Grateful for program support Past Review

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

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more independent.

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.

Know that this program does require a substantial amount of work during the semester. This is not just a vacation in Paris. You will spend much time doing homework, though not as much as if you were at your home university. APA staff gave me academic resources when I requested them.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The three women who run APA are fantastic and very helpful. They are responsive and kind. They will help you with any problem you face while abroad.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Unfortunately, my host family and I were poor personality matches, but once I brought it up to the APA, they were quick to move me into a student residence. They never made me feel bad or ashamed about it not working out with my host family, and they had a solution within two days.

* Food:

Eating out in Paris is great. You are close to both traditional French cuisine and restaurants of other cultures.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

APA matched us with language exchange buddies, so it was nice to know a French student from the very beginning. However, it's hard to make friends at the French universities because they are enormous and fairly anonymous. I did feel more culturally integrated that socially integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health care is so cheap in France! APA helped me find a doctor very quickly when I needed one.

* Safety:

Despite the attacks in and around Paris, I felt very safe. Just beware of pickpockets and remember that you're in a big city.

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)

The cost of living is pretty high in Paris.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? To reduce costs, bring your lunch from home.


* 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? Advanced
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? FREN 185
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? Make French friends, especially by joining an extra-curricular activity. Listen to French music and watch French TV.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Support from the program directors
  • The program's excursions
* What could be improved?
  • The program's weekly theater/dance/music performance choices
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is a lot of homework.