Flora CharbonnierMy name is Flora and I am a currently as First Year student within the department of Civil Engineering.

As a French student, being at Imperial is an unique opportunity to broaden my horizon by discovering the British culture, as well as getting to know people from all over the world. I also feel extremely lucky to live one of the prettiest areas of London, which I find an amazing city. There are more exhibitions, concerts, events, beautiful areas and interesting people than you will ever have time to discover. Getting bored here would be a matter of choice !

However the reason why I chose to study at Imperial College is its outstanding reputation for Civil and Environmental Engineering. I would like to become part of the scientific community and help cope with the demographic and environmental transition that we are undergoing. Imperial College facilities and teaching resources seemed like they could provide me the best tools to achieve my goal. It is a bit too early for me to say whether I would like to specialise in transport, design, water engineering, waste management, or energy. Having an overview of these areas by completing the core modules in the first years is thus very valuable for me. It is also reassuring that after graduating it is still possible to go into finance or business, although it is not in my plans so far.

After more than a month at uni, I have to say that I haven’t even had time to be homesick. Getting to know my floor-, hall-, class-, sport mates, and finding my ways in this new environment has been all very exiting. On top of that, the academic work is now becoming more intense. Although I have a lot to catch up with both my English skills and some parts of the A levels that are not studied in France, I feel supported by the department that focus on revision for the first few weeks and runs extra classes for those who need it, and as part of a class with students with very diverse origins and backgrounds. What’s more, Civil Engineering students from all years are all very helpful and friendly.

Week by week, I am starting to get my bearings between lectures (most of the day, from 3 to 8 hours a day), personal work (going through tutorial sheets, revising lectures, writing technical or lab report up, etc.), horizons courses (I decided to take German as part of my Year Abroad programme) and extra-curricular activities. For me, student life is also about nights out, hockey trainings and games (Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to sports), Academic Representative meetings (I was elected Year Rep of the First year Civil engineers), and diverse visits and organised either by Imperial clubs (there are more than 350) or in London. Can’t wait to see more of it !