Paris, Je T'aime. Past Review

By (International Relations and National Security Studies., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 07/30/2014 to 12/20/2014 with

Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned French! No, it's not useful, but it's fun. I definitely think everyone should be forced to spend time in Paris, because it teaches you to appreciate culture, sophistication, and how to behave. There's really no better business etiquette course! For someone like me, who's outgoing but not overly familiar with strangers, the city was a dream come true.

Review Photos

Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Really good, relevant readings across the board and strengthened my writing. Lots of chances to interact with European students, which I valued, as Europe is my specialization.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Eloise and Co in the international office weren't that helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Ended up with cats, which didn't make me happy, and it was a pain not to have access to the kitchen for lunch. Made me entirely too dependent on baguette jambon-fromage when I returned stateside!

* Food:

Expensive but divine.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had lots of French friends from tennis, and lots of German/British friends, and some American. Ready to go back!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Welcome Programme gave GREAT insight into how to use the French healthcare system, but I luckily never needed it.

* Safety:

Be careful on the Metro at night, but overall, just don't be an idiot. It's a major city. You'll be fine if you don't flaunt your wealth or behave differently from the locals.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Paris is expensive. You get free admission to museums, but you'll be eating lunch out every day. Bear that in mind.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use your student ID and take advantage of all the free admissions!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Classes were engaging.
  • Met so many interesting people.
  • The city.
* What could be improved?
  • Predeparture communication.
  • Consistency in information (grading scales, advisors)
  • Faster feedback on class equivalencies.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known you can take classes in French but still write your finals in English- I would've done it!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

ESDP Military Missions

Course Department:
Instructor: Tomescu
Instruction Language: English
Comments: One presentation, discussion, one short reading-based essay. Not my most engaging class, but did present some interesting arguments for expansion of the EU in a world of Euroskeptics. I was definitely the minority as an American in this class, and I think that was the only class that provided access to so many European citizens from diverse places, ranging from UK to Germany to Serbia.
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Strategic Studies

Course Department:
Instructor: Hatto
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Two essays comprise the entirety of your grade. Really engaging lecturer with a background in the field (served in Canadian artillery). My favorite class at Sciences Po by far.
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Intro to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Course Department:
Instructor: Ghiles-Melhac
Instruction Language: English
Comments: One research paper, one test. Engaging lecturer, but if you're looking for an unbiased overview of the conflict, this isn't it. The only conclusion you'll draw is "the Palestinians are all terrorists." Furthermore, we were all a little irritated when he moved our only exam up a week the class before he wanted to administer it. His resources are definitely worth reading, though- "Bitter Lemons" is a new favorite.
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Collective Security: From Institutional Alliances to Collective Organizations

Course Department:
Instructor: Dundon
Instruction Language: English
Comments: One presentation, discussion, one essay. Dundon was definitely a favorite. Her collective security class covered everything from NATO to ESDP to AU to Shanghai Cooperative to any other organization you didn't even know existed. She's also a FASCINATING professor- an American former State Dept official who now has some secret job while married to a French admiral. She's a great lecturer and teaches some of the best material at Sciences Po. WIsh I could've taken the class over and over again.
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History of the CIA

Course Department:
Instructor: Rios-Bordes
Instruction Language: English
Comments: 3 presentations and participation. You might enjoy it...if you're a glutton for punishment. Ridiculously hard and the professor is MEAN! Met interesting people, but not worth the 8AM wake-up call.
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Course Department:
Instructor: Aldo
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Just do it. Aldo is AMAZING and this will be one of the few opportunities you have to meet true French students (and if you go every week, you can get credit for it!). Plus, he took me to see Roland Garros on my own, because he teaches there. Lots of places not open to the public that were very cool.
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Strategic Intelligence and Democratic Societies

Course Department:
Instructor: Chopin
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Presentation, participation, research paper. Worth it just to have the Assistant Dean. Class wasn't that useful, but Chopin's "friends" made for some interesting insight.
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