What is it like to study engineering at EPFL?

© 2021 EPFL

© 2021 EPFL

“I will be an engineer!” is a quadrilingual (French, German, Italian and English) video campaign that pulls together the story of six very individual journeys of EPFL Bachelor’s and Master’s students from the School of Engineering into one narrative. Join our students, who invite us to explore their thoughts and experiences on what it is like to study engineering at EPFL, from what led them to deciding to join EPFL to what they wish for themselves as future engineers. This campaign is the result of a close collaboration between the Education Outreach Department and the School of Engineering.

Not only do the six students come from different countries or linguistic regions of Switzerland, their academic backgrounds are as diverse as EPFL’s study programs and community are. Each video depicts a different phase in student lifecycle – an experience seen through the lens of an individual, narrated by the words of their personality and pulled together to the unison voice of a student community.

I will be an engineer because …

Altering materials to improve people’s lives? Studying Microengineering or Mechanical Engineering because of its interdisciplinary approach? How about studying in-between disciplines, such as Electrical and Electronic Engineering that sits at the interface between Computer Science and Engineering? How can robotics make our lives easier, for instance in medical technologies? How can we help the world transition to renewable energy? What is my contribution and role in all this?

These are some questions that motivate the students of this campaign to study at EPFL’s School of Engineering, with all that it comes with. Some of them may have a classical MINT (math, computer science, life science and engineering) or also biology and chemistry background, such as Jacopo from Ticino has. Others, such as Noemi or Luc from the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, may have a completely different background, ranging from visual design to modern languages. Still others, such as Pål from Norway, may even have previous work experience that motivated them to expand their theoretical knowledge and build a personalized curriculum.

Jacopo, Bachelor’s in Materials Science and Engineering

“EPFL is certainly a very interesting and creative environment — you have to concentrate and work seriously … but on the other hand, it offers a lot of opportunities for students.”

Juliette, Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering

“I decided to major in mechanical engineering. I chose this major because it offers so many opportunities. That’s the main thing that attracted me to this faculty: The fact that you’re not tied to one particular field, but have a lot of options when you graduate.”

Noemi, Bachelor’s in Microengineering

“I chose Microengineering because it is interdisciplinary and I thought it is a great opportunity to go to EPFL with all the things that come with it such as learning French and moving out.”

Luc, Bachelor’s in Electrical an Electronic Engineering

“I have the feeling that I am now fully integrated, and I have also taken up various activities, such as sports and coaching, which I really like and which offer a distraction from my student everyday life.”

Arwen, Master’s in Robotics

“I already saw myself studying robotics for my Master’s. It seems like robots are involved in pretty much everything today. From static robots to much more complicated ones that perform surgery in place of doctors, for example.”

Pål, Master’s in Energy Science and Technology

“For sure I would like to work towards the renewable sector to help the world transition to renewable sources of energy.”

A campaign with several voices but one echo: I will be an engineer!

The campaign also sheds a softer light onto more personal experiences of the students: How does Jacopo from Lugano, a first year Bachelor’s student, cope with the language difference and the integration into a new community? What differences did Juliette, also in her first year, notice between high school and EPFL? What did the MAN (Mise à niveau) teach Noemi in terms of personal strength? How does Luc, who as Noemi is from the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, strike a balance between work and fun and why did he become a coach in his second Bachelor’s year? Moving along the life cycle toward the more experienced students, what do Arwen and Pål, both in their Master’s find so fascinating with EPFL’s community?

Whatever their background and motivations, they all came to EPFL to explore their passion for engineering as well as to have fun thanks to all the extracurricular activities the School offers to encourage the development of well-rounded engineers who will contribute to finding solutions for tomorrow’s societal challenges.

Will you be an engineer?

EPFL is not only an institution of academic education and research excellence, providing students with a solid background in basic science and engineering through its 13 Bachelor’s, 26 Master’s and 21 PhD programs. The School’s strong ties to the industry, from start-ups to multinational corporations, allows students to gain early experience in interdisciplinary projects, which strengthens their awareness of the social and environmental dimensions of their work. Finally yet importantly, thanks to the diverse baggage the students bring along from their previous education and experiences, EPFL serves as a place for exchange that fosters open mindsets and innovative thinking, both key elements to becoming an engineer.


Author: Education Outreach Department