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Report on Sciences Po Exchange Program

Post Time: 2018/3/13 0:00:00

Reported  by Li Ye

We got on the plane back to China on December 28th, which marked the end of my exchange experience. Looking back on the past four months, I recognize a lot of progress and I’m very grateful to STU for giving me this amazing opportunity.
Over the course of this time, I experienced the fast pace and high standards of French elite education. The workload was relatively heavy, with a lot of reading to be done in addition to homework. Sciences Po has a very diverse culture and near half of all students come from overseas, so it’s possible to hear opinions of students coming from different cultural backgrounds in class. A lot of the courses are taught by practitioners and have a high emphasis on interaction. In a course about international trade, the professor often encouraged students to express their opinions on the trade policies of their home countries. It was truly a great opportunity to broaden our horizons. In exams it was easy to see Sciences Po’s focus on independent and critical thinking, as opposed to simply copying from textbooks, and the kind of objectivity expected of us often made me realize how I was prone to jump to conclusions sometimes.
Besides business courses, the required French courses were challenging as well. It was not always possible to communicate to natives in English, which took a lot of adjusting to at first. After four months, I now have a basic understanding of how French works and indeed feel that it’s a beautiful language. Most importantly, I think learning a new language changes the way a person thinks profoundly, and can inspire us to look at life from a different perspective.
To be an exchange student aboard is a life-changing experience. The past few months I learned to be more independent in life; with regards to studying, I got to experience the different teaching methods and ideas of the west; In addition to communicating with people from different cultures in English, I can use some beginner French as well. As this experience ends with the start of a new year, to quote French philosopher Albert Camus- “Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”