Summer 2016 Activities

Summer 2016 Activities

  • Activities 2016Activities 2016

This summer, the Summer School will offer an expanded programme of cultural and recreational activities open to all students.

The Summer School proposes a variety of cultural visits to give students the opportunity to discover the city of Paris, as well as French history and culture.  For Summer 2016, the programme will also propose a full slate of social events, athletics, and outings that will allow students to get to know each other outside of the classroom. Activities will take place after class during the week and also on weekends.

Activities fall into two types:

  • Open activities are available to all students of the programme, at no additional cost. Sign-up is usually not required in advance.
  • Optional activities are available to students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sign-up is required, as is an additional fee, with Sciences Po students receiving considerable group discounts at major tourist attractions.

Open Activities

June and July sessions

Seine River Cruise: Discover Paris from its best vantage point, the Seine River. As part of Orientation, all Summer School students will have a chance to take a river cruise with the Vedettes du Pont Neuf. You’ll learn about some of Paris’ most famous landmarks, from the Musée du Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, all while kicking back your feet and working on your suntan.

Welcome weekend Paris landmark scavenger hunt and Apéro Hour: Explore Paris with a fun scavenger hunt across its arrondissements. Get to know your classmates and discover Paris at the same time. Meet up afterwards for an Apéro Hour at the Luxembourg gardens (see below).

Discover Walks Paris walking tours: Delve into a favourite Parisian neighbourhood with a guided tour. Discover Walks will take small groups of Summer School participants through one of several areas of Paris: the Marais, Right Bank Landmarks, or Montmartre.

Sciences Po Library Tours: Discover continental Europe’s largest social sciences library, with over 660,000 books (including 40% in English) and over 1 million online references. Learn about how the library is organised, how to check out books, and how to best tackle your research topics.

Speaker Series: The Summer School's Speaker Series is an opportunity for participants from all academic tracks to interact with a variety of public and academic figures from the Sciences Po community and French society. These four conferences allow participants to discuss key issues with experts and thus further their understanding of France and Europe. Read more about the 2016 Speaker Series on the Speaker Series page.

Apéro Hours: Discover the French traditition of the apéro: a drink and light snacks before dinner.  Each week, the Summer School interns will organise an evening out in their favourite cafés and bars in different Parisian neighbourhoods.  This is a great opportunity to meet students from outside your classes and discover the best places to go out in Paris. The first Apéro Hour kicks off on the Saturday following orientation.

Continuing at Sciences Po presentation:  Are you interested in continuing your studies at Sciences Po?  Learn more about the different master’s degrees offered at Sciences Po and get your questions answered by a representative from Sciences Po’s International Office.

July session only

Bastille Day Picnic: July 14th is France’s national holiday, so join the celebration with a giant picnic on the Champs de Mars, followed by a spectacular fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower.

Football tournament: Get out and play football (soccer) in a Parisian park on a sunny weekend afternoon!

Optional Activities

June and July sessions

Bike tours of Paris: Discover different Parisian neighbourhoods through guided bike tours!  Students will have the chance to visit the classic monuments of central Paris on one visit and explore the lesser-known neighbourhoods of Eastern Paris on another visit.

Wine School: Wine Historian and History of France Professor Azélina Jaboulet-Vercherre hosts these two-hour sessions aimed at teaching an un-snobbish approach to all things wine. Learn about wine history and culture, but also what wines to bring to a party, or how to choose wine to go with food. Each class will tackle its own thematic problems, and some classes will include visits from winemakers and cavistes from Paris and beyond.  Participants will taste between 4 and 5 wines per class.

Yoga: Whether you’re an experienced yogi or just starting out, it’s time to get on the mat at the Summer School! Classes will be held on a variety of days over the course of the summer, on or near the Sciences Po campus. All classes will be led by the very talented Tatiana Avila Bouru, a French dancer and yogini, trained in New York. Class style is vinyasa flow, all levels are welcome. Namaste!

June session only

Indoor Rock climbing: Ready to try your hand (and feet, and legs) at escalade? A small group of Summer School students will have the chance to do just that at this event! Held at MurMur’s legendary rock climbing wall in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, Sciences Po’s group will have a dedicated guide to teach you the basics of what climbing is all about.

Saturday Visit to Vaux-Le-Vicomte Château: Join us on an excursion to one of Europe’s most famous 17th century castles, a “chef-d’oeuvre” constructed for Nicolas Fouquet, the finance minister of Louis XIV.  The castle’s splendor attracted the king’s jealousy and resulted in the imprisonment of its unfortunate owner!  Built by the dynamic trio of architect Louis le Vau, painter and decorator Charles Le Brun and gardener André Le Nôtre, this team’s success was such that they later went on to work together to create the new palace at Versailles! This Saturday excursion will take us through the castle and the 33 hectares of jardins à la française.

Saturday Visit to the Centre Georges Pompidou museum: The largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe is held at this historic site in the heart of the Marais district. Learn about not only the collections, but also the equally famous architecture of the Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers building, on a 1.5 hour visit with a certified guide.

July session only

Saturday Visit to Claude Monet’s Gardens at Giverny: Claude Monet is one of French impressionism’s most famous painters.  This afternoon trip will take students to his world-famous garden, outside of Paris – the place where he painted the waterlilies and so much more! The visit of the gardens is led in English by a certified guide.

Saturday Visit to the Conciergerie: Located in the heart of Paris on the Île de la Cité, the Conciergerie is a unique historical monument that bears witness to centuries of Parisian history.  Originally a gothic royal palace, it became an infamous prison during the French Revolution where several notable figures, including Queen Marie Antoinette, spent their final days.  The visit is led in English by a certified guide.


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