Choosing a university for higher studies can be a daunting experience, especially when the investments are huge and your time, money, and future are at stake. If one possesses good grades and has been proactive in extracurricular and professional pursuits, chances are high that he or she has a plethora of options available.
As a passionate student of International Relations, I was always ambitious about pursuing my master’s degree in a university that was best suited to my aspirations. As such, when I started my search for potential schools, Sciences Po immediately stood out for several reasons.
Here, I have compiled a list of the factors that have helped me choose Sciences Po as the destination for my master’s studies.
Prestige and Reputation
By the time I had started applying, Sciences Po was already competing with top schools like Harvard, Oxford, and the London School of Economics (LSE) in the Politics and International Studies category, and had recently overtaken LSE to be in the 3rd position.
The school’s ranking reflects its 140 years of prestigious history. Some of the most influential people in the world, including ex-UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the current French President Emmanuel Macron, and even the acclaimed French fashion designer Christian Dior are among the distinguished alumni of Sciences Po.
Bridging the gap between academic and practical experience
While the pomp and splendor of studying in such a prestigious university were indeed a motivation, I also had other, and more practical reasons for choosing Sciences Po. Having mostly engaged in theoretical studies during my Bachelor’s, I was keen on pursuing a master’s that would not only fast track my career but also bridge the gap between my academic and professional knowledge.
Sciences Po is undoubtedly a leader in this matter. Not only does it offer a range of interdisciplinary programs through its seven specialized schools, it also has great professional and careers services for its students and alumni. The offered courses are highly practical that use modern and innovative teaching methods, administered by professors who are some of the best academics and internationally renowned practitioners. Indeed, it is quite commonplace in Sciences Po to have classes taken by famous authors, journalists, diplomats, and even ex-CEOs and ministers of government.
Access to financial assistance
Despite the clear benefits, it is often difficult for students from certain socio-economic backgrounds to be able to afford such an education. Thus, another reason why Sciences Po was a clear choice for me is its affordability. One in four students in Sciences Po receive financial assistance, which ranges from merit-based scholarships to complete tuition fee exemptions based on induvial circumstances. In comparison to other top-ranked schools, Sciences Po provides the most value-for-money, and undoubtedly stands out as an institution that is a true proponent of equal opportunity.
A truly international experience
Since starting my master’s in September 2019, I have spent almost a year being part of an educational experience that is not only high-quality, but also truly international and multicultural. Being a part of the cohort that represents more than 150 countries, I have been living and studying in an environment that enables constant interaction with different cultures and viewpoints.
As such, in the span of a year, I have grown both personally and professionally, and have acquired new life perspectives that I wouldn’t have had the chance to develop otherwise. While we can never know what our choices may bring, we can only hope that we are making the smartest and the most thoughtful ones. In the case of Sciences Po, I am certain that I did.
Photo credit: Official Facebook Page of Sciences Po.