Created in 2009 in the heart of Reims in the Champagne region, the Euro-American campus of SciencesPo Paris is ideally located. Less than an hour of TGV (high-speed train) and you are in Paris ! The campus is therefore very accessible for students and for their lecturers who often come from Paris. The city of kings’ coronations is attractive thanks to its diverse cultural activities and its patrimony : the famous cathedral, Champaign caves and music festivals praised by SciencesPo students ! The campus is located in the 17th century Jesuits College which is one Of Reims’ touristic sites. Great Frenchmen such as Condorcet, Colbert or Jacques Marquette have walked through its grey-stone corridors, have sat in the old wooden library, today accessible to the students of the campus. Despite a very ancient location, confirmed by the age of the vines used to produce wine on the campus every year, the campus is fully equipped (Wi-Fi, numeric boards in every classroom, free-access I-Macs…) and reflects SciencesPo’s numeric tools mastery.The campus is growing every year and greeted 300 students in 2013. Its extension will permit to have 1600 students in 2018 : Reims will become the biggest 1st cycle campus of SciencesPo.
Why choosing Reims ?
The regional campuses of SciencesPo all have their own spirit, their international focus and offer unique advantages.
Reims is the Euro-American campus. The lectures are therefore focusing on the North American continent (which will greet many Reims students for their 3rd year abroad program) but without forgetting the European continent. Concretely, lecturers originating from everywhere on the planet allow SciencesPo students to study, in English, the fundamental subjects of the school which are Law, Economics, History, Sociology and Political Science through a constant comparison between the transatlantic divergent realities. What differences between German and American Laws? Why did the USA only experienced one Constitution since 1776 while France has had 5 Republics and other monarchical regimes in between? Could the Canadian solutions to fight poverty be implemented in Europe? While following the regular SciencesPo curriculum, students focus on transatlantic issues, an element that will help them sharpen their vison of a world where the USA still is important and that will allow them to understand international relations, a crucial element for the understanding of international news.
Reims Campus is the only campus to have English as its official language. Every lecture is taught in English (apart from a few electives and languages courses obviously) : international students are perfectly integrated while French students become proficient in English (if they are not already !) and the best international experts in their domain come to deliver their knowledge in English. At the end of their two years program, every student is bilingual, whatever origin they may have.
Do you feel attracted by the international environment offered by SciencesPo ? Don’t wait for your third year abroad to meet students from the whole planet! Almost 2/3 of Reims effectives are international students. The majority of them follows the regular cursus (2 years in Reims+ one year abroad) but some students will only be here for a semester as exchange students (25 students for Fall Semester 2014). In every cases, it is a great opportunity to meet and become friend with people who all have different backgrounds, to become fluent in up to three languages and to learn how to evolve in an international context.
Not every campus offers SciencesPo’s dual degrees. Reims Campus offers a dual-degree with the prestigious Columbia University in New-York and with the renowned University of British Columbia in
Vancouver. These particular programs last for 4 years, 2 years in Reims and 2 others in these two universities. Every students attending these programs receives SciencesPo’s Bachelor, a Bachelor of Arts from one of these two universities and, if he wishes, a spot in one of SciencesPo’s highly appealing masters. It is an exceptional experience that will glow on your CV and that will facilitate your hiring either in France or abroad (“facilitate” is an euphemism meaning “making your hiring automatic”).
You surely already know it but SciencesPo’s undergraduate program includes one year abroad (3rd year), in a university, a company or for a personal project (humanitarian project for example). If you decide to attend a foreign university, you will be prioritized for admission in North-American universities: every campus is prioritized depending on its international focus. Therefore, being a student on Reims campus, for a project of equal value, means having more chances to get into the glowing North-American universities. You will have the choice between more than 400 partnerships in the world, 100 of which are with north-American universities. Some are part of the Ivy League and will offer you an exceptional studying environment. But this prioritization is not an obligation: you may decide, with a well-argued motivation, to go to Barcelona, Singapore or Buenos Aires.
The fact that Reims is so close from Paris allows prestigious lecturers to teach on the campus but it is also easy for students to attend conferences held in Paris. It is also easy for students to go back home more often or to visit Europe during the breaks.
Reims is a human-sized city, big enough to be culturally interesting, but small enough for the students to go anywhere in it, using public transportation or not. The campus is 2minutes away from a big supermarket. It will take you 10 minutes to go to the heart of the town (the Opera for instance), 5 minutes with Reims “Citura” buses if your microeconomics lecture killed you.
The campus is also very human-sized. Every students know each other, far away from the anonymous big effectives of other universities. A true solidarity unites “the beavers”. The campus spirit is particularly present during the inter-campus sports&arts tournament of SciencesPo but also throughout the year thanks to a great number of associations.
The accommodation price is extremely low compared to Paris and it is much easier to find an accommodation, in a CROUS residence (TDC), a studio, a shared apartment or a residence (foyer rémois, quai 207, résidium, yellowhouse). There are a lot of accommodations proposed less than 5 minutes away from the campus. For students looking for accommodations even less expensive, the city’s transportation will make the campus accessible for everyone.
How to prepare for your admission ?
To integrate Reims, one must already be admitted at SciencesPo Paris. Every advice you may find on this website may therefore be applied for Reims’ procedure. If you are French, practice for the written exam thanks to official bibliography and exam records, make your file glow thanks to associations and good grades, prepare the oral without neglecting anything.
Reims is highly coveted, passing the written exam will therefore not assure a spot there ! You will also have to prove that you have the perfect profile and you will have to show how interested about North America you are.
1st step is easy: if you want Reims, make it your first choice!! This is applicable for every campus you ask for: if you want to go there, make it your first choice. Comparing demand and admission rate will not change anything: we are not on UCAS. Be earnest and ask directly for what you really want! It is the best way to get it. Anyway, there are not “plan B” at Sciences Po, so, go for it !
Prepare the finest cover letter thinking about that. The aim is to show how thoroughly you want to integrate SciencesPo, and SciencesPo in Reims more particularly, without, at the same time, closing any doors for your second choice. Talk about your motivation for Reims. Mention any experience that has a link with North America: interest for politics, travels…Your letter must be interesting, for a Reims lecturer AND for a Paris lecturer who could not even locate Reims on a map. The key to success (and that is applicable for every cover letter): take inevitable arguments and a bit cliché (SciencesPo attracts you because of the school’s international open-mindedness, for its general curriculum, its prestige…) and make them personal, show why they matter for you! Don’t hesitate to do that, try to appear human with personal facts: your aim is to make a letter that will stand out from the pile!
Know how your particularities are advantageous! A double-nationality, an international experience, some parents in a professional domain that SciencesPo could make accessible… If you’re lucky enough to possess such advantages, speak about them! Students that have a highly international background are very attractive for regional campuses. Do not neglect any element: a 2 days trip in London can be presented as a glorious experience, as glorious as a schooling In the US! To what extent is your point of view about the world, the news, about politics altered by every experience you have? How did these experience enrich your personality? What would SciencesPo Reims add to that? Why is your background relevant for SciencesPo and the, Euro-American campus?
Use all these elements to prepare for your oral. You can expect questions about your personality, your taste for mushrooms or circus, about specific knowledge. You can be asked about Reims’ campus particularities, cursus compared to others for example (Why Reims and not Menton? Because I will have class in English without dropping Arabic!). Questions about your experience with the Anglo-Saxon world are frequent, as frequent as questions about your file. Specific knowledge questions will also be asked: to measure your knowledge about international questions, arts, sciences, societies…
For French people, expect some questions to be asked in English, the jury must test your level.
Try to appear relaxed, witty, knowledgeable. Show that you are tough-working but that you will also take part in the multiple associations (MIND the questions about which associations are offered, they are very frequent! RIMUN, Sciences Paws, Sciences Po Environment, Unicef, Expo(ose), Ultraviolets etc.).
Work on your ability to speak English ! if you are already bilingual or native, you’re fine! But if English is not your native language, work on it! Read as much as you can (The times, the economist…). Work on your grammar, watch films in original version (you will have the pleasure to discover the variety of accents in English). Your pronunciation, grammar, skills must show the jury how able you are to follow courses taught in English! Don’t hesitate to ask your language teachers about your project, ask him to fulfill your school report adequately, even to write your recommendation letter! Some provinces fund language test, look for these opportunities! Put forward any special cursus you do at school (Euro section, IB, esabac…). Ideally, a C1 level will be enough to follow classes in Reims! But no panic, language courses are very efficient in Reims and the environment will make your progression faster than you can imagine! Don’t feel inferior to the students who have made exchanges, spend time in high schools abroad: with will and a constant motivation, one can improve his skills dramatically!
Be aware of current issues, news. Vary the sources! Look for neutral sources, or at least compare several sources. Try to acquire knowledge about the different societies, political and judiciary systems. Learn how to use these sources, references are always appreciated by the jury. Try to appear neutral but you can be asked about your opinion.
Don’t forget, Reims is the EURO-American campus : don’t neglect the EU, France and other European states! Try to always compare the systems, to find common points or divergences and build your opinions on these basis. No matter what the subject will be, you will be able to enlarge your argumentation by comparing systems adequately.
Don’t forget Arabic wisdom : “ ALWAYS TRY TO TARGET THE MOON. IF YOU MISS, YOU WILL LAND IN THE STARS” 😉
To help YOU : Example of a cover letter (successful applicant)
“To the attention of the members of the selection committee, Throughout my short life, I have been able to observe the way our human societies all around the world are interdependent, this is why I believe that it is important to think with an international perspective to be able to understand, criticize and take part in the evolution of the world we are living in. In my opinion, Sciences Po’s curriculum perfectly suits such an aim in that subjects like Economics, Politics and International Relations are appropriate for a critical understanding of our societies. I would therefore deeply enjoy studying these subjects at a high level in Sciences Po, a school with tremendous educational reputation and international open-mindedness. My wish to study at Sciences Po can firstly be justified by my keen interest in History, Economics, Sociology and languages. This is the reason why in high school I chose to follow the Economics and Social Sciences (ES) section with the European Option to broaden my knowledge in History and improve my English. It was, for me, the most complete and the most suitable cursus for my aim of studying at Sciences Po. I also strived to deepen my understanding of these subjects by following numerous conferences which were extremely enriching. Indeed, meeting FDR’s grandson, Curtis Roosevelt, giving a lecture about the New Deal policy, confirmed my interest in the North American role in our world. Listening to politicians, at the IEP of Bordeaux, debating on the issue of ecology in politics also confirmed my interest in European politics. My interest in these subjects combined with my inextinguishable intellectual curiosity also explained my enthusiasm in following the 7 week-long “Economics of Money and Baking” MOOC given by Peter Merhling from Columbia University following which I was given a certificate of accomplishment. Another reason for applying to Sciences Po is the international dimension shown in its regional campuses. My education has led me to want to further my understanding of other civilizations and languages. This taste for discovery was what made me go to Canada for three months at the age of 13: it was an incredible experience that will remain a prominent moment in my life. I had the opportunity to stay in a host family, to attend to a Canadian school and to visit Canada and the USA. It was highly enriching for me in that I confirmed my affection for North American culture. I thus acquired a greater awareness of the importance of intercultural dialog. I totally am fascinated by Canada, by its people, culture and tolerance and it is a dream of mine to spend more time in this country‒a dream that could come true with Sciences Po’s “third year abroad” program. Since this great experience, I have multiplied international experiences by taking part in two English-speaking European youth exchange programs held in Poland and in Slovakia. These exchanges consisted of societal debates about a subject such as “fighting and living with poverty in our world”. It was thoroughly interesting as we had a chance to measure the complexity of international relations during the debates with the other nationalities represented. Debating about racism with less wealthy countries showed us how a diplomatic attitude can be essential to maintain relationships with totally divergent societies. Sciences Po’s RIMUN would therefore be a very interesting way to carry on understanding the strategies of diplomacy. Wanting to pursue my international education, I naturally applied to go study in Ireland for a year, knowing about the international procedure I had discovered when I worked on Sciences Po within my TPE. I’m currently staying in a host family while preparing the Baccalauréat at the Lycée Français: I’m acquiring a wider knowledge of Irish history and culture and perfecting my level of English. Through higher education, it is a future we are building. In our forthcoming world, it seems to me that North America will still remain an undeniable sphere of influence. That is why it is important for me to carry on learning as much as I possibly can about North American economy and society. The Euro-American campus in Reims therefore appears to be extraordinarily adapted to my wish thanks to its transatlantic focus. Combining the study of my geographical roots and the study of the countries that will make the future is a great opportunity that is seldom offered, especially in such in an international environment. However, I also realize the already established importance of the Asian continent, and more particularly China, Japan, India and South Korea. These countries form the factories and the laboratories of the world and have known an exponential development since their integration into the global economy. Someone interested in diplomacy and international relations cannot ignore the languages spoken in these countries and their thousand-year-old cultures. I thus believe that the Europe-Asia Campus in Le Havre and its intercultural atmosphere would allow me to efficiently learn new languages and increase my knowledge of this part of the world. This year, I have been involved in quite a lot of projects. I have taken part in a European short film project with my friends: we shot a movie about a human feeling (the state of shock) to be broadcast in Helsinki if we are lucky enough to be selected. I translated the script into English, filmed the scenes and helped in the writing of the screenplay. It was the opportunity of working with my friends and it confirmed my enthusiasm for well-conducted teamwork. Such teamwork was essential when I was a member of Marmande’s teenagers city council. There, we debated on projects such as protecting the city’s park during big events and we helped the “Restos du Coeur”: I thoroughly enjoy the idea of being engaged with people and for people and believe in the common good reached by concerted policies. “I have a dream that” this brief outline of my personality may convince you that Sciences Po’s degree suits my long-term career goal of becoming a diplomat.”