Interview with Pierrick Rauby (Me 214), Sébastien Sequeira (Bo 216) and Eymard Prevost (Li 215)


AFAM: Hello Pierrick, Sébastien and Eymard and thank you for sharing your experience of being students at GTL (Georgia Tech Lorraine). Please tell us a few words about yourself, what are you doing now?


Pierrick Rauby:

Hi Albina, sure, I have recently completed my Ph.D. at GeorgiaTech in Mechanical Engineering. I am now working as a Software Engineer in the Automation Team at Formlogic, a small precision manufacturing startup. My main focus is to develop high-frequency acquisition systems and data analysis algorithms for process control. I work remotely from Atlanta and really like the flexibility of my position!

Sébastien Sequeira: I am currently working as a Thermal Design Engineer at Tesla. I am focused on industrial stationary storage systems using batteries.

Eymard Prevost: currently in Atlanta, I have been working as a data scientist for Georgia Pacific since October 2019.



Since 1997, the School of Mechanical Engineering in Atlanta has developed graduate double degree program in partnership with Arts et Metiers

Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL) is the European campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, located in the historic city of Metz. On this campus, Arts et Metiers students can complete part of their mechanical engineering Master's degree ( 1 semester). Another semester will be completed on the Atlanta campus.

On the GTL campus, the admission and graduation requirements for the MSME are exactly the same as those on the GT Atlanta campus.French and American students also have the opportunity to study for the PhD within the UMI 2958 joint laboratory between the CNRS and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Questions to Pierrick, Sébastien and Eymard:


AFAM:  You are from different centers and different promos. How come that in 214, 216 and 215 respectively, you decided to apply for the GTL program?


Pierrick Rauby:

So, I learned about the GTL program when I looked at the different Arts et Metiers centers. It seemed to be an easier way to study abroad, so I chose to go to the center of Metz.

Sébastien Sequeira:

I wanted to have an experience in a foreign university with good engineering programs and professors because I was a bit disappointed by the quality of engineering classes during my 6 months at Arts et Métiers. So, I thought the American universities were the best for this but at the same time I wanted to stay two years on my campus (Bordeaux) to have the full student experience at Arts et Métiers. So GTL was the only option.

Eymard Prevost: well... to be fair I applied to the GTL program just in case things would not work out with the other masters I applied to...


AFAM: we all know that Arts et Metiers offers 2 different programs - GTL and parcours US. Have you ever thought about applying to parcours US? Why did you choose GTL? Any regrets?


Pierrick Rauby:

I think the issue with the Parcours US is that you are not sure about the university you're going to end up in, which is why I initially favored the GTL Parcours. However, the GTL Parcours, as it is, offers minimal exposure to the US university system; only 4 months is not enough. Then you do not have easy tracks like the OPT program to stay and work in the US, and the GeorgiaTech Master's Degree is not really valued in France. I am happy that I had the opportunity to stay longer than a Fall semester to do my Master's Thesis. Otherwise, I would have had big regrets.

Sébastien Sequeira: As mentioned in my previous answer, I choose GTL so that I didn’t have to change campus for my second year at Arts et Métiers. Also, with the parcours US you are not 100% sure about the outcome. Finally, I thought it was less expensive. No regrets, because my decisions were based on what I knew at that time. But now that I have more info about how graduate assistantship works, and what the application process for the master’s programs is, I would have chosen parcours US.

Eymard Prevost: No, I never planned to apply to the parcours US, and I have no regrets about it. However, if I had to apply again and choose between the parcours US and GTL, I would definitely go for the former (I’ll give details below)


AFAM: was it difficult to be selected for the GTL program? What was the most challenging part for you?


Pierrick Rauby:

It may have changed, but in 2014-2015, the process was like this: first, you need to have a good enough ranking during the 1A semester, but it was not super hard; I believe you need to be in the top 400 or so. Then there is a cover letter and interview phase with Art et Metiers professors from Metz. Finally, you are "allowed" to apply to GTL, but this phase is also easy. The most challenging part was the interview with the Arts et Metiers Professors; you really want to show that entering the program "fits" your plan of studies.

Sébastien Sequeira: It was not hard. The only challenge was the GRE test.

Eymard Prevost: No, it is relatively easy to get in. I would say the most challenging part was the GRE English test, but the grades that GTL requires are not too high. That was a stressful part though.


Congrats! You are in!


Things to think about when you are accepted to the GTL program


Explore all possible options to finance your studies:


Option 1. GRA (Graduate Research Assistantship)

GRA consists on working for a GT professor. The salary is up to $ 2350/month.

Often the lab, students work for, can cover tuition costs (please see Table 1). The work at the laboratory can deal more with applied or fundamental research and will require plenty of your time during the week.

Table 1 – Salaries and tuition reduction per position






Reduced by $15000

Reduced by $15000

No reduction



Up to $2350/month

Up to $2350/month

Up to $2350/month

Sometimes GRA is coupled to a Master Thesis.

  1. Master Thesis

When you are in Atlanta, you’ll need to validate 12 academic credits to get your diploma.

To do so you can:

  • Take 4 classes (1 class = 3 credits)
  • Take 1 class and Master Thesis (9 credits), maximum 2 semesters

Besides, to keep your F1 status, American law requires to get at least 12 credit hours (not the same as credits).

So, if you are GRA without Thesis, you’ll need to take 4 classes to validate your diploma (12 credit hours) and it is very difficult.

The Master Thesis is connected to your GRA.


  1. GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant)

English proficiency is required for GTA positions. You can become a GTA for undergraduate students teaching them math, for instance, ( it is to mention that after your French preparatory classes you have a very good level comparing to American students). You can also teach on a Graduate level.


Pierrick's, Sébastien's and Eymard's full report is available here to download ( you need to sign-up first)

Questions to Pierrick, Sébastien and Eymard:


AFAM: When you received a positive response concerning your application to GTL, what were your first steps to get ready for the program?


Pierrick Rauby:

The first thing to figure out is financing, but it's pretty easy to figure it out; either you have the money or need to get a loan. Around 30 to 35 thousand euros should cover tuition fees for the 2 semesters and the cost of living in the US. Then I would say that finding a place to stay during the Semester in the US is essential. Finding a house to rent in the HomePark area with friends is the best option. GT will push you to take on-campus apartments, but they are far from the Mechanical buildings and pretty expensive. Finally, it is good to look for a master thesis option and Graduate Teaching or Research Assistantship with a professor; it is an interesting experience. The sooner you start to look for it, the more chance you have to find one.

Sébastien Sequeira: First thing is about having your payment secured for the semester and get prepared for a semester in Metz. You need to choose your courses which I remember was a bit frustrating because you don’t have that many choices as you are in a small campus in Metz.

Eymard Prevost: find a place in Metz, prepare the visa application, polish my English skills.


AFAM: Do you think you missed some things before, during or after you joined the GTL program?


Pierrick Rauby: Hmmm, I am not sure on this one. I think I should have been more careful about the classes I took and be sure that they "fit" in what I am doing now. There is an introduction to Mechatronics that I regret not taking.

Sébastien Sequeira: Yes, in Metz I have been told that it was almost impossible to get a Master’s thesis opportunity in Atlanta. I am glad I discussed with Eymard at that time who told me it was actually possible and pushed me to give it a try. I also didn’t know how important it was to actually be on the American campus to have access to all courses. Transitioning from one campus to another within a year is actually not ideal. Moreover, if you are on the American campus for a full year, it’s easier to be part of engineering associations like Solar Racing, for example.

Eymard Prevost:  yes: the fact that it is possible to stay longer than one semester in Atlanta (not an easy way, but this is doable). Another thing I was not aware of is the small amount of Mechanical courses that are offered on the Metz Campus. The choice is very narrow, and to be honest, a bit disappointing. Last but not least, I think that I initially did not realize how short the Fall semester in Atlanta would be (barely 5 months).




When contacting professors to find your desired GRA:

  • Keep on contacting professors, do not quit (even after 2-4 refusals). Keep looking!
  • Do not use your gadz or ensam email addresses, use your gatech one
  • Contact during different periods of the year. News projects are coming in ALL the time and you can find desired opportunities. The best period though is March (for the Fall semester)
  • Do not self-sensor and do not limit yourselves to Mechanical Engineering (you can look into aerospace, civil engineering, math etc.). Aerospace labs in particular offers a lot of opportunities to students
  • Do not hesitate to go and see an academic advising manager at GT (Glenda Johnson)
  • Be open to opportunities, attentive and grateful


Questions to Pierrick, Sébastien and Eymard:


AFAM: Did you have any additional classes to choose from?


Pierrick Rauby:

I remember taking the following classes:

  • ME6222 Manufacturing Process and Systems: it will give you a more in-depth understanding of the manufacturing process, but you need to work regularly on it. 
  • AE6372 Aerospace Systems Engineering: it's 3 easy credits, but you will not learn much.
  • ME6105 Modeling and Simulation in Design: It was a very interesting class with a great professor, but they have changed the professor since.

Sébastien Sequeira: Yes you need to choose your classes but if you are doing a Master thesis then you only have to take one course instead of four.

Eymard Prevost: well it depends: the Atlanta Mechanical department has a way better offer than the GTL one. However, if you are interested by taking classes from outside your department, Metz campus is better (in Atlanta it can be pretty hard to get enrolled outside from your major...)


AFAM:  What were your favorite classes?


Pierrick Rauby:

I really like ME6105, and I would recommend taking ME6405 if you are interested in Mechatronics. In non-ME classes, I would suggest CSE 6242  Data Visualisation, but be careful if you are coming from a non-programming background. The projects are going to be very time-consuming.

Sébastien Sequeira: Aircraft Design in Metz though not an easy one and Introduction to Mechatronics in Atlanta.

Eymard Prevost: Artificial Intelligence class from the Computer Science Department. I took it while in Metz, which was a good choice, since it would not have been possible to take it in Atlanta. The material and the professor were amazing. It took me a lot of efforts, but that was worth it!




AFAM: What were the most challenging/difficult classes/ activities/practical elements for you?


Pierrick Rauby:

The most difficult was finding the balance between working for classes and discovering the country. It is very easy to stay with only French-speaking people and not get total exposure to the US university system and culture.

Sébastien Sequeira: First challenge was understanding everything about taxes, social security, health insurance etc which is a different system from what we are used to in France. Then, everything about research: how to write a paper, how to look into the literature, use textbooks which is very common for a US student but not for a French engineering student. Finally, get use to the American culture (still in progress…)


Eymard Prevost: even though France and US seem to be very similar, there are some details that make life quite different:

  • tips is not in our culture, and it took a while to get used to it
  • taxes are not included on the price tag, which at times can be very frustrating
  • in France we are not used to having credit cards (what we call credit cards are in fact debit cards, hence I got confused more than once)
  • making meaningful connections with other people (aside from French and European folks): suprisingly, GT is a pretty tough place to make friends, especially with people that are not from your country. Note that I am talking from Master’s student perspective. Bachelor is way easier, and PhD seems to be even worse


AFAM: Looking back to your GTL experience, what would you do differently and why?


Pierrick Rauby: I don't think I would change anything, but, as I said earlier, if you don't do a master thesis and just take your 4 classes, study, and go back to France, you're wasting your time and money.

Sébastien Sequeira: I would ask much more information about the experience on an American campus by directly talking to other students before making any choice. Typically have all the information about graduate research, research labs per university, engineering associations, specific courses, professors etc. We have, at least I had, a tendency to choose a university based on its ranking as French students (thank you “classe prépa”) but I think we should rather focus on what topics we want to learn about and what is the best university to learn about these topics.

Eymard Prevost: to be fair, I would do things completely differently by applying to the US parcours instead. The first thing to keep in mind is that if you want to have the option to work in the US after your master, GTL is definitely not the best choice. I was lucky to find a work around, but it was not easy, and I got lucky more than once. The second thing is to reconsider the price of the GTL master: at first glance, GTL seems to be a cost effective way to study in the US. But in reality, you end up spending barely 5 months in Atlanta, having very few interactions with the locals (some of my friends did not speak more than a few hours of English over the whole semester). Then, you come back to France, where it is pretty hard to value your degree (actually, none of the people I know got enough value from it to compensate the cost).

On the other hand, the US parcours seems to be expensive, but one can offset the cost by doing a GRA or a GTA. And you get to stay longer (At least 3 semesters). You can also choose your major.

For more information about GTL and our alumni:

Interview with Sébastien Sequeira (Bo 216)

Short testimonials of Sébastien and Eymard concerning Louis Magne scholarship

Georgia Tech and Atlanta Chronicles by Alexis Cassier (Me 215)

Pierrick's, Sébastien's and Eymard's full report is available here to download ( you need to sign-up first)