Back home

Most of us are done with our internships, and almost everybody went back home to enjoy the rest of our holidays. We still keep in touch and share pictures from home, especially when it comes to food! We like to show each other what we are doing during our vacation, and it’s a great way to still be in contact even though we are not together anymore.

I am also spending the rest of my holidays at home with family and friends. It’s great to catch up since we don’t see each other that often anymore, also because many study and work abroad as well. As soon as I got back I got to celebrate three graduations and a birthday, so I had the occasion to see everybody quite soon after my return.

I will be spending the rest of my holidays at the beach, enjoying the wonderful island of Sardinia and relaxing before the start of the second year. I will go back to Gent for my third semester in September, along with many of my classmates. It will be fun to be together again after three months spent apart.

Here is a picture of the view I had on my first day at the beach.



The struggle of finding a job

When we started the master, each of us has his/her own reason to study but one of the common goals we had at that time was finding a good job. Personally, I started thinking of a master degree to expand my knowledge and to enhance my chances in finding a job in the competitive work market.

The process of finding the dream job starts in the first year of study. Having a good academic record is one important factor, but a relevant experience is always recommended because it is what employers usually seek for. To gain this experience most of students search for summer internships at different companies. The internships are usually short, yet they give a good idea about the topic.

In the second year of studying the process is more complicated. The majority of us started to look for a job early in the first semester of the year in order to secure the job before it is too late. Some companies, especially big ones, open their applications really early as most of the students will apply and the process takes a long time. In other companies, the applications appear later. Because of that, it is important to follow as we do not know what is available at a certain time.

There are many websites where the majority of companies post their vacancies. Still, extra efforts are needed to find other available vacancies. We help each other in finding jobs as we point out vacancies for people who are still looking.

This master programme has a very good reputation. All students in previous years found their jobs early. Also, the majority of us have found jobs, but few are still looking. I am sure they are in the way to find very soon.



Enjoying the summer

On the 15th of July our holiday started, finally. Andres and I will be on holiday for three weeks, because Promat company will be closed. At the end of the holiday, we need to go back to Brussels for the last 3 weeks of our internship. Andres will have those three weeks in September, because he will be traveling during August. While I will have those three weeks in August, because at the beginning of September I will move to Edinburgh. It means that we will not probably see each other until February, when we all will go to Sweden.
For this reason and for the cheap flights found, we decided to go and spend four days in Berlin. Unfortunately, four days were not enough to visit such a city full of history and amazing places. This is why it is really likely that we will go back there in the future. 
Those days ran away really fast, we enjoyed the trip and the long, really long, walk that we had in Berlin. One day we walked for 28km, too many kilometers. I can just advice everyone, who likes traveling, to go over there.
Here is a picture of me and Andres walking through the Soviet War Memorial.

IMFSE courses at a glance

During the two years of studying at the different universities we had three semesters of courses studied at the partner universities; Edinburgh, Gent, and Lund, and a fourth semester which is dedicated for the thesis, and can be spent at a chosen partner or associated partner university.

In the first semester in Edinburgh we had courses in fire dynamics, finite element method, engineering project management, and structural design. The most important course is fire dynamics in which we learned about different calculation methods for a variety of fire types. In the other courses we got the important knowledge for fire engineers.

All students in the second semester go to Lund University where we have courses in advanced fire dynamics, human behaviour in fire, risk assessment, and simulation of fires. All these courses are important for fire engineers. I found this semester very interesting especially human behaviour course which gave us a new knowledge and in the same time it is very useful in designing.

The third semester in Gent was very helpful for us, in this semester we got six courses which are: active fire protection 1 and 2, passive fire protection, fire safety legislation, explosions safety, and performance-based design. All the courses are important for fire engineering and each of which gives the basic knowledge for designing and calculating.

In general, all the courses in this master programme give the state-of-the-art knowledge in this field and I am quite confident, after finishing these courses, that all IMFSE students are able to work on any fire safety concept. This is a big advantage for future work and gives a good reputation for the programme.

A picture of all of us at Lund University.



Team Building

During my internship at FESG I got to experience a day where we did a team building activity. I had never heard of something like that before, so I was a bit surprised and very curious, also because we were not told what the activity would be. We only knew what to wear and where we would be going.

 We left from Gent on Sunday morning to go to Nieuwpoort, a city situated on the Belgian coastline. Once we arrived we discovered we would go wave karting. With small boats, where maximum three people would fit, we left the harbor and went to the open sea. There we were able to go full speed up until about 4 km from the shore. We took turns to drive the boat and had lots of fun trying to catch the biggest waves.

After that we had lunch in the city center, where we got to see the Giants parade, where giant dolls are carried through the streets of the city.

We had a great day, and were really lucky to have good weather after so many days of rain!

Here is a picture of us all in front of the boats after we went wave karting.


Weekend in Brussels 

After the whole week spent in the office, it was time to enjoy our weekend. 
From the 15th of July on, we will go on holiday, finally. Rohan is going back home to his beloved Saint Lucia, and I am sure he will enjoy the summer over there. Andres and I are going to Berlin for few days, then he is coming back to Brussels, while I am finally going home. Everyone of us is looking forward to being on holiday. 
While we are waiting for the holiday, we try to spend every weekend all together. Because the next time we will be able to meet up all together will be in February. During the last weekend, Rohan came to visit me and Andres here in Brussels. 
It was the first time in the capital for Rohan, so a must to do was the tour of the city. From the peeing boy to the Delirium cafe, which has more than 3000 brands of beer. We have been lucky, on that day the peeing boy was dressed up. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to understand like what and the reason why it was dressed up. After the typical tour of Brussels, it was time for the match of the Eurocup. We went to the center and found a pub where to taste Belgian beers, French fries ( even if we all know they are not French!) and watch the match.
Unfortunately Rohan had to leave the day after, so we didn’t have the possibility of spending a lot of time together. But it s always nice to have good time all together. And it is in those kind of moments that you understand how lucky we have been to have such a nice group of people from all over the world as classmates.

Euro Cup

This past weekend there were the UEFA Euro cup quarter finals. Both Belgium and Italy played, and unfortunately, they both lost. Belgium played against Wales and Italy against Germany. Five of us met up in Gent to watch Italy vs Germany on Saturday. We went to a pub in the city center, and luckily we got there early, because after a while the pub got very crowded. We were sitting in an area where the supporters were mostly Italian, so Pasquale and I felt right at home. During half-time Nemer and I were hungry, so of course we went to a frituur, where they sell French fries, burgers and so much more. When we came back Christian joined us as well.

Needless to say, we all know how the game ended, and to pick our spirit up a bit we decided to go to Overpoort to have some fries at De gouden saté, one of the most famous frituurs in Gent. Most of us had a huge portion of fries and sausage.

It is great to have many of my classmates here in Belgium, because we get to hang out a lot even during the summer holidays. Here is a picture of us watching the game.