An Immersive Experience Past Review

By (DePauw University) - abroad from 01/04/2018 to 05/06/2018 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 felt at home in the Parisian culture after my semester. I got a taste of what it's like to be a French student, I made new friends, and I perfected my language skills. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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.

APA has numerous tutoring and academic support resources. I never felt like I was left alone without any form of help when I needed it. The language expectations are very high, but it is achievable with the amount of support.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I never had a question unanswered on site. Very organized

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was the most positive experience of my time in France.

* Food:

Pretty much zero complaints. It's France.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had a language buddy and took classes in French universities. Living in a host family definitely helped in my immersion.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Help was provided when needed, although I did not have any experience with health care during my time there.

* Safety:

There are a ton of pickpockets in Paris, although I was very prepared to deal with them through my program's orientation. If anyone tries to approach you in the street or the metro with a clipboard or trying to get you to sign a petition, cross the street or don't acknowledge them - it's always a scam. If you speak French in public, you are far less likely to be approached by these people. When on public transport, I would advise to not have your phone out/be distracted by your phone. Also do not put it in any somewhat visible pockets. I had several attempted pickpocket scenarios, and my friends had their phones stolen. Just always be aware - I had no incidents, but it is something to always be aware of.

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

I truly don't think there are many programs that are as immersive or inclusive (free activities/tutoring) as APA.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out a lot. It can really rack up. Also check discounted travel sites before booking flights, and try to travel on odd days of the week (think Tuesdays) to save cost on flights. Take advantage of the free activities that your program offers.


* 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? 300 level
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 friends in your host country. Live with a host family. When with other Americans, make an effort to speak the host language. It is easy to speak English all the time for convenience, but it quickly becomes a habit that is hard to break.

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?
  • Language Support
  • Cultural Program
  • Customizability
* What could be improved?
  • More pre-departure information
  • More language buddy opportunities
  • More information on cultural differences/taboos during orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I could have been more willing to try more things and to step outside of my comfort zone. I would jump into my semester abroad with less fears and more excitement to discover new things.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!