Could not recommend more highly! April 08, 2021

By (Swarthmore College) - abroad from 01/04/2018 to 05/07/2018 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 improved my french enormously, I was able to genuinely integrate into a different culture and country, and I built all of these skills of open-mindedness, resilience, confidence, and others. I was supported at all times, and APA gave me the tools to feel at home in this new city, with constant excursions, shows, and workshops. On a simpler level, I made friends I still see regularly and I became a citizen of Paris - all of this was incredibly worth it.

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.

* 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?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

I can't imagine a better study abroad program than APA. I wasn't even initially planning on studying abroad (I studied hard sciences, and most programs seem geared toward social sciences or humanities). But after taking the leap with APA, I could not be happier. 3 years later, I now live in Paris, and I thank APA for giving me the base to continue living my dream. I'm so glad I chose 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
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Profit from markets, and don't always think in terms of 3 standard meals! Often the best food in Paris is just getting some bread, cheese, charcuterie and wine with some friends and eating together - very filling, not expensive, and always a nice experience. Also, the app TooGoodToGo is great!


* 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? Advanced French
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? Sounds obvious, but make native friends, and speak to them in French! That did incredible things for my French. My other, personal idea was to delete all the English music off of my phone and only listen to French music - also very useful.

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?
  • The above and beyond - cultural excursions, tandem program, shows, etc.
  • Academic options
  • Focus on true integration into French and Paris
* What could be improved?
  • Maybe even more tours, beyond the beginning of the semester? Hard to think of anything.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To take more advantage of all of the things that are provided - the free museum card, every show offered. Now, all of those things cost money!

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.'