- Study at Sciences Po
- Study in the Americas
- Programs with the Americas
- Sciences Po and the Americas
- Research and scholarship
Go to the US
Preparing for your exchange
Once you have decided to study in the United States, the next step is to research your options for a destination university. This decision will require you to consider a wide range of issues: language, university specialisations, and travel options are just a few of these factors.
It is essential that you research your options well before applying for exchange places. One of your best sources of information will be the Exchange Reports of Sciences Po students who have completed exchanges in American universities.
Choosing your destination
Our country briefs aim to answer all practical and academic questions you may have about American universities. Each country profile contains information on the country's political system, education system, visa and insurance requirements and French embassies. You should consult the center for the Americas universities presentation.
Every fall, the Center for the Americas organises information sessions where you can meet Sciences Po students who have been to the United States and American students currently studying at Sciences Po. The date will be advertised in the Newsletter and in the News and Events section of this site.
The Center for the Americas, the hub for all of Sciences Po's American activities, is at your service for further information. Please contact us by e-mail or visit the Center:
► Undergraduate Students
If you wish to study in the United States but outside of an exchange program, we also have Short Programs for undergraduate students with American universities.
► Graduate Students
For ALL information regarding a graduate exchange semester in North America: Graduate programs in North America (fr). For more information on the application procedure and your responsibilities, please look at the DAIE website.
Please look at the Dual Degree Programs and the Combined Degree Programs pages.
Before you contact the Center for the Americas, please meet with your Master's Academic Advisor. Your application will not be considered unless you receive an authorisation from him/her.
In the United States, students have the right to work (paid or unpaid) 20 hours maximum per week during the academic year and only on the host university’s campus. Unless it is considered “practical training”, any other activity (paid or unpaid) is strictly prohibited.
Any exchange student is able to work part-time or full-time if the position that is related to his/her studies during a period equal to the total period of his/her stay in the United States.
Example: John will spend 9 months in Georgetown. He can thus work 9 months in an organisation that is related to his study programme. He can choose to work during the academic year or at then end of his study abroad.
To participate in practical training, you need to obtain the authorisation from your host university, who will then give you more information on the appropriate application processes.
For all information concerning an internship in the United States instead of a study abroad during your third year.
The Centre of the Americas is at your disposition to guide you during the preparation process of your third year abroad or your semester on exchange if your are a Master’s student. Here is a glimpse of the steps you will have to take if you wish to study in the United States:
- You will be required to take the IELTS or, ideally, the TOEFL test if you haven’t already done so or if you took it before January 2008.
- You will need an electronic or biometric passport. It must still be valid at least 6 months after your return date to France. Here is all informations about passport and visa for the US. You can also find here more information about your visa.
- A bank certification is required in English with the bank’s letterhead to justify your ability to pay the expenses related to your study in the US (at least 12 – 15, 000 USD). This amount will vary according to the different campuses. Please ask for two copies.
- You are advised to register for an international health insurance; the LMDE and the SMEREP propose products specifically adapted for exchange programmes in the United States.
- Please be aware that acceptance letters and the DS 2019 or I20 (documents needed to obtain visas) may only be available in mid-July. This means that your appointment with the American Consulate may only be scheduled at the end of July or early August. Therefore, try not to plan any long vacations between the end of June and early August !!!
- Do not make an appointment with the American Consulate before you have received all documents from the university.
- The Centre of Americas will send your application documents to your host university. Please fill the forms in properly and respect the deadlines so that your application can be reviewed and sent at the same time. A photocopy of your application must also be addressed to the Centre for the Americas.
- Prepare all the required documents in advance i.e. a photocopy of your passport; your transcripts translated into English, an original copy of your TOEFL or IELTS scores, letters of recommendation written in English and your bank certifications.
- Please consult the US Bureau of Consular Service’s website for information about the procedure for obtaining a visa.
- As an exchange student, you will pay your regular tuition fees to Sciences Po. You are therefore not required to pay your host university’s tuition fees.