International student profile - Maxime Rocher

Maxime Rocher: MSc Robotics

"I am currently studying for a Master of Science in Robotics. This programme allows me to learn a lot about theoretical and practical robotics - it is a great addition to the course I studied in France and allows me to cumulate a French engineering degree and an English masters degree.

I was born in a French city named Laval. I have been living in this city for my whole life before arriving in Plymouth. It is relatively small, approximately four times smaller than Plymouth. I have been studying for four years in an informatics and electronics engineering school. However, being fluent in English meant a lot to me and this is why I decided to study abroad for my fifth year.

As I wanted to study for a masters degree, I looked at universities which had a partnership with my engineering school in France. A few masters located all over the world interested me. The fact that I really like robotics and that Plymouth University has a great reputation in this area of research helped me make my choice. Furthermore, Plymouth University was a cost effective choice.

I really enjoy the city of Plymouth. It has all the advantages of a big city without the drawbacks. Indeed, all the shops and facilities students need are close to the University, I can walk to all the places where I need to be and I never have to take the bus. Plymouth is a student-friendly city as it offers a lot of exciting activities for day and night life. 

As I had never moved out of my hometown or lived on my own before, I was worried about some aspects of the everyday life and these worries were enhanced by the fact that I would have to speak a foreign language. I was worried by following a course in English and failing my degree because of difficulties due to misunderstandings or differences with my course back in France. As English is not my mother tongue, studies were more difficult for me than in France. But, once I had significantly improved my English skills, I have been able to do quite well in my course. 

My engineering school back in France only has 250 students, so I was impressed by the size of the campus. Indeed, Plymouth University is great – modern and convenient. I found it awesome that everything a student could need is available on the campus (food, café, 24/7 library, quiet working areas…). Living in halls proved to be quite easy and I did not encounter any major issue. On my first day in Plymouth, I had to go to the accommodation office located on the campus in order to settle in my flat. They helped me and guided me to my student hall. Then, my flatmates were very welcoming and introduced me to a lot of friends.

I would definitely recommend Plymouth University to any international student. First, staff and lecturers are attentive and understand issues that foreign students can encounter. As the campus is large and welcomes a lot of students from completely different backgrounds, it facilitates the meeting of new people.

Since I arrived in Plymouth, I learned a lot of things during my course thanks to a different academic environment and I lived a lot of wonderful moments. This year has been the most fun of my life so far. Indeed, I have made a lot of wonderful friends from different backgrounds. I will definitely keep a lot of unforgettable memories from this year."