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Erasmus Undergraduate Exchanges

Sciences Po

Sciences Po is France’s leading university in the social sciences the exchange is the only school-wide undergraduate Erasmus exchange programme on offer at the London School of Economics. We do not have an agreement with any other institution for undergraduate Erasmus exchanges and are unable to arrange agreements on the request of individual students.

2017 - 18 Application Process

A briefing will be held on Wednesday 8 November 2:00pm to 3:00pm in PAR 1.02.  Deadlines for receipt of applications will be on Friday 24th November at 23:59PM.   We regret that we cannot accept late applications.

Who can apply?

  • All LSE students who are currently in the second year of their undergraduate programme plus undergraduate PPE students in their third year.
  • We would normally expect you to have passed all your first year exams without needing to retake any of them, although the panel may be prepared to consider exceptions to this.
    • N.b. if you are offered a place on the scheme but fail one or more of your second year exams, you might be asked to withdraw from the scheme.
    • The Sciences Po year is additional to the requirements of your LSE degree. Having completed the year at Sciences Po you then return to LSE to study the final year of your programme. 
    • The exchange year does not count towards your final classification. However, Sciences Po will issue you with a transcript giving details of your results.
    • By completing a full workload (which equates to 30 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System [ECTS] credits per term), you will be eligible to receive Sciences Po's Certificate in Social Science and Humanities.

Before you make the decision to apply for an exchange please make sure that you have read the following information carefully and have thought about why you would like to take part in the exchange.

You can apply for both the Sciences Po and UC Berkeley exchange from 2017, but there will only be one selection competition running at the same time for both exchanges. If you are interested in both opportunities you will need to indicate this on the application form.

How do I apply?

Ten students will be nominated by a selection panel to participate in the Sciences Po Exchange.  In order to be considered by the panel you must submit the application form by the deadline of Friday 24th November at 23:59PM.   You will need Adobe to be able to access and complete the form.

Undergraduate Exchanges Application Form 2017-18 (PDF)

We will only request references for shortlisted students.

Send your applications electronically to Erasmus@lse.ac.uk with the subject title - Undergraduate Exchange Application.

Briefing Presentation - LSE application process

Tips for writing your application

In assessing your application the panel will be looking for:

  • Evidence that you have given this opportunity careful thought and have strong reasons for wanting to take advantage of it.
  • You have undertaken suitable research, for instance by visiting the Sciences Po website
  • A detailed explanation of why you would like to study at your first choice of campus and how the year at Sciences Po would contribute to your future plans.
  • Do not make your personal statement overly clichéd.
  • Be clear on what you hope to achieve or benefit from the exchange. 
  • Remember you are selling yourself as the best representative for LSE 
  • Be yourselves in the application - we want to see what you personally have achieved and will get from the exchange rather than quoting the work of others.
  • This is an application for an exchange not employment; internship applications which have been modified are unlikely to be accepted as they will not cover the correct information.

How can LSE Life help you with your application?

LSE LIFE offers prospective exchange students the opportunity to prepare their application form with the support of a Student Adviser. The tailor-made support consists of two to three meetings: in the first meeting, students develop their general strategy and outline their ideas for the application; in the second meeting, students further refine their application statements regarding coherence, cohesion, and concision; and in a third meeting, students will do a final fine-tuning of their applications.

Students can book 1-on-1 meetings with a Student Adviser at LSE LIFE responsible for the application support either through LSE LIFE’s booking link or at the reception of LSE LIFE. 

What is the Sciences Po Exchange?

Ten students will be selected to spend two semesters (one academic year) at one of Sciences Po’s seven campuses; each campus has its own speciality, please see table below. More information about the Sciences Po Exchange can be found here.

Sciences Po Campuses:

Dijon campus

European - Central and Eastern Europe undergraduate programme

Focus on the European Union and its enlargements

Programme in French and English, including intensive French language study

Le Havre campus

Europe-Asia undergraduate programme

Focus on Europe’s relations with Asia and the dynamics of globalisation

Programme taught in English with intensive

French language study

Menton campus

Middle Eastern and Mediterranean

Undergraduate Programme

Focus on the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Gulf states

Programme taught in English with intensive French language study

Nancy campus

European Franco-German undergraduate programme

Focus on the European Union and the relationship between France and Germany

Trilingual programme in English, French and German

Paris campus

General curriculum programme


Programme taught in French and English

Poitiers campus

Europe-Latin America undergraduate programme

Focus on Latin America to better understand the rise of emerging powers

Programme taught in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese

Reims campus

Europe-North America undergraduate programme, the Europe-Africa undergraduate programme

Focus on relations between Europe and North America

Programme taught in English with intensive French language study

How good will my taught language have to be?

From the table above you can see that programme language depends on your chosen campus; it is possible to take courses in English at most of the campuses. Students who are not taking courses in their native language will undergo an Online Linguistic Support assessment. Those students who are considered to need more language support will have to take part in the scheme throughout the year.  We encourage all of our students to use the exchange as an opportunity to improve their language skills.

Details of the specific language requirements for each campus can be found here.  

An explanation of the language requirements can be found here.

What courses will I be able to take?

You will choose your first courses before you go to France (usually June – August depending on the campus) and choose your second set of courses by January in the following year.  It is not always possible to take all of your first choice courses, so have second and third choices in mind.  The course catalogue varies between campuses therefore, information regarding course can be found in the webpages of each specific campus.

Information on the course registration process can be found on the course registration page.

Before viewing the course catalogues which can be accessed here please bear in mind that before you choose your courses you will need to:

  • Ensure you don't take courses that directly overlap with courses you have taken or are going to take at LSE
  • Take at least one language course, ideally with a view to studying a language you haven't studied before
  • Meet any academic conditions or pre-requisites set for admission to the courses you choose.
  • (Recommended) discuss your course choice with your Academic Adviser. 

How does the scheme work financially?

You will need to make a payment towards tuition fees at LSE whilst you are on the exchange.  The amounts have yet to be confirmed but in 2016 -17 were:

  • UK/EU students: £1,350
  • International students: £4,500

If you are eligible for funding through the Student Loan Company, you will be able to apply for a loan to cover these tuition fees. 

As with the UK, the cost of living will vary depending on which campus you are studying at, with Paris being the most expensive. Information on the cost of living can be found here.

Financial support available

  • If you are a UK/EU student and receive support from Student Finance, you will continue to be eligible for support but will need to notify them of your exchange year.
  • If you are a UK/EU student in receipt of a LSE Bursary, your award will be renewed at its current rate for the year in France (subject to assessment by the Financial Support Office). This does not include LSE scholarships.
  • All students will be eligible for a mobility grant under the Erasmus scheme. The grant for 2017/18 is €350 per month however it is subject to change every year; This grant is intended to assist with travel and living expenses during your exchange.  It will not cover the costs of the exchange in-full.  
  • Additional Erasmus funding is available for those students on Widening Participation or with special needs, so please let us know if you are eligible for these.
  • The School will provide additional funding to those students with Widening Participation needs.  This may be lower than in previous years, so please ensure you let us know if you are eligible for the additional funding from Erasmus.
  • International students who have loans or scholarships from their home country, will need to check with their lender/sponsor whether they can be applied to the year in France, although LSE can help with official documentation.  Sciences Po is an accredited institution for US student loan purposes.

Erasmus Grant Conditions

If you are selected as one of the final ten students you are agreeing and required to complete the following documents (some before, during or after your exchange) for the European Commission in order to receive your grant.

  • Finances form
  • Online Linguistic support* (dependant on the language you will be taught in).
  • Grant Agreement*
  • Learning Agreement*
  • Final Report*

*This paperwork must be completed by the given deadlines otherwise it is in direct breach of your exchange contract with the British Council. Failure to complete the documents may result in no grant payment or a full re-payment of the grant.

Where would I live?

You will receive support from Sciences Po housing services at the campus you are attending, but it will be your responsibility to find a place to live.  This is more difficult in Paris where there is a housing shortage.

For details go to: Sciences Po: Living in France.

What about healthcare and visas?

The LSE insurance policy may cover you during your exchange year.  You will need to inform the Erasmus Coordinator if you wish to explore this option.  UK/EU nationals will be covered by their European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC), but international students may need to obtain further medical insurance.

For more information about healthcare in France please see here.

Schengen Visas

If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, you may require also require a visa to study in France. Further details can be found on the Sciences Po immigration pages.

How will the exchange affect my Tier 4 visa?

From April 2016, the Home Office viewed exchanges which were added to a programme as a "new" course.  We will no longer keep you sponsored on your Tier 4 visa during your period of exchange and you will need to apply for a new visa overseas to be able to return for your final year at LSE.

You should note that any time waiting for your Tier 4 visa to be cancelled whilst overseas will still count towards the cap on degree level studies.

How does this fit with my LSE degree studies?

  • The Sciences Po year is additional to the requirements of your LSE degree. Having completed the year at Sciences Po you then return to LSE to study the final year of your programme. 
  • The exchange year does not count towards your final classification. However, Sciences Po will issue you with a transcript giving details of your results.
  • By completing a full workload (which equates to 30 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System [ECTS] credits per term), you will be eligible to receive Sciences Po's Certificate in Social Science and Humanities.

Is Sciences Po the only undergraduate exchange available?

The exchange at Sciences Po is the only school-wide European exchange available for LSE students under Erasmus+.  In 2018 - 2019, the LSE exchange with University of California, Berkeley is running for a third year.  This is a special arrangement between the LSE and Berkeley. More details of the opportunity are available on the Academic Partnerships web pages. Follow @LSE_SSC for more updates. 

If you are either a Social Anthropology or Anthropology and Law student, you may wish to explore your departmental exchange with the University of Melbourne.