Overall, Welcome Programme was very helpful. But that’s not where it ends either. It was packed with most amazing people and entertainments. Here are some more highlights of the fun I had this past week: 

I.                     Scavenger Hunt 

To those who participated in UCLA New Student Orientation, this scavenger hunt will be familiar. It’s basically Carpe Noctem but during day time in the heart of Paris. 

All participating students are sorted into random groups of 10, and are given tasks to do at each location marked on a map. The race is 3 hours long, and the group to make it in time with most points win. Simple, right? 

All places marked on maps were very local places that many tourists would have never heard of. It was a great way to learn about Paris. 

In addition, the tasks at each place required active participation and creativity of all members, forcing the strangers to become friends by the end of the race.  

Here are some places we visited: (These are all major landmarks. Can you guess what they are?) 

II.                   Orsay Museum Tour  

Orsay museum is one of my favorite museums of all times, with impressive collection of impressionist works ( XD ). Fortunately for us students under 26 years old of age, it is one of many museums we can enter for free with a student ID card. 

View of Orsay Museum’s main hall

And even better for Sciences Po students, Orsay and also Louvre (which is just across the Seine River form Orsay) are only about 10-15 minutes walking distances away from school. Our student leader told us that Orsay hosts many events throughout the year in evenings and that many Sciences Po students come to enjoy them after their classes. Though Sciences Po doesn’t have a marked campus, because so it feels as if Orsay is a part of the campus. 

Though I have visited the museum couple times before, the tour was entertaining nonetheless. Like many museums, Orsay museum on its placards often only write of the artist’s name, year, and the piece’s title. For people without expertise in art like me, it is very difficult to fully appreciate art works. 

View of Montmarte from Orsay

The tour satisfied my urge to know more about the art works. It was in English, and our museum guide had a small mike which we could hear through our ear pieces. She told of behind stories behind Orsay’s most famous work pieces and its artists, giving us detailed contexts of each. 

 One new thing I have learned from the tour is that a bronze statue of standing ballerina by Degas is a duplicate. It was originally made in wax, and it was duplicated in bronze after Degas passed away. And all these years I thought my statue was originally made out of bronze!  

III.                 Wine & Cheese 

When I think of France, many things come in to my mind and one of them is obviously wine. It is a big part of the culture here; so big that Sciences Po held a Wine & Cheese night for us exchange students. 

We were assigned one of two sessions on a weekday night, and the event was held on the school campus.  

When I first heard of the event, I expected very little from it. May be a glass of a foul wine and some cheese that will run out by the end of the night? But to my pleasant surprise, everything was above and beyond my expectation. 


There was enough wine, both red and white, for all students to get second and third glasses of. The wine bottles were displayed so that students knew of what they were drinking and so that they can refer to the wine later. 

Some of prepared food for the night

Prepared foods were amazing as well. There were many kinds of finger food I never seen before, and they all tasted wonderful. Meat platters and cheese platters were very interesting as well, with kinds that I never really seen in the US. I remember that there was this one kind of cheese that looked like a flower, and no one knew of what it was – American, German, Peruvian, Swedish, Japanese…. No one knew what that cheese was but it tasted great and we all loved it! (Hindsight, I should have asked a French person…. But oh well.) There was more than enough food as well that students were welcome to go back for second and third. 

 These are but few events that were held during the Welcome Programme. Though its intense schedule may look daunting at first glance (I was appalled when I saw that events were scheduled even on Sundays) the programme overall was such a great experience. 

 I know where my classes are at, I know what to expect-ish, and I have friends to survive classes with.  

I am ready for school. 

Please wish me luck for my class tomorrow at 8 am.  I will see you all soon! 

Au Revoir 

4 Sept 17          


Eileen Kim studied abroad in Paris, France in 2017: