Balancing Sports and Academics

Lukas Drammeh was born in Hamburg, Germany, and has lived in multiple countries in West Africa. He attended the Sciences Po Campus of Reims, where he pursued the Europe-Africa programme. Former president of the BDE (Bureau des Élèves) and captain of the Europe-Africa basketball team, Lukas is about to embark on his third year abroad, during which he will matriculate to UNC Chapel Hill in the United States. 

Seeking an interdisciplinary education

Lukas was drawn to Sciences Po because of its interdisciplinary programmes. “In high school I liked a lot of classes, such as history and political science,” Lukas said, “I did not want to focus on one, specific path.” Originally considering the Nancy campus as his first choice, due to his German background, Lukas soon realized when writing his letter of motivation that the Europe-African programme seemed to be his passion. As a result, the Reims campus became his top choice. 

Looking back, Lukas noted his appreciation for the instruction that he received over the course of his two years in Reims.The classes “challenged all of my points of view about the African continent’s history and politics,” Lukas said. Moreover, “we had some renowned professors, such as Professor Odile Goerg, share their work with us. That was a great honor and an even better experience.”Overall, “we are very privileged having small classes at Sciences Po,” Lukas said, “with teachers who know you.”

Shooting hoops on campus 

Despite the small student body, Lukas noted that there exists a “large diversity in what you can do on campus,” regarding sports. Sports classes and associations are “very available,” and “when students show up, they're very motivated.” And with the increasing size of the programmes, more and more sports are being offered at Sciences Po campuses.

Lukas was greatly involved in basketball, having played the sport for the past 12 years. In spite of the small size of the Euro-African cohort, the team finished third at Collégiades, the annual sports and arts competition between all 7 Sciences Po campuses, which took place in Dijon this year. Recalling the intercampus event, Lukas highlighted the “open-minded atmosphere” of the competition and how great it is to see every campus “representing their respective cultures and languages.” Moreover, it is a wonderful opportunity to “get to know a lot of people” from the other campuses. To sum up the Collégiades experience, Lukas noted that “even third years come back” for this event.

Discovering the African-American community 

For his third year abroad, Lukas will have the opportunity to experience the US for the first time and will continue his studies at UNC Chapel Hill. When choosing the US, as well as UNC, Lukas said that he considered both sports and academics. “I had a link to the US through basketball, with watching the NBA and NCAA,” he said, “and I was really excited about the idea of going and watching college basketball in the team’s own stadium, which is amazing.” He also intends to try out for the UNC basketball team. 

Moreover, Lukas was drawn to studying in the US because he wanted to “discover the African American community.” UNC has a Department of African, African American, & Diaspora Studies, and Lukas will be taking courses pertaining to this academic field. 

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