At the end of June, the 22-year-old French woman arrived in town to begin her internship at the Center for Food Science and Technology at the UGA campus in Griffin. Serres, who had never been to the United States, will work on a number of projects that involve food processing and marketing.
“People are very friendly and welcoming, so that’s nice,” said Serres about her experience on campus so far.
For quite a while, she has been interested in improving food products or creating new ones and then finding out if there’s a market for those products, she said, adding that UGA-Griffin — with its strong focus on research — was a natural match.
“Based on the conversations I had with her, she’s had a very good experience,” said UGA-Griffin Assistant Provost Gerald Arkin, who said that he believes that the number of international students on campus speaks for the reputation of the faculty and the good work it does.
“It gives visibility to the programs we have here on campus and in the community,” Arkin said, explaining that students from other countries often tell friends about their time abroad, which might attract more international students to the Griffin campus. “Their good experience here speaks to others.”
While UGA-Griffin does not run any specific campaigns to draw students from overseas, its professors and researchers take on that job, simply by visiting other countries, Arkin said.
“Faculty are always engaged in collaborations globally. They travel to different corners in the world,” such as Southeast Asia and Africa, he said. “People get to meet them as ambassadors of their work. It also brings attention to students and researchers.”
Serres, meanwhile, will continue her research until the end of September. She will return to Toulouse, and chances are, she will share her experience with her fellow students.