International relations


The École normale supérieure demonstrated its international dimension at an early stage. In 1810 a sister School, the Scuola Normale Superiore. was established in Pisa, Italy. The two Schools were thus pioneers in European university cooperation. A little later, the Collège Eötvös in Budapest also adopted the ENS academic model.

A tradition of international openness

The Ecole normale supérieure nowadays maintains and enriches its tradition of international openness. Its departments and laboratories boast 200 academic partners worldwide, and host each year hundreds of foreign professors and researchers, for a period from one to six months.

Around a hundred foreign students come and study at the ENS within the Erasmus+ exchange programme and bilateral agreements, while around a hundred of normaliens go abroad within the framework of student mobility, as foreign students, research interns or as lecturer of French as a foreign language: there are many possibilities.

Meanwhile, the normaliens have the possibility of applying to the PSL Research University exchange programmes (Peking University, New York University, Columbia University, etc.).


International strategy

The strategy implemented by the International Relations Office is based on choosing privileged partners and combines several characteristics: identification of strategic geographical areas, active cooperation between researchers, and high quality of the institutions. The ENS’ strategy also sets up one-off actions in other countries and takes part in PSL’s international strategy.

Besides, the ENS’ International Relations Office oversees the tests for the International selection.

In Europe, the International Relations Office has set up privileged partnerships, with long-term and dynamic ties: Oxford and Cambridge universities in the United Kingdom, the EPFL (Swiss federal Institute of technology in Lausanne) and ETH (Swiss federal Institute of technology in Zurich) in Switzerland, the Free University of Berlin, the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Maximilianeum Foundation in Germany, and the Sapienza Rome University in Italy.

In the wake of the student mobility agreements in Humanities and in Science signed with Columbia University in 2010 and Princeton University in 2011, numerous and diverse exchange programmes are integrated in a network of around ten privileged partners, such as Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), etc.


Development perspectives

The International Relations Office has an incentive role for the mobility of students and professors. Independently of the agreements the ENS has signed in more than twenty countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America, the ENS develops its potential of cooperation with countries in Africa and the Middle East (agreements signed in 2016 in Dakar and Beirut).

Supporting French language

Each around fifty normaliens are lecturers in different countries, where they teach French language and contribute to the international influence of French language. Thanks to an agreement signed with the French Ministry of foreign affairs, several normaliens complete internships in French embassies and in particular in their cultural services.

The ENS is still involved in the academic consortium of Galatasaray University in Istanbul and sends normaliens lecturers.

The ENS has joined in 2010 the academic consortium of the Collège universitaire français (French academic college) in Moscow and in Saint Petersburg. Since then the ENS regularly welcomes Russians Master students through the International selection and sends to the Collège professors and researchers in the disciplines present in these institutions (philosophy, modern literature, history, social sciences).

Mis à jour le 22/2/2021