Interview with Alice Le Gall
Alice Le Gall is the Programme Leader for the Summer School's Pre-College Programme. She holds Master’s degrees from both Sciences Po and from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. She has several years of international experience as a counselor for both academic and extra-curricular programmes in Scotland, Ireland, Greece and Spain. She has also taught French as a Foreign Language at the Institut Français in Georgia.
1) As an alumna of Sciences Po, how do you think the Pre-College Programme gives students a taste of the Sciences Po experience?
During two weeks, the students will basically live the life of a full-time Sciences Po student. First of all, participants will have many opportunities to interact, chat and be informed by people who know Sciences Po very well, including current students, professors and alumni. Meeting people is the best way to get a “feel” of what studying at Sciences Po is like. Obviously, studying on the Reims campus and working in its library, as well as visiting and attending classes on the Paris campus, are all part of the Sciences Po experience. Most importantly, participants will be considered to be current Sciences Po students during the programme. Even if they are still in high school, they will learn about Sciences Po’s core disciplines, academic methodology, and they will be challenged to meet Sciences Po’s academic expectations.
2) The programme is an opportunity for participants from all over the world to immerse themselves in French culture. How will the Pre-College Programme help students get the most out of their time in France?
Starting their studies in Reims, a very historical and cosy city, is a nice way for students to get acquainted with France before being immersed in the liveliness of Paris. They will be able to spend some time away from tourists, get a more “local vibe”, meet people from Reims and its surrounding area during the week, while having the opportunity to visit Paris’ major landmarks on the weekends. We will of course organise many events and outdoor activities that will help them discover both cities, visiting famous landmarks, but also exploring lesser-known neighbourhoods. On an academic note, students will learn the French perspective on issues as diverse as migration or sustainable development during their courses and master classes, which will be interesting for young people who come from so many different countries.
3) How will students be accompanied during the programme?
A team of counsellors will accompany students throughout the programme, from their arrival to their departure. They will live in the same residence hall as the students, share meals, organise activities, initiate discussions, and, of course, get feedback from them. They will be their first point of contact if they have any issue or request, but also if they have any suggestions or ideas they want to contribute during the two weeks. Our mission is to make everyone feel comfortable and “at home.” Even if we will be very present, students will also have free time during which they can explore on their own and enjoy time with their friends with a certain level of independence.
4) What are you most looking forward to about this summer?
I am very impatient to meet everyone! The applications we have received thus far are very impressive. It looks like the first edition of the Pre-College Programme will welcome students with many different interests, motivations, and backgrounds. It’s going to be very stimulating to accompany such high-level students throughout the session, and to organise a programme of activities that will both satisfy their curiosity and appetite for knowledge… and make these two weeks fun and unforgettable!