La meilleure ville et les meilleurs hôtes Past Review

By (Neurobiology and Neurosciences., Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/08/2014 to 05/18/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about being independent and thriving in a city by myself. I would absolutely do it again and encourage others to study abroad.

Personal Information

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.

Classes were difficult in that they were instructed in French and required the student to be very independent. Little support is offered by the French institution, so the students must be proactive in attending lectures and the final exam.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The APA staff are extremely friendly and very helpful. I enjoyed getting to know all of them on a personal level.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a great host family. I was well matched and extremely sad to leave them. Overall, I think that the program did a very good job in placing students in good homes.

* Food:

French cuisine is amazing and my host mom was an excellent chef. We never ate leftovers and every night was a new recipe.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I really enjoyed exploring Paris and feeling like a local. The only problem is that in 5 months, it is very hard to make lasting friends and establish yourself in a societal context.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Paris. Walking around at night in my district was never a problem for me. That being said, it is a big city and problems with the metro and homeless people is unavoidable.

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)

Paris is an expensive city and it is very tempting to buy things, especially food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save your money at the beginning. Most of the things that you will waste money on, you will regret later.


* 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

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? 106
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? Speak as much as possible.

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?
  • Host family
  • City
* What could be improved?
  • Support at university
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how to manage a budget better.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.