Winter School 2021 Highlights

Winter School 2021 Highlights

A New Online Learning Experience
  • Sciences Po Winter School ©Sciences PoSciences Po Winter School ©Sciences Po

Sometimes opportunities arise when you least expect them. Challenging times transform into moments that allow us to expand and innovate. After successfully transitioning the summer programmes online last year, the Sciences Po Summer School offered a bold new initiative to unite students together from around the world, during a different season. In January 2021, Sciences Po launched the very first Winter School with an online winter session of the university programme.

A New Academic Challenge for a New Year 

Students started the New Year challenging themselves academically. By focusing on a course in one of Sciences Po’s key disciplines, they expanded their understanding in the areas of international relations, economics and social inequalities, as well as human rights and global development. The 2.5-week intensive online programme allowed them to take their learning beyond borders. Classes transcended time zones and continents, with 104 students participating from 31 different countries and representing 39 nationalities. While some students were just getting their day started, some were squeezing in classes during their work break and others were tuning in before heading to bed.

Their eagerness to keep learning during the winter break was matched only by the enthusiasm of their professors, who ensured their interactive classes inspired lively discussions and debates. The virtual classroom expanded beyond the coursework. Students had the chance to participate in two conferences outside of class, including the Conference: Nuclear Citizens? Being a Citizen in a Nuclear-armed World by Professor Benoît Pelopidas and the Conference: Covid-19, Latest News from the Past by Professor Guillaume Lachenal. The Winter School gave students a good sense of the rigorous academic experience that is distinctive of a Sciences Po education.

Experiencing Paris from Home with New Friends from Around the World 

Though their days were filled with classes, readings and assignments, students also made new friendships and had some time to unwind through the social and cultural programme. The Winter School team brought a touch of Paris into their homes with virtual visits of Parisian landmarks. Students had a peek at some of the masterpieces at the Louvre Museum through a private online visit. A magical evening in Paris seemed to be within reach as they were virtually transported to the banks of the Seine River. They were even able to imagine what life would be like as a king or queen while visiting the Palace of Versailles, all from the comforts of their home. While of course nothing beats being in Paris, it was certainly the next best thing to indulge the inner Francophile!

A Larger Diversity of Professional Profiles Enriches Learning Environment 

The online format of the Winter School allowed for a larger diversity of students that was not only cultural, but also generational. More graduates and professionals joined us than ever before! They ranged in ages and professions, from a new mom on maternity leave, to a business analyst taking classes during his work break, to a doctor participating in classes before seeing patients. Drawn in by the curiosity of a new subject area or enhancing their professional objectives and personal goals, these lifelong learners contributed their extensive experiences to create an even more enriching learning environment for all participants.

We are delighted to continue expanding our programmes to meet the academic aspirations of students from around the world and from a variety of professional backgrounds, who are passionate about the social sciences and desire to experience the academic excellence at Sciences Po.

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