So Thursday night drop-in volleyball happened to be going on at exactly the same time as cheerleading tryouts, in exactly the same gym. Thank goodness, because the string of fate-like mishaps that made me ineligible to participate in the tryouts, DURING, might I add, the most anxious and stressball time of the month (yes, boys, that time) could've made me go off the deep end. But luckily, volleyball saved the day.
In other news, the new CS recruiter had me write up a thinger on my stay in France. It's a little over-injected with the enthused ramblings of a former recruitment coordinator, but eh, it does put a bright spin on the year:
The French Riviera in the south of France is known to locals as the "cote d'azur", or azure coast, because of the strikingly turquoise colour of the mediterranean sea. I'd never have guessed that my 4th year in Computing Science would involve me taking clear morning jogs past the palm trees and waves of this beautiful blue coastline before heading to class. However, this is how I spent this past year, as an exchange student at the University of Nice, France.
My name is Angelica Lim, a Computing Science major at Simon Fraser University. Although my concentration is in Computing, I decided to also take several french courses at SFU because I enjoyed French in high school. However, the best way to perfect a language is to immerse yourself in it. So, last year I decided to fly across the world and enroll myself in a Computing Science program taught completely in french. It wasn't too bad, because math and programming are the same around the world. Despite that, my exchange allowed me (a non french-immersion student) to become virtually fluent in 10 months! Living on my own in France also taught me how to cook, somewhat...
One of the coolest parts of my stay in Nice was working in a Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) laboratory in Sophia-Antipolis, the Silicon Valley of France. Basically, our project was to build software to guide an robot to perform underwater tasks, such as object search, without human intervention. This kind of technology could eventually be used to automatically find and disarm mines hidden deep in the ocean.
Being able to easily hop over to Turin for the 2006 Olympics to cheer on the Canadian hockey team was also cool. In between courses, I made room for side trips to places like Italy, Paris and Monaco. I had enough money to travel because international students* in France pay the same tuition as French residents - virtually nothing, thanks to their all-encompassing social system. And in the end, I was still able to transfer the courses I took in France to count toward my Bachelor's degree at SFU. For someone who loves to travel and doesn't have a lot of money, it was the best of both worlds!
Now back in Vancouver, I can say that this has been the most memorable year ever. I've made friends from France and also other exchange students from around the world, and achieved my goal of learning a language that will help me find a job, especially in bilingual Canada.
I encourage you to pursue my field, Computing Science, and use technology to make a difference in the world. And most of all, be sure to have fun while at it!
(Graduated from Dr. Charles Best Secondary School)
*For more information, see www.edufrance.fr
What I didn't mention, of course, is the best thing that happened to me while there... sigh. Je t'aime fort bébé!