Camille reflects on her interests in social policy and sustainable development, and on what motivated her to study public policy in Paris and Berlin.
When plans of studying abroad in the US during her bachelor’s degree in political humanities fell through due to the pandemic, Camille Desrayaud decided to look for international opportunities in Europe and enrolled in the Hertie School’s dual Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme with the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs. After finishing her first year in Paris, France, she is now a second-year master’s student at the Hertie School. The two-year dual degree programme combines the study of economics with public policy and management, and grants students two degrees – in half the time. After completing her studies, Camille aspires to work in public policy consulting in France and at the European level. Find out more about her experience below!
What were you doing before starting your studies this fall?
I did an internship at the UNESCO headquarters in France, in the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Section. It was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to contribute to exciting projects, such as the launch of the new 2030 ESD Global Network, as well as to work with people committed to climate change education from all over the world. This experience was the perfect transition between my studies in Paris and the start of the semester in Berlin.
Why did you choose the MPP dual degree with Sciences Po and the Hertie School?
For the third year of my bachelor’s at Sciences Po, I was supposed to study abroad in the US, but because of the COVID pandemic, I never went. As I still wanted an international experience, I started looking at the dual master’s programs between Sciences Po and other European universities and Hertie was the best match for me! During my studies at Sciences Po, I acquired a deep expertise on political theory, political science and humanities. Studying at Hertie allowed me to complement my theoretical background with hands-on knowledge and skills in data analysis in public policies. I also had never been to Berlin before, but I had heard so many great things about the city for international students.
What have been your favourite courses so far, in both Paris and Berlin?
My favourite course at Sciences Po was the one taught by Professor Bruno Palier on Welfare States, their Reforms and Futures, which you can choose if you are part of the Social Policy and Social Innovation policy stream. The course focuses on the theory behind welfare states and the contemporary challenges they face, such as climate change, globalisation and digitalization. Professor Palier is an expert on this topic, and he does not hesitate to foster debate within the class.
At Hertie, my favourite class so far has been Public Policy and Demographic Change, taught by Professor Michaela Kreyenfeld. This course covers how to use public policies to tackle different issues related to demographic changes, such as aging populations, migration, and changes in family structure. I most enjoyed learned how to manipulate demographic data to understand public policies better and make recommendations.
What are you looking forward to in the spring semester – and afterwards?
I am looking forward to starting my master’s thesis on educational policies and governance in France. My thesis is the opportunity for me to use all the theoretical and practical knowledge that I have acquired at Sciences Po and at Hertie to reflect on how the governance of the French education system has been impacting social inequalities between students. Graduating from two top European public policy universities will allow me to pursue my professional ambition to work in public policy consulting in France and at the European level.
What advice would you give prospective students interested in pursuing an international dual degree like yours?
If you are looking at dual degree, you should carefully think about what each university will offer you. You should ask yourself: what courses and opportunities does university A offer that university B does not? Then, you should also think about the city in which you would like to study. Indeed, choosing a dual degree program is as much about courses and academic opportunities as it is about living abroad, in a different society and experiencing a different way of life.
Berlin and Paris are quite different cities. How would you compare your experiences living in both places, and are there any favourite spots you can recommend in each?
Berlin and Paris are different cities. What I like the most about Berlin is that it is an international and welcoming city. I love the culture, arts and aesthetics that Paris offers. In both cities, you will never get bored, there is always something going on. If one of the things you enjoy most is going to the museums, both Paris and Berlin will satisfy your curiosity. My favourite museum in Paris is the Musée d’Orsay. There, you can see beautiful paintings (my favourite is Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe by Edouard Manet) and enjoy a nice view over Paris. In Berlin, one of my favourite places is Tiergarten. It’s a beautiful park, with sculptures, big trees and flowers. Ideal if you enjoy nature as much as I do.
Could you sum up your MPP dual degree experience for us in one word?