Challenging, yet rewarding experience abroad! Past Review

By (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?
I learned French! The reason I went to Paris in the first place was to improve my French language skills, and I can confidently say that I achieved that goal. Though my time abroad was extremely challenging, I learned more than I ever have in the span of 5 months. Abroad is really what you make of it, and I worked very hard to make French friends and really immerse myself in the culture. That is what made 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.

Extremely challenging courses all in French.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish there were more opportunities to meet French students arranged by the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I wish my program could have given me some more guidance about healthcare.

* Safety:

Like any city you have to be aware of where you are. You will be on public transportation alone a lot and it is important to stay alert for pickpockets etc.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I was hoping for a program with more students from different universities, fewer classes, and an internship.


* 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)

Allotted myself 120 euro/week but often ended up spending more.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 120 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy groceries, find cheap lunch options.


* 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? FREN 180A
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 and go out with them.

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
  • International 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?
  • Excellent host families
  • Taking classes at real French Universities (Sorbonne, Nanterre, etc.)
  • Educational and fun excursions
* What could be improved?
  • There are too many classes with the program and not enough with the universities
  • Communication between student and professor was lacking
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is very focused on Academics (as its name suggests). There is a lot of homework and the classes are extremely challenging.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.