Emil Støvring Lauritsen

Name: Emil Støvring Lauritsen (Alumni)

Hometown and Country: Copenhagen, Denmark

Degrees Completed at UBC Sciences Po:

  • B.A. Honours in Political Science with International Relations at UBC
  • Collège Universitaire (Euro-American Program in Reims) at Sciences Po

Why did you choose to pursue the UBC Sciences Po Dual Degree?
When I was a high school student in Denmark, and began thinking about university, I always knew that 1) I wanted to study politics and 2) I wanted to do it abroad. Initially, I hadn’t even considered going to North America since the concept of tuition fees was very foreign to me. I knew that Sciences Po was very famous in Europe and I had studied French for six years, so it seemed like a natural fit for me.

When I heard about the dual BA, I thought it was a great opportunity to try something very unique. Not a lot of Danish students go abroad for their entire university degree, so to be able to go to both France and Canada was just too tempting. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to get a new perspective on not just studying, but also just life in general in two very different places. I had never been to North America before the program so I wanted to experience what the North American experience is all about.

What are some of the meaning experiences you’ve had from your time at Sciences Po, and at UBC?
On the personal level, the most valuable experience is definitely meeting people from all over the world that I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet in almost any other setting. The connections I’ve made with people from all over the Canada and the U.S. as well as all over Europe and the rest of the world is truly something unique about the program. Some of my best friends today are from countries far away from my own, and it’s a fact that I cherish very much.

On the professional level, I don’t think I would have found my passion if I hadn’t been in this program, and particularly been in North America, studying American politics, during the 2016 election. It really allowed me to geek out, and it was while at UBC that I found out that my passion is elections and political communication.

How has being a UBC Sciences Po student helped your personal and professional aspirations?
The degree also allowed me to explore these topics in more depth. At SciencesPo there are so many interesting politics courses and professors who have very unique areas of expertise. It allowed me to shop around a lot, which was great for when I arrived at UBC. At UBC I had the chance to really delve into more narrow topics that I had figured out were where my passion lied. I found that UBC professors really like it when their students show a lot of interest in their field, so I had the chance to develop good and close academic relationships with experts in their fields.

What are the top three things every UBC Sciences Po student should do before they graduate?

  1. Drink local French wines. I went to the Reims campus, and the amount of champagne drunk there probably exceeded what was good for me. There are so many local wines in France though, and it’s quite extraordinary to get to experience it up close.
  2. Do outdoorsy things in Vancouver. The thing I enjoyed the most about my time at UBC was the city. Vancouver is incredibly beautiful and has some of the wildest nature I’ve ever seen. Skiing, swimming in the Pacific Ocean, hiking in huge forests. Take your pick.
  3. Just enjoy the experience. Amidst stress over exams or papers, just remember to enjoy the time. It’s over before you know it and people get scattered all over the place. I really look back at the time in the program with a lot of nostalgia.

What has the UBC Sciences Po program meant to you?
My best friends today are people I met in the program or at the two campuses. There’s something really unique about having great friends all over the world. It’s hard to be separated but it’s also quite extraordinary to have met so many really smart people who are now doing great things in great cities around the world. That’s definitely the most important thing I got from the program.

I’m also very grateful for the professional development I’ve gone through by being a part of it. I know that I have developed so much as a person over the past 4-5 years and a lot of the reason for that is having dealt with these positive challenges that the program gave me.

What advice would you give to students who are considering this program, or just starting out in this program?

Similar to before, it’s important to enjoy it. Both the friendships you get along the way and the academic environment. It’s a really unique experience, and while the stress of the academics might feel never-ending, it actually does, and strangely, you’ll miss it when it’s done.

What’s next for you?

I just finished my Master’s degree at the London School of Economics in political communication. Now, I just moved to Berlin for a job at a communications agency, working on a campaign for the European Union to bring the EU closer to rural populations in seven EU countries. We are doing a roadshow with an EU-branded van that goes to a bunch of fairs and festivals in rural areas to talk to people about the opportunities and support that the EU offers them. It’s a very exciting first job that teaches me a lot about how campaigns are run. Eventually I want to use those skills to run electoral campaigns for candidates and parties—although I haven’t decided in which country. The Dual BA made me want to keep exploring new countries and cities, so I’m not quite ready to settle down in one place.