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 will be announced in Spring 2018. In the meantime, the 2017 activities programme gives an idea of the type of activities that will be offered.

2017 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.

Discover Walks Paris walking tours: Delve into a favourite Parisian neighbourhood with a guided tour. Discover Walks will take small groups of Summer School participants through one of several areas of Paris: the Marais, Right Bank Landmarks, or Montmartre… Or, for students who already know Paris, a “Hidden Gems and Secret Paris” tour.

Sciences Po Library Tours: Discover continental Europe’s largest social sciences library, with over 660,000 books (including 40% in English) and over 1 million online references. Learn about how the library is organised, how to check out books, and how to best tackle your research topics.

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.

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.

Yoga: Whether you’re an experienced yogi or just starting out, it’s time to get on the mat at the Summer School! Classes will be held once per week after class on the Sciences Po campus. All classes will be led by the very talented Tatiana Avila Bouru, a French dancer and yogini, trained in New York. Class style is vinyasa flow, all levels are welcome. Namaste!

Saturday visit to Versailles: Join us on an excursion to the world-famous palace, located just outside of Paris.  We’ll take a tour of the exceptional interior, with its splendid 17th century architecture and décor.  Afterwards, students will have the afternoon to picnic and explore the renowned gardens, Marie-Anoinette’s hamlet, and other sites.

Weekend visit to Claude Monet’s Gardens at Giverny: Claude Monet is one of French impressionism’s most famous painters.  This day trip, held on Sunday in June and Saturday in July, will take students to his world-famous garden, outside of Paris – the place where he painted the waterlilies and so much more!

June session only

Theatre in Paris: Les Fourberies de Scapin by Molière ("Scapin the Schemer") played in French with English surtitles. Scapin, an arrogant and pompous valet, has a knack for manipulation. In the name of love, he skillfully plays the members of his household against one another, using careful diplomacy and a host of white lies. Molière, at his finest!

July session only

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.

Cinema in Paris and happy hour: Test your French skills at this screening of the film Chez Nous (or just sit back and read the English subtitles). This 2017 French film is the very timely story of a regular citizen who is enticed to run for office by an extremist political party. Following the film, the cinema club "Lost in Frenchlation" organises happy hour prices for attendees at a bar next door with reduced-price drinks for movie ticket holders.