[PORTRAIT] Salim Dahmani, PhD student at INSA Lyon

On The May 10, 2023

Salim Dahmani, PhD student at the Ampère laboratory talks about his experience with Espace Ulys!

Why did you choose Université de Lyon for your studies/research?

The thesis topic at INSA was the one that interested me the most and is where I saw the most opportunities in the future, so it was more the thesis topic that attracted me than the University of Lyon.

How have you heard of Espace Ulys and why did you ask us for help?

At first, I knew about it after an internet search about the renewal of my residence permit. I am Algerian [Algerian nationals are subject to a special bilateral agreement] and for the renewal of my residence permit and my change of status I saw [on the prefecture's website] "consult the Espace Ulys" and I was contacting the prefecture directly and I encountered difficulties. As the situation was becoming troublesome, I contacted the HR department of INSA Lyon and they sent me the contact of the Espace Ulys and it was quickly settled.

In your opinion, what are the advantages for international PhD students and researchers to registering to Espace Ulys?

Espace Ulys is very reactive, and there is a follow-up behind it that I really liked, for example they would send me emails saying "Did you manage to get an appointment with the service?" and I really liked that because I felt that if ever there was a problem, I could always refer to them. I found that very nice. Also, one of the advantages is not to get lost on the internet. With Espace Ulys I really didn't have any problems, everything was straightforward and clear as far as my procedures were concerned.

What would be your advice to new international researchers / PhD students arriving in Lyon?

Honestly, it's to enjoy the city, not to stay immersed in the research but to enjoy the activities for students and PhDs that the university offers. There are also walks and other outings between students and PhD students that can be very pleasant. It allows you to enrich your contact list, to talk with people from different laboratories and different disciplines to see what they are doing. That's what I recommend and that's what I've been advised, to take some time for yourself and enjoy the city.

What according to you symbolizes Lyon?

The first time I heard about Lyon before I came to France was through its soccer team, the OL [Olympique Lyonnais]!
There is a nice balance between the activities in town and the fact that there is no rush. There's plenty to do and there's time to do it, whether it's visiting Old Lyon or walking along the banks of the Rhône. There is no sense of permanent urgency, as can be the case in Paris.

Photo credit - Université de Lyon