Bachelors of Commerce/Laws
Bachelors of Commerce/Laws

During the second semester of 2013, I studied at Sciences Po Paris Campus. Living abroad in Paris was one of the most wonderful university experiences to date.

Academic Experiences: At Sciences Po I took five law classes, mainly based on International and European law. As Sciences Po is renown for political sciences, the law classes were heavily founded on political sciences, being a completely different experience from studying law at UQ. Despite the classes not being ‘typical law classes’, the classes on offer were incredibly interesting and the lecturers were fantastic.

Most of the lecturers at Sciences Po were not professional academics so their field experiences really added to the classes. An example of this was my International Law lecturer; being an ad-hoc judge at the International Court of Justice, he invited all the students to The Hague to visit the court.
Another dissimilarity was that unlike UQ, the classes at Sciences Po were a lot smaller, with typically only twenty students in each elective/seminar course and eighty in each lecture course. This made the classes really interactive with a great focus on discussion style learning. Majority of the students in my classes were international students so the diversity really contributed to interesting class debates.

A key challenge at Sciences Po is that a lot of the assessment had to be done using the Sciences Po method. The Sciences Po method was taught at the Welcome Program, an orientation program for international students. I would highly recommend any prospective UQ students attending the welcome program, not only does it teach you about the Sciences Po method, but you get to meet all the other international students as well as attend the events planned for the week.

Personal Experiences: Living in Paris was simply amazing. It was such a beautiful city with so much to see. Also, going over to Paris and speaking some French is highly recommendable. It really assisted in ‘breaking the ice’ with other Parisians, which could be sometimes a difficult task.
Another difficulty of Paris was finding accommodation. Sciences Po do not offer any on-campus accommodation, leaving it for the students to find their own housing. I would recommend either to go through an agency, or to arrive in Paris a couple weeks early to look for an apartment. For roommates, the Sciences Po Facebook Exchange Student group always had people trying to search for roomates, or a place to live, so that is also a good place to start.

Despite the initial hurdles of making new friends and finding a place to live in Paris, it is really hard not to fall in love with Paris. It is such a beautiful city with a lot of offer, and I would encourage any UQ student to study there!

Top Tips:

  1. Be stereotypical – it is part of the fun. Embrace eating baguettes and croissant on a daily basis, riding bicycles around the city or having picnics at the Eifel Tower or along the Seine River.
  2. Attend the Welcome Program. You’ll have a great week.
  3. Travel around Europe on weekends. The workload is constant but manageable at Sciences Po so you should embrace living in Europe.
  4. Most public museums, art galleries and events are free for EU students. So make the most of free admissions!
  5. Enjoy the cheap wine!

 

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