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Two years have passed so quickly. Just yesterday, we were all; packing our bags for France; preparing ourselves for this adventure; formatting our minds for cultural shock and discovery; now the end is approaching.
'The end of IMMIT' was officially represented by this graduation ceremony; the granting of our three Degrees, and the declaration of us all as 'Masters of Management of Information Technology'. However 'the end of IMMIT' also signifies a 'beginning'; a beginning of: strongly-bound friendships, new explorations and endeavours, and the application of knowledge and cross-cultural-interrelation-skills gained during the programme to real problems across the world. It also does not represent the end of my Blog: 'EuroJev', since I still aspire to stay in Europe, at least for a while longer, and I still continue my travels and experiences here.
Since IMMIT began in France, they thought that it should end in France. The ceremony was held in the sunny south of France, in Aix-en-Provence, at the IAE Faculty; and was well organised and eventful. The graduation was actually split into two days: the first day: an IT Symposium, where we were forced to present our theses for a second time with company-, faculty-, as well as family-, representatives present as audiences; and the second day: the actual ceremony.
As opposed to the traditional French system which doesn't allow for elaborate graduation ceremonies as this one, we had a full formal procedure, with granting of diplomas, speeches, cocktails, and even full graduation gowns and hats! French students simply get their diplomas mailed to them at home; and will never have something such as graduation gowns since it's too 'Americanised' :).
At the end of the first day, we had a [successful] 'final' IMMIT party at my apartment; something somewhat traditional and unique to IMMIT: 'the IMMIT parties'; we thought we should end with one final grand party as it may be the last time that all of us were to be together as such a big group in the same place at the same time. It was as expected: fun; and we even had an after party in the city-centre afterward.
My family [Dad, Mom, & Sister] in addition to my girlfriend, Maïté, were all present as well [they decided to take the trip to attend my graduation]. Many other IMMITers' families also attended the graduation, and we used this opportunity to show each other off, introduce each other, and to really show them what IMMIT was, and what we've been boasting about [the IMMIT Family] for these two years.
At the end, we all bid each other farewell, as we were all going our separate ways. Some would go back home, some to Finland, others to Netherlands, and yet still others, like myself, would stay in France. Looking back now, writing this blog piece, I remember one other which I wrote at the beginning: 'The IMMIT Crew', and I feel exactly the same now, when Leonardo DiCaprio opened the group-photo that 'Francois' [the sexy French girl] sent to him in the movie 'The Beach'.
IMMIT was this 'Parallel Universe': I hope I could enter another one very soon…
Other people's graduation pictures: