A get-to-know-yourself experience Past Review

By (Economics, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/06/2016 to 05/08/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Not scared to speak French anymore; French improved; made a lot of friends; travelled a lot, did some solo traveling as well which were amazing It's definitely worthwhile

Review Photos

Academic Programs Abroad (APA): Paris - Paris Program Photo Academic Programs Abroad (APA): Paris - Paris Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

All of the classes are in French and some are in the French university system. It's very challenging, especially the type of assignments/exams are different, the style of writing is different as well. There was one tutor for all 15 students on the program, which we thought they could try to provide more in the future, because it was hard to schedule time with the tutor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

A small program so there are only 3 people working in Paris for this program. But the directors care about the students and try their best to make it work.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a host family and I loved it. They were very patient, helpful, but also give me the freedom I need. I know for fact that APA put a lot of thoughts into matching students with which host family. Even though some people may not had as good of a experience as others, but overall most people are happy with their families.

* Food:

I'm not a huge fan of my host family's cooking, so again, this is based on luck. If you end up with a host family who cooks very well then you're lucky! If you wanna go out to eat, Paris is very very expansive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It's hard to make friends with French people, but that's just their personality and culture. I had a few thanks to the "tandem de langue" idea of APA where they matched us up with some French students. I think APA does a good job with weekend excursions and cultural events. We got to watch a lot of theaters, orchestra concerts, dances each week.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

didn't have an experience in health care

* Safety:

There are a lot of changes in Paris right now, and I wouldn't say we always felt safe walking around Paris (especially in certain districts or at night). There were quite some refugees, beggers or crazy people in the metro.

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

I had some hard time with the program because of the language. But overall I think I really liked the emerging part of it, even though it was so challenging.


* 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 expansive city!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? grocery shopping and pack your own lunch


* 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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? FREN105
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 use it as much as you can. It's more natural and local to speak with French people in French than with American students.

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
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?
  • Excursion and cultural events
  • host family
  • in house art history class
* What could be improved?
  • students spend at least 2 hours/day on transportation, so the location and schedule of classes can be improved
  • course selection process; the amount of classes and academic support
  • sometimes too much micro-management
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how stressful and time-consuming the academic aspect is; somewhat micro-managing