Life-changing! I wouldn't change if for anything. January 02, 2022

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/30/2021 to 12/16/2021 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 gained independence, french-skills, and a push out of my comfort zone.

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.

I took 2 courses with APA and 2 at a university in pairs and I loved all of them. They were not as challenging as my classes at Brandeis and there was barely any homework. However, navigating the French language piece was difficult at first but I felt more comfortable with the language as time went on. My biggest piece of advice is to pick courses based on the professor not the subject (APA will recommend good professors they know).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The APA staff are so accomodating and they help you with anything you need. From personal to academic issues they are they for you 24/7.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family and was so happy with the experience. I was assigned a different host family in the beginning and did not have a wonderful experience, but as soon as I voiced concerns APA found me a new family within 24 hours and I had such a fulfilling experience.

* Food:

Food will be your biggest cost but it is also delicious. Your host family will give you breakfast and 5 dinners a week but outside of that you need to spend money on food which can get pricy. The students who lived in the dorms expressed that the food was bad, but everyone I know who lived with a family enjoyed the food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

APA bought us tickets for a cultural event once a week so we all went to cheese tastings, concerts, plays, etc to get immersed in the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Being a covid close contact was the only health care issue I dealt with. Covid testing is very easy and widespread in Paris. APA called a doctor and navigated the language barrier for me when I was unsure how long to quarantine.

* Safety:

Paris was very safe and I never felt unsafe at any point.

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

APA is the BEST. I sacrificed half of my senior year to go and I do not regret it for 1 second.


* 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? $100-$150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat with your host family as much as you can and attend events and museums that are free for students.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? B1
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Do not be afraid to speak and meet people your age.

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

  • 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?
  • Support
  • Language Immersion
  • Host Family
* What could be improved?
  • Program size (too small)
  • More COVID support
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's okay if you do not click with your host family. You can move easily and it is worth it for you if it'll improve your experience.

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!