Well, that is what two students found out as recipients of the Sciences Po Dual Degree Equity Scholarship.
Established in 2020 to provide support to students studying our two dual degrees with Sciences Po in France, Aman and Tahlia share their study journey.
As an individual with multiple physical disabilities, the Sciences Po Dual Degree Equity Scholarship has helped me minimise the impact of my handicap on the quality of my experience in France.
How has the Sciences Po Dual Degree Equity Scholarship helped you and why should students apply for it?
Aman: Moving to a foreign country is already hard, even more so when you are unsure of how to support yourself physically - the scholarship has given me the ability to access these support resources. If you want to experience Sciences Po, France and the dual degree but are unsure if it is possible due to personal inequities, apply for this scholarship!
Without it, I would have had no feasible way to fund my studies and live overseas.
What drew you to/made you decide to do the Sciences Po Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Economics dual degree?
Aman: The opportunity to challenge yourself by moving to another country and learn at one of the best political institutions in the world was impossible to give up.
Tahlia: I had a lot of general interests in my final year of high school, and I knew that I didn’t want to do a specific degree, but something broader relating to humanities and politics. For this reason, Sciences Po really appealed to me as I could study a variety of different subjects in my first year and then major in my second year. Even better than that, I can again choose my major when I begin studying [the Bachelor of Arts] at the University of Sydney, creating a diverse learning experience during my undergraduate studies. And of course, the opportunity to study overseas in France was a huge influence.
I applied as a chance not believing I would get through the process and then when the opportunity came through, I was ecstatic.
What do you think makes the dual degree unique in comparison to other programs?
Aman: There is one key difference that exists between this program and other similar overseas opportunities like exchange - when you go overseas to a high-level institution like Sciences Po, you end the program receiving an entire degree from them, and one from the University of Sydney too.
Tahlia: I think the most unique feature is graduating with a degree from two universities in two different parts of the world. Also being able to study in two different learning environments is something that I don’t think many other programs offer but it is such a great way to build your knowledge and learning ability.
The value of having a European degree and an Australian degree at the end of your studies is invaluable and opens many professional doors for you.
Why should others do the dual degree? How has it enhanced your Arts/Economics study?
Aman: I think studying at two different institutions halfway across the world gives you a unique academic perspective that gives you a better grasp of the economic and political context worldwide. Additionally, it gives you access to different teaching styles and educational systems, such as the close, personal student-led seminars at Sciences Po.
Tahlia: I think people should study the dual degree to learn about a broad range of topics that they might not have the chance to study together doing another degree.
The international perspectives from students as well as professors really deepens your understanding in a way that wouldn’t be possible studying with people from even the same country.
What advice would you give to students considering the dual degree?
Aman: Go for it! It's an incredible way to differentiate yourself at a young age, learn to live alone, explore a different country, meet awesome people and study at two incredible institutions. There's nothing stopping you!
Tahlia: My advice would be that if you are thinking about applying, just do it! You never know what could happen. Although the course is very intense and rigorous, if you enjoy the subjects then it is definitely worth it.
I can’t imagine my university experience being any other way and wouldn’t change it at all (except maybe for being able to study in person)!
The Bachelor of Arts (Dual Degree, Sciences Po, France) and the Bachelor of Economics (Dual Degree, Sciences Po, France) are just two of the international opportunities supported by Strategic Partnerships and Engagement within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and by Sydney Abroad. Please see Equity scholarships and Study overseas scholarships for available scholarships.
Banner image: Photo of the Le Havre Campus from a distance by Aman Gopalani