YIF Exchange Programme at Sciences Po: Abhinav Soman, Fellow YIF, Class of 2014
I am pursuing the International Energy programme at Sciences Po in the Paris, School of International Affairs. A range of stellar and diverse faculty ranging from the Director of Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, to the scientific advisor for the film, ‘The Day after Tomorrow’ take classes on subjects such as oil pricing in energy markets and bio-energy revolution. One of my best experiences so far has been the simulation exercise called ’Artic Game’ conducted in the Energy in Russia and CIS class. We were divided into various groups that represented the key stakeholders in the formation of an international consortium for oil exploration in the Arctic region commissioned by a Russian state company. Getting into the shoes of decision makers made us realize the limitations and challenges they face despite their intentions. We also learnt how the distribution of power, is seldom how it appears on the outside and circumstances that lead to some bizarre alliances between the stakeholders. This one instance is far from being representative of the unique pedagogy at Sciences Po which is not exam-centric. I share my classes with fellow students from almost every continent in the world, many of whom have significant work experience. A truly international atmosphere where the learning is enriched by the experiences shared by fellow classmates has offered me more than what I had asked for when I applied for the exchange programme. Added to this, studying in one of most charming cities in the world is an experience in itself.
The Charpak Scholarship for exchange awarded by the French government provides a monthly stipend that helps Sakshi Mohan my YIF Fellow-mate and I meet our day to day expenses in Paris.The scholarship providers- Campus France, were also of immense help right from the moment we arrived in Paris to help us settle down and continue to serve as point of contact and guardian in case of any issues.