Academic Experience
Regarded by many as the most prestigious university in France, Sciences Po offers an academically rigorous program. Whilst there I studied 6 subjects, all of which required several hours of study each week. Sciences Po enforces a rigorous attendance policy – you are allowed to miss a maximum of two classes per subject throughout the semester, and if you miss three classes you must justify all of your absences to a tribunal. As a result, you have to attend around 14 hours of class per week, in addition to the reading that is generally required.

One positive, however, was the quality of teaching at Sciences Po. Each lecturer is knowledgeable and experienced in their field and many have impressive qualifications outside of their teaching career. For example, a number of us were lucky enough to be taught US Constitutional Law by someone who had served in the White House Counsel’s office for President Obama.
Personal Experience

Living in Paris was an incredible experience, completely different from living in Brisbane. My favourite things about living in Paris were quite simple: buying fresh pastries and croissants from my local bakery early in the morning before class; having cheap (10-15 Euro) three course meals at restaurants across the city; and walking around the many parks and boulevards during spring. My apartment was located just off Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter, and was full of restaurants and markets to buy fresh produce brought in to Paris from rural areas.

Accommodation and Expenses
I arranged my accommodation through an agency that caters to students, meaning that it was all sorted before I even arrived in Paris. Although the agency fee was not cheap, it was definitely worth it as I did not have to worry about accommodation when I arrived. Going through an agency also made it easier to find an apartment in a good location, close to the Pantheon and only a short metro ride away from the University.

Top 5 Tips

  1. Get as much assessment out of the way as early as possible – most subjects will have around 3 pieces of assessment including an oral presentation. These can add up after the mid semester break so it is worthwhile doing as much in the first few weeks as possible.
  2. Get on top of any administrative work you need to do (eg registering with immigration) as early as possible. For Sciences Po registration, bring all of the documents and be prepared to be frustrated by their administration policies.
  3. If you are there in Spring, Summer or early Autumn eat Bertillon sorbet on Ile St Louis.
  4. If you want to see a lot of the Louvre, buy a Louvre Jeune card for around 10 euros and you can get in for free for the rest of the year.
  5. Use your time in Paris to travel – I went to Chartres, the Loire, Spain and the UK.

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