Could you please introduce yourself ?
Hello, my name is Maurice Constantin Matar, I’m Lebanese/Ukrainian and I’m currently a first-year student of the Bachelor of Science program at Ecole Polytechnique. I lived most of my life in the North of Lebanon, where I attended an AEFE school following the French curriculum. Coming from a very diverse and international background, I speak Arabic, Russian, English and French fluently. Moreover, I’m currently learning Spanish and Ukrainian. Growing up under a night sky perfect for stargazing, I fell in love with astronomy and grew quite fond of physics at an early age. As for most of my daily life – i.e., when I’m not wondering about the mysteries of the universe - I like to play the piano, write poems, and working out in the gym.
Why did you choose the Bachelor of Science of Ecole Polytechnique?
Having completed an education that followed the French curriculum, I always knew I wanted to complete a part of my higher studies in France. My choice landed on Ecole Polytechnique for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I knew that Ecole Polytechnique is an extremely prestigious university that will plunge me in a good social environment, whilst providing me with a world-class education. Secondly, I really liked the fact that the Bachelor can open up a lot of doors concerning future careers and further education. And lastly, the fact that the program offers a gradual entry into different scientific fields was really appealing to me.
Could you tell us how the first year is going?
As it was my first experience abroad away from my country, family and friends, I found the first year quite challenging. In addition, the academic workload has definitely increased compared to what I had before, and I had to triple my working effort. Despite all of that, I’m enjoying my first year quite a lot as of now. I love what I’m learning, and the fact that’s not that easy is just motivation for me to go even further. As for having fun, the active campus life and the amazing friends I made in here make sure I don’t miss out on that either.
Do you have a favourite course?
My favourite course this year was definitely MAA102, or “Introduction to Analysis”. This course had a great impact on me, especially in terms on how I view mathematics as a whole. It was the first time in my life where I was taught mathematics in such strong and strict rigour, and it definitely embellished my academic journey. In addition, thanks to this course, I was able to develop sharp thinking and analytical skills, which helped me solve many problems beyond the textbook.
What would be a great memory of your first year in the Program that you would like to share with future students?
If I were to choose one good moment among the countless others that I experienced in the Bachelor, it would be the Autumn Concert organized by the music committee. In many ways, it is the ideal example of how the student life in campus is organized, representing the great ever-present ambiance in the Bachelor dorm building. It was an unforgettable event, in which I had the honor to perform in front a big part of the students, and in front of many members of the administration who came to support us as well.
What are your ambitions for the future?
After the Bachelor, my goal is to continue my studies with a Master’s degree in France, in Europe or even in the US. I’m not yet certain in which field I would like to specialize in yet, and I like to keep all options open for the time being. Being extremely passionate about any kind of sciences and any career that encompasses executive and management roles, I believe that I’m on the right track for achieving my goals.
Any piece of advice to future Bachelor students that you would like to share?
Learn how to manage your life properly. I know it feels hard to do at first, but trust me it’s the secret of one’s success. Always prioritize your health, both mental and physical, and take good care of them. Never neglect your sleep (as much as it is tempting), don’t forget to exercise and most importantly learn how to balance your social life with your studies. It’s okay to have some fun, just make sure you are not overdoing it! Lastly, I recommend you to learn some skills that will help you in your solitary life. I’m of course referring to learning on how to use a washing machine, do your dishes, cook some meals… You’ll be thankful for that!