University Programme Highlights

From Summer 2017
  • Highlights from the 2017 University ProgrammeHighlights from the 2017 University Programme

Summer doesn’t mean vacation at Sciences Po!  This year, the Summer School’s University Programme welcomed over 380 participants during the months of June and July on Sciences Po’s Paris campus.

Here are some highlights from their summer:

Study social sciences, French language and culture, or both.

Students in the social sciences track delved into Sciences Po’s fundamental disciplines with a core class that addressed current international issues, such as migration, the rise of populism, or the crisis of the European Union.  Students in the French language track spent over 60 hours improving their French through a variety of language classes and workshops adapted to their level. Students in both tracks had the opportunity to add an optional elective class, in subjects ranging from French history to statistical analysis, which allowed them to make the most of their summer at Sciences Po.

International exchange

With students representing 57 different nationalities, the Summer School is a microcosm of the international environment of Sciences Po. In this multicultural environment, students had the opportunity to interact with classmates from a diverse range of backgrounds both inside and outside the classroom.

Extracurricular activities

The 2017 Summer School featured an expansive activities programme that allowed students to discover Paris and get to know each other outside the classroom.  Students visited the Palace of Versailles, Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny, and the châteaux of the Loire Valley.  They went to the theatre and cinema, participated in wine tasting classes, and enjoyed organized outings in Paris. The Speaker Series conferences with Sciences Po researchers and public figures allowed students to discuss current issues in France and Europe, such as the rise of right-wing populist parties.  See a full list of the activities offered in 2017.

Exploring Paris

From student discounts at museums, the Fête de la Musique, Bastille Day fireworks on July 14th, and more, living in the City of Lights is a learning experience outside the classroom as well!

Read what some 2017 students have to say:

Rachel, United States, social sciences track, “World Politics”

“I loved studying World Politics with a knowledgeable professor, then having interesting discussions with my classmates and friends from around the world about the issues we were studying in class.  One of the best points of the Summer School is the diversity in nationalities, in experiences, and how that contributes to the educational experience.”

Tobias, Germany, French language track, Level C1

“My French professor was amazing and I learned so much from her!  The language classes were well-designed; I made real progress in the classroom, while also having enough time to explore Paris and practice speaking in real life.”

Anmol, India, French language track, Level B1

“The best thing about my Summer School experience was the friends I made.  I arrived in Paris by myself, but I left with friends from all over the world.  I came back a changed person because of the people I met at the Summer School!”

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2017 Pre-College Programme

Scenes of last summer

Highlights of the 2017 Pre-College Programme

In July 2017, for the first time, Sciences Po opened its doors to high school students from around the world!

Here are some of the highlights from the first edition of the Pre-College Programme:

Discovering university life

Students devoted two weeks in July to the intensive study of social sciences, with additional workshops in French language or university methodology. They delved into Sciences Po’s core subjects, such as international relations, political science and social sciences, were introduced to higher education methodology, and challenged to meet university standards during their final group presentations. They also had the chance to study on Sciences Po’s exceptional historical campus in Reims and to visit the flagship Paris campus. 

Meeting international students

With participants coming from many different countries, the Pre-College Programme is truly an international experience. Reflecting the multiculturalism of the entire Sciences Po community, the 2017 student cohort represented 24 different nationalities and 25 countries of studies - from France, China and the USA to Italy, Mexico, Ivory Coast, India or Jordan.

Attending Master Classes

Students attended four conferences led by top-notch Sciences Po professors and researchers, to discuss current issues such as European Integration, migrations, peace-building and sustainable development. Learn more about the 2017 Master Classes.

Exploring France

While the academic programme was intense, the Pre-College Programme made time for extracurricular activities.  Weekdays were spent in the city of Reims, where students visited the beautiful Pommery Champagne cellars, the renowned Reims Cathedral and participated in Bastille Day's concerts and musical fireworks. During weekends in Paris, the group went on excursions to the Versailles castle, participated in a scavenger hunt in Montmartre, walked around historical neighbourhoods or observed Paris from a great vantage point during a cruise on the river Seine.

Read what 2017 Pre-College alumni have to say on their experience:

Isabelle, 17 years old, USA

"To be able to interact with a diverse body of individuals has been one of the biggest highlights of my experience at Sciences Po. It is rare to be surrounded by so much culture, energy, and passion in one environment."

Marc, 16 years old, Spain

"I feel very fortunate for having attended this Summer School: it gave me the chance to experience what it feels like to study at university with other students from all around the world, while having fun activities and visiting Paris. It was an unforgettable experience."

Luisa, 15 years old, India

"It was a truly amazing experience. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the philosophy so much, that I have no difficulty whatsoever imagining myself there in the future. The course was extremely interesting and interactive, especially the Master Classes. I was very impressed by the classes and also by how Sciences Po managed to bring together such a diverse and fun group of people."

Ana Sofia, 17 years old, USA

"My French language class was extremely useful to an international student unfamiliar with the French system. The teacher was amazing, super interesting, and knew how to keep us interested. Thumbs up!"

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Summer School University Programme

Watch the video

Watch and learn more about the Summer School's University Programme.

Video by O·H·N·K:

Director: Michaël Terraz - Producer: Thierry Bohnké - Cinematographer: Francine Filatriau - Editor: Elena Raguénès - Camera Assistant: Antoine Margot - Production Assistant: Théo Liegeois

O·H·N·K 2014

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10 reasons to choose the Pre-College Programme

  • The City of Reims (photo: PK.Inspiration_06/Shutterstock)The City of Reims (photo: PK.Inspiration_06/Shutterstock)

1. Experience university life. 

For two weeks, participants will experience student life at one of France’s top universities. The Pre-College Programme is a great opportunity to discover campus life, while gaining exposure to university methodology and Sciences Po’s core academic disciplines. Through master classes, tutorials, workshops and individual projects, students will develop new skills and be challenged to meet the academic expectations of a world-renowned institution.

2. Take courses with top Sciences Po professors.

Students in the Pre-College Programme will get a taste of the social sciences disciplines offered at Sciences Po through four master classes taught by Sciences Po professors and reseachers who are experts in their fields. The master classes are drawn from a variety of fields, including European studies, political science, international relations, and sustainable development. Dr. Alicia-Dorothy Mornington, a lecturer at Sciences Po and the Sorbonne University, will accompany students throughout the programme while teaching introductory seminars on the social sciences.

3. Engage with contemporary world issues.

The Summer School offers students a unique opportunity to acquire an international perspective on current affairs at one of Europe’s top universities. Master classes address some of the most pressing issues of our time: migration, sustainable development, the crisis of the European Union, and security. These classes will provide students will useful tools to better understand the contemporary world. During seminars, students will be encouraged to discuss current events and trends, develop their critical analysis, express their opinions, and debate with their classmates about world issues.

4. Meet students from all around the globe.

With students coming from many different countries, the Pre-College Programme is truly an international experience.  In this multicultural environment, students will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from classmates from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, both inside and outside the classroom.

5. Explore future possibilities

The high school years are key for students to determine the academic and professional path they wish to pursue in the future.  In this respect, the Pre-College Programme offers a unique opportunity to explore different social sciences disciplines over two weeks. This experience will confirm some students’ passions and ambitions, while opening others’ minds to new horizons. They will also learn about higher education in France and studies at Sciences Po. Through informal conversations with professors and Sciences Po students, as well as through a formal presentation, participants will be informed about the various tracks of study at Sciences Po.

6. Interact with Sciences Po students and alumni.

Participants in the Pre-College Programme are accompanied throughout their stay by a team of counsellors who study at Sciences Po and know the institution very well. Coming from different years and programmes within Sciences Po, they embody the diversity of our student community. They are the best possible resources to provide advice, information on studies at Sciences Po, and give first-hand accounts of their student experience. 

7. Study on an exceptional historical campus.

The Pre-College Programme is held on the Reims campus, a former Jesuit college from the 17th century that has been beautifully restored to mix traditional architecture with state-of-the-art amenities. Located in the heart of the city, the campus is an inspiring place for studying, where participants encounter history at every step, from the old Jesuit library to the monumental staircases.

8. Participate in a rich programme of activities.

While the academic programme is intense, the Pre-College Programme makes time for extracurricular activities.  After classes and on weekends, participants will have time to have fun and explore their surroundings during cultural outings, sports or games, and many other activities.

9. Explore Reims and the Champagne region.

Weekdays will be spent in the beautiful city of Reims, in the heart of the Champagne region, which served for over a thousand years as the coronation site of the French monarchy. The town boasts an impressive cultural heritage, from its renowned cathedral to its world-famous vineyards and Art Deco architecture. Students will both participate in organized activities to discover the city and its region, and benefit from some personal time to explore the city.

10. Discover Paris on the weekends.

During weekends in Paris, the group will stay at a student residence located in the historic Marais neighbourhood. They will go on excursions in and around the capital, participate in cultural activities, and visit Parisian landmarks and museums. They will also have the chance to visit Sciences Po’s flagship Paris campus and join the Summer School’s University Programme students for a Speaker Series conference. If they’re lucky, students may even have the chance to meet Marcel the cat, the favourite mascot of the Paris campus!

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Interview with Fanny-Valentine

Pre-College Counselor
  • Fanny-Valentine, Pre-College Programme counselorFanny-Valentine, Pre-College Programme counselor

Fanny-Valentine is currently a Masters student at Sciences Po. She is part of the team of counselors that will supervise and accompany students throughout the programme.

1) Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm 24 years old and I have a Bachelor and Master's Degree in Environmental and Climate Change Science from Sciences Po Grenoble. After that, I joined Sciences Po in Paris and I am currently a first year Master's Degree student in "Governing the Large Metropolis", focused on urban planning and public policies. Outside my studies, I am a youth leader and during my vacations I organize and participate in many summer camps all over France. I love being a youth leader, creating a real team spirit during the programme, but also inventing games and fun activities! I am proud and happy to study at Sciences Po and to be able to share this experience with the Pre-College students during these two weeks! 

2) What are you most excited about this summer?

I am looking forward to meeting all the students and sharing these two amazing weeks with them, from classes to activities! Moreover, I think that the diversity of our group will be so enriching, with students from all over the world, and I believe that we will learn a lot from each other.

3) What do you enjoy the most about studying at Sciences Po?

I think that Sciences Po is an opportunity to study with talented and renowned professors, but also to be in a real international environment, with students coming from many different backgrounds. Furthermore, it is marvelous to study in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood in Paris. Finally, Sciences Po offers many professional opportunities with a considerable network of professionals and alumni working all over the world. 

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