Student Testimonials: Sciences Po
Name: Vanessa Xinyi Mao
Highlight of my semester abroad:
I enjoyed every part of my IBEX experience, including meeting people with different backgrounds from Sciences Po and other areas of life, exploring Paris’s art exhibitions, museums, galleries, restaurants & pastry shops, going on adventures such as hitchhiking, traveling in Europe during and after the semester.
Who I spent most of my time with abroad:
I hung out with a diverse pool of people. There was a close group of students from Sciences Po (each from Germany, Switzerland, Poland, China) with whom I hung out quite often. I also enjoyed the home meals/ wine chats with my French host family, whose daughters are fine art and architecture students. I still meet up with the friends I made in pastry school. While I was abroad, I kept an even more open mind of making friends; I was also constantly meeting new people through parties and traveling. The best part of socializing in Paris is that I met interesting people with different interests and aspirations, also the people who are older than you (those who are already working), listening to their stories and opinions might open up your mind and help you with your own choice.
If you go, you must check out...:
- Restaurants/Cafes: Le Relais de l'Entrecôte (best steak place), Ober Mamma (Italian), Le Souffle Cafe de Flore (for hot chocolate), Le Cherche Midi (Italian), Chez Bebert
- Pastry Shops: Pierre Herme, Ladure, L’eclair de genie (the best eclair, try the framboise flavor), Hugo et Victor Carette (macarons), Michalak Le Bon Marche (food building, the best saint honore on the pastry counter), Lafayette Gourmet Berthillon glacier (ice cream)
- Bars: Le Comptoir General
- Places to hang out/Picnics: Canal Saint Martin, Champ de Mars, Jardin du Luxemburg
- Concept stores: Merci Archive 18-20 by Galerie 208
- The Best Views: Montmar tre/ Sacré-Cœur, Tour Monparnasse, Galleries Lafayette (you can go up to the rooftop)
- Architecture: Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris Opera, Grand Palais, Eglise Saint-Sulpice, Versailles
- Museums/Events: Nuit Blanche (my favorite art event!), Grand Palais (ongoing exhibitions), Centre Pompidou, Musee Rodin, L’opera (for ballets & operas)
What I would say to students considering participating in IBEX:
Make your own decision. And go do it. While you are abroad, make clear to yourself what your goals are and take action to achieve them. Keep an open mind and explore.
Contact me about Sciences Po:
Vanessa Xinyi Mao - firstname.lastname@example.org