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Sciences Po - Paris Exchange

Paris, France

Paris, France

Program sponsor: Northwestern

View of Eiffel Tower between trees, Paris, France
View of Eiffel Tower between trees, Paris, France

In this exchange program, students enroll directly at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, or Sciences Po, one of the highest ranked institutions in the world for politics and international studies. Students take classes at Sciences Po's Paris campus along with local and other international students.

The program is targeted to students in the social sciences and humanities, with course offerings in economics, international relations, legal studies, history, political science, and humanities.

Courses are available in French and English. Students studying at the Paris campus are expected to take French as a Foreign Language and may take their content (non-language) courses in French or English.

The fall semester takes place from late August to mid-December, and the spring semester takes place from mid-January until the end of May. Before each semester, Sciences Po hosts a comprehensive Welcome Programme for exchange students, which introduces academic expectations and requirements at Sciences Po, current events in France, and services and resources for exchange students. Cultural and social events are also organized for exchange students to interact with each other and with full-time Sciences Po students.

Begin Application Process

Courses

Students at Sciences Po have access to courses in six disciplines: economics, international relations, legal studies, history, political science, and humanities. Many courses offer comparative studies in an international context.

Students take a combination of lectures, seminars, elective courses, and workshops. Depending upon students' course selection, they may be eligible to obtain a Certificate in Social Sciences and Humanities. Pursuing a certificate is possible in one semester, but it is not mandatory. Most students take five or six courses, often combining courses in French and English. Students typically enroll in a French as a Foreign Language course, and their remaining courses in social sciences or humanities can be taken in English or French.

Program Requirements

Eligibility

Open to Northwestern students from all majors with a GPA of 3.0 or above.

Language

  • If intending to take content (non-language) courses in French: 2 years or the equivalent of college-level French. Completion of at least two 200-level French courses at Northwestern prior to the program start highly recommended.
  • If intending to take content (non-language) courses in English: No French language required.

Application

  1. Apply for permission to study abroad
    All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.
  2. Interview for your program

    An interview with the GLO adviser for this program is required. An interview with the French Department is also required of students intending to take content (non-language) courses in French.

    • For the GLO interview, please be prepared to:
      • Discuss your specific motivations for study abroad and reasons for selecting this program
      • Explain how the program and coursework aligns with your personal, academic, and/or professional interests, and
      • Ask informed follow-up questions about program details that you have reviewed on the program website
  3. Apply for your study abroad program
    Northwestern exchange programs require an additional external program application, which will not be accessible until you are nominated by Northwestern to participate in the exchange.

Program Contacts

Estimated Credit

3 - 8 Northwestern units per semester. Visit Registration & Credit to learn more about credit types and requirements, registration, and other considerations.

Students will receive a transcript issued by Sciences Po, and course credit will be eligible for transfer back to Northwestern as long as students earn course grades of C or better. Refer to the credit transfer page for information on the "C" grade equivalent and minimum credit requirement for this exchange program.

Housing

Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements, since Sciences Po does not offer university housing.

Students studying in Paris have the option to stay in a homestay, apartment, or private student residence halls, and accommodations choices will largely depend upon students' goals and budget. The accommodation section of the Sciences Po website gives some advice about possibilities, as well as a link to possible listings. Meal plans will depend upon the accommodation type selected.

Host Institution

Established in 1872, Sciences Po is one of Europe’s most distinguished and well-known schools of public affairs. The majority of France’s political leaders are alumni, including former presidents Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand. The Paris campus, located near the Seine within walking distance of the Louvre, is the most famous of the seven Sciences Po undergraduate campuses located all over France. While the University primarily conducts classes in French, the education has a strong international dimension. Students are expected to study at least two foreign languages in addition to French, and many courses are offered in English. Almost half of the students are international students.

 

2019 Program Handbook

Browse the program handbook for more detailed information about excursions, courses, and identity- based considerations. Note: This is the previous year's handbook and should be used for informational purposes only. Do not make any travel plans based off of the dates or information provided here. 

Program Cost

Study abroad program costs vary widely and may be more or less expensive than studying at Northwestern. Review the comparison.

Fall 2019: $29,534

Review estimated costs for other terms on the program budget sheet.

Billed by Northwestern
  • Program fee: $18,744

Students attending exchange programs will be charged a program fee equivalent to Northwestern tuition, which covers academic fees, program administration, orientation, and GeoBlue health insurance.

Estimated Additional Costs
  • Room & board: $7,200
  • Airfare: $1,500
  • Visa fees: $290
  • Books & supplies: $200
  • Local transportation: $400
  • Personal expenses: $1,200

Total: $10,790

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Financial aid is based on the total cost of the program, including all expenses outlined above.
  • Students applying to this program are eligible to apply for GLO scholarships and are also encouraged to apply for other funding opportunities.

Program Financial Details

This section outlines some of the billing and financial arrangements for Northwestern exchange programs, and is intended as a guide to help you navigate the financial aspects of your study abroad process. You should always refer to your program materials for the most current information and instructions.

Program Confirmation

Once you are approved to attend an exchange program, you will need to complete a Program Confirmation form to confirm your participation. You are not required to pay a confirmation deposit, but will be charged a cancellation fee for withdrawing from the program after confirming.

Program Fee

Students participating in exchange programs will be charged a program fee equivalent to the NU tuition rate for:

  • 1 quarter for fall quarter or spring quarter exchange programs
  • 1.5 quarters for fall-winter or winter-spring exchange programs
  • 3 quarters for full-year exchange programs

The program fee includes tuition and GeoBlue health insurance. It does not include additional program-related costs, such as housing, meals, or airfare. Refer to your estimated budget sheet above for the full estimated breakdown of your expenses abroad.

Student Visa Financial Certification

If you are required to obtain a student visa, you may need to provide documentation that you will be supported financially for the duration of your time abroad. This may require bank statements from your parents and/or a financial aid award letter; review your visa application instructions carefully to be sure you are providing the appropriate documentation, and contact GLO for assistance.

If you primarily fund your education through financial aid and/or loans, you may contact Krista Bethel in the financial aid office to request a letter of financial support from Northwestern.

Northwestern Invoice

You should not pay your exchange institution directly for tuition. Your Northwestern invoice will be issued through CAESAR on the regular quarterly schedule, and will include your program fee (outlined above). You will not be billed for on-campus student fees, and exchange programs are exempt from the study abroad administrative fee.

It is your responsibility to pay directly for all other charges abroad, including your housing. Review estimated costs on your budget sheet, linked above.

If you receive financial aid and/or loans from Northwestern, these funds will continue to apply directly to your Northwestern account.

If you use the Northwestern 9PAY plan, you may continue to use 9PAY for your NU-billed study abroad expenses, but you should request a study abroad 9PAY estimate to have your plan set up appropriately.

Withdrawal & Refund Policies

If you withdraw or are dismissed from an exchange program abroad after submitting your program confirmation form, you are subject to the withdrawal & refund policies for Northwestern programs.

Program Website