ISMAEL MEDDAH - INSA LYON
graduated from IIT with a double degree master's in Mechanical Engineering in the summer of 2007:
"My name is Ismael Meddah and I am a former french student from INSA de Lyon who did my final year at IIT in 2007... Following my graduation I worked as an engineer for Jaguar/Land Rover in the UK and for different reasons I decided to go back to France and I work now at AREVA in the nuclear industry in Paris. I am strongly convinced that I acquired these experiences thanks to the year pursuing my Master's at IIT... I am extremely thankful to IIT and I would be ready to volunteer in any way I can to be helpful to promote IIT."
Regarding the cost for the year at IIT, I was lucky enough to benefit from help in France to pay the living costs ("Bourses") and I managed to earn enough money in various holiday jobs to pay IIT's fees.. I do not regret at all having paid for the year at IIT as the return in terms of experience, finding a job and enjoying the American way of life is far greater than these costs..."
SILVERIO PATRIZI - UNIVERSITY OF PADOVA
completed master's degree at IIT Civil Engineering in July 2009:
"Thanks to the partnership between Illinois Institute of Technology and l'Universita degli Studi di Padova, students have the great possibility to complete their final year at IIT and to have a double degree at the end of their university career in Padova.
I remember when I noticed this chance I was both excited but also scared: for one year far from my family and my friends, in a country so big and so different from Italy, first of all for the language. Finally, I won over my fears and I decided to apply - it has been the best decision ever!
Two things over all I want to mention: first IIT is really like a big family, all the people who work here are extremely friendly and try to help students for everything they need, you really feel like, at home; second, you can meet people everyday, from different parts of the world.
In conclusion I can say that IIT has contributed not only in improving my background and my knowledge as a student, but also as a person. I do not know what I will do and where I will be in the future, but what I know is this experience will help me. I suggest that everybody apply and try this expreince because, believe me, you will never regret it!! "
FELIPE PARAGES OOSTERLING - RESEARCH STUDENT FROM ETSIT-UPM
at IIT for one year (march 2008 - february 2009) at the Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC-IIT):
Research topic: Cardiac modeling and motion analysis based on MRI of the heart
Q. What were your reasons for deciding to do research at IIT?
FP: The opportunity to do research in a field I am really interested in and in an American university like IIT. The U.S. is the leading country for doing cutting-edge and high quality research in the world. Besides, the advantages fo counting on a partnership between IIT and my school (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid-ETST), in Spain are huge.
Q.: Was the experience worth it?
FP: The experience was probably the most useful one in my life, in both professional and personal aspects. Firstly , I learned a lot about my field of interest ( Medical Imaging). Doing research at MIRC gave me the chance to learn not only about my topic of research ( Cardiac Modeling) but also to impregnate from other disciplines related to Medical Imaging. It is very frequent at MIRC-IIT, to arrange workshops, conferences and presentation, in which all students can participate. One of the things I liked the most about MIRC-IIT was that you were always more than welcome to learn new stuff and attend any presentation or conference, even though it was not fully related to my main topic of research. Secondly, my level of English after that year rocketed. Obviously, I learned a lot of colloquial english, but I also trained a lot my reading, listening and writing skills..... Finally, in the personal field, the experience was also tremendously valuable. I had the chance to meet a lot of new people and make really good friends from everywhere. Having to live on your own, immersed in the American culture is also very edifying (specailly for Spanish stduents, who typically tend to "leave the nest" very late in their life.
Q: What made you decide to continue at IIT for a Phd?
The opportunity itself. I really think that the best way to become an expert in my field of interest is by achieving a Ph.D... I really enjoy that reearch has such an "open nature". In other words, research lets you "think for yourself" most of the time. Also the possibility of receiving financial assistance from IIT towards my tuition.
Q: Anything you would like to tell other Spainsh students?
FP: I strongly encourage any Spanish student to do research at IIT. The only requirements needed are to be willing to learn and work responsibly, to have initiative and be able to think for yourself, and to be open-minded and willing to grasp the experience as much as possible. Based on my experience, I will give two pieces of adivce to Spansh students interested in doing research at IIT:
1. If you are little bit organized and show enough interest, it is totally possible to perform a more-than-satisfactory research job there and learn a lot of new stuff, at the same time that you enjoy the life that a city like Chicago offers. There is time enough to do everything. You just need to be responsible and well organized, and be aware, that although some periods don't have a big load of work, some others do, and you will be expected to work hard.
2. Spanish students sometimes tend to mix only with other Spanish students. Contrarily, I really encourage them to also mingle with people from different parts of the world, so they can not only improve their English but also open their minds about different cultures and make new friends from different countries, which is always advantageous.