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UNCP Home Spotlights Marine Courtois
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Marine Courtois


Student Degree


Student Major

Biodiversity and Ecology

Student Hometown

Aix-en-Provence, France


My name is Marine Courtois and I’m an exchange student, coming from France. I decided to do my last year of university in another country, and here I am! I’ll graduate at the end of this year, and I’ll finally get my degree. I have always loved the sciences, and the undergraduate studies gave me the chance to study topics that really matter for me.

After my graduation, I would like to pursue studies in marine biology and to get a PhD in that field. I have always been truly concerned and appealed by marine sciences.

Why did I choose to attend UNCP?

When I chose to study abroad, I had to make choices about the places where I wanted to go. We had partnerships with a few American universities, and UNC Pembroke was one of them. I first chose it because it was in North Carolina and even though I had already traveled in the US, I had never been in that state. The second thing that appealed to me was the size of the campus. Its class sizes are small, and I thought it would be easier to fit in as a foreign student in a small university.

What do I like the best about UNCP?

I’ve been here for almost four months now, and the whole experience has been amazing so far. The classes are interesting, the teachers are available to help students, and it feels like everybody always tries to be nice to everybody. One of the things that I might like the most is the whole university spirit. I really enjoy feeling like I’m a part of something, and it’s enjoyable to be able to meet new people every day. It feels like home, away from home.

What are my research experiences?

I haven’t had the opportunity to follow a research program here at UNCP for now. Yet, back home I had a couple of summer internships in CEREGE, a research laboratory and member of CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), which is one of the biggest French science laboratories. These internships were marine and geosciences-focused, and I had to treat and study oceanographic samples to observe zooplankton and to get information about climate change during the past. That was a great opportunity to be more familiar with lab techniques, and I also had the chance to take part on a quick scientific trip on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea with the same lab.

What are my post-graduation plans?

I plan to go back to France next summer and to apply to get a graduate degree in marine biology. I would like to focus my studies on that topic and to get a PhD in the study of marine mammals. We have a couple of great programs for that in France, but I would love to come back to the US or to travel somewhere else for my studies after getting my masters degree in France. 

Marine Courtois Marine Courtois

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