Cultural Visits and Activities

University Programme
  • The Summer School organizes many cultural and social activities.The Summer School organizes many cultural and social activities.

The Summer School proposes a variety of cultural visits to give participants the opportunity to discover the city of Paris, as well as French history and culture.  It also offers a full slate of social events and outings that will allow students to get to know each other outside the classroom.  Activities take place after class during the week and also on weekends.

Activities fall into two types:

  • Open activities are available to all students of the programme, at no additional cost. Sign-up is usually not required in advance.
  • Optional activities are available to students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sign-up is required, as is an additional fee, with Sciences Po students receiving considerable group discounts at major tourist attractions.

The 2018 activities programme is presented below.  Sign up for the Summer School newsletter to receive more information about Summer 2019 activities.

2018 Activities Programme

Open Activities

June and July sessions

Seine River Cruise: Discover Paris from its best vantage point, the Seine River. As part of Orientation, all Summer School students will have a chance to take a river cruise with the Vedettes du Pont Neuf. You’ll learn about some of Paris’s most famous landmarks, from the Musée du Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, all while kicking back your feet and working on your suntan.

Landmark Scavenger Hunt: Explore Sciences Po's neighbourhood and and meet your classmates with a fun, after-class scavenger hunt for famous and not-so-famous landmarks around campus!

Speaker Series: The Summer School's Speaker Series is an opportunity for participants from all academic tracks to interact with a variety of public and academic figures from the Sciences Po community and French society. These conferences allow participants to discuss key issues with experts and thus further their understanding of France and Europe.

Apéro Hours: Discover the French traditition of the apéro: a drink and light snacks before dinner.  The Summer School interns will organise evenings out in their favourite cafés and bars in different Parisian neighbourhoods.  This is a great opportunity to meet students from outside your classes and discover the best places to go out in Paris.

Movie Night: Enjoy some French cinema (with English subtitles!) at Sciences Po. Movies will be shown on campus after class, followed by an apéro hour to discuss the film.

Continuing at Sciences Po presentation:  Are you interested in continuing your studies at Sciences Po?  Learn more about the different master’s degrees offered at Sciences Po and get your questions answered by a representative from Sciences Po’s International Office.

July session only

14 Juillet Picnic: July 14th is France’s national holiday, so join the celebration with a giant picnic on the Champs de Mars, followed by a spectacular fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower.  Every year, students say this is one of their favourite memories of their time in Paris!

Optional Activities

June and July sessions

Wine School: Wine Historian and History of France Professor Azélina Jaboulet-Vercherre hosts these two-hour sessions aimed at teaching an un-snobbish approach to all things wine. Learn about wine history and culture, but also what wines to bring to a party, or how to choose wine to go with food. Each class will tackle its own thematic problems, and some classes will include visits from winemakers and cavistes from Paris and beyond.  Participants will taste between 4 and 5 wines per class.  Wine School will take place once per week after class.

Saturday visit to Claude Monet’s Gardens at Giverny: Claude Monet is one of French impressionism’s most famous painters.  This day trip will take students to his world-famous garden, outside of Paris – the place where he painted the waterlilies and so much more!  A visit to the Musée des Impressionnismes at Giverny is also included.

Rodin Museum: Hidden behind the understated facade lies this jewel of a private mansion, dating from the 18th century, and housing the permanent collections of the Musée Rodin. As well as the sculptor’s masterpieces, several works by his mistress and troubled muse Camille Claudel are also on display. Stroll through the extensive grounds and discover some of the master’s major works: The Thinker, The Burghers of Calais and The Gates of Hell.

Sunday visit to the châteaux of the Loire Valley: Join other students in Paris on this excursion proposed by ToBeErasmus, and make the most of your weekend with a trip to the Loire Valley to visit two of its most famous castles: Chambord and Chenonceau. Take advantage of this opportunity to explore the Loire Valley without the hassle of renting a car.

Theatre in ParisI Love Piaf played in French with English surtitles. Giving you a small, yet enchanting, glimpse of France’s most renowned icon, I Love Piaf tells the story of the woman behind the world famous “La Vie en Rose”. The intoxicating spirit of Piaf, accompanied by her exhilarating life story, is sure to bewitch any crowd. This performance truly captures “la môme Piaf” and will leave you humming Piaf’s timeless classics for days after!

June session only

Sunday visit to Normandy: View Normandy's soaring white cliffs on the beach at Étretat, followed by a visit to the charming seaside village of Honfleur. Discover Parisians' favourite seaside getaway, only a day trip from the capital!

July session only

Sunday visit to Champagne: Visit the historic city of Reims in the heart of the world-famous Champagne region and taste the local delicacy! This day trip includes a tour of the city of Reims and its cathedral, where French kings were coronated for centuries. Next, students descend into the cellar of a Champagne house to discover how the famous wine is made, followed by a tasting.