24 hours in the Pre-College Programme
- Pre-College students on the Sciences Po campuses (Photos: Manuel Braun)
During the Pre-College Programme, students are lodged in shared rooms, in the same residence as their counsellors. In Reims, participants stay in hotels located in the city centre, close to the Sciences Po campus, while the Paris residence is in the heart of the historical Marais neighbourhood.
After breakfast, served in the cafeteria of the hotels or residence halls, students walk to campus with their counsellors.
Classes generally start around 10:30 AM, with one of the core classes: either a tutorial or a Master Class. Each one of the six topics addressed in core courses, such as European integration, migration, sustainable development or peacebuilding, is introduced during small-group tutorials. These interactive tutorials allow students to familiarise themselves with the subject of the following Master Class, review the readings with their tutor, acquire the basis of university-level methodology, and discuss current issues related to the topic of the day. The following morning, a guest professor from the Sciences Po faculty will come to give a Master Class on his area of expertise. All Pre-College Programme participants attend these lecture-style classes.
At lunchtime, meals are provided at the campus cafeteria. Students remain on campus during their break, where they have some time to relax in the garden or study at the library.
Afternoons are dedicated to elective courses: while some students will be working on their French language skills, others will delve into the sociology of discrimination, study law through the lens of literature and cinema or learn the basis of international negotiations.
While the academic programme is intense, the Pre-College Programme makes time for extracurricular activities. Classes end at around 4 PM, and students can join activities and cultural visits led by counsellors or enjoy some quiet study time on campus. Dinner is usually served on campus or in restaurants, before returning to the residence hall. In the evening, students sometimes have the possibility to participate in events and activities, organised in Reims and Paris.
The first weekend of the programme takes place in Strasbourg, one of France’s most charming cities. Students and their counsellors will explore the historic city centre, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site: They will roam the twisting alleys of the Vieux Centre, lined with crooked half-timbered houses, and walk along canals in la Petite France, all while discovering a city that has been at the crossroads of Europe for centuries.
On the second weekend, participants have the opportunity to stroll the streets of Paris and visit its many landmarks. They will view the capital from its best vantage point during a Seine river cruise, admire artistic masterpieces in Paris’s museums, and explore the capital’s historic neighbourhoods.