Political Science Students study at Sciences Po in Paris

June 12, 2014

Political Science Students study at Sciences Po in Paris

Rebecca Izzi in Paris.

The 2013-2014 school year marked the debut of the Sciences Po study abroad program through the Political Science Department. In the fall, Rebecca Izzi and Luke Fesko had the amazing opportunity of traveling to Paris, France to study at Sciences Po, a highly competitive and diverse French university that specializes in the humanities and social sciences.

The students describe their experience and give advice for future students applying for the Sciences Po study abroad program below:

“There were many parts of this experience that made it a unique, once in a lifetime experience full of personal and academic growth. First of all, this experience allowed me to meet a group of friends from all over the world and do things that I would’ve never done in the U.S.A. For example, one of my best friends was from Syria and I was able to learn about the conflict in Syria from a firsthand source. This experience allows for a huge range of networking opportunities with a worldwide group of people and introduces you to a new way of life that is, in every aspect, foreign. This leads to a tremendous amount of personal growth as adapting to these foreign circumstances truly changes who you are and helps you to become a more cultured world-citizen. Similarly, the ability to travel with ease anywhere in Europe and beyond from Paris is wonderful, as it allows you to see any part of Europe you hope to see and it allows you to see and truly experience the multiple cultures of Europe and become completely immersed in your European experience. I also suggest travelling to somewhere alone at least once, that is where your true personal growth will happen, as you learn so much about yourself and what you are capable of.

Lastly, the academics of this program are truly amazing. Sciences Po is a world-renowned school for the social sciences, and is often called the “Harvard of France.” The academic curriculum is rigorous, but you will learn so much through this program. It is very interesting to learn political science from a non-American perspective, and the French people are always willing to talk about world politics with you, especially within the university walls. I recommend taking a class about American Politics at Sciences Po, for in these courses you can really learn how others in the world view our nation. I also recommend taking a course in European Politics or another sort of politics that is not offered at OSU. The courses are especially different than American because they are both taught and graded differently, and this gives great insight into other systems from throughout the world and a great basis to compare the American grading and teaching system to. Lastly, the knowledge of the French language is not necessary to participate in this program, but it certainly is helpful. If you do not speak French, have no fear; you will still learn much about French culture and politics through the English courses.” – Luke Fesko, Graduating Political Science Major

Rebecca Izzi in Paris, France

“Sciences Po was an absolutely wonderful experience. I took a full class schedule necessary for the certificate and I would be lying if I said that it wasn't difficult. I took mostly political theory and one law class and the law class was obscenely difficult but very interesting (I actually am looking into further studying International Law now). I really feel that it helped develop my skills as a political science student in a few ways. Firstly, it was an especially enriching experience because you could tell the passion and knowledge each professor had for their respective fields. Most of my professors were French with the exception of one Englishman. There was a distinct difference in the ways that franco classes were taught versus anglo classes. Though all of my classes were in English, they were all taught with the French methodology aside from the one taught by the Prof from the UK. The French methodology is very specific and kind of difficult but at the end of it all I had a certain kind of respect for it because it helped me to develop the discipline to learn methodology and a respect for a learning style other than my own. Overall I would say I'm a better student for it and definitely a more cultured person over all. Also, Paris is an amazing place to study because students get into (almost) all historical/cultural sites for free because France wants students to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of French culture. I miss it!” – Rebecca Izzi, Third Year Political Science Major

If you are interested in applying for the Sciences Po study abroad program click here.