- The founders of EKOTA ©EKOTA
Mas Mahmud and Leen Youssef, former refugees and alumni of Sciences Po, transformed their experiences into a mission to help displaced persons while taking action to counter climate change. Interview.
You recently launched an association called EKOTA. Can you tell us about it? What is the significance of the name EKOTA?
We are four co-founders who share the same values and ideas. A large number of actors work to address the issues of integration of displaced persons (refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, stateless persons). However, we believe displaced persons often know best what their needs are, as well as the barriers they face when addressing those needs. Their awareness of their own resilience and strengths puts them in a better position to act than external actors. Members of host societies that interact daily with displaced persons also have a deeper understanding of integration. The equal participation of these two groups in integration programmes and measures can strengthen support and social cohesion.
That is why we created EKOTA, which means 'unity' in Bengali, with the aim to facilitate and highlight collective and individual actions that address integration issues faced by displaced persons while contributing to raising awareness on climate crisis. Our ultimate objective is to ensure that refugees become actors as opposed to subjects.
Regarding your own journey as a refugee, what were the greatest challenges you had to overcome?
Leen: Starting over is never easy. The language was one of the biggest barriers, but administrative procedures and making new friends were also challenging. Finding a way to validate experiences and transform skills into a job opportunity and trying to build a new life with the weight of the old on our shoulders are not easy, but with our resilience and the support of the host community we manage to do it.
Mas: I would argue that for me there are three challenges: first, constantly being disapproved of and not taken seriously, as a form of stigmatisation and victimisation, especially by those working in the humanitarian field. Second, finding a balance between my life at home and my life here surrounded by a newly built support system is very challenging. Third, just as most displaced persons, another challenge is to be professionally integrated in the employment sector. Overall, because I work in the humanitarian and migration sector, my personal experiences of displacement and the emotions derived from them could also hinder my professional input in some ways.
Are there certain issues that impact the lives of displaced persons that are overlooked in the mainstream discussion on the subject of migration?
Leen: All policies and efforts go towards fulfilling basic needs and because we are still struggling with the basics, many problems are overlooked, such as psychological health: there are problems like isolation, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, the challenges of adapting to a new culture, dealing with grief and loss; these problems affect employment and integration and they are seen as secondary problems and sometimes not even acknowledged or considered. That's why it's important to include persons concerned in all aspects of policy and programming, letting them speak and taking into consideration their views. And in addition to this, the fulfilment is based on the needs of the host society who receive them directly, not just displaced persons - and we need to take both points of view into consideration.
Your goal with EKOTA is to link the fields of migration and sustainability. Can you tell us more about how and why these issues are intertwined?
Mas: The climate crisis will lead to more displacement in the decades to come. It will be necessary to be prepared and anticipate responding to a large number of displaced persons who are likely to have different needs. We aim to link migration and sustainability by working with displaced persons and members of host societies to reduce their individual environmental footprint and raise awareness on the issue. Drawing on the lessons learned, we aim to provide our understanding of the root causes of displacement, the different needs of displaced persons due to the climate crisis and provide support to actors to better respond to these needs.
Do you feel that the media treats the subject of migration fairly?
Leen: I feel migration is often associated with threats to the host society. As a carrier and facilitator of news, the media plays a role in contributing to creating fear, in a sense of losing cultural identity due to migration influx, and by using terms such as ‘crisis’. It also plays a role in creating and spreading negative connotations around migration issues, mainly by portraying displaced persons as a mass of people who are primarily vulnerable and in need, and not distinguishing between migration and forced displacement. Migrants are also instrumentalised, especially around election periods.
EKOTA is hosting its first event on 23 December. Can you tell us about it; what is the purpose of this event?
Mas: It is important to come together and share the spirit of Christmas. Many among us, including refugees, are not able to do so. Traditional actors tend to be absent during the festive period. Therefore, we are organising a festive dinner event to create social bonds and promote social cohesion. This event aims at bringing marginalised displaced individuals and Parisians together in the hope that people from different backgrounds can celebrate the end of year festive activities together. We are also asking for people to support us in organising this event by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign.
What are your hopes for the association in one, two, five years from now?
Mas: During the first couple of years, we aim to facilitate the roles of displaced persons with any and all actors that work with them and addressing the issue of climate crisis by:
- organising workshops on reducing individual carbon footprints;
- organising awareness raising campaigns on issues faced by displaced persons;
- strengthening the capacities and resilience of displaced individuals and accompanying them in becoming self-sufficient.
Our goals for the association in five years’ time are broader. We aim to ensure that displaced persons possess the ability to influence each decision that affects their well-being, and that these decisions are bolstered through their equal and meaningful participation - while also contributing to the shift towards a sustainable and carbon-neutral society.
If you could change something immediately, from today, what would it be?
Leen: I would enact strict legislation against smugglers who endanger the lives of displaced persons and threaten their families, forcing them to work illegally during their displacement, and often in host societies, to pay off huge debts.
- Mas Mahmud: “I challenge each of us to think of humanity”
- A Different View
- The Exorbitant Cost of Climate Procrastination
- Welcome Programme Student ©O.H.N.K / Sciences Po
What is the Welcome Programme?
The Welcome Programme is an integration week for exchange students which will be held in the campus of Paris from 20 to 25 January 2020 and which will offer you the possibility of:
- Learning the methodology of Sciences Po
- Understanding French political life
- Knowing Sciences Po and its functioning
- Discovering Paris in the best conditions
- Meeting other international students of more than 50 different nationalities
What are the highlights of the Welcome Programme?
- An opening ceremony accompanied by a welcome breakfast
- Workshops on the working methodology, to integrate more effectively into the pedagogy of Sciences Po
- A conference on French political life
- Information sessions on housing, administrative registrations, residence cards and student associations
- Campus visits and an "escape game" in the library
- Cultural activities: Orsay Museum, discovery of Paris, boat tours on La Seine, wine and cheese tasting
- Integration activities: Ice breakers, French-speaking times, ...
These activities are offered in French and in English, according to your choice of language during the registration to the Welcome Programme.
How to register?
If you wish to participate in the Welcome Programme, you can register on your Sciences Po student account.
The deadline for registration is 9 December 2019, 10am.
Please note that this programme is optional and costs 250 euros.
Student Exchange Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more
- Current Mastercard scholars ©Sciences Po
The Mastercard Foundation, partnered with Sciences Po, provides full scholarships to students from Sub-Saharan Africa who have great academic potential but limited financial resources. Over six years (from 2017 to 2023), this programme will support a total of 126 students admitted to its undergraduate, graduate and summer programmes. This exceptional scholarship programme aims to recruit talented students who aspire to shape the future of the African continent and help them develop their full potential.
In 2020, 5 scholarships at the Bachelor’s level, 15 scholarships at the Master’s level and 12 scholarships for the Summer School will be awarded to students from Sub-Saharan African countries with an outstanding academic record and strong leadership potential, but who face financial and other barriers to higher education.
Mastercard Foundation scholarships are awarded in collaboration with a network of partner institutions authorised to nominate candidates.
Deadlines to apply are December 5, 2019 for the Master's scholarship, January 29, 2020 for the Bachelor's scholarship and January 19, 2020 for the Summer School scholarship.
- J.P. Fitoussi, J. Stiglitz, V. Zelizer and J. Lazarus ©Alexis Lecomte
During a moving ceremony on 13 November 2019, Sciences Po awarded the sociologist Viviana Zelizer and the economist Joseph Stiglitz the titles of Docteur honoris causa. This distinction was given to Dr. Zelizer for her work as the founder of a new school of economic sociology, and to Dr. Stiglitz as the figure of the new Keynesian economy. The invaluable contributions made to their respective disciplines were highlighted in the praises of Jeanne Lazarus and Jean-Paul Fitoussi, respectively.
Created in 1918, the title of Doctor honoris causa is one of the most prestigious distinctions awarded by French higher education institutions to honour "people of foreign nationalities because of outstanding services to science, literature or the arts, to France or to the higher education institution that awards the title."
Source: Sorbonne Université
- An online consultation is open from 4 to 15 November 2019
How can Sciences Po become a more sustainable university and workplace? An online consultation, "Sustainable Campus", is open now until 15 November in order to gather your ideas, proposals and votes to help us become a more ecologically responsible university. This consultation is one of the pillars of our Climate Action: Make it Work initiative and concerns all of the Sciences Po campuses.
To participate, visit the Climate Action: Make It Work collaborative platform and log in using your Sciences Po address.
You can suggest one or more ideas and/or vote on other ideas amongst any of the six themes of the consultation:
- Waste Management
- Transport & Food
- Suppliers & Partners
- Energy Consumption
- Green Spaces
- Events & Debates
Following the consultation, the ideas with the most votes under each theme will be subject to a comprehensive review. These ideas along with a summary of all contributions will be presented to the governing entities of Sciences Po. This consultation will nourish the institutional action plan on sustainability and our ecological transition, which will be presented early 2020 by our sustainability officer.
We're counting on you !
- 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
- ©Caroline Maufroid / Sciences Po
At Sciences Po, we firmly believe that financial barriers should not get in the way of education. That is why each year we dedicate 10.5 million euros in scholarships and financial aid. Thanks to this proactive social policy, every year we help 4 in 10 students (figures from 2017-2018).
1 in 3 students studies for free
Sciences Po’s first engagement in its social policy is carried out in its tuition fees. In 2005, Sciences Po devised an innovative system for students of the European Economic Area: tuition fees are determined according to household income, on a sliding scale with 14 different rates of tuition. The first of these 14 ranks, is the zero fee level. This fee waiver is not just applicable to CROUS scholarship holders, but also to non-scholarship holders from low income backgrounds, and to all students with a disability. The result: 1 in 3 students were exempt of tuition fees in 2017-2018.
What is a CROUS scholarship?
European students who have studied in France for at least one year are eligible to apply for the CROUS need-based scholarship. These need-based scholarships are awarded by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research to students under 28 years of age depending on family situation and household income. In 2016, 26% of Sciences Po students were CROUS scholarship fellows.
Living cost loans for hassle-free study
For students from a low-income background, studying for free may not be enough: living costs can be just as expensive. That is why all European students benefiting from the CROUS scholarship – 26% of our students in the 2017/2018 academic year – are also entitled to additional financial aid from Sciences Po, as a top-up to fee exoneration. Any Sciences Po student falling within the lowest CROUS percentile receives 971 euros a month, as opposed to 555 euros a month at any other French institution (2017 figures). In the 2017/2018 academic year, these grants allowed 2,400 European students to complete their studies free of financial constraints.
Faithful to its European commitments, Sciences Po makes additional efforts to help European scholarship students. Although European students aren’t eligible for a CROUS scholarship until their second year in France, Sciences Po substitutes the CROUS scholarship during their first year, a supplementary support which is unique amongst French higher education institutions.
Over 30 scholarships and financial aid opportunities exist for non-European students too, particularly the Emile Boutmy scholarship, named after the university’s founder. Awarded according to both academic and social criteria, there were 281 Boutmy scholars in 2017-2018. Boutmy scholarships can amount to 19,000 euros a year. Other programmes are also available, such as the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme, specifically designed to aid gifted African students.
Finally, many Sciences Po students benefit from public or private scholarship programmes.
On the whole, Sciences Po helps nearly 4 in 10 students: 36% of students are exempt (totally or partially) from paying tuition fees or receive financial aid.
- See the full list of scholarships available for European students
- See the full list of scholarships available for Non-European students
Mobiliy Grants for the Year Abroad
At Sciences Po, a mandatory part of the degree is the 3rd year abroad. This is an unforgettable experience for students but not everybody has the financial means to cover living costs in a foreign country. In order for all students to choose the country of their choice, our mobility grants provide students with financial difficulties the means to pay for the extra costs of a year abroad, or, to make the necessary arrangements in the case of a handicap.
Emergency hardship: tailor-made support
Beyond these financial aid initiatives, Sciences Po’s welfare services are available to support all students so that daily living costs, administrative costs, or any unforeseen challenges they may face do not add excess pressure on their studies.
- The housing service collects adverts and postings, supports students in their search for accommodation whilst proposing housing options in student residences, and can also provide financial aid.
- To help overcome unforeseen financial difficulties or a delayed loan payment, our student welfare and support service adapts to each individual case, even giving out emergency help.
- We also provide help for non-European students with administrative procedures involved in obtaining visas and residence permits or renewing them.
- Finally, to help students make ends meet, we offer more than 600 student jobs each year.
And for concerns that are not uniquely financial, our Health Centre is available to provide further support.
Source: Financial aid policy and student services, admissions report 2017-2018
- 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 Undergraduate College campus and for each of the seven graduate schools. This year, the central theme of these ceremonies is the future of our planet. See details below.
The beginning of each new academic year is a formal occasion which celebrates the values and ambition of Sciences Po's educational programme. This is highlighted by the inaugural lectures given by a special guest of honour. It is often the first time that new students meet our director, Frédéric Mion, and the pedagogical teams that will monitor their progress throughout the year.
- Graduate receiving her diploma 2019 ©Corinne Haury
Over 7,300 people attended the four graduation ceremonies of the Class of 2019 on June 28 & 29, 2019. Graduates walked under the proud gaze of their parents, friends, teachers, companions, and sometimes children to receive their diploma. Relive these unforgettable moments in video.
For the first time, the Sciences Po graduation ceremonies were held in the great hall Pierre Boulez of the Philharmonie, the newest concert hall in Paris designed by renowned architect Jean Nouvel. Over two days, the ceremonies filled the room with intense pride and joy. On stage, at the microphone, in the room, the singularity of the Sciences Po experience was expressed with fervor. The exceptional diversity of the student community was shown off proudly, from shimmering saris to kilts to military uniforms; talents from all walks of life walked across the stage, smiles on their faces and diplomas in hand.
An Exceptional Diversity of Talent
Our student speakers shared their vision on what brought their talent together, beyond the diversity of their origins, their choice of Master's, and their projects. Graduates of honour, grateful and free-spirited, embody the qualities that Sciences Po strives to place in the forefront: Fatoumata Diallo's commitment, Marie Geoffreoy's duty of impertinence, Anne-Sophie Travert's open-mindedness, but also Mas Mahmud's resilience.
A Diploma and a Responsibility
For the guests of honour, the diploma received is a passport, but also a responsibility. Journalist Gilles Bouleau urged graduates to "reach out beyond themselves." Jacques Toubon, human rights defender, pushed the urgency to think about "the absolute right of dignity." For Entrepreneur Emmanuelle Duez, graduation plants the seed of the energy to create, for Mary Robinson, first woman president of Ireland, the categorical imperative to act against the climate crisis.
Graduates were told to use their diploma to make an impact, but without forgetting to "love with passion", in the words of President Frédéric Mion. The deans of the seven Sciences Po graduate schools also delivered a powerful message: rewatch the speeches of Pierre François of the Doctoral School, Patrick Le Galès of the Urban School, Bruno Patino of the School of Journalism, Christophe Jamin of the Law School, Marie-Laure Djelic of the School of Management and Innovation, Yann Algan of the School of Public Affairs and Enrico Letta of the School of International Affairs.
- Rewatch the 2019 Graduation Ceremonies in full on our YouTube channel
- See the highlights of the 2018 Graduation ceremonies
- Open book on a beach ©MaleWitch/Shutterstock
Summer is here, and so is our 2019 Summer Reading List! We asked our community to give us their reading recommendations using #ScPoSummerReading, and here is our final selection of 10 summer must-reads!
Use the hashtag #ScPoSummerReading on social networks to discover more recommendations, and don’t hesitate to share your reading wherever you may be spending your summer!
Educated by Tara Westover // 2018
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. A true autodidact for whom learning and education was just the start of her journey. She went on to study at Harvard and Cambridge. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami // 2006
Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising events.
Jog On by Bella Mackie // 2018
In Jog On, Bella explains with hilarious and unfiltered honesty how she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: alcohol, cigarettes, and ice cream. With the help of a supporting cast of doctors, psychologists, sportspeople and friends, she shares a wealth of inspirational stories, research and tips that show how exercise often can be the best medicine. This funny, moving and motivational book will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems and get your life back on track – no matter how small those first steps may be.
The Shape Of The Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez // 2015
The Shape of the Ruins is a masterly story of conspiracy, political obsession, and literary investigation. When a man is arrested at a museum for attempting to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a murdered Colombian politician, few notice. But soon this thwarted theft takes on greater meaning as it becomes a thread in a widening web of popular fixations with conspiracy theories, assassinations, and historical secrets; and it haunts those who feel that only they know the real truth behind these killings. This novel explores the darkest moments of a country’s past and brings to life the ways in which past violence shapes our present lives.
The Long Song by Andrea Levy // 2011
The Long Song is written as a memoir by an elderly Jamaican woman living in early 19th-century Jamaica during the final years of slavery and the transition to freedom that took place thereafter. It tells the tale of a young slave girl, July, who lives at Amity – a a sugarcane plantation. She lived through the 1831 Baptist War, and then the beginning of freedom.
Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan // 2019
"The present is the frailest of improbable constructs. It could have been different.” Machines Like Me takes place in an alternative 1980s London. Political events and the lives of great historical personalities are reversed - notably for Margaret Thatcher, JFK, John Lennon, and Alan Turing, who steers British society into a new technological age with his invention of near-human androids. Charlie a bright student who lives with a terrible secret, comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first synthetic humans and—with Miranda's help—he designs Adam's personality. The near-perfect human that emerges is beautiful, strong, and clever. It isn't long before a love triangle soon forms, and these three beings confront a profound moral dilemma.
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars by Michael Mann // 2012
A book about climate change by the American climatologist and geophysicist Michael E. Mann. In the book Mann describes how he became a researcher investigating the temperature record of the past 1000 years and was lead author, with Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes, on the 1999 reconstruction that was the first to be dubbed the hockey stick graph. He concisely explains the basics of climate science including statistical methodology dealing with paleoclimate proxy data, and examines the tactics which opponents of action on climate change use to distort the science and attack the reputations of climate scientists. The book describes both the hockey stick controversy and the broader context of skepticism in science and contrarians rejecting evidence of human influence on climate.
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani // 2018
When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood—and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum // 2019
In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself: Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past. As the narrative alternates between the lives of Deya and Isra, she begins to understand the dark, complex secrets behind her fragile community.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion // 2013
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
- Fête de la musique de Sciences Po, 21 juin 2019 ©Sciences Po
For the second time, Sciences Po is inviting you to celebrate the fête de la musique, France's national music day! This year, you can come with your family and friends! Further details coming soon.
We are calling upon all of Sciences Po's students who are musicians, singers, bands and orchestras to perform on 21 June in the garden of the 27 rue Saint-Guillaume: you can sign up by sending an email to Charlène Lavoir
Deadline to fill out the participation form: 17 May
- 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.
- Art'Core dancing in Boutmy during their show ©Marie Fraboulet
Art’Core is a student society at the heart of Sciences Po which brings together dancers of all different styles. After their annual show we met with two of the dancers from the troupe.
Interview with Claire Bailly and Katell Coueraud, students in their second year at the undergraduate college and active members of the association.
What is Art’Core? How did it first start?
Claire: Art’Core is a student dance group at the Paris campus of Sciences Po. The club is made up of both undergraduates and graduates and it runs independently to classes run by the Sports Club. We are students who want to meet up outside of formal dance classes and create new routines in all different styles: hip-hop, classical, contemporary, afrobeat, and jazz etc. The club has been running for 7 years now and there are about 20 active members.
You have recently performed in a show, how does that work?
Katell: This show was an artistic collaboration between Batuka, a music group, and Art’Core, which took place in Sciences Po. There is no specific theme for the show, the aim is just to create something cooperative and to show what kinds of things we have been working on throughout the year. It is an opportunity for all the dancers to come up with choreography, and everyone is free to invent whatever they like!
Claire: Doing the show in the Boutmy lecture theatre really adds something to the performance. Normally we experience Boutmy under solemn and quite dry contexts, but it becomes a very warm and exciting space. The main aim of the show is to share the joy of performing with each other, Batuka, and of course the Sciences Po student community. Art’Core is a big family and that creates a fabulous group dynamic and energy.
Do you take part in competitions?
Claire: Yes, alongside preparing for the show, we compete in inter-university competitions, called CRIT and Collégiades, as well as inter-university sports competitions. These are big projects and they require a lot of practice: from February to March for the CRIT, and the end of the second semester for Collégiades. The academic year kicks off with workshops, and a performance at “Cash and Trash” - a renowned event hosted by the Sports Club of Sciences Po. After that, we begin working on the Boutmy show; this is a good way to get to know the new members. This show also acts as a reminder that the spoken word is not the only way one can express themself. It also demonstrates that at Sciences Po public speaking is not the only way to express yourself; we use our bodies to communicate.
Besides competitions and shows, what other things do you offer?
Claire: We also have a Youtube channel with videos filmed by amateur videomakers from inside and outside of Sciences Po. For example, last year we made a short film with amateur directors who then went on to present their film, Bleu Désert, which was nominated by the British Film Institute! We also do shows for other associations, like at the Sciences Po Fashion Show, or last year, in the Carreau du Temple in Paris. When possible, we try to export our brand outside the walls of Sciences Po.
Katell: In an ideal world we would love to do more shows, but there are only two academic semesters in a year, which are already very busy, and we appreciate a lot the diversity of the projects which we are involved in.
Do you have to already be a dancer to join Art’Core?
Katell: Every year we hold auditions in September to select the future members of the group. To join us, it is important to have a certain technical base, but at the same time we do not discriminate. What we look for is diversity, expression, and individuality. The creativity, energy, and originality which each person brings are also essential for the dynamic of the group. Sometimes people can earn their place in the group because of their fantastic energy, even if their technique is not perfect.
Claire: You can be accepted by Art’Core because of your potential or desire to develop and improve. Within our group there are some people who have only been dancing for one or two years but who have reached a good level and developed a lot of creativity. Give it a go!
See more about Sciences Po student life
- La remise du Prix Érignac 2019 au Sénat ©Le Bureau des Territoires
Lucas Soave, étudiant en Master 2 de Politiques publiques, s’est vu remettre jeudi 7 février le Prix Claude Érignac pour son engagement en faveur des territoires.
La cérémonie a eu lieu au Sénat en présence de Gilles Lagarde, Directeur de Cabinet du Président du Sénat Gérard Larcher, de Michel Cadot, Préfet de la région Île-de-France et Président de l’association Claude Érignac, de Madame Dominique Érignac et de ses enfants Christophine et Charles-Antoine, ainsi que de Frédéric Mion, Directeur de Sciences Po.
Lucas Soave a fondé et préside Le Bureau des Territoires. Cette initiative étudiante s’attache à promouvoir la richesse et la diversité des territoires français, à travers l’organisation d’événements ou la création d’un statut de “sympathisant territorial” permettant à tout étudiant de Sciences Po de mettre en valeur son territoire sur les réseaux sociaux.
Grâce au Prix Érignac 2019, Le Bureau des Territoires pourra mettre en oeuvre un projet novateur : constituer et animer un groupe de travail sur le déploiement d’une ligne de trains à hydrogène, destinée à désenclaver un territoire rural pilote situé au nord du Loiret. Une démarche qui a pour objectif de lutter contre les fractures territoriales - le Nord-Loiret fut sans conteste l’autre vedette de la soirée -, mais génère aussi de nouvelles formes de mobilisation autour de l’action publique.
D’une valeur de 5 000€, le Prix Érignac a été créé en 2001 par l’association Claude Érignac pour illustrer l’humanisme et le courage au service de la collectivité. Il récompense chaque année un projet citoyen initié par un étudiant ou une étudiante de Sciences Po.
Communiqué de presse : Le Prix Érignac 2019 est décerné à Lucas Soave pour son engagement en faveur des territoires
- Sorting and Recycling Waste ©Robuart / Shutterstock
Sciences Po recycles and sorts with 3 types of bin: blue, yellow and grey. This is thanks to the initiative of the Sciences Po Environnement student association, which has been working closely with the institution’s teams.
How does recycling and sorting work?
- The blue bins are for recycling paper (70% of Science Po’s waste), newspapers, magazines, brochures, books, envelopes, bound documents, full notebook binders, and small cardboard packaging;
- The yellow bins are for recycling plastic bottles and metal cans;
- The grey bins are for all other waste: food packaging, tissues, plastic and cardboard cups, bubble wrap, soiled paper and food waste.
The Sciences Po cleaning company is involved in this programme, with a complete system for sorting and recycling.
Take a look at the guide "Good practices and good habits" (PDF, 112 Ko)", the user guide to recycling. It contains all the details.
- 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.
- Campaign to raise awareness on sexual harassment
Starting this week, Sciences Po is deploying on all seven campuses a campaign to raise awareness on sexual harassment. New posters illustrating the potential difficulty of identifying situations of harassment are now displayed inside toilets.
The posters highlight scenarios between students, between teacher and student, and between employee and mentor. The campaign was conceived in partnership with student associations and student union representatives.
Contact the sexual harassment monitoring unit:
- By email: email@example.com
- By phone (all calls are confidential): 01 45 49 54 00
Read more information on preventing sexual harassment.
- 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.
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- Camille Viros with her three children ©Camille Viros
Sciences Po is proud to be one of ten academic institutions selected by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, to act as a “HeforShe Champion”. As part of the annual HeforShe Summit on 26 September 2018, Director Frédéric Mion will discuss actions taken by Sciences Po to advance gender equality, specifically work accomplished by the university on the question of parenthood. To mark the occasion, we are sharing the inspiring story of one of our female students: Camille Viros, recent graduate of the Class of 2018, and mother of three children. How does she balance her student and family life? Read the interview on her experience at Sciences Po.
You have just graduated from the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, and you are also a parent. Does it feel like an even greater achievement to have combined the two?
I think I am a graduate like any other and I do not feel more special. It is true that studying and having children can be challenging at times, but everyone has his or her own special circumstances that can complicate and/or enrich being a student.
What has been the greatest challenge about being a parent and student? Were there some pleasant surprises? Were you supported by your peers?
The main challenge was probably juggling family obligations with three small children and a full-time master’s programme with all the constraints it can have (essays to write, group assignments to coordinate, exams to prepare). I found it was not so different than being a working mother, but with the added difficulty of often having to study after the children’s bedtime or during weekends. Once I had found the right balance between my personal and student life, it became much easier.
There were also many nice things about being a student and a parent. For example, my girls would love to tell their teachers and friends that their mum was also going to school. I was also able to organise my classes at Sciences Po to be able to pick my girls up from school most days, and could often make myself available to assist parent-teacher meetings at my girls’ school. I also felt supported by professors at Sciences Po. Once I had to take one of my girls to the emergency room the same day a paper was due. With my husband away on a business trip, it was impossible for me to finish my paper on time. I explained the situation to my professor and he gave me an extension.
Are there preconceived ideas or stereotypes around student-parents?
I did not feel at all judged by other students and did not find there were any negative stereotypes about being a parent-student at Sciences Po. Other students were often surprised when I told them I had three children, but they never put me in an awkward position – quite the contrary. I think there are more positive stereotypes about parents than negative ones. Other students often suggested that parents are well organised, efficient, and able to multi-task. I also think students with children can help promote greater acceptance and understanding of parenthood in the workplace in general, by showing fellow students that parents can be just as successful.
Did you meet other student-parents during your studies? Is there a community at Sciences Po?
Yes I did meet other parents during my year at Sciences Po. In my MPA (Master in Public Affairs) class of 27 people there were four other parents, two fathers and two mothers. It was really great to meet other people in the same situation as me and we often joked about our parenthood stories, like having to deal with a sleep-resistant child while trying to finish a paper for a midnight deadline. There is no official community per se but Sciences Po has a very active gender equality unit. It also organises a yearly event called “Sciences Mômes”, a Parent-Child Day when staff and students can bring their children to the Paris campus. Group reflection on parenting issues is also organised for this occasion. I think it is really great that Sciences Po organises such events and it certainly made me feel part of a community.
What advice would you give to future students who are also parents?
Be organised! Try to gather people around you that you can count on and who can be on call: your partner, a grandparent, a nanny, etc. If you want to follow a programme at Sciences Po, just give it a go and have no reservations about doing it with children. It will be intense and demanding, but you’ll manage and it will be one of the most enriching experiences of your life. And besides, Paris is a fantastic city for children, with lots of international schools, day-care services, and an amazing healthcare system.
Good luck! And don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help or advice!
- Emily Olyarchuk: international student and apprentice ©Sciences Po
Emily Olyarchuk is a second-year Master’s student in Communications at the School of Management and Innovation and an apprentice at Burson Marsteller, a global PR agency with offices in Paris. We interviewed her on the benefits of gaining professional experience alongside studying and the process of finding an apprenticeship in France as an international student. Her advice: don’t be daunted!
- Jingjing Fan, founder and designer of Elleme ©Sciences Po
Since graduating from Sciences Po in 2011 with a Master's degree in Finance and Strategy, Jingjing Fan has been pursuing her lifelong passion in the fashion industry. She founded Elleme, a luxury accessories brand based in the Marais but with an outlook that is global. Hear more about her path from Sciences Po to haute couture.
- @Sandrine Gaudin/Sciences Po
Students will now have class in the Simone Veil or Jeannie de Clarens lecture halls, the first at Sciences Po to be named after women. In honor of two extraordinary graduates, this decision to rename lecture halls after two female alumni with extraordinary stories is a symbolic gesture amongst other actions taken in favor of gender equality.
Simone Veil (1927-2017), a major political figure and icon of the Women’s Rights movement
Located at the 28 rue des Saint-Pères site in the heart of Paris, the Caquot lecture hall is being renamed Simone Veil after one of Sciences Po’s most famous graduates who passed away in June 2017. Simone Veil began her studies at Sciences Po at 18 years old in October 1945, less than six months after returning from a concentration camp in Germany, where most of her family died. She spent three “happy and intense” years studying in the Public Service section, one of the most male-dominated sections of the institution at the time, with only 20% of women. She graduated in 1948 at 21 years old, highly determined to enter the professional world once her husband, Antoine Veil, whom she met at Sciences Po, had graduated from ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration or French School of Administration). In 1956, Simone Veil passed the national examination to become a magistrate. In 1970, she became secretary general of the Supreme Magistracy Council. In 1974, she became the Minister of Health and within the same year successfully pushed the law that legalized abortion, becoming an icon of the Women’s Rights movement. She later became the first president of the European Parliament (1979-1982), and a prominent political figure in the construction of the European Union. She passed away in June 2017, and was elected to the Académie Française (French Academy) in 2008. She entered the Pantheon in July of 2018.
Jeannie de Clarens (1919-2017), interpreter, spy and heroine of the French Resistance
Born in 1919, Jeannie Rousseau was the daughter of a brilliant multilingual diplomat. She studied at Sciences Po from 1937 to 1940 and graduated at the top of her class. At the outbreak of World War II, she moved with her family to Dinard, Brittany, where she began working as an interpreter for the occupying German forces. This led her to become one of the most talented (and unknown) spies of the Second World War. In Brittany and then in Paris, where she returned in 1941, she transmitted information that she gathered from the German authorities thanks to her position as a translator and interpreter. In 1942, she was recruited by the French Resistance. Under the code name “Amniarix,” she was responsible for one of the greatest exploits of the Allied forces for transmitting intelligence that allowed the British army to delay the development of the German flying bombs V-1 and V-2. In April 1944, she was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Ravensbrück. One year later, in April 1945, she was released and returned to Paris. After the war, she married Henri de Clarens and pursued a career in translation, working for the United Nations and other international organizations. She seldomly spoke about her past. She was later awarded the Resistance Medal and the Croix de Guerre. In 2009, she was made a member of the Legion of Honor. She passed away on August 23rd, 2017, at 98 years old.
Sciences Po’s actions for gender equality
As one of 10 “University Champions” of the United Nations’ HeForShe programme, Sciences Po is committed to promoting gender equality through a number of actions: professional workshops and awareness campaigns on everyday sexism, recommendations sent to faculty on preventing inequalities in the classroom, an annual "bring your children to school/work" day, and many more.
- Robert Tindwa ©Elisabeth Brunet / Sciences Po
Robert Tindwa started as an undergraduate on the Sciences Po Reims Campus. Today he is a Master's student and the recipient of the L'Oréal Excellence Award Africa. Read the interview.
Tell us a little about your background. What are your aspirations?
I am half Zimbabwean, half Kenyan and I grew up in Zimbabwe. Before coming to Sciences Po as an undergraduate, I got my International Baccalaureate (IB diploma) at United World College in Swaziland, a small kingdom in Southern Africa. My long-term goal is to acquire the range of expertise and soft skills I will need to grow professionally, so I can use my skills in an enlightened and responsible way in the era of increasing digitalisation, globalisation and climate change-related challenges.
You chose to apply to the Europe-Africa programme on the Reims campus. Why is that, and what did you get out of it?
I chose the Europe-Africa programme for two main reasons.
First, the academic rigour and originality of the curriculum appealed to me. Euraf was a rare opportunity to complete a bilingual degree programme and learn a third language, not to mention the compulsory year abroad. Who would refuse such a great opportunity? It was also a chance to study important (and often delicate) issues objectively and from a long-term perspective. That was very important to me.
Second, I wanted to be surrounded by the sort of people who would be interested in this kind of programme. I knew I would learn a lot outside the classroom, especially with such a diverse student body. I certainly don’t regret my choice. I learned so much over the last two years, from the importance of teamwork to the need to develop and nurture your critical thinking skills. The experience also broadened my horizons and helped me get to know myself better. More importantly, I made some very good friends over the two years and I am proud to have been part of this exceptional, unique programme.
You have a scholarship from the L’Oréal Group for the duration of your Master’s programme. How will this help you with your studies? What relationship do you have with your sponsor?
I will be eternally grateful to L’Oréal for awarding me this scholarship. In terms of my studies, it has helped me gain perspective and given me a lot of prospects. I am currently doing a Master’s in Economics & Business at the School of Management and Innovation. The programme questions the role of business in today’s connected world. It is a great help for me to have the support of L’Oréal’s leaders, who truly embody the company’s values and vision. I believe that that kind of support and personal commitment play a key role in training tomorrow’s leaders.
- Isabelle O'Brien ©Krystof Stupka
Isabel O’Brien, first year student in the Dual BA Program between Sciences Po and Columbia University, has been awarded the 2018 Henri de Castries scholarship. Below is an excerpt of her personal statement
"My father lived in Oswego his whole life, as did his father, as did my great-grandfather before him. When I meet a stranger who has never heard of Oswego (and, to be frank, most people haven’t), the first way I describe my hometown is through numbers — 18,000 people, 300 inches of snow each winter, 25% of the population below the poverty line, and just one hour’s drive from the Canadian border.
Still, there are a lot of things that numbers don’t say. I can express that Oswego is small, but it’s hard to explain to outsiders the quietness of Oswego, and its stillness. I’ll state that Oswego is snowy, but I can’t explain the cyclicality of the seasons — the five-month winter, the muddy spring, the mild summer and ephemeral fall, which come and go each year eerily unchanging, just like they did the year before. I can claim that Oswego is poor, but it’s hard to explain the way that our one bookstore is always empty, but the bars which litter nearly every street corner are always full, no matter what day of the week it is.
At the age of eighteen, I got on a plane and bid Oswego goodbye. Unlike many of my friends, I wasn’t staying in Upstate New York, not even the tri-state area. I was heading to France.
To make an eighteen-year-long story short, my ‘‘academic interest,’’ or rather, my passion, is travel. Not just in the literal sense, with planes, trains, and automobiles, but travel through experience. Reading was the first type of travel I experienced, and I often wonder what could have happened to me had I not read as a child. I was always fascinated by something new, whether it be the French Revolution one month or Ancient China the next. I would devour books at what felt like the speed of light, being taken places that I could only dream of going to.
And then I came to Sciences Po. Today, my best friends are from all over the world — from China to Colombia to, of course, France. The amount that I’ve learned from them in the past eight months is too much to describe in a 1,500-word essay. Nonetheless, my world view has been entirely shaken. The globe to me now is simultaneously both bigger and smaller than how I saw it less than a year ago.
I’ve met people from what feels like everywhere. I see their issues as more nuanced and complicated than I originally did. I see their struggles and their politics and know that, even if I study them my whole life, I will never truly understand it the way they do. Yet, I know there is an inherent similarity between us, and on campus it stretches beyond our obsessions with politics and social sciences. As a child, people who lived abroad were a fascination that I read about in books, incomprehensible and insurmountable in their differences from my own way of life. Now I see that, at the very core of it all, we have the same goals, the same fears. The world is complicated, diverse, and different, but at their very core, people are not."
- International students ©Martin Argyroglo / Sciences Po
The Times Higher Education World Rankings released its International Student Table 2018, a ranking of the top 200 universities in the world in terms of percentage of international students. Sciences Po comes in at 17th in the world and 1st in France in this ranking, with 44.9% international students of over 150 nationalities in the student body.
Sciences Po has had an international policy since its founding in 1872. With over 470 partner universities, Sciences Po stands for open-minded education and an outward vision of a complex world.