Student Life

Student Profiles

 

Housing

Sciences Po

Housing in a new country can be daunting but there are many options for housing at the campus you choose in France. Some students live in apartments owned and administered by public entities, some live in homestays, while others secure other private housing alternatives. Sciences Po has a number of rooms reserved in student residences. The housing information on the campus-specific pages (Le Havre, Menton, Reims) provides information on how to pick a housing option that best suits you.

Regardless of nationality, Dual Degree students are entitled to a housing allowance from the Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF), which amounts to a monthly subsidy to be used toward payment of rent.

Sciences Po does not administer student housing directly but works with partner organizations to facilitate access to these residences for students.

If accepted to the program, students will receive more information regarding housing choices, cost, and application. 

UC Berkeley

Students are guaranteed housing when they get to UC Berkeley at either the International House or the Berkeley Student Cooperative.

International House is a residential and program center located at the top of campus and welcomes U.S. and international students, visiting scholars, researchers, and postdocs. Undergraduates can only access double occupancy rooms and all rooms come with a meal plan.

The Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) is a nonprofit organization which aims to provide a quality, low-cost, cooperative housing community for university students. Of the 20 housing units within the BSC, each is democratically run and all house labor, like cleaning and cooking, is divided among the members to keep costs low.

Other housing options are available, but not guaranteed. Some of these are listed below:

  • University Residence Halls
    Many students live in dormitories. Located just a few short blocks from campus, these single, double, and triple occupancy rooms all come with a meal plan.
  • Sublets
    Get connected with UC Berkeley students who plan to leave their houses and apartments for the semester or year and are searching for someone to take over their rent while they are away.
  • Berkeley Lab Guest House
    Located on the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory campus, guests can access the UC Berkeley campus via shuttle bus, car, bicycle, or foot. It offers standard, large, and studio rooms.
  • Off-Campus Housing
    Feel free to check out UC Berkeley's Housing website for more information.

Transition and Orientation

Students who are offered admission to the Dual Degree Program between UC Berkeley and Sciences Po will have access to a variety of resources to ease the cultural, academic, and social transitions inherent to the dual nature of the program. The transition is also facilitated by the intimate size of the Dual Degree cohort which allows for close-knit community bonds and comprehensive one-on-one advising from admittance to graduation. 

When arriving at Sciences Po, incoming students will take part in “Welcome Week” wherein several outings and events will take place to orient students to the campus they are attending. International students will have administrative and language assistance in setting up a French bank account, a French phone number and finalizing the visa process. Info sessions held by Sciences Po staff will provide students any additional knowledge needed to thrive at their respective campuses. Also during “Welcome Week”, social functions hosted by student organizations will foster community building.

Upon arriving at UC Berkeley, students will participate in Golden Bear Orientation (GBO). This week-long experience will familiarize students with the vast resources available at UC Berkeley from learning about Berkeley’s Career Center to touring Berkeley’s various athletic facilities. GBO is also a great chance for students to meet other students, many of whom are also entering in their third year. I-house and the Berkeley Student Cooperative—the Dual Degree’s guaranteed housing options—are also spaces where many students are able to cultivate community.

To aid in the academic transition to UC Berkeley, there is free tutoring available through the Student Learning Center. Dual Degree students can also take a Berkeley Connect course which will familiarize them with their department of study by fostering relationships with professors and exposing students to research opportunities. By large, Sciences Po’s rigorous academic curriculum prepares Dual Degree students very well for their studies at UC Berkeley. 

 

Extracurriculars

The extracurricular opportunities at Sciences Po are extensive and robust. There are three main student organizations which arrange much of campus life: The Bureau des Élèves (the student council equivalent for student life), the Bureau des Arts (the council that promotes arts and culture on campus), and the Association Sportive (the council that cultivates sports and fitness).

Apart from these associations, there are many smaller clubs that allow students to explore a vast array of interests from photography to sailing. Fortunately, it is very easy to create student organizations if you can’t find anything that represents your specific interests. 

A large part of student life is an end of the year, an all-campus competition called ‘Minicrit’. During Minicrit, Sciences Po students have the opportunity to represent their campus and participate in a variety of arts (theatre, dance, music, visual art, photography, poetry, etc) and sporting (basketball, cheerleading, football, rugby, volleyball, etc) events.

At UC Berkeley, the extracurricular opportunities are endless. Dual Degree students participate in a variety of clubs and organizations from the student newspaper to the student-led DeCal class in coding. UC Berkeley’s UCDC program and global internship programs are also opportunities students often take part in.  

It is very common for Dual Degree students to become involved in research through UC Berkeley’s Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP). Through this program, students receive academic credit for working on specific research projects with UC Berkeley faculty, choosing from about 400 projects available. Students are free to apply to any research project even if it is outside their area of study.