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SciencesPo & HKU Dual Degree: Hear from the students!

December 04, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

This year, Sciences Po Paris university in France and HKU came together to launch a dual-degree program, wherein students would spend two years in each institution, and complete two bachelors in total. We had the first brave group of students arrive in September. The group  of five is diverse, with Rachel (France), Sara (Albania) and Mehdi (France) coming from a Middle Eastern politics background, Daniel (Shanghai) from an Asian politics one, and Victor (France) from a political sciences and international affairs one. Mehdi and Daniel, now majoring in PPA and Business & Management respectively, share with us their thoughts on this experience so far.

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Q: What is this dual degree exactly? 

D: This double degree program is basically a combination of two years of education in Sciences Po, and then two years of education in HKU, both of which will a separate degree from either university.

M:  Well, I first spent two years in SciencesPo Paris’ Middle Eastern Campus of Menton, and now I have to spend two other years in HKU. I am enrolled in the Faculty of Social Sciences and I major in Politics and Public Administration. I can also take some Journalism courses and focus more on the Far East in general, China in particular. I am also able to keep my previous tie with the Middle East by taking Arabic as my minor. At the end of these four years, I will receive both schools’ bachelors.

Q: Tell us a bit about your experience with the admission procedure?

D: As the first batch of students to enroll into this program, to us we mainly just received an email notifying that we can apply by submitting our CVs, followed by an interview by Sciences Po staff.

M: I had to send a motivation letter as well as my CV. Since there was no interview in the process, there was no pressure at all. If I got rejected, I still had a regular third year waiting for me.

 

Q: Why did you consider doing this dual degree in the first place?

D: To me there are two principal reasons: firstly, since I come from the Le Havre (Europe-Asian) campus, Hong Kong is a natural choice for me to go on my dual degree. Also, Hong Kong is like a second home to me, although I do come from Shanghai, I know the people, the language, and the culture very well, so after two years living in France, Hong Kong did seem like an attractive choice.

M: As a student in the Campus of Menton, I was expected to do my third year in a Middle Eastern country. Yet, the opportunity to get two Bachelors, one in a European school and the other in an Asian one, tempted me. Academically it was clearly worth the shot because both universities are top-ranking. Above all, I could live in Asia for two years. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and it was right in front of me – I seized it.

 

Q: What were your first impressions of Hong Kong?

D: As I said, Hong Kong is like a second home to me, so the transition is very easy. In my opinion HKU also has less workload than Sciences Po, so academically the transition is not that difficult either.

M: I had no problems adapting to HK. My hall – Lap Chee College – is one of the newest and modern. I cannot say I fell in love with the city, but it is a really pleasant and fascinating one to live in. I am located in Kennedy Town, near a pier and streets full of nice places. But after only three months in the city, I still have a lot to explore.  Courses are similar to those I had in Sciences Po, in terms of quality.

Q: How do you feel about being here now? 

D: I am definitely happy with my choice to come here. I am doing quite well in all  my studies and all the teachers have been quite helpful. I am actively engaged in the English Debating Society, investment society, and music society, I am also the secretary general of the HKMUN society right now, so I would say that I have managed to integrate into the system.

M: Now, my choices match my expectations and little by little my professional project becomes clearer.  Yes, I feel integrated here, however maybe more as an exchange rather than a full-time student, my official status. But in the end, it does not make much difference.

Q: What are your plans for the future? Will Hong Kong influence your future projects/career? 

D: Well my plans for the future have always revolved around the common law areas, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, or the UK. So instead of saying that this program will influence my career choices, let’s just say that it is an important step for me.

M: This summer I will have to fulfil the eight-week internship required by my Faculty. This is a really good opportunity given to the students. I hope I will manage to make my way into mainland China, where I could try to train my Mandarin – and also flee from Hong Kong’s summer weather. Afterwards, I wish to make a one-month intensive Arabic internship in Egypt, which would be credited by the university. Due to my particular background in Sciences Po and HKU, my profile is not that common. If I work as needed, I think my passage in Hong Kong will have a significant impact on my career project. Moreover, I discovered that the French community abroad was well-organized and full of interesting people willing to meet and offer contacts or job opportunities.



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