Yurika - Sciences Po

Bachelor of Economics
Semester 1, 2018
Living in Paris was amazing itself, but I think a perk of going on exchange to Europe is that all the countries are connected.

Academic experience

I took six economics courses in English that’s all related to EU. I enjoyed the different teaching style of Sciences Po as UQ is theory based and involves many calculation for most economics courses, whereas Sciences Po was based on researching and reading articles and assessments were mostly presentations or debate. The challenges were that most assessments were self-guided so you had to make an effort to be in the loop for the group assessments and meet up often to complete the project. The enrolment was similar to UQ style where you sign up online a week before orientation week.

Personal experience

I have certainly made many international friends that also came on exchange to Sciences Po such as Americans, Canadians, Asians and some Europeans as well. I also signed up to volleyball club at Sciences Po so I was able to make French friends through that activity. After 12 weeks of school, I also went backpacking for 12 weeks all around Europe and managed to visit 59 cities/ 30 countries and that would be an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Accommodation

I lived in an Airbnb house with another UQ student while I was in Paris. This was my first time living in a share house as I am usually a college student at UQ. I would say it is difficult to make friends at Sciences Po if you don’t participate in the O week programme or join the clubs as they don’t have colleges where you get to meet new people and have events 24/7. Sciences Po also offer housings called “comforts of home”. Most of my friends from O week found housings through that organisation, but I found it expensive so I decided to look for my own.

Costs

I lived in central Paris in 6th arrondissement and my rent was 850 euro a month, but this was with 45% discount and split with two people. Paris rents are expensive and student usually find accommodation ranging from 800-1000 euro per month. I cooked my own food while I was there so I saved a lot from that and didn’t get a navi go which is like a go card equivalent. French navi go isn’t a top up system but you pay about 70 euros a month and you can use as much as you can. I didn’t register one as Sciences Po was within walking distance and figured that it would be cheaper to buy batch of tickets. For 12 weeks of backpacking, I spent $4500 but I didn't have to pay accommodation for half of the time as I stayed at my friends that lives in Europe.

Professional Development

I definitely developed my planning skills and time management skills. I had many "to do lists" while I was in Paris, but you also have to be on top of your study and assessments while friends are visiting you and traveling around yourself. Planning ahead is always important and you learn how to manage time and juggle many things at once.

Highlight

Living in Paris was amazing itself, but I think a perk of going on exchange to Europe is that all the countries are connected so you hop onto a train or a bus and you get to see a totally different country/culture/people/buildings. 12 weeks of backpacking was definitely a lifetime experience.

Top tips

Always plan ahead. Whether it's applying for exchange or sign ons, study or traveling plans... planning ahead will always save you time and even money!