Culturally enriching, fun, and motivating experience Past Review

By (HISTORY., Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/11/2013 to 12/19/2014 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 definitely worth it. I learned how to adapt to different situations and how to be spontaneous.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were amazing, very helpful and knowledgeable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Extremely satisfied with my host family. I also had a room one floor above my host family's apartment which allowed for just the right amount of privacy without being totally isolated.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Only had a cold for a couple of days.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in my neighborhood and the neighborhoods I visited.

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)

I just had to be aware of what I was spending weekly, but it was fine.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably around 50-60 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to eat a light lunch everyday so that you can afford to splurge a little more on weekend dinners.


* 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

My program was a full immersion program meaning that all classes were taught in French, my host family rarely spoke English to me, and the program administrators always spoke French.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 105
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Try to make French friends. This will allow you to use your French while talking about varied topics that are interesting to students. While speaking with my host family was helpful, I found that I progressed much quicker when I spoke about things that were important to my generation while talking to friends I met at the university.

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
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 immersion program (weekly events in Paris)
  • Host Family experience
  • Weekend Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Ways to integrate American students with French students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing, I think what was most helpful was dealing with situations as they came. I was also well prepared because I had a friend that studied abroad before me and he advised me on several practical things.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!