Cristina Sanchez Herran

Name: Cristina Sanchez Herran

Hometown and Country: Bilbao, Spain

Graduation Year: 2017

Degree Completed at Sciences Po: Bachelor of Arts, Law

Degree Completed at Sciences Po: Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Political Science and International Relations

Why did you choose to pursue the UBC Sciences Po Dual Degree? 

When I was heard about this program, I thought it would be the perfect real life experience for the study of transatlantic relations. I had received the fundamentals of European political philosophy and I was missing the real life case study of living outside the continent.

What are some of the highlights from your time at Sciences Po, and at UBC? 

Sciences Po’s incredible student diversity was the highlight of my undergraduate experience. The connections I made with people with completely different backgrounds to mine I have kept up to today. UBC challenged me emotionally to get out of my comfort zone because of the hardships of adapting to a new academic culture and made me reconsider my career path.

What were some of the challenges that you faced at Sciences Po, and at UBC? 

Sciences Po might have been difficult to students that were unfamiliar with French post-secondary but that was hardly my case. UBC was by far most challenging emotionally. At Sciences Po, students are part of a very small student body and rely on their peers for support. Making friends and meaningful connections is significantly harder at a large campus!

Can you tell us about some clubs, affiliations, and experiential learning opportunities that you participated in? 

At Sciences Po, I was an executive member of the BDE, participated in Les Cordees de la Reussite (French national program for support of high schoolers), I was the captain of the female rugby team, Sciences Po Environment, the dance team and the feminist society.

While at UBC, I was an executive member of the Francophone Student Association and of the Dual BA alumni group. I participated in community based research as part of the curriculum (ASTU 360), and was a Political Science Teaching Assistant for Vantage College, as well as an Alternate Format French Narrator for Access and Diversity.

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

The transition will be hard, and whatever the expectations, it is crucial to remain realistic to give both Sciences Po and UBC a chance to make a positive impact in your academic and personal lives. You are getting two diplomas in four years,and that requires time commitment, a real passion for your subject of study, and sacrifices that will eventually pay off. Take as many chances as you can
to complete your academic experience with the extracurricular activities that both universities have to offer: the routine of being engaged will save you from your worst enemy, yourself.

What’s next for you? 

I will be pursuing a Masters in Economic Law at Sciences Po Paris, with the intention of passing the French Bar and working in the private sector in France for a while. I plan to eventually join the ranks of EU civil servants to hopefully push for further integration across member countries.