Our student – winner of a prestigious scholarship

Each year, the Excellence-Major scholarships enable the most talented graduates from French high schools around the world to pursue their higher education in France.

In 2021, among the 207 students who have been selected from all over the world – our student Laura Arust.

Laura is studying Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Strasbourg.

She shares her experience of student life with us.

Can you please introduce yourself? What studies have you chosen, in which university?

My name is Laura Arust, I am 17 years old and I am a former student of LIFV, where I passed my Baccalauréat exams in 2021. Currently I am in my first year of Bachelor degree (licence) of Math-Info at the University of Strasbourg in France. 

What do you plan to do in the future?

In the course I am currently following, at the end of the first semester we can choose to pursue a degree in computer science or in mathematics. I plan to do a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and then link the two disciplines in the master’s degree. If I stay in Strasbourg, I would like to do a master’s degree in Scientific Computing and Mathematics of Information (CSMI), otherwise an equivalent master’s degree. Apart from my studies, I don’t have any big plans for the future.

Why did you choose the University of Strasbourg?

When choosing my place of study, I took many factors into account. The quality of the studies was of course an important criterion, but I also considered the quality of life, the atmosphere of the city and the opportunities offered by the university. I chose Strasbourg because the city is close to Germany, it is open for cultural exchange, and the university’s language centre offers German courses which I hope to take next semester. Furthermore, I liked the programme because in the first semester both mathematics and computer science are taught.

How is your first year going?

So far my first year is going very well. I have joined a student association and we organise different events for the students of the university. Moreover, with seven other persons I am a UFR elected member. To make a long story short, it is a position similar to the class representatives in high school, with the mission to be a spokesperson between the administration and the students, but in the councils we represent all the students, not only our group. My studies are also going well and I am happy to be here.

Excellence Major Scholarship: share your experience, how did you learn about the scholarships, was it difficult to apply? 

I learned about the scholarship from my other students of LIFV. To apply, you had to sort out a lot of documents, especially the letter of motivation, but my teachers and the headmaster helped me, so it was easier to find my way around. In my opinion, the scholarship is a very important financial aid, which allows me to think less about finances and concentrate more on my studies, and also to be more independent from my parents. I think everyone should apply for it if they like it. 

You are a Lithuanian, the former student of LIFV, a school of the AEFE network. Does this experience help you in France ? 

Of course, the fact that I did all my schooling in a French-speaking school is a very strong advantage, especially because the university is a continuation of what we learned in high school, so the system is very familiar and it didn’t take much effort to adapt. Moreover, all the bureaucratic procedures are the same as for French students, so everything becomes easier to manage, which is always a positive point. Finally, as there are no major cultural and linguistic barriers, I find it easy to integrate into the university community.

Is there anything you would like to say to the students of LIFV?

I think the only thing I would like to say, especially to the students who choose where to go post-bac, is to go where you want to go and not to worry too much about the future.