Navigating new exchanges in France

Flinders University’s French Day on Campus – a celebration of all things French – will culminate in the signing of an agreement to foster student internships in France.

The agreement involves the seven Innovative Research University (IRU) network members across Australia.

The Nicolas Baudin Internship in France Student Mobility Program agreement signed by IRU Chair and Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and French Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Christophe Penot, identifies some 57 research projects for which students at IRU member universities are eligible to seek internships.

Professor Stirling says the internships are a life-changing experience that, in addition to providing remarkable research opportunities and industry exposure, provide the potential to forge enduring professional connections.

“This agreement is testament to how Australian universities and France are stepping up to make the most of the opportunities for upskilling a new generation, advancing research and commercialising innovative technology,” says Professor Stirling.

“The fields of research open to applicants are considerable – from autonomous vehicles, composite materials and maritime research, to nano satellites, microstructure of financial markets, and the shelf life of wine,” he says.

Professor Stirling says it is fittingly being signed at Flinders, whose namesake Matthew Flinders famously collaborated with Nicolas Baudin in the quest to map the Australian coast.

“This spirit of collaboration is enjoying a renaissance, resulting in a range of important agreements with French education institutes and industry partners to research and develop technologies that will have applications in defence, and beyond.

“That’s why we’re tapping into the enormous potential for skills development, research and international collaboration, because the flow on effects to other industries and technologies will be significant,” Professor Stirling says.

In alliance with the French Embassy, French Day on Campus sees French Higher Education and Industry partners on campus to discuss opportunities for study and work in France, and defence-focused industry and research seminars taking place at Tonsley.

Students also have the chance to enjoy some French culture – activities include crepe-making sessions (ooh la la!) free croissants, music sessions and French film screenings on the plaza superscreen.

French Universities and Schools at Flinders for French Day include Centrale Supélec, École Polytechnique, ENSTA ParisTech, ENSTA Bretagne, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Centrale Marseille, Centrale Lyon and IMT Atlantique.

The internship program will provide the opportunity to participate in a three to six month internship within a higher education institution in France with strong connections to an industry partner.

The French Embassy agrees to provide return airfares, and social security to successful applicants, the host institution shall provide a monthly stipend, and a $2,500 allowance will be provided by the IRU member university.

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