Student testimonial

Gabriele Renee Alandia Robles went to France for her internship

Gabriele Renee Alandia Robles did her internship in 2010 at the Center of Training and Research of the Marine Environment CEFREM in Perpignan, France. The subject was 'Nutrient fluxes evaluation in six coastal rivers of the Gulf of Lions in the South of France at the CEFREM institute in Perpignan'.

Professionals with vast knowledge and experience that permanently participate in congresses and international projects, make the environment very critical, open and actualized.
Gabriele Renee Alandia Robles

The CEFREM institute

The CEFREM, Center of Training and Research of the Marine Environment CEFREM in Perpignan (south of France) is a research entity that makes part of the National Research System of France CNRS and the University of Perpignan Via Domitia. This institute has been created in 1967 and was implemented under a multidisciplinary vision in 1997. The professionals of this institute are addressed to research and education in the marine environment (with a focus on transfer of matter and energy at the interface of the coastal system).

The research center is modest but with a multidisciplinary team of professionals, this favors the interaction with the CEFREM staff and makes it possible to learn and know more from everyone’s activities.

The professionals involved are researchers and professors at the university. Most of the researchers are related to geochemistry, sedimentology, chemistry, physics and biology. They have professionals at the technical level, master and doctorate level. They work in close relation with the LEFREM, an institute of research in geology. Professionals with vast knowledge and experience that permanently participate in congresses and international projects, make the environment very critical, open and actualized. Because of this it is possible to find professionals that have visited many countries and that are able to communicate in different languages with a very open attitude. The exchange of ideas and the possibility to learn more about this country stays open.

The institute is involved in projects at the continental, national and local level.

Internships at the field level and laboratory level are possible. The laboratories are well equipped for biogeochemistry studies. They administrate a gauging station in Perpignan, where a local monitoring system for the Têt River is established. Monthly sampling in the rivers of the regions are established which makes it possible to visit the region of intervention as well as to learn about the different methodologies of sampling. They are part of the national monitoring system which makes possible the close relation and partnership with other laboratories and gauging stations in the country. The close relationship with Universities and research centers such as in Montpellier, Toulouse or Paris, among others makes possible the frequent visits and the exchange of professionals in this research center.

As the research center is also part of the university, this makes possible the participation in courses, conferences and other academic presentations that keep the exchange of knowledge in continuous flow. The institute has a local library and as part of the university it is possible to access the university library that has interesting material.

Internship students are coming from the bachelor, Msc and PhD levels. This, makes an interesting environment in order to learn about the educational system in France from the student point of view. The possibility to interact with the professionals of this center in different scenarios (fields, laboratories, courses, canteen, etc.) makes also possible to know more about the French educational, academic and research environment from the professional point of view.

International students are from France (inland and outland), Africa and China. Last thesis students were from France and Peru.

More information:

The student life

Being in the CEFREM it is possible to be under a French and international student environment.

The city of Perpignan offers a strategic location close to the sea, the mountains, lakes and rivers, as well as the close location to Spain. Nice people, beautiful and varied views, diverse and delicious Mediterranean food and historical sites and old villages are to explore and discover. 

Student systems are well developed and offer many facilities and activities for all students. Refer to the CLOUS as soon as you arrived to get the information.

Rooms are possible to rent in the city center as well as in the University system, prices are variable according to the facilities and quite similar or even a little cheaper than in the Netherlands, refer to CLOUS for more information. It is possible to request a refund from the CAF, visit the web site for details and prepare your documentation in advance if you envisage obtaining this refund before the end of the internship.

The bus system is the cheapest systems to move in the region (though it takes more time than the train), 2 Euros roundtrip and 1.10 Euro one way ticket. Visit a touristic office to get the information of the bus lines and the maps of the city and the region. Reduction card for traveling in the Languedoc – Roussillon region by train are available at the train station, ask for the “Carte Liberté”, which allows reductions of 50% during weekends and holidays and 25% during weekdays. For traveling among other regions of France, the “Carte Escapades” could also be considered. Reduction Card for cultural activities is available at the University (“Passe culture”) which allows reduced prices for theater, music performances and cinema.

It is possible also to access to the University Library where an ample documentation system not only of academic topics but also leisure is accessible. Also a nice collection of European cinema is available.

Nice and cheap food is reachable at the cantines “Resto U” and “Cité U”, for only 2.90 Euro. If not sandwiches, or nearby restaurants are also available. There are many supermarkets around and cheap stores (similar to Action in the Netherlands) in order to get housing things.

Perpignan is bigger than Wageningen so many activities are offered. Though as bigger it is it gets less secure too, pay more attention to your personal belongings as well to late hours.

Biking is possible though the biking system is not the same as in the Netherlands.  There are nice routes in the region that are possible by bike, the touristic office will have a map with all the biking routes in the region.