Except for the "Offshore resources engineering" option of the "Maritime engineering" advanced Master, all courses at ENSTA ParisTech are given in French, in the "Diplôme d’Ingénieur" as well as in the other Master’s programmes. Although this may appear at first sight as a serious obstacle to overcome for international students, the experience proves that it represents for them a real added value at more than one level.
Nowadays, with the globalization of exchanges, the knowledge of English is widely spread in the science and business communities, and it has become obvious that an engineer should master that language. Young engineers can not anymore expect that speaking English will enable them to stand out from the crowd. At ENSTA ParisTech we believe that monolinguism is not a solution, and that is why we require all our students to study at least one language in addition to English, which is compulsory.
Studying science and engineering in French does not only enable international students at ENSTA ParisTech to be fluent in another language than their mother tongue or English, but as they develop a strong knowledge of the French culture and context and as they often work in teams with others French and international students, they also acquire highly valuable cross-cultural capabilities. Besides, it proves their flexibility of mind, their adaptability and their courage to challenge obstacles. All these qualities are very much appreciated by international companies and the career paths of our graduates widely illustrate it.
Although we are convinced that studying science and engineering in French represents a very high added value, we are aware that it can be very challenging for international students in the "Diplôme d’Ingénieur" curriculum. Thus ENSTA ParisTech offers these students to participate in a four-week intensive French language course during the summer prior to the start of the courses and to follow French language courses throughout their curriculum at ENSTA ParisTech. The experience proves that all our international students have managed very well, and we are glad to observe that we have no record of international students quitting ENSTA ParisTech for language reasons.