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Student Flavie Ailhaud enjoys Aalto's flexible course selection and Finnish nature

Communications and Data Science student spent her first year at Grenoble and now she is studying the second year at Aalto University
Flavie Ailhaud on a boat.
Flavie Ailhaud.

Flavie Ailhaud studies in a two-year double-degree, Master's programme in Communications and Data Science (Codas), which is implemented in collaboration with three European universities. In addition to Aalto University, participating universities are Grenoble INP, part of the Université Grenoble Alpes, and Técnico Lisboa, part of the Universidade de Lisboa.

Students start their studies at one of these universities and change their place of study to another university after the first year. Flavie studied her first year in Grenoble and now she is studying at Aalto University.

Why did you want to study in the Communications and Data Science programme?

I already knew that I was interested in data science. When I came up with this programme, I thought that communications engineering complements data science well. I also found it really interesting that in this programme, there was an opportunity to go abroad for one year!

How have you liked studying and living abroad?

It's been a really good experience! I chose to come to Finland, because I had already been to Portugal, and I wanted to discover another country. Studies are going well, even if it was a bit difficult at first to adapt to a new way of teaching. At Aalto, I really like the possibility to personalise my study plan. 

I've really enjoyed the proximity of nature here. Last semester, I used to go hiking almost every week to Nuuksio or Sipoonkorpi national parks. It's also really amazing to meet people from all over the world. 

How it has been like studying at two different universities?

All the participating universities work differently, which is interesting. Also, I have more contacts because I know professors in Grenoble and in Aalto, which is a huge plus. And not only professors but also other resources. 

What is the community at Aalto and Grenoble like?

The community at Aalto University is very welcoming and engaging. It's easy to talk to people and get to know them. We ended up having a really nice group of people from all over the world. I also found it amazing how many different clubs we have here! I belong to the riding club Teekkariratsastajat.

At Grenoble, we also have a lively student life. We hang out in the parks a lot and students like to meet each other and have fun, at bars or parties for example. We also have clubs.

How have you experienced the campuses and their services?

At Aalto, I was impressed by the quality of the infrastructure and buildings. All the study places are also really comfortable, which makes studying here enjoyable. The public transportation is good, and you can access the city centre easily. Another really nice thing is that we can book AYY's and Hoas' rooms. Me and my friends rented them for so-called Country Nights, where we chose one country as the theme of the evening and the people of that country cooked the food. We couldn't have done this without these rentable rooms!

At Grenoble, the campus infrastructure is also really nice, and we have, for example, a nice library. Public transportation is good, especially to the city centre. There are also bookable rooms for events and parties. At Grenoble, we usually organise big events outside, which is a great way to meet different people. The campus is wide and green and really nice in summer. 

What do you find especially interesting about the topic of your studies?

Data science has so many possible applications, which I find kind of amazing! It's beneficial to combine data science with communications engineering because it gives a better understanding of lower-level tools and processes. It completes my understanding of the data and where it's coming from. It's kind of two different parts of the same information flow.

What has been the most interesting course in the programme?

There are courses that I really enjoyed, like Foundations of Data Science and Control and Automation. I'm currently taking an Ambient Intelligence course that is particularly interesting because it's shaped differently: it's a mix of traditional lectures, projects, lectures by visiting experts, and tutorials from students. it's about using our ambient environment and making it intelligent. 

How does the education you have gotten in Codas show in your everyday life? Or how do you believe it will show in your work in the future?

Because I study different topics, I feel like I'm more flexible and I can adapt things more easily. This gives me more opportunities regarding jobs. 

Spending a year abroad is also very beneficial. I'm much more confident with my English. Meeting new people brings confidence and curiosity that will be beneficial anywhere in life. Academically speaking, I'm doing my master's thesis in Finland, which will open more doors as well. 

What has been the best thing in this programme?

The best thing was coming to Finland - I really enjoy it! At Aalto, I feel like everyone is very welcoming and helping each other, which has made everything easier. 

Would you recommend the programme to others? 

I would totally recommend the programme to people who have an interest in the topic and want to have an experience abroad. In the programme, you'll spend the whole year abroad without pausing your studies. I would recommend both Aalto and Finland - I really enjoy the nature here and the university is really great!

Read more about the programme

Amy Sidibé
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The Communications and Data Science Double Degree Programme covers a range of timely, industry topics relevant to modern fields of engineering. Communications and Data Science is a two-year master's programme, with student mobility between Aalto University, Grenoble INP Graduate schools of Engineering and Management at Université Grenoble Alpes, or Técnico Lisboa at Universidade de Lisboa.

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