Anxhela Cakmashi

Exchange Student at Grandes Ecoles Sciences Po, Rennes

Everyone says that studying abroad is life-changing, and I’m here to confirm that is totally true. I was told multiple times by my peers that going through that experience touches you profoundly and you never come back the same.

When I was first proposed to follow a study program abroad in France I declined on it despite prof. Giakoumis insistence, pushed by my fears and insecurities. The second time I realized it was something I wanted to do and that would help shape my thoughts, ideas and academic profile.

Studying at Sciences Po Rennes, one of the best Grand Ecoles in France, proved to be one of the few best decisions I’ve made. When I first arrived I was full of uncertainties, fearing I would have an unbelievably difficult time adapting to the different system followed by French universities. However once again I was proven wrong. With the help of an amazingly welcoming staff in special Mme. Perrin, Mme. Iglesias and M. Gregov, I was able to catch up with the students of the past semester and with my classes of spring semester. Academically wise I need to underline it was a hard process to undergo, as a student of the American system and moreover to adjust to a completely different program from the one I would follow at UNYT. Nonetheless, needless to say that we as humans have an amazing capability of adaption and that difficulty helped ease one of my dangerous habits as a student, that of panicking ahead of time and not thinking clearly to find possible solutions.

It has been a truly invaluable learning experience for me. Acknowledgment has to be given to my improvement on academic preparation through what I have learnt from all of the constructive input and guidance throughout each lesson of each course. Now I can easily testify that, thanks to Rennes such a student friendly city and Sciences Po Rennes with its unbelievably helpful guidance program what my peers over and over again said to me about study abroad programs its true: it is an experience that differently shapes your character, thoughts and academic profile.

Therefore for this reason I would like to thank prof. Giakoumis and prof. Kalemaj for helping me through this experience and for guiding me into making this decision that I only regret for not making earlier.

Thank you!