"I met students I would like to work with in the future"
- Samuel Flambard on the Sciences Po campus in Le Havre ©Sciences Po
Japanese, economics and Asia. Samuel Flambard's three passions naturally led him to the Sciences Po campus in Le Havre. Here, some 250 students from around the world take the Undergraduate College programme in English with a special focus on the countries of Asia. As president of the Bureau des Élèves, or student bureau, on a campus with nearly 60 percent international students, Samuel knows what "multicultural" means on a day-to-day basis.
Why did you choose to study on the Sciences Po campus in Le Havre?
At high school, I learned Japanese, I was really into economics and I wanted to do humanitarian work in Asia, so Le Havre was my first choice. And it was also an opportunity to work in English, which is the language of instruction and the common language on this campus. After the summer I'm leaving for two years in Japan, as I've been accepted for the dual degree programme between Sciences Po and Keio University.
On this campus, 60 percent of students are international students! What is the role of the Bureau des élèves (BDE) in such a multicultural community?
In this multicultural community, the BDE has a responsibility to help people integrate. It must make sure there is a good campus spirit and that everyone feels "at home". For this to work, we have to avoid organising events only for the French community. There are festive events, the classic orientation weekends and gala dinner, but big nights out clubbing are not necessarily what will appeal to the most people! We have to take cultural differences into account, invent other types of get-together, and above all propose a variety of options – we've organised a karaoke party and a "casino" night for instance.
And how does it work?
Very well. Students are very close on this campus. When you go abroad in third year, you're really leaving your second family! The special thing about this campus is how harmonious it is. It doesn't feel competitive but motivating. Everyone wants to share their talents and propose initiatives. I am always appreciative of the students I mix with; they have amazing personalities. In fact, I've met people here I would like to work with in the future.