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I hear it is finals week back at UCLA, and sadly, it is so here in Paris as well. So, in honor of finals week and the fast-approaching end of the semester, I will write this post on How to Survive Finals at Sciences Po. Hope this post is somewhat useful.  

 Unlike UCLA, where week 10 is the end of instruction and week 11 is the finals week, at Sciences Po, we have a gap week of no instruction between Week 12 and Finals.  

However, that does not mean you should bank on these extra days to procrastinate or travel.  

It was too packed to even go inside, so here is picture of our library when it was empty outside

The Gap Week, is actually one of busiest weeks for students at Sciences Po. Some professors prefer to make papers’ deadlines to fall in this week. The same deadlines may also go for group projects, and as you can imagine, meeting with your group gets more and more difficult as everyone starts cramming in for end of semester.  

Also, Gap Week is usually THE week of make-up instructions. A short-notice class cancellation is a very likely possibility at Sciences Po. And as I have mentioned in my previous post, at Sciences Po, each class cancelled must be made up to complete total 12 classes. Attending classes are important in general, but at Sciences Po it is an obligation as even those make up classes are part of mandatory attendance.  

One thing to be careful about is that those make up classes may not be scheduled for your regular class hours as well. For example, when my Friday French class was had to be, it was scheduled to be on Thursday 5 PM, a day I usually had no class at Sciences Po. Unless you have another class that falls in same time, you have to attend the class.  

My Make Up French Class on Thursday

In worst scenario case, your class might have to make up 2 classes during the Gap Week as you frantically study for your exams, and if you have already used up your 2 absences, you will have to attend those classes in whatever hours they are scheduled at in order to avoid automatic dropping from the class.  

So, it’s a good idea to save up your absences until the end. I for example had 3 make up classes during the Gap Week, but I was able to skip out of all of them and find me extra time to study.  

Three Classes for Gap Week

After the Gap Week is the Finals Week, but unlike UCLA, most of the exams fall on weekend instead of weekdays. The final exam schedule become available toward the end of the semester (meaning you should not book your flight back home until you have these dates available) and even professors do not know when they will be scheduled to. Most of exams fall on Friday, but some fall on Saturday as well, and official exam schedule extends to 21st of December, the following Thursday.  

Another tip for Finals Week is the reminder to complete online evaluations for your instructors online at your student webpage. The links become soon closed after Finals Week, and one will most likely not remember to do so after finals. Sciences Po takes evaluation very seriously, and missing out on those comes with repercussions. For both year-long and semester students, the grades from Sciences Po will delayed or, in worst case, not be released to UCLA, and for year-long students there will be penalties imposed on your next semester course registration. It is a very serious matter, so don’t forget! 

Feeling stressed? Well, at least Sciences Po has a free therapy: Marcel!! He is our campus cat, and usually hangs around in 13U building of Sciences Po. He is very friendly and you can definitely pet him if he lets you!  

Marcel sitting on my backpack as I was eating lunch

With this, I will leave you so that I can study for my finals. Good luck, everyone at UCLA, and good luck to me too! 

– Eileen Kim  

Eileen Kim studied abroad in Paris, France in 2017: