After a long silence, Sciences Po Paris finally gave me an answer. They admitted me, and gave me a oodle of money from the Emile Boutmy Scholarship. The catch: they think my profile is better suited for the international affairs program in international political economy. Now the catch within the catch: this program is in French! I had to submit the Test de Connaissance Français (TCF – French Knowledge Test) result by May 4th. But the conditional offer allows entry in 2011 if I am unable to have the result by May 4th.
Oh boy! This was quite the curve ball and opened up a range of possibilities. I noticed that the Intl Affairs program also has a dual degree option with LSE. Excited by the range of options, I emailed them back immediately to see if LSE is part of the deal, and whether that oodle of money comes with me if I defer. My French isn’t good enough to begin a graduate program this fall, but the idea of taking a year to polish the language was appealing.
While waiting for an answer to my questions, I obsessively began searching all the options for this potential gap year: French classes at La Sorbonne in Paris, or at the university in Poitiers, or Geneva, Montréal or any other French-speaking country/cities. My mind was completely ADD with all sorts of possibilities. In the midst of all these research over the span of 3 days, I realized something:
I love searching alternative ways to live life.
I’ve found myself at various points of my life spending hours upon hours on the Internet, googling every different option for all kinds of things: grad school, career, travel ideas, etc. Sometimes I feel like a crazy person with the way my mind goes from one wild idea to the next. Other times, I feel the searching process is a huge waste of time because they often don’t amount to anything. But I adore the possibilities and the process of picturing myself in various situations.
After 3 days of obsessive searches and discussions with friends about various options, I received my answer from Sciences Po today. Unfortunately, to defer would mean that I would have to reapply for the scholarship next year, and also reapply to be considered for the LSE dual degree. Aaaand… that is way too much work, so we are back to the original decision of attending LSE for MPA.
BUT, this search led me to read an important fine print at the Sciences Po MPA website that states the program is not eligible for the Emile Boutmy scholarship, which now makes me reconsider spending the 2nd year there. Instead, the idea of going to Singapore for the 2nd year is settling in! In the end, the search was not all for nothing and if I ever decide to take a year to go frolic around France and perfect my French, I know where I’d go!
I am slightly disappointed that France does not hold a definite place in my life in the near future as of now. But, I see it like a relationship with a person – if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. Ahh… it is nice to be young. I think of these obsessive searches as a brainstorming exercise. One of the many crazy ideas eventually takes shape. One must dare to dream, right?