Bachelor of Economics/Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Economics/Bachelor of Arts

I chose to do subjects towards my arts degree as there was more flexibility. As an International Relations and French major, the subjects offered at Sciences Po were perfect. I took Ethics of War, China in Africa, International Trade and Globalisation, Age of Economists and Introduction to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. I found all of the subjects interesting and the standard of teaching was high. The workload at Sciences Po is intense, and I sometimes found it difficult to understand the lecturers as they all spoke English as a second language. However, these challenges were part of what made the university such a stimulating environment.

Sciences Po

I got more out of my exchange than I can possibly articulate. I have made life-long friends from all around the world, I have had the opportunity to travel, I have improved my French and I have had a window opened to new study and career possibilities. I also believe that fending for myself in a foreign country with a different language has meant that my self-confidence has grown.
I lived in temporary accommodation organised by Sciences Po for the first month before moving into a studio. Sciences Po does not offer any on-campus accommodation so it is largely up to students to organise this for themselves. However, the university housing website was useful. Whilst I enjoyed the privacy of living alone, renting in Paris is very expensive and living in a shared apartment may mean a larger space for much less money. I think I would have benefitted from more research before I left about housing options and the different areas of the city itself before I left.

Eiffel tower

Paris is a particularly expensive city. I had a budget of about $14, 000 and I really needed all of that but my rent was quite high. Eating out is very expensive in Paris so I got in the habit of making my own lunch to bring to university. There are a number of different supermarket chains in Paris with varying prices and it is worth trying to find a cheaper one. Travel can seem expensive but when comparing the cost of taking the metro to the cost of running a car there is no comparison. I would recommend an ImagineR pass or a Navigo as they save you money. One of the best things about Paris is that entertainment can be had very cheaply if you do your research.

chalkboard paris

Studying at a prestigious university like Sciences Po has undoubtedly added to my academic and career possibilities long-term. As someone who wishes to have an international career, studying in Europe gave me new contacts and I was able to gather information about post-graduate possibilities overseas, as well as the option of returning to Sciences Po at a later stage in my academic career. Shorter term, I believe the skills I developed on exchange should help with employment while I'm still completing my undergraduate degree.
The single highlight of my experience would have to be the friendships I made. Studying at a specialist university like Sciences Po meant that every person I met I had things in common with. Everyone was so friendly and eager to meet people from different backgrounds. Exchange is a unique opportunity to make friends with people from all around the world, from different cultures and speaking different languages.

Paris Sciences Po

Top tips:
Number one would be to do research before you go. Research accommodation, research travel and research the city in which you will be living. Although you cannot really know a city until you live there, knowing a little bit about the city will mean you can see more and explore more.
Number two would be to throw yourself in; take advantage of all the opportunities offered by your host university and by the city, especially if you are on exchange in order to improve your language skills.
Thirdly, if there is an opportunity to enrol in an orientation program, take it. This is how I met many of my friends and they can provide invaluable information. Lastly, be organised! Systems in other countries may be very different from those in Australia and you do not want to spend your exchange stressed about visa issues or your bank or phone. Have fun!


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