dynamique, hard-working, stress
engineering, concentration, time
ethic, self-discipline, duty
Experience, Exciting, Boring
hard, important, livelihood
hard, long
hard, mandatory
hard, satisfying
hard, tired
learn, build, create
math, responsability, daily
means, long hours, people
money pressure boss
money, morning
necessary, unsatisfactory
office, coworkers
pain, tooling
paycheck, hours,
physical, intellectual, office
place, ethic, commute
play, all work and no play
responsibility, long hours, stress
Responsibility, success, failure
school, job, tough
stress, no sleep
time consuming, money, relationships
too much, overwhelming, stressful
workaholism, stress

aboutissement, agréable
ardu, argent, gagne-pain
argent, occupation
argent, enrichissant, créatif
Comment faire pour en faire le moins possible.
effort, fatigue, satisfaction
indispensable, diversité
indispensable, enrichissant, routinier
instrument de réussite
intéressant, agréable, distraillant
Investissement Projets
épanouissement, dépression nerveuse
métier, argent
peut-être, occasionellement, pourquoi pas?
responsabilité, activité, vie
réussite, argent
réussite, école
santé, rémunération, obligation
societé et individu
Stimulant, Enrichissant, Contraignant
vie, argent, nécessaire
volonté, accomplissement


En regardant les réponses des étudiants du MIT à propos du travail, la plupart envisage un avenir pénible et ennuyeux tandis que les élèves de l'INT voient dans le travail un aboutissement, une sorte de récompense. Est-ce parce que nos études sont plus pénibles que les votres (classes préparatoires ...)? Vous avez sans doute choisi d'aller au MIT; est-ce un choix tourné vers votre futur travail ou est-ce uniquement à cause du prestige de votre école mais sans avoir un objectif réel ?

Olivier, I think that perhaps the difference you noticed in the way students at MIT and at the INT responded to the word "work" is due mainly to a conception of what the the word refers to. In America, work can indicate many things - the time you spend at a job, the time you spend engaging in a hobby, or even the time you spend studying. When students here saw the word "work" I believe that their intense focus on the moment, necessary at a school like MIT, caused them to choose words describing their immediate personal feelings rather than feelings or thoughts they might have about their future work. If students at the INT conceive of what they are doing presently as "studying," then the word "work" would tend to engender thoughts and feelings about what you actually think of as work, that is, what you will do when you leave the INT.

As for your question about why we chose to go to MIT, I of course cannot answer for everyone, but my sense is that while a limited number of students may have come here simply because of the school's prestige, most come here with an idea that they want to pursue work in the world that is of a technical nature. A good many entering students actually know exactly what technical field they want to go into, and how they want to make their contribution. Some only have a sense that the more technical world is for them. Either case leads one to believe that students choose to come here with their future in mind.

What I am curious about is why the words "create" or "créatif" did not appear more often on either the American or French sides? When we work, we usually work to create something, whether it is a solution to a problem, a document of some sort, a happy home, a piece of furniture, etc. Yet most of the words chosen were negative, emphasizing the drudgery of work. I wonder if anyone has a thought about why this might be so.

When I answered this question, I thought of it in regards to school work (problem sets, lab reports, studying..etc). I was just wondering how much work you have on a daily basis and if you get as stressed as some of us do here. Thanks

when looking at the french and american responses regarding work, i noticed that the french students seemed to find work more personally satisfying associating it with words like success, accomplishment, stimulating, enriching - essentially viewing work as a type of culmination. American students seemed to focus on the stress, difficulty, and long hours involved. Do you think that in france there is a more positive work culture? are students there encouraged to find a job they will love - or one that they might not like all that much but will net them a lot of money?

A lot of MIT students choose careers based on monetary gains rather than personal satisfaction - this might have something to do with the different associations that french and american students have. Thoughts?

I happened to notice that Americans wrote more about how they felt about doing actual "work" (i.e. hard) while the French wrote more about the outcome of a job. Do you think that this is because of the translations of work and travail are not identical, or because of a cultural difference in the feelings about work?

A point of interest to me was that a few students of the INT mentioned success in relation to work, but no MIT students related work to success. It appeares that the French view work as a way to achieve success, whereas Americans do not. In my opinion, this might be due to the fact that in American capitalistic society, it is possible to achieve monetary success without much work (for example, entreprenurial buissnesses). Any opinions would be appreciated...

I think that the responses generated by MIT students with regards to the word work are very atypical of the associations an average college student in America would make with the word work. Since we have so much work here at MIT, negative ideas immediately come to mind when we think of the word work. It is quite natural; I think if any given student were given as much work as one of us he/she would also have very negative ideas when they think of the word 'work.' I think if you were to ask the same question at an ordinary American college the answers would be much closer to what you wrote.

Aren't you afraid to become workoholic by facing stress and failure for money and success?And don't you wonder why you have to work?