Pipe Dreams in Paris Past Review

By (English/Philosophy, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/13/2011 to 05/31/2012 with

Academic Programs Abroad (APA): Paris - Immersion for Intermediate & Advanced French Speakers

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile. I can't easily describe everything I gained and learned while abroad. But rest assured it was very worthwhile

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Université Paris X - Nanterre APA Paris Programme
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was difficult to take classes in French and the obvious language barrier made the courses that much more difficult. Even so, the classes were varied and intellectually engaging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Lovely directors!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing locations were quite good and any problems I had with host families, the programme gladly helped

* Food:

It's Paris.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Didn't do so well in terms of making and keeping French friends but by the end of the year, I easily interacted with any and all with whom I became acquainted.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Please pay attention to pickpockets, especially in the metros. Do not go into the metro crowds with your bag unchecked or pockets filled with valuables.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Very difficult. Keeping a budget is hard when everything around is so ripe for the buying

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

It was incessant but necessary. By the end your language skills become very advanced.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? A level 100 course
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Just insist on speaking it whenever you can, as often as you can. Talk to yourself even. It helps.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Cultural excursions
  • The Program Directors
  • Being in Paris
* What could be improved?
  • Real world Preparation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to better budget myself