An incredible, highly immersive experience! Past Review

By (International Affairs; French (double major), George Washington University) - abroad from 01/09/2014 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?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic courses provided by APA were not difficult, but we were able to take any level of course at the Parisian universities, which was GREAT!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The course directors put a HUGE amount of thought into perfectly matching personalities for our home stays. Almost six months later, I regularly correspond with my host mom.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

EXCELLENT integration! I made a TON of French friends (which is especially noteworthy in France!), and the program helped us by providing no-pressure introductions to students our age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was sick, and I had to get medications refilled. Both processes were made incredibly easy and stress-free because the program coordinators made the appointments for me--with doctors they had already vetted.

* Safety:

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 incredibly expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200 at minimum
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at the Restaurants Universitaires!! Much less expensive (~3 euros for a FULL meal)


* 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? 3000 level literature course
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? Make friends with native speakers!

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?
  • immersion
  • cultural events
  • selection of host families
* What could be improved?
  • organization of APA-provided courses
  • airport pickup/early communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? .

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'