Economics serving society

Students’ Q&A

The students’ Q&A page is sums up practical questions and answers of students enrolled in the master programme.

Courses’ organization

About the organization of online courses: online lectures will be sequenced in slots of 1h30. The lectures will take place from Monday to Friday. We will try to find slots that suit you, but as you are all in different parts of the world, some of you might have to stay awake late or wake up early if they want to attend some lectures. However, if you are not able to assist, they will be recorded and you will be able to view them at a more convenient time.
The professors will make sure the courses are interactive and they will be available by email to answer any questions you may have.

How is the timetable going to be organized for face-to-face courses?
We will schedule lectures from Monday to Thursdays, the earlier the course can start is 8.45am in the morning and the latest they can finish is 8pm (which is really rare, normally students are free around 4.30pm at the latest, Paris time). Fridays are left free in order to allow the students to work on their Capstone Projects.

Are we able to choose the courses we want to take?
There are no options available. All courses are mandatory. You will have to follow SIA courses. However, you will be able to attend extra classes from PSE campus on-demand if you are interested. You just have to ask to the Professor and commit to attend the whole course.
The idea is to deliver a strong core program to enable the students to work in a wide variety of sectors where infrastructure investments occur (e.g. sport infrastructures, roads, bridges, wind farms, hospitals….). Economic assessment methods and investment decisions fundamentals are the same, no matter the sector.

Questions about internships and Capstone Projects

Can you explain how Capstone Projects are organized? Do we propose ideas, does PSE/École des Ponts ParisTech propose projects…?

There are several steps for Capstone Projects:
1- PSE proposes several projects, groups of students (2 to 3) must select the ones that they want to work on.
PSE and École des Ponts ParisTech are well-connected to different companies and program partners that are interested in the Capstone Projects. From September to the end of October, PSE and École des Ponts ParisTech organize different sessions where companies come and present possible Capstone Projects based on challenges they are currently facing.
Last year, 5 projects were selected by our students: one for Lime (e-scooters in Paris), EDF-ENR (electricity company that is exploiting wind farms), two topics proposed by the transport regulator in France (such as trading trains for buses ), one from Renault (CBA of electric vehicles).

2- After selecting a project, students start working on it
Once the project is selected, the program directors propose an academic tutor from PSE or the École des Ponts ParisTech. Then students set up a meeting with their tutor from PSE or the École des Ponts ParisTech and the tutor from the company. The aim of this meeting is to organize the logistics (access to the building and to the firm’s data, etc) and to organize a timeline for the deliverables.
Students will then have deliverables and meet several times during the designated period

3- Validation of the Capstone
Students will produce a presentation and a report. The presentation will take place in front of the Program directors and Tutors (from the firm and from the institution).

To what extent do PSE and the École des Ponts ParisTech support students in the internship search?
The institutions propose a personalized support to students, based on the teachers’ and directors professional networks, as well as on specific opportunities. They provide thorough guidance and helpful advice, and make sure every student find the opportunity that best comply with their ambition.

PSE and the École des Ponts ParisTech organize 2 job fairs in October and November. They are excellent opportunities for the students to engage with professionals (if you want to know more, please refer to our student testimonies – LINK). In the context of the COVID, the dates might change.
Moreover, the École des Ponts ParisTech’s placement career center will be helpful in this regard.

Note that the SIA students’ program is really professionally-orientated, giving the students a strong advantage on the job market, compared to more research-orientated profiles.

For the students who haven’t found an internship yet, we will give them more time to do it, and continuous support to help them find a position.

Questions about practical aspects of living in Paris

Will there be French courses?

Unfortunately, PSE does not propose French courses. But you have several alternative solutions:
The École des Ponts ParisTech has a bootcamp (a one-week course) during the October holidays, which is free of charge for École des Ponts ParisTech students.
The CIUP offers French courses, which are reasonably priced (80€), and you have to register quite quickly in order to get a place. A student from the first promotion took those courses (beginners level) and she gave us very good feedback.
More info here:

What about accommodation?
There are several ways of getting help:
1- École des Ponts ParisTech’s dedicated website: stud’apart
Only the registered students will be able to access the platform
Note that the team responsible for this platform speaks English, so you should not have any trouble finding help.

2- Feel Francais: a plateform to help international students set up in France.
This platform is dedicated to new incoming international students. If you are not from Europe but already living in France, you are not eligible.
The information is accessible to registered students only.

3- Book a room at the CIUP via PSE
Roxana is in charge of the rooms at the CIUP. PSE ask the CIUP to allow 14 of our students to pre-book a room. Unfortunately the fee only for the booking (non-refundable) is 1,800 euros. Information is sent directly to admitted students.

4- PSE’s dedicated page: a lot of information is available with tips for finding a place in Paris:

How can we apply for the scholarship?
Unfortunately, as it is a new master we cannot give grants fully covering the registration fees yet. But we do propose a limited number of scholarships to help students cover living expenses in Paris. The application process is given to accepted candidates only.