- Summer School students (photos: Lika Banshoya)
"The Summer School created an interesting and vibrant environment. Since we were only here for one month, people were very engaged. Our class came from many different backgrounds in terms of job experience, nationalities, and education, and learning from others is what I found the most enriching." - Lars Bo, Denmark
There is no one typical Summer School student profile.
Reflecting the multiculturalism of the entire Sciences Po community, participants join the Summer School from all over the world and have many different backgrounds. The 2019 cohort included students representing nearly 70 different nationalities in the midst of their undergraduate studies, Master's, and doctoral programmes; as well as professionals from a diverse range of fields. While some Summer School students continued as full-time Sciences Po students this fall, the majority have since returned to their home universities or places of work across the globe.
Read on to hear more about what our students had to say about their Summer School experience or meet more Summer School students in our Student Profiles video.
Lars Bo, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Lars Bo is in the last year of his bachelor’s degree in political science. He took the class "The European Union at a Crossroads" at the Summer School.
Why he chose Sciences Po:
"I chose the Summer School for several reasons. First, as I am considering applying to Sciences Po in the future, I wanted to experience the methodology and teaching style at Sciences Po. Second, I wanted to experience living in Paris. Finally, I wanted to study French and the Summer School allows you to study social sciences while improving your language skills by taking French classes at the Alliance Française."
Oussama, Université ibn Tofail Kénitra, Morocco
Oussama came to Sciences Po in the course of his bachelor degree in law. He studied in the Summer School’s French language track.
Why he chose Sciences Po:
"I wanted to attend the Summer School because Sciences Po is a very prestigious university: the quality of its professors and students is world-renowned. I also wanted to perfect my French, particularly my vocabulary for future studies. Finally, I wanted to live in Paris. At the Summer School you work hard, but you still have time to visit the city. It’s the perfect recipe to study and discover Paris at the same time."
Claudia, McGill University, Canada
Claudia is undertaking a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in international development and management. She took the course “Human Security” at the Summer School.
On her academic experience:
"The structure of the “Human Security” course was very well-balanced: we learned the main theoretical concepts from the professor, while doing case studies on different contexts (natural disasters, food security, etc) with teaching assistants. The academics were complementary and comprehensive in both the theoretical and practical aspects. The course taught us how to think about crafting policy, which is something I had never studied before."
Anastasia, Associate, McKinsey & Co., United Kingdom
Originally from Moscow, Anastasia is currently a management consultant in London. She has an MBA from Harvard. She returned to the Summer School for her second year to study in the French language track.
On making progress in French:
"My main goal was to improve my French through immersion in French culture and language, but in the end I got much more… I learned more about French history, geography and culture than I ever expected, and I discovered the real, non-touristy Paris. As for speaking French, my progress was amazing – in two months, I progressed from hardly speaking French to being able to discuss any topic at a decent level."
Yingtong, Renmin University, China
Yingtong is double-majoring in French literature and sociology at her home university. She came to the Summer School to study in the French language track.
On living in Paris:
"Sciences Po is located in a neighborhood with lots of culture. In my humanities course, we read Simone de Beauvoir, and just outside I could see the places where the stories took place. One day on rue Bonaparte I discovered the house where Sartre lived. It was very exciting to be able to see the things I was studying in real life!"
Jared, Yale-NUS College, Singapore
Jared is majoring in global affairs with a specialisation in human rights and security at Yale-NUS College. He took the class “Human Security” at the Summer School.
On learning from his classmates:
"The diversity of Sciences Po students gave me the opportunity to learn from many different perspectives. I come from Singapore, so hearing my classmates’ perspectives on topics like security or migration in India or Mexico gave me personal insight into these issues that you wouldn’t find in the news."
Gaia, LUISS Guido Carli University, Italy
Gaia studies political science and international relations at her home university in Rome. She took the class “Human Security” at the Summer School.
On the diversity of the Summer School:
"It was very stimulating to meet people from different backgrounds and nationalities, but with a shared interest in the social sciences. I was the only Italian in my class and I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. At the Summer School you learn to analyze an issue from different perspectives, how to share your point of view respectfully whether or not you agree with someone, and you are enriched by learning from others."
Rim, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Rim is Lebanese, but grew up in Senegal. She is currently studying political science and economics at the American University of Beirut. She took the class “The European Union at a Crossroads” at the Summer School.
On the international atmosphere of the Summer School:
"Originally I thought that the Summer School was different from Sciences Po because it’s so international, but then I discovered that almost half of the student body at Sciences Po is international students. The Summer School is a good reflection of Sciences Po as a whole. You can meet people from Europe, Asia, and America, and you discover that you actually have a lot in common."