Bachelor of Laws & Arts (Political Science), 4th year
Bachelor of Laws & Arts (Political Science), 4th year

Academic experiences

Sciences Po has some very interesting subjects on offer every semester.
I chose:

  • World Politics
  • Blasphemy and Freedom of Speech
  • Politics and Religion (in French)
  • a French language course

Studying in a second language was difficult but definitely worth it at the end of the day for the improvement in language skills and the added level of immersion.
I would also highly recommend taking a language course... the classes were a great environment to have judgement-free conversations in French with other learners!

Sunny day at Rodin's House

Personal experiences

My six months abroad were incredible.
I met wonderful people from every corner of the globe.
My language skills improved enormously through my classes in French and by engaging with the local life.
I found plenty of opportunities to dart away to other exciting countries (including Belgium, Spain, Italy, Malta, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Iceland, Norway, England and Scotland!!!) when I wasn't exploring the vast and endlessly exciting city of Paris.
I even had the amazing opportunity to represent UQ at the G200 Youth Summit in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Ferris wheel view of Paris

Accommodation

I lived off-campus in the 20th arrondissement, sharing a studio apartment with one other person.
My building had reasonable facilities and security but I ended up paying much more in rent than I would have liked... my advice would be to start your search early (especially because of the pile of paperwork that comes with a lease) and take a critical approach to the places you are looking at (and their prices) so you don't get taken advantage of just for being a student!

Sunset over Versailles

Academic development and employability

I feel that my time abroad had an invaluable effect on my academic development...
Studying political science in a different political climate and through a new cultural perspective taught me to question values that I had always taken for granted and to widen my academic gaze.
Every class had students from a wide and varied range of countries, and it was wonderful to have discussions around the week's topic, each sharing the perspectives of our home countries and political systems.

Highlight

The magical city of Paris was the highlight of my experience.
Ice-skating in the middle of the city at night, while the streets sparkle with fairy lights.
Eating ice-cream in a park that is bursting with vibrant flowers.
Riding a bike at top speed through the gardens of Versailles.
The romance of the Eiffel Tower as it twinkles on the hour, and the breath-taking galleries that seem to sprawl endlessly onwards.
Fresh bread every morning and a baker who knows your name.
The culture, the history, and the sense of a thousand adventures waiting to happen.
You will fall in love with Paris, too!

Top tips

Just go for it!
Push through the tedium of paperwork and fear of the unknown, because it will definitely be worth it.

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