30 July 2014

Adventures in Paris: Student Reflections on the International Placement Program

Week 3 and 4: All good things have to come to an end…
The final week is up and we celebrated graduation at SciencesPo by going out together with the teaching staff. It was very sad, as we have enjoyed our classes and our time together over the last five weeks. We enjoyed dinner and drinks and later, the class handed over some nice treats for the coordinators of the European Studies Programme. We all decided to stay in touch via LinkedIn.

After the dinner we were given an academic diploma for the completion of the European Studies Programme at SciencesPo. It is a great addition to my resume and adds value as I seek to reach my aspirations of acquiring an international career.

After finishing classes which have taken up most of our evenings, more free time opened up. As we were pretty used to the fast pace, we suddenly had lots of time spare for sightseeing. Bring on Paris!!

One thing I have noticed which differs a lot from Australia is the amount of people enjoying lovely picnics in the parks. We went several times per week for picnics at various locations in Paris, and we were (clearly) not the only ones! People of all ages enjoy prosciutto ham, brie, wine and baguettes. I do not want to think about all the damage that needs some repair when I return to my trainer in Sydney!

One of my favourite spots was the Luxembourg Gardens. It closes at 9pm, so we had to hurry up after work or go and visit during the weekends. Although Sydney is wonderful, it doesn’t beat the wonderful nature you can find throughout the heart of Paris!


It was not very tempting to spend a whole day standing in a queue, so we went to have a look at the Louvre during the evening. Hardly anyone was there and it was really cool to see it in person.

As this was our last weekend, we decided that a trip to Disneyland was a must. We bought tickets online and jumped on a train in the morning which did not take more than 45 minutes. This had been my dream ever since early childhood and it was finally an opportunity for some childhood closure!

We were super lucky with the weather and enjoyed the day. However, Disneyland was in general very over-priced, so I recommend bringing lots of spare cash! Unfortunately it is still a long time until Christmas, as this is a paradise for Christmas shopping (and any other random merchandise you might ‘need’!).

We did not exactly have a lack of activities ahead of us so we decided to stay until the fireworks at the end of the day, at 11pm… and it turned out that was a very good idea!

On a light-hearted note, as a final remark to future IPP students:
Although it is pretty nice to get some international work experience and an extra university diploma, it hardly beat the feeling of having this:

Panne au chocolat/chocolate croissant for breakfast

…..and crepes for lunch:

... and this is even without having anyone looking at you in a strange way!
Au revoir!!

Anette Hansen
Current student at the University of Sydney Business School and participant in the International Placement Program in Paris, France

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