Sarah - Sciences Po Summer School: July Session

Bachelor of Laws/Commerce and Diploma of Languages

My experience

In July 2017, I participated in the UQ Abroad short-term experience at Sciences Po, Paris. I had an amazing time and would definitely recommend it. Sciences Po offers French language (A1-C2) and social sciences courses during their Summer School. Elective courses are also available. I studied French at C2 level which helped me to prepare for the external Alliance Française DALF exam.

Language courses were divided into 3 components. The largest component was the language course which ran Monday-Friday 9:30am-12:30pm. During these sessions, we did reading and listening comprehension as well as class discussions. The second and third components were afternoon workshops which ran from 2pm-4:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. On Tuesday afternoons, we studied methodology where we learnt French essay writing style. On Thursday afternoons, we had debating classes. These required adopting a particular position in the debate, (e.g. business and societal stakeholders, political figures) and arguing in support of their position. I found that these workshops greatly benefited my spoken French because they encouraged us to think quickly and refine our debating vocabulary. I was very impressed with the quality of the teaching staff and the course. There were only 8 students in the C2 class so we had more of an opportunity to participate and receive feedback etc.

As for accommodation, I stayed in a studio in Saint-Germain-des-Prés which is walking distance to campus. Student residences are also available through Sciences Po. However, I would recommend staying in a studio or Airbnb with a French host to maximise your exposure to the French language and culture.

1.    Buy the Bescherelle grammar and verb conjugation books if you’re studying French language and intend to sit the DALF exam. French students use these themselves and they’re useful to refer to (especially when conjugating the subjunctive!)

2.    Benefit from the TGV and the close proximity between European cities on the weekends.

3.    Visit the Boulinier book store on the corner of Boulevard Saint-German and Boulevard Saint-Michel. It’s a close walk from the Jardin du Luxembourg.