I loved it! August 01, 2022

By (Art History, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/04/2022 to 05/08/2022 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was 100% worthwhile. I challenged myself so much and learned so much about myself, it was awesome!

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.

The opportunity to take classes at real French universities was really interesting and certainly challenged me in a lot of ways. I do wish I had a little more support from the program in terms of navigating a foreign and different educational experience. I took one in house program with APA in Art History and that course was somewhat disastrous, the teacher really did not know what she was doing. It was very disorganized and seemed like she did not have any experience teaching the subject and in general.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Claire, Astrid, and Aurelie were all super approachable and always available for conversations and check in I really cannot express how warm they were towards me and their willingness to help out at all times and in any ways. They were always available by phone, email, text and really made me feel at home in a new city. The APA staff truly became my family there in Paris and I am so thankful for them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family who I liked but who were at times a little challenging. I think living with a new family is always difficult and there are going to be challenges and uncomfortable experiences. I think APA were always supportive, helpful, and easy to reach with any concerns or problems with my host family.

* Food:

The food was really good in France. My host family cooked really nice meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My host family, and a friend's host family, provided a good insight into French culture. It was a little difficult to meet and become friends with French students of my own age. I loved APA's cultural program. There were excursions and events every week which we interesting and really helped integrate us into French life and culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to see a doctor one time over my five months abroad. APA made the appointment for me and advised me on differences between the French and American healthcare systems. French pharmacies were easy to navigate with very helpful pharmacists.

* Safety:

Paris is a big city like others with its share of dangers on the street and in public spaces. For me it felt like any other large city in terms of safety.

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

I really loved APA, while there were some challenges overall it was a fantastic program and I truly had a once in a lifetime experience!


* 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)

Paris is an expensive city, like other big cities the cost of living is high. If you didn't eat out or go out you could definitely save money and not spend a lot.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It varied by week but probably $100-$300.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save money on lunch by dining at the Crous' (student inexpensive dining) where lunch with an entrée + plat principal + dessert + a drink for about $3.


* 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

This is a highly immersive program where we not only were encouraged to use the language but we needed to use the language everyday. My language and speaking ability improved so so much.

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? I am a French major so I take upper level French electives.
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? Talk to restaurant servers, get to know the staff at your local cafés.

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
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 activities
  • The trips
  • The staff
* What could be improved?
  • The in house Art history course
  • The length of the program, I wish there was more time after the finals end to wrap things up. The ending felt a little abrupt because the program ended of the day that I handed in my last finals.
  • The organization of some parts of the program.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish a little that I knew the orientation schedule before starting it.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.