physics. After my master, animated by a passion for science and the desire to discover new horizons, I wanted to move from my native homeland for my Ph.D. thesis. After few visits of different physics lab on the old continent, I’ve chosen to move to Bordeaux, France. Having felt some great chemistry, on a human point of view as well as on a scientific point of view, when I’ve met people from the attosecond physics group of Bordeaux, I thought it would be a perfect context for a joint Ph.D. thesis with my university in Québec (INRS). Since I joined the Harmonics group of CELIA lab, the intellectual stimulation is at its highest peak. Being help on a day to day basis by a team of leading expert in the field, I also have a huge liberty to test my idea in the lab, which is a great pleasure for a young student-researcher. I also have to say that Bordeaux is an amazing city: its underground music scene, the outdoor market of Place St-Michel, the associative life as well as the great pleasure of biking in the city, all year long (which is impossible with the cold weather and the snow in Canada…). 

Samuel Beaulieu

PhD Student between INRS (Ca) and CELIA - Université de Bordeaux (Fr)

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Thanks to a Laphia grant, I was able to realize a 4 months internship at Laval University in Québec, Canada. This has been very rewarding from a professional point of view due to the working conditions which are not the same as in France. In fact, the equipment of the Centre d’Optique, Photonique et Laser laboratories are high-performance for their domain of expertize. Also from a personal point of view, I met and worked with people from different countries who I sympathized with. This experience made me want to go back to Quebec and do my master 2.

Béatrice Serment

Master student at Bordeaux University (France)

Vincent Wagnie

"In January 2015, I left the cold canadian winter to perform a research internship within the HarMoDyn group, from the CEntre Lasers Intenses et Applications (CELIA) at Université de Bordeaux. I participated to studies of ultrafast molecular dynamics using intense laser sources as work tools. I met passionate and very welcoming researchers with whom I learned in a friendly atmosphere. During my stay, I also discovered Bordeaux, a beautiful city which makes walking and cycling very pleasant, no matter the destination. The music scene is also very active (to my surprise!).

This experience allowed me to get in touch with excellent researchers in the field where I wish to specialize and also to target my career goals, mainly by confirming my choice to do a PhD. It was very rewarding, both professionally and culturally."

Vincent Wagnie

Student at INRS (Canada)

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A PhD in cotutelle is a unique experience! This allows me to work in two countries with two research groups, each one having different expertise. I have access to lots of scientific domains in chemistry and physics that I wouldn’t be able to explore if I was working in only one laboratory. The COPL at Université Laval in Canada gives me access to the full study of optical fibers from the synthesis to the characterization while the ICMCB and its partners from Université de Bordeaux helps for a better understanding of my material from a structural point of view. Of course both campuses have facilities for work out sessions, activities with the student office, good poutines and cannelés! I absolutely don’t regret being a part of this adventure!

Téa Skopak
PhD studen between  ICMCB-Bordeaux University (Fr) & COPL-Laval University (Ca)



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