Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Simon Laugier MSci Oceanography with study abroad

Interviewed as a final year student

Simon Laugier's Photo

Hi, I'm Simon Laugier and I studied MSci Oceanography with study abroad within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.

With both language and science skills, the range of jobs I can apply for is almost endless. Nevertheless, I hope to eventually find a position that will allow me to take advantage of all of my skills, working either in an English- or French-speaking country

When I was 12, I spent one year living and going to school in the French Alps. Ever since, I have wanted to repeat the experience, but was reluctant to do my entire degree at a French university. After several years out of higher education and a few laps of the globe, I finally decided to study marine science in the UK.

Fortunately for me, the University of Southampton offers rather a unique opportunity for people who are both scientifically and linguistically skilled. I chose to accept an offer to study in Southampton entirely because of the Oceanography with French pathway and because it meant that I would spend one year studying marine science in France.

Unlike many Erasmus students I neither had to decide which institution I would attend, nor whether I would work rather than attend university. The pathway was very clear: two years in England on the MSci pathway, one year in France studying the first year of a European masters, and a final year in Southampton studying at a masters level.

Fortunately for me, before I even set foot in l’Université de Bordeaux my French was already fluent, so I was able to follow what was happening in lessons from day one and, therefore, was able to concentrate on my scientific learning and improving my written French, which has always been my weak point.

The exchange was a complete success; by the end of the year I was writing in the scientific register and frequently out-performed my French peers in all forms of assessment. As a scientist, I believe in approaching a question from many different angles and experiencing an unfamiliar educational environment definitely influenced the way I think and how I approach problem solving.

Probably the most enjoyable aspect of my Erasmus year was the sense of solidarity between the students, which was much stronger then in the UK. In addition, a strong focus on team exercises, reports, presentations and data collection encouraged a mutual personal and scientific respect between the students and often made for very engaging conversations indeed.

Although many students often experience difficulties when studying abroad, for myself, I cannot say that this was the case, although this is mainly because I was extremely organised before leaving the UK and contacted a variety of staff in France before setting off.

Looking to the future, France and the French language have always been and will always be intrinsic to what I do. Presently, like so many graduates, I am seeking employment. However with both language and science skills, the range of jobs I can apply for is almost endless. Nevertheless, I hope to eventually find a position that will allow me to take advantage of all my skills, working either in an English- or French-speaking country.

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings