- Open House Day 2019 at the Reims campus @Paul Rentler/Sciences Po
At the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, Sciences Po will be offering a new interdisciplinary dual bachelor’s degree, the “BASc”, or the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, combining the study of hard science with the social sciences and humanities. In partnership with multiple French universities, this dual degree is the first of its kind in France. Taught over four years, the aim of these programmes is to build the tools to analyse and act upon global challenges of the 21st century. Two of the programmes within the BASc focus particularly on the ecological transition.
An All-New Degree
Adding to a long list of pre-existing dual degree programmes, this Bachelor of Arts and Sciences offers an unprecedented level of interdisciplinarity: students will simultaneously follow the curriculum of the Bachelor’s degree at Sciences Po, the curriculum in the sciences at the partner university, as well as original courses which link the two domains, conceived and delivered jointly by the two institutions.
This new dual degree will be launched at the beginning of September 2020 on two campuses with two different themes:
- “Policies of the Earth”: Offered on the Paris campus, this dual degree with the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), links geosciences and social sciences;
- “Environment, Society and Sustainability”: Offered on the Reims campus, this dual degree with the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, links life sciences and social sciences.
Two other dual degrees based on the same model in partnership with the University of Paris will commence in 2021:
- “Algorithms and Decisions”: A dual degree in mathematics & computer science and the social sciences to explore the challenges of big data on our lifestyles;
- “Policies of Life and Identities”: A dual degree in life sciences and the social sciences focussing on ethics pertaining to the manipulation of living beings.
For Frédéric Mion, President of Sciences Po, “the idea is not only to juxtapose these disciplines but to effectively educate future leaders with hybrid profiles, capable of bringing a new perspective on the crucial challenges of our era, in which the social sciences and humanities and the hard or natural sciences provide insights that are impossible to dissociate from each other."
A Challenging Curriculum Over 4 Years
These new dual bachelor degrees will be taught over a four-year period: two years in France spent between the two partner institutions, a third year abroad, and a final year dedicated to interdisciplinary courses and deepening scientific learning.
This Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree is destined towards high school graduates with equally excellent records in the hard scientific disciplines as well as the soft ones. 50 students will be admitted to the first cohort at the start of the 2020-21 academic year, after which 100 students per year will be admitted (from September 2021). Candidates will follow the classic admissions procedure to the Undergraduate College, with an interview before a jury composed of representatives from each university.
At the end of these four years of studies, students will obtain the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences delivered by Sciences Po as well as a bachelor’s degree from the partner university. Graduates will then be able to choose to pursue their master’s degree at Sciences Po or amongst the master’s degrees in the hard sciences at the partner university.
- Student writing ©Martin Argyroglo/Sciences Po
The Sciences Po Undergraduate College is currently accepting applications from international students for the 2020 intake. To help you with your application, our admissions team has selected some of the most frequently asked questions from prospective international undergraduates.
What are the essential points to include in the personal statement for an undergraduate degree?
For the personal statement, our admissions team is ultimately interested in the reason why you want to study at Sciences Po and what you think you could contribute to the university. The personal statement is an opportunity to present your skills and motivation, and the most important thing is to give us a feel for your personality. Sciences Po is looking for students who are motivated, intellectually curious, and committed to making an impact in the world.
Do I have to get the qualifications in my application translated?
Copies of your transcripts and qualifications must be included in the original language version and be accompanied, where necessary, by an official or informal translation in French or in English (in English only for the programmes with Keio University and the University of Hong Kong).
What is the best way for international students to prepare for the admissions interview?
The interview is the second step in the admissions procedure and is only offered to shortlisted students. For the interview, applicants are asked to read and analyse a text within a short period of time, then deliver a structured oral presentation of their commentary. The interviewers then ask the candidate a series of questions pertaining to their presentation and to their application as a whole.
What foreign languages (except for French and English) are available on each campus and how much time is spent in language classes?
The time spent in English or French classes differs according to the student’s level in the respective language. Classes are more intensive for those who are less advanced and meet several times a week. For the student’s second foreign language choice, sessions generally take place once a week. Beginners in languages which require the learning of a new alphabet may need to meet more often.
The availability of foreign languages, aside from English and French, depends on each campus’s regional specialisation.
- More information about language courses at Sciences Po
- More information about language admission requirements
How many hours can I expect to spend each week on university courses and study?
The amount of time spent in class each week depends on multiple factors, including your language levels in English and French and the number of optional courses. The same can be said for the number of hours spent on studying and coursework. Overall, students can expect to spend somewhere between 20-25 hours in class.
What are the tuition fees for undergraduate international students?
For students whose tax residence is within the European Economic Area, tuition fees are calculated according to a sliding scale based on household income, and will fall between €0 and €10,540*. Those residing outside of the European Economic Area pay fees of €10,540.
*(Maximum tuition fee for the 2019-2020 academic year).
More information on the tuition fee calculator
May I apply for both a dual Bachelor’s programme and an undergraduate programme at Sciences Po simultaneously?
Yes, depending on the dual degree you will need to submit two separate applications or a single application for both programmes.
If you are applying to one of the dual degree programmes with Freie Universität Berlin or the University of Hong Kong, you need to submit one application through Sciences Po’s system. You must select the dual degree as a first choice of programme and one of our undergraduate programmes as a second choice.
For the dual Bachelor’s programmes with UC Berkeley, Columbia University, the National University of Singapore, University of Sydney, University of British Columbia, or University College London, you must submit two separate applications: one on the website of the partner university for the dual degree (joint admission process) and the other on the Sciences Po website, where you will also be able to select one of our undergraduate programmes.
- All you need to know about the Sciences Po Undergraduate College
It’s that time of year again! Sciences Po has been live to answer all the questions you may have about our programmes, admission procedures, courses, student life and so on!
Are you currently in high school and interested in attending college abroad? Sciences Po offers a 3-year bachelor’s degree programme in the social sciences and humanities. You may have questions about our undergraduate college, international admission procedure, life on campus, etc.
Watch the replays
Q&A session in English, 5 November 2019
- Tilman Turpin - Reims campus director;
- Morgane Gertz - International Undergraduate Admissions Manager at Sciences Po;
- Reem Al Ameri - Student in 2nd year, Euram programme.
Q&A session in French, 13 November 2019
- Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Undergraduate College;
- Gabriela Rehorova Crouzet, Director of Admissions.
Find out more
- Open House Days 2019
Visit Sciences Po and discover our Bachelor's degree in the Humanities & Social Sciences! You can study the Sciences Po undergraduate programme in one of our 7 campuses all over France. Get to know the programme, courses and all the benefits of studying at one of France's leading universities.
- Nancy campus entrance ©Martin Argyroglo
International admissions for the 2020 intake are now open!
Should you need further information on the admission criteria and procedure, please do not hesitate to visit our admissions website.
- Students in the church yard ©Paul Rentler / Sciences Po
After having learned that one could study at Sciences Po while being outside of Paris, most high schoolers ask themselves THE fateful question: what differences are there between the seven different campuses of the undergraduate college? And how does one choose between the cities of Dijon, Le Havre, Menton, Nancy, Paris, Poitiers or Reims? Learn more about the ‘champagne campus’ and discover its solid arguments.
1. The "Harry Potter campus"
The regional campuses of Sciences Po are all situated on historic and architecturally exceptional sites. Inaugurated in 2010, the campus in Reims is one of the most beautiful examples: constructed in the 17th century, the former Jesuit College (fr.) has since renewed its vocation as a place of instruction. From the arches of the old kitchens to the stained-glass windows and paintings, and passing through the courtyards dotted with trees and century-old vines, the location finds itself somewhere between Oxford and the Sorbonne. Magnificently restored, the campus offers students both the beauty of a historic monument, and the technology and modernity necessary for contemporary students. Our favourite feature: the woodwork and baroque gilts of the old Jesuit library, transformed into a study room, that could easily serve as the background of a scene from Harry Potter.
2. The advantages of a Large City...
Blessed with an immense architectural heritage, the ‘City of Kings’ - it was in Reims that the sovereigns of the Ancien Regime would be crowned - is well-known thanks to its 13th century cathedral, and is home to three UNESCO world heritage sites.
Designated ‘The City of Art and History’, it plays host to a rich cultural life, with an opera house and multiple music festivals. Reims is the 12th most populated French city with nearly 200,000 inhabitants; thus the services and amenities necessary for a rich student life, including festive and athletic events are certainly available. Last but not least, Paris is only a 45 minute train ride away by TGV, allowing students to easily benefit from the endless possibilities offered by the capital, and opportunities to attend the events and conferences organised on the Paris campus.
3. ...Without the Inconveniences!
The living conditions in Reims are easier than those of Paris, notably due to considerably cheaper housing options available by the CROUS and other student residences. Many of these are located within a five minute walk from campus. Less expensive, daily life is also less stressful with shorter transits and an easy access to activities, leisure and services. Idem at the campus level: second largest campus in size, after the Paris campus, it hosts more than 1,400 students. A community of an ideal size, simultaneously nurturing exchange and cohesion.
4. A Passion for Student Life and Associations
Exchange and cohesion are built via a rich community life, which accentuates the rhythm of the campus year-round. More than 30 associations allow students to follow their passion in various domains such as art, culture, athletics, debate and politics, education, the environment, the world, health, solidarity, the fight against discrimination, etc… The spirit of the campus is particularly present during the Sciences Po Collegiades, the inter-campus sporting and artistic competition of the Undergraduate College.
5. A True MElting Pot
More than half of the students at our campus in Reims are international students, coming from over 50 different nationalities, with the United States strongly represented. The programmes are taught in both English and French, the two official languages of the campus that all students master by the end of their bachelor’s degree. Hence the presence of the most reputed anglophone professors in their respective domains. Faithful to the North-American culture, the classes are very interactive and are based on the Anglo-Saxon academic model.
The campus of Sciences Po in Reims is thus a unique opportunity to meet and befriend people with different backgrounds and experiences, to practice and learn foreign languages - from Spanish to Swahili to Arabic - and to have a very international daily life.
6. A Historic Programme Dedicated to the United States...
“Sciences Po with an American twist!” Since its inauguration in 2010, the Reims campus has hosted the “Euro-American” programme of the bachelor’s degree. What are the differences between the French and American legal systems? Why has the United States only had one constitution since the end of the 18th century? In this programme taught entirely in English, students explore transatlantic relations with a comparative approach of institutions, law, foreign policy, and their contemporary issues.
7. ...Not to Mention a New Programme Focusing on Africa
In 2015, Reims became the only campus to offer a second regional specialisation with the arrival of the Euro-African programme. Within the scope of this French-taught curriculum, students explore the history of the African continent as well as the democratic, demographic, environmental, economic and urban issues and the conflicts linked to them. Some examples of courses are: “Uses and Practices in History in Sub-Saharan Africa (19th-21st century), “Conducting Negotiations at the International Level: Europe and Africa”, and “Could the Solutions Implemented in Canada Against Poverty Be Effective in Africa?” (all in French). The coexistence of these two programmes leads to the development of interesting and diverse comparative perspectives.
8. Plus Six Times Two: the Vast Choice of Dual-Degree Programmes
Another specificity: Reims is the only undergraduate college campus that gives access to six of the nine bachelor’s dual degree programmes. These four-year programmes consist of two years of studies in Reims and another two years spent at the partner university. This is an exceptional experience that facilitates access to career opportunities in France and abroad.
The undergraduate dual-degree programmes offered in Reims are with the following partner universities:
- Columbia University (New York, USA)
- University of California Berkeley (USA)
- University of Hong Kong
- National University of Singapore (NUS, Singapore)
- University of British Columbia (UBC, Vancouver, Canada)
- University of Sydney (Australia)
9. Many Different Possibilities, One Single Degree
As is the case for all the campuses of Sciences Po, professors of all specialties and from different countries allow for the study of the fundamental subjects of Sciences Po: law, economics, history, sociology, political science and the humanities. This is the heart of the multidisciplinary education in the social sciences and humanities that is taught on each campus. No matter the choice of the regional specialisation, in Reims or elsewhere, students belong to the one and only Undergraduate College, and study to obtain the same bachelor’s degree.
10. A Ticket to the World (and to Paris)
Like all their undergraduate classmates, students at the Reims campus all spend the third year of their programme abroad at one of our 470 partner universities. And once they receive their degrees, all students have the opportunity to catch up with each other in Paris while following one of our 27 master’s degree programmes or 47 dual master’s programmes, all taught on our Parisian campus in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the heart of the capital.
- The Reims campus library, renamed in honor of Peter J. Awn ©Martin Argyroglo
Energetic. Supportive. Eccentric. Intellectual. Non-traditional. Witty. Brilliant. Passionate. When colleagues and alumni are asked to describe the late Dean Emeritus Peter J. Awn of the Columbia University School of General Studies, adjectives begin to flow. As of September 2019, his name will adorn the state-of-the-art library of our Reims campus.
On September 4th, 2019, current Dean of General Studies of Columbia University, Lisa Rosen-Metsch, the President of Sciences Po, Frédéric Mion, former Vice-President of International Affairs, Francis Verillaud, the Dean of the Undergraduate College, Stéphanie Balme, campus director, Tilman Turpin, family, friends, alumni and current students, gathered on the Reims campus for a dedication ceremony that would name the campus library after the late Dean Awn.
Dean of the School of General Studies from 1997 to 2017, Peter Awn, together with Francis Verrillaud, was the co-founder of the dual BA program between Columbia University and Sciences Po. Their shared vision of a world-class, international and multicultural education resulted in the creation of a program that would allow students to study two years at Sciences Po (in Reims, Le Havre or Menton), and two years at Columbia University in the city of New York.
According to students and colleagues, both past and present, Peter J. Awn was more than just a professor or a Dean - he was an inimitable institution of the Morningside campus. His fame was not limited to Columbia, however, as he was well-loved and respected by all who had the privilege of meeting him. He possessed an inexhaustible desire to improve the lives of students, and it was this shared desire that helped Columbia University and Sciences Po make the dual BA program between Columbia University and Sciences Po the success it is today. But his role did not end there: Dean Awn visited the three participating campuses twice a year, meeting students from the incoming cohorts and ensuring that they already felt part of Columbia University. President Mion described him as a francophile, and Vice-Dean Curtis Rodgers recounted how much he cherished meeting students during his bi-annual visits to France.
Dean Awn was part of the School of General Studies for four decades, and it is not difficult to understand why he became almost synonymous with the institution. “GS” (as it is informally known) was created in 1947 with the purpose of allowing WWII veterans to return to university and rebuild their lives. A former Jesuit priest-turned-scholar of Islam, Dean Awn believed in second chances, and so he took this vision and expanded it to all 'non-traditional' students (be it veterans, performers, entrepreneurs, career-changers, or clergymen) who had had to interrupt their higher education or start at a later age due to various circumstances. The dual BA, launched in 2010, was perhaps the most innovative extension of these values.
Awn, who had since retired from the position of Dean but continued to teach at Columbia University, kept a close relationship with students and alumni of the dual BA until his death in February 2019. Sciences Po chose to honour its colleague and friend through the naming of the recently created Reims campus library, a place of intellectual reflection and curiosity.
The dedication ceremony was conducted in the former refectory, where campus director Tilman Turpin, President Mion, Vice-Dean Curtis Rodgers, Francis Verillaud, Dean Rosen-Metsch, Elif Naz Coker, an alumna of the program, as well as Norman Laurila, a lifelong friend of Dean Awn, addressed the gathering. In a poignant series of tributes, speakers recounted memories, told anecdotes, and paid their respects to a figure who dedicated his life to the pursuit of excellence in education, but most importantly, to education that is accessible to all. To close the ceremony, President Mion and Dean Rosen-Metsch unveiled the plaque honouring Dean Awn that will henceforth adorn the entrance of the bibliothèque, a sacred space that symbolizes knowledge and education and where students spend countless hours during their studies.
- "Sciences Po Dedicates Reims Campus Library to Late Dean Emeritus Peter J. Awn", Columbia School of General Studies
- Students listening to inaugural lecture in amphitheatre @Judith Azema
On your marks, get set… the start of the new academic year is upon us! Some students will be taking their first steps at Sciences Po as freshmen, others will be returning to familiar ground. Like every year, a back-to-school ceremony is held on each campus.
Among the novelties for the start of term at the Undergraduate College is the creation of an ‘Ocean Series’ dedicated to a maritime theme, piloted on three campuses: Poitiers, Le Havre and Menton. The blue wave hits with an inaugural lecture by oceanographer Francois Sarano on the Poitiers campus, and then with Anne Cullere, Vice Admiral of the French Navy, who will discuss “Ruling the Seas, our concern, our future” in Le Havre.
On the Paris campus, the new recruits will spend their week preparing a debate simulation on biodiversity, and attending lectures by anthropologist and sociologist Bruno Latour on “Politics of the Earth”, and by Jean-Marc Jancovici, energy and climte expert, on the transition to renewable energy.
- Tuesday, 27 August: term starts at the Reims campus.
- Wednesday, 28 August: term starts for 1st year students at the Paris campus. Inaugural lecture by Bruno Latour, anthropologist and sociologist - Read our article "It's no longer a question of ecology, but of civilisation"
- Thursday, 29 August: term starts for 2nd year students at the Paris campus. Inaugural lecture by Jean-Marc Jancovici, energy and climate expert - Read our article "CO2 or GDP: The choice is ours"
- Thursday, 29 August: term starts at the Nancy campus. Inaugural lecture by Dr. Viviane Dittrich,Deputy Director of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy on the "Multilateral Vision of the EU".
- Tuesday, 3 September: term starts at the Le Havre campus. Inaugural lecture by Anne Cullerre,Vice Admiral of the French Navy.
- Thursday, 5 September: term starts at the Poitiers campus. Inaugural lecture by François Sarano, oceanographer.
- Monday, 9 September: term starts at the Menton campus.
- Thursday, 13 September: term starts at the Dijon campus. Inaugural lecture by Aleksander Smolar, journalist and political scientist.
- Sciences Po Updates Its Admissions for 2021
Starting in 2021, Sciences Po will update its admissions procedure in order to re-align with our world-class international partners, and for all candidates to be evaluated in the same manner and on the same criteria.
Applying for the Sciences Po Bachelor’s degree: 1 procedure for all
As of 2021, all candidates, whether French or international, will follow the same procedure when applying to the Sciences Po undergraduate college, and will be evaluated on the same criteria. (Previously, there has been a French procedure and an international procedure).
The selection criteria can be divided into four dimensions:
- Continuous assessment over the 3 final years of high school
- The average grade on written exams of the Baccalaureat
- The candidate’s profile and motivations
- An oral interview
Above academic excellence, “soft skills” will be more heavily emphasised in the selection process - allowing us to better identify candidates’ talent, whatever their background may be.
An admissions procedure that reflects Sciences Po's academic excellence and social openness
Like our international world-class university partners, this new admissions procedure aims to detect talent in our candidates and further strengthen the social, academic, and geographic diversity of our student body. Students will be assessed on their academic performance, on their experiences and civic engagements, as well as through an interview, in order to perceive candidates’ personality and identify their perseverance, motivation, and commitment.
The emphasis placed on soft skills is more relevant than ever, and Sciences Po wishes to go even further in recruiting the talents that our world will need tomorrow: talents that are open-minded, quick to adapt and capable of changing perspectives, able to communicate efficiently and manage conflict, time, and stress.
An admissions procedure that aims to attract all talents
This reform will allow Sciences Po to make our selection criteria more transparent, more efficient and more just in order to attract all talents. Developed in collaboration with researchers, professors and academic advisors, this update to Sciences Po’s admissions procedures aims to democratise access to our institution and diversify our candidates while continuing to raise the bar of excellence.
Studying at Sciences Po thanks to scholarships and the Equal Opportunity Programme
Sciences Po is committing to recruit a minimum of 30% of scholarship students in each new class. Sciences Po is also extending the Equal Opportunity Programme by doubling the number of partner high schools involved in our programme.
Find out more
- Portrait of Memphis Blue ©University of Sydney - International House
Memphis Blue is a student in the dual degree programme between Sciences Po and the University of Sydney. At the beginning of 2019, she was awarded the Davis Projects for Peace, which she used to launch the initiative “A Different View” in New South Wales, Australia. In this interview, she tells us about the project and her plans to expand it further.
You are studying in the dual degree programme between Sciences Po and the University of Sydney. What led you to choose this programme and how do the experiences at these two universities complement each other?
I chose the dual degree programme as it allowed me to combine my wide range of interests into one degree. I always knew I wanted to study Arabic and the Middle East, but at the same time I loved learning French and wanted to study different religions. The wide range of subjects provided at Sciences Po’s campus in Menton gave me a breadth of understanding and has subsequently helped me in narrowing down my interests at the University of Sydney.
At the beginning of this year you were awarded the Davis Projects for Peace. Can you tell us about this grant and how it led you to launch your project "A Different View”?
The Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative connected to International Houses Worldwide where students are supported in starting an initiative for peace in any part of the world. A Different View is an organisation which facilitates talks given by individuals from refugee backgrounds. In these talks at high schools and community groups, the speakers explain where they come from and their experiences, giving participants the opportunity to understand to a greater extent what it means to be a refugee. The money from the grant has allowed me to undertake these talks at more than 10 schools so far and establish A Different View as an organisation, which will hopefully continue into the future.
What are the greatest challenges that you have come across while working on this project?
So far, the greatest challenge associated with A Different View has been learning how to establish it as an association. There is a lot of paperwork involved to allow it to operate and I feel like I have learnt so much going through this process. Recently A Different View became registered as a charity, which was fantastic, as that had been a long and repetitive application procedure.
What have you learned through this project? What has it brought you?
For me, the best part of A Different View is when students come up to the speaker after the talk has finished, and thank them personally for sharing their story. Many of the students have said that it has helped them understand so much more about the experiences of refugees. This is the most rewarding part of the programme, as it demonstrates to me the need for these kinds of activities to provide people the opportunity to learn about refugee experiences.
What ambitions do you have for the future, for "A Different View" or another project?
In terms of A Different View, I hope to continue going to high schools in New South Wales Australia, and talking to more students about refugees. It would be fantastic if the organisation could grow larger, and branch further from schools into community groups, especially in rural areas of New South Wales. I plan to apply for government endorsement for A Different View, as this would mean that more schools would be attracted to the programme and request it to come to them.
- Africa Week on our campus in Reims ©Sciences Po
The 2019 U-Multirank has placed Sciences Po in the Top 25 Universities for Student Mobility. Student mobility is an integral part of Sciences Po’s core values and curriculum, with a mandatory year spent abroad as an undergraduate, but also in most master’s programmes.
Thanks to a network of nearly 480 partner universities, Sciences Po sends and receives students from all over the world, creating a multicultural community of open-minded, outward-looking students. 25 languages are taught at Sciences Po, and over 150 nationalities are represented in our student body. Thanks to the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints - whether it be amongst professors or students, inside and outside of the classroom - studying social sciences at Sciences Po provides a global understanding of the world we live in.
*U Multirank was launched in 2014 by the European Commission as a means to compare universities based on a number of different criteria, making it an interesting alternative to most well-known higher education rankings.
Find out more
- Arturo Garcia Gonzalez @Judith Azema / Sciences Po
Arturo is a 2nd year undergraduate student studying on the Poitiers campus. He was born in France but has lived the majority of his life in Mexico. He got his baccalaureate from a Franco-Mexican school, and he chose Sciences Po because social engagement is an important part of the curriculum. Read the interview with Arturo who is engaged and committed, well beyond the confines of the campus, to mental health issues...
Can you tell us about your civic engagement?
This year, I am doing my community internship at the National Association of Alcohol and Addiction Prevention. We work on various projects focusing mostly on preventing and reducing risks, such as workshops on narcotics in the Vivonne prison. Our flagship project this year, run by the Regional Health Agency, is to develop a network of “student resources”, who will be given psycho-social training. These students will serve as links between the student community and Public Health Authorities, with regards to mental health issues.
How do you plan to train these students? How will they be selected?
We help them develop their psycho-social skills and teach them ways to deal with student welfare issues, for example interpersonal relationships, coping with stress, and managing emotions. The content of the training programme is in the development stage, and we hope to put it into place in time for the start of the 2019 academic year. Student mentors will be chosen according to their involvement in university life (health or social work, clinical experience, etc.) The University of Poitiers is a pilot site for this project which, if successful, we would like to deploy on a national scale.
You seem really committed to the cause. Beyond helping your community, what does it represent for you?
I feel that suicide is completely overlooked by the media, despite the fact that there are a million suicides a year. It is still a taboo subject. The National Observatory for Student Life reports many cases of student depression and attempted suicide. Students often struggle to find someone to talk to about their problems. Training students so that they can help their peers allows us to maintain the Institution’s Duty of Care, which people often do not know about. In addition, it is much easier to speak to another student, in an informal context, about complicated situations. This all helps to remove the controversy surrounding suicide.
Is this your first experience in this sector?
No, last year I did a 7 week internship in Bogota that allowed me to experience a range of institutions. First of all, I worked for a private foundation which helps young people, mostly from more privileged families, to overcome drug addictions. I then joined a public foundation which helps people in situations of poverty and social deprivation, which gave me a completely different perspective. Finally, I spent some time in the psychiatric ward of a public hospital in the south of Bogota, and at the National Institute of Prisons and Penitentiaries. Through all of this, I gained a more global vision, which I hope will help me with our current project which concerns about 25,000 students.
What’s next for you?
I am going to spend my 3rd year in the United States, at the University of Pennsylvania, in preparation for a master’s degree in management. Obviously, I will continue to be committed to causes I am involved in. I have already noticed that the University of Pennsylvania offers medical training: I will definitely try to make the most of my time there and take part in some mental health projects.
- The entrance to the new Poitiers campus ©Sylvain Rochas
Since 2001 Sciences Po has had a campus in Poitiers, but the undergraduate college was pushed for space at the Hôtel Chaboureau. There was a 15% increase in students in the space of 5 years, with the attractiveness of the Latin-American programme making new premises necessary. This became a reality in September 2018 at the heart of a new site built in the 18th century and reinvented for the 21st. Watch the guided tour on the occasion of the official inauguration which takes places on Wednesday, 10th April.
It’s not the first time that it has been a “school”
Built at the start of the 18th century, the former Jacobin convent occupied one of the buildings. The new campus reconnects the site with its educational vocation. Former home of the University of Poitiers, the institution created in the Middle Ages by clergymen, successfully survived the ups and downs of history right up to the French Revolution. In 1789, the convent became the seat of the Jacobin club (not to be confused with the previous tenants of the buildings), then barracks and a prison. In 1842, a philanthropist bought the property and transformed it into the Ecole Saint-Vincent de Paul. The owners were no longer religious, but the educative vocation tied in with the building remained. In 1902, the establishment became a boarding school and is renamed Pensionnat Saint-Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. It closed in 1905 and then reopened again, then returned as collège Saint-Stanislas, which it remains until 1980. Acquired and converted by the Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the site welcomed the ESCEM up until 2017. Thanks to the renovations financed by the region and the town, it once again becomes a “school” but this time, of higher education. Read below for a short summary of the history of this exceptional place, 23, rue Jean Jaurès.
Poitiers is the new Paris
By moving to this new site, designed specifically for Sciences Po, we have conceived an “ideal campus” for the needs of students and instructors of the 21st century. First of all, students have more space: there are 3 lecture halls whereas we could only fit 90 students in a lecture on the old site, and 10 classrooms instead of 5. But there is the added benefit of more spaces for other purposes: an art room, a cafeteria, associative offices, coworking spaces, common room etc. The classrooms are equipped with the latest in teaching technology, and students now have access to a health centre in dedicated premises.
The site is thus a pilot, which prefigures other campus improvements, and notably the new site l’Artillerie in Paris, which will open its door in 2021-2022. The signposting, which is entirely accessible, is another example of this.
“Meet you at Mafalda”
Yes, the student common room has been baptised “Espace Mafalda”. But we are not called Sciences Po for no reason…The famous comic character, created by Argentine artist Quino, is very popular in Latin America, and has a political aspect to her. Her editor, Julian Delgado, was tortured and killed.
In total, eight famous personalities from the Latin American and Iberian world give their names to spaces on campus. All of which were chosen from amongst student suggestions:
- Gabriela Mistral lecture theatre - a Chilean poet, the first Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1889-1957)
- Rubén Darío lecture theatre - Nicaraguan poet, diplomat, and journalist (1867-1916)
- Paulo Freire lecture theatre - Brazilian academic (1921-1997)
- Gabriel García Márquez Library - Colombian novelist, short story writer, journalist, and political activist, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 (1927-2014)
- Cafeteria Mercedes Sosa, Argentinian singer (1935-2009)
- Luis Buñuel videoStudio - Spanish director and scriptwriter
- Frida Kahlo art studio - Mexican artist and painter (1907-1954)
- Ana de Castro Osorio room - Portuguese writer and politician (1872- 1935)
A Global Campus
With 30 different nationalities out of 187 students, the Poitiers campus in parallel with the other delocalised campuses of the Undergraduate college, is both international and anchored in the local framework. 60% of students are international - Brazilians and Spanish being the biggest contingent. But since 2007 the campus has admitted 950 students from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Students from all horizons, are both engaged in their local communities and fortunate enough to meet leaders from all over the world (since 2013, the heads of state of Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Ecuador have visited). These students, once they graduate, do not hesitate to become ambassadors of their campus the world over.
Cohabitation with the Region
The campus building also hosts the offices of 30 personnel from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. And with good reason too! The acquisition of the site was in part financed by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the deparmtent of Vienne and the urban community of Grand Poitiers. The restoration of the building has been overseen by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region since July 2017 and co-financed by Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Grand Poitiers. Sciences Po furnished the buildings with the help of the Region and Grand Poitiers.
- 187 students
- 100 instructors each year
- 2,400 m2
- 15 classrooms
- 30 nationalities represented
- 58% international
- 25.5% scholarship holders
- +15% intake in the past 5 years
- Portrait of Charlotte ©Sciences Po
Charlotte Nørlund-Matthiessen did her undergraduate studies on the Dijon campus, which hosts the European specialisation programme with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe, before enrolling in the European Affairs Master’s programme at Sciences Po. Since graduating in 2012, she has worked on multiple projects inspired by her drive to build a stronger Europe. Today she works as a Parliamentary Assistant for a French MEP at the European Parliament in Brussel
- Master in European Affairs
- School of Public Affairs
- "We must fight to defend Europe": in 2016, European Parliament President Martin Schulz came to Sciences Po
- Two students at the Vienna Opera House ©Sciences Po
Every year for the past 15 years, undergraduate students of the Nancy campus have had the opportunity to go on one-week study visits to Vienna, Berlin, and Brussels. The goal of these visits is to give them a glimpse into how European and International institutions work behind the scenes.
The Nancy campus hosts the Europe & Franco-German concentration programmes; thus these cities are of particular interest for students. This year, it was the first-year students who travelled to Vienna, whilst the second year students went to Berlin.
The five-day programme was divided as such:
- On Monday: visit of the Opera.
- On Tuesday, students visited the Diplomatische Akademie (the Viennese equivalent of PSIA) and the University of Vienna, where they listened to a social democrat politician speak about Austrian political life.
- On Wednesday, students visited the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, created in 1975 to ease tensions during the Cold War).
- Thursday, a visit was organised to the Viennese Headquarters of the United Nations, complete with meetings with French and German ambassadors at the United Nations Vienna base.
- On Friday morning, students got to peak inside the OPEC, The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Outside of this rich programme, students were also given free time to explore. Some visited the cities’ numerous museums and art galleries, filled with large collections of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Others returned to the opera to see a performance.
- Caroline a student participating in a community internship ©Sciences Po
Since 2018, Sciences Po requires all of its undergraduate students to participate in the Civic Learning Programme, a compulsory civic engagement over the three years of the Bachelor’s degree. This Programme offers them the chance to learn and understand citizenship and social responsibility through a community internship. Here, two students share their testimonies about their internships and how this has benefited them.
Caroline Pernes, in her first-year internship, worked in a prison and organised a recycling programme with the help of the prisoners. Michaël Saillot helped to organise leisure activities for residents of a retirement home.
These internships show students the value of working in the community and gets them to take social responsibility. Students use their pre-existing academic knowledge and put it into practice in the real world. The community work is usually a month long and carried out over summer. These community projects are assessed in final year, through an analytical report.
Be it focused on education, the environment, culture, social justice, or health, the first-years have engaged with their communities and gained experience in a wide range of sectors. To help students find their projects, an internship forum with partner institutions and associations took place on the 25th January on the Paris campus.
Find out more
- Students posing for a selfie on the Pont des Arts ©Didier Pazery / Sciences Po
The Summer School is an opportunity for students from around the world to discover Sciences Po over the course of a summer on our Paris and Reims campuses. Here’s what you need to know before starting your application!
In 2019, the Summer School offers two programmes:
University Programme for students and graduates
- Location: Paris Campus
- Programme Dates: Two four-week sessions: 3-28 June & 2-26 July 2019. Held on the Paris campus in the heart of the historic Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood, the University Programme proposes two academic tracks in social sciences and French language. Students choose a core class from one track, plus an optional elective class; both tracks are offered during each session.
- Students in the social sciences track delve into one of Sciences Po’s core disciplines, with courses in international relations, political science, economics, public policy, sociology, history and more. Courses are taught in English by Sciences Po professors.
- Students in the French language track are placed at one of six levels of French, from complete beginner to advanced. At all levels, students take a variety of courses to reinforce language learning while benefiting from immersion in Paris.
- Optional elective classes, open to students in both tracks, allow participants to combine the study of French language and social sciences.
Pre-College Programme for high school students
- Location: Reims and Paris campuses
- Programme Dates: One three-week session, 7-27 July 2019
The Pre-College Programme is a unique opportunity for secondary school students to discover university life and academics at Sciences Po. Master classes, taught entirely in English by Sciences Po professors and researchers, address current international issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, while elective classes allow students to delve into one of Sciences Po’s core disciplines (international relations, political science, law, etc.) or to study French as a foreign language.
The first two weeks of the Pre-College Programme take place on Sciences Po’s campus in the historic city of Reims, in the heart of France’s Champagne region. During the final week in Paris, students take classes on Sciences Po’s Paris campus and explore the capital’s landmarks and cultural sites.
- Gaelle Fournier at the Missouri School of Journalism ©Gaelle Fournier
At Sciences Po, students automatically spend their third year abroad. It’s a time for students to get to know a new culture, practice another language, expand their skill set, and open their minds. Gaëlle Fournier, who spent two years studying on our campus in Reims, chose to spend her third year at the Missouri School of Journalism, one of the world’s oldest dedicated journalism institutions. In her first term, she won the School’s prestigious undergraduate photojournalism contest, along with two other students. We asked her about her experience on exchange in Missouri and her plans when she returns to Sciences Po.
- Discover the Undergraduate College
- Sciences Po School of Journalism
- “Succeeding in a different academic environment”: Study Abroad at UCL, London
- Sciences Po's girls rugby team ©Sira Thierij
Tabea Biesemeier, a student from Germany, sees joining Sciences Po’s all girls rugby team as the best decision she made while an undergraduate on the campus of Nancy. Playing rugby has allowed her to practice her French and meet new people, from Sciences Po as well as outside. Now enrolled in a Master’s in International Security at the Paris School of International Affairs, Tabea is still an active member of the team, training alongside 50 other female students. Watch the video.
- Eve Isambourg, Ocean Ambassador ©Eve Isambourg
This week is Oceans Week at Sciences Po and alongside a series of events on the topic, we spoke to Eve Isambourg, a third year undergraduate student and ocean activist. After two years of study at the Sciences Po Paris campus, Eve spent her third year abroad raising awareness of oceanic issues around the world. The last stop on her mission: a conference of the UN in New York.
“If someone had told me,"Eve, this summer you will be speaking at the UN to defend the ocean," I would never have believed it. But, it turns out that the most unexpected paths open up to those who fight to achieve it, and then, meetings multiply, opportunities arise, projects are born, and the virtuous circle is engaged.”
A few months ago, Eve Isambourg was still a second-year student taking her exams in environmental governance and oceanic issues. Last May she decided that she would spend her third year abroad on a mission she would dedicate to the planet. It was on Twitter that Eve launched the #IspeakBlueToo movement, in support of International Ocean Day, on 8 June, 2018. Several thousand people raised their voices for a global cause, to stand up for the blue planet that we inhabit. Today the #IspeakBlueToo movement is a growing human wave, a community of actors who are committed to protecting the oceans.
"When we hear that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans, yes, that worries me. But above all, it makes me want to raise my voice and take action!"
Of French origin, Eve grew up in Mauritius, and it is there that she first got involved with humanitarian work, by working as an intern for the local Let's Do It Foundation. She was put in charge of communications and public relations for the WorldCleanUpDay 2018, an event that received international attention on 15 September. More than 15 million people, gloves and bags in hand, united to clean up the planet. In Mauritius, more than 8000 people committed to more than 70 clean-ups, a first for the small Indian Ocean island! During that time, Eve received a phone call announcing that she had been selected to become an "Ocean & Climate Youth Ambassador" aboard the Peace Boat.
"After some internet research, it did not take me very long to understand that I needed to seize this unique opportunity! I am lucky to have a family and parents who support me in my projects and believe in me. So a few days later, I took off for Stockholm.” The programme: crossing the Atlantic, from Stockholm to New York, with stops in Copenhagen, Bergen, Reykjavik, and Halifax. There were seven young ambassadors of the Pacific Islands, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, there to raise their voices, to fight for justice. "When water rises, erosion is visible to the naked eye in front of our homes, so questioning climate change is not an option!"
On board, these young ambassadors had several jobs: "closed-session" discussions amongst themselves on various topics (global warming, coral bleaching, the erosion of biodiversity, geostrategy of the seas, plastic pollution...); presentations and conferences for the passengers of the ship (more than 1000 passengers travel on the Peace Boat, which travels around the world in three and a half months.) On top of this, at each of the various ports on the journey, volunteers held meetings with local actors, both public and private, engaged in the fight for a healthy environment and a clean and preserved ocean. "The experience was enriching on both a human and intellectual level. With no internet connection for three weeks, I enjoyed living the moment, learning more and more, sharing, meeting, discovering, it was truly awe-inspiring... This voyage opened my eyes; I met dozens of positive and committed people! I am extremely grateful." After docking their ship at its final wharf, the Ocean Ambassadors set off for the UN with a mission: to speak at the High-Level Political Forum conference. There, the youth of today, adults of tomorrow, raised their voices in an urgent invitation to act and unite.