Why choose Sciences Po? Ivy's response

Ivy Sabwami is an exchange student from the University of Nairobi, in Kenya. This past year, she studied abroad at Sciences Po on the Paris campus. Interview.

Why did you choose Sciences Po for your study abroad?

I heard about Sciences Po during a French day expo at the Alliance Française in Nairobi. I was accompanying a friend who was asking about a Master’s programme, and the Sciences Po counselor suggested considering an exchange programme since I am currently pursuing my bachelor's degree at the University of Nairobi. Given the fact that I was studying French at the University of Nairobi, I decided to take a chance and explore a new culture and a new education system. 

Tell us about your time at Sciences Po.

At Sciences Po I was able to take a wide variety of classes such as International Relations, Sociology, Economics and many other workshops, and it has truly been an unforgettable experience. I took classes in both French and English. At first, classes in French were a bit of a struggle for me, but little by little, understanding more and  being able to enjoy the classes became been quite a rewarding accomplishment. I have made friends from all over the world through classes, in choir and in the organisation AIESEC. It has been a great experience learning about each others’ cultures and living as one community. I have also been living with a French family over the past year, which has really helped to immerse myself into French culture through dinners and even weddings! I have learned to understand more about the French culture as a whole. I also really enjoyed living in Paris. The museums, the parks, the castles, the lights, the Seine-- it is one beautiful city. 

You were part of the AIESEC organisation on campus. Can you tell us about this experience?

AIESEC Sciences Po is an organization that allows global volunteering abroad mostly among students. To me, it has been more of a professional experience. I joined a group that interviews students who want to volunteer abroad in diverse countries and organisations; from teaching children to helping the needy to work in professional organisations. I took time during the week, balancing projects with academic work at Sciences Po to interview participants, help them choose their dream destinations and their dream volunteer programs, guide them through the applications and connect them to with other AIESEC leaders in other countries. Being part of this organisation allowed me to meet French students that were helpful even during some of my academic projects and as well, meet diverse participants even from other universities such as the Sorbonne.  

Do you have an idea what you would like to do later on?

We discover small parts about ourselves everyday that define what we want to do in future. In the meantime, my goal is to finish my degree back at the University of Nairobi and later, my plan is to apply for a Master’s in International Relations at Sciences Po. Taking into consideration my interest in International Relations and Economics, I would love to work in a field that deals with both, and volunteer in social programmes whenever I can. 

Has your time at Sciences Po impacted your goals, changed your views?

My time at Sciences Po has impacted my goals and changed my views in a lot of ways. My interest in International Relations grew enormously during my time at Sciences Po. I challenged myself to study a variety of different fields from Health Sociology, Economics, among many others, and as much as I was afraid that I had not made the right choices, my classes at Sciences Po only allowed me to see how these different worlds are connected. I learned to understand the world from different viewpoints and was able to interpret one course through information I got from the others. My class in health sociology expanded my mind as I was able to deal with subjects from the medical field that are integrated in the social world that is also very useful in International Relations. Sciences Po changed me for the better all thanks to this exchange programme. 

What would you say to students from your home university who are thinking about studying at Sciences Po?

My advice to students from my home university who want to study abroad at Sciences Po is, take the chance! Believe in yourself and everything will work out for the best. The first few weeks can be a bit rough, but that is normal for any new place you visit, and learning to adapt to a new environment is a great experience in itself. I would advise anyone to come to Sciences Po for it is a world-class university and the students as much as the lecturers are great. Also, be prepared to work.

More information

Animal Rights: slow but definite progress

Animal Rights: slow but definite progress

The need to limit or end animal suffering has become a major topic of public debate. Scientific experiments, bullfighting and foie gras have all come under insistent criticism. Videos denouncing the conditions in which animals are made to live and die are widely circulated. Veganism, which still had an extremely limited following a few years ago, is gaining in popularity. So what is the law contributing to this environment? We asked Regis Bismuth, professor at the Sciences Po Law School and co-editor of Sensibilité animale. Perspectives juridiques (CNRS Editions)* for an overview of advances in animal rights.

More
The Summer Reading List is here!

The Summer Reading List is here!

Summer is here, and so is our 2018 Summer Reading List! We asked researchers, professors, alumni and current students to give us their must-reads for young bright minds. Here are there recommendations.

More
Congratulations Class of 2018!

Congratulations Class of 2018!

The President of the Republic of Estonia, the former President of the Human Rights League, the founding dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, the President of Publicis France, and most of all, passionate graduates with bright futures ahead -- the Graduation Ceremonies of 2018 were two extraordinary days of inspiration, celebration and pride. See the highlights in the video above.

More
My Coral Garden: a start-up made in Sciences Po aims to save the oceans

My Coral Garden: a start-up made in Sciences Po aims to save the oceans

27% of the world's coral reefs have disappeared in the last 50 years, and 32% are threatened with extinction, according to a recent NASA study. Yet corals are the lungs of our planet, guarantors of the balance of the Earth's ecosystem and the survival of 60 million people around the globe. My Coral Garden, a startup co-founded by Anne-Sophie Roux, recent graduate of the Sciences Po Doctoral School, is the first social enterprise that allows you to plant coral to rebuild these endangered reefs, mitigate climate change and support coastal communities that rely on marine life. We spoke with co-founder Anne-Sophie Roux who explained the project.

More
Graduation 2018: Rewatch the ceremonies!

Graduation 2018: Rewatch the ceremonies!

This year, four graduation ceremonies were held at the Grand Auditorium of the Maison de la Radio in Paris. 2,394 students received their diplomas between inspiring speeches from graduates, Director Frédéric Mion, Director of Studies and Academic Affairs Cornelia Woll, and a multitude of guests of honor who embody our values and educational philosophy. Rewatch the ceremonies below and see tweets and photos on social networks: #SCPOGrad2018

More
Who are our 2018 Graduates?

Who are our 2018 Graduates?

Bright and committed students. Promising futures. Prestigious guests and inspiring speeches. Parents brimming with pride. For the closing of this academic year, the Sciences Po graduation ceremony will gather on Friday, 29th of June and Saturday, 30th of June 2018, nearly 2,400 graduates and their guests at the grand auditorium of the Maison de la Radio in Paris. So who are the graduates of the Class of 2018?

More
Improving crime prevention

Improving crime prevention

How can criminality be prevented? Does imprisonment help reduce recidivism in the long term? Sciences Po researcher Roberto Galbiati studies the economics of crime. He has begun to open up the black box of incarceration and anti-recidivism policies in France, Italy and the United States. Dr. Galbiati will present his research findings on 4 July at a symposium organised by Sciences Po’s Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP) in partnership with France Stratégie.

More

"Students are dreamers and they should be dreamers"

Former Minister of the Interior of Germany, Thomas de Maizière, and former Prime Minister of France, Bernard Cazeneuve were invited by the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs to discuss the fight against terrorism at the German, French, and European levels.

More