Un automne à Paris: Dissertations et Tarte Tatins! Past Review

By (International Relations, Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/19/2015 to 05/11/2015 with

Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I really enjoyed my study abroad program because it was not only an academically challenging experience studying at one of the most prestigious universities in Europe, but also a unique opportunity to become a Parisian and fall in love with the French culture. I learned french only a few months before my program, and then decided to completely immerse myself in the culture bu living with a french woman and taking most of my classes in the language. Sciences Po's multidisciplinary approach allowed me to explore a completely new and exciting academic field: International Law. Living in Paris, the hub of France and Europe's most valuable museums and important historical sites was also an incomparable experience. I can therefore assert without doubt that my study abroad program at Sciences Po was more than just worthwhile.

Review Photos

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.

Most of my classes were very interesting and handed out the right amount of work/homework. Professors were usually available after class for any inquiry and they provided a broad range of resources.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Onsite administration was not very effective. I usually received delayed responses to my emails and had a hard time trying to contact the right person to talk to regarding administrative matters such as class registration, exam schedules, etc.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed with a french woman who rented out one of the rooms in her house. She was very nice and welcoming. Her house was very cozy and clean.

* Food:

As part of my housing arrangements, the french woman I lived with cooked for me one meal a day from Monday-Friday. Even though she cooked delicious meals, she was not cautious of the fact that I have some food allergies, regardless of the many times I reminded her.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? varies--because food was included in rent for me. around 70 Euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I saved a lot of money by having my "host mom" cook some meals for me. It saved me a lot of money because I wouldn't have to eat out every day, nor buy expensive groceries every week.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

it was not required to take the courses in the foreign language.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 211 French (required before study abroad)
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I think staying with a French family and taking some courses in French (other than the Language class) were two key components that helped me improve my language skills.

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

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Academic Classes: Such as International Law, EU competition Law, Multiculturalism & equal opportunities classes.
  • Adopting a French mom! (the host woman whom I lived with)
  • Joining AISEC-- a student-run org. at Sciences Po)
* What could be improved?
  • Logistics before arrival
  • The welcome program
  • Exam schedules
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have been a little more familiar with Sciences Po or France's education system. I was surprised my first week of classes to see how students were choosing/competing for the dates of their final papers and presentations without the professor even asking them to. As expected I was not aware and couldn't choose any of the dates.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!