Thumbs Up Accès, Strasbourg! May 25, 2016

By (Soka University of America) - abroad from 01/10/2016 to 06/01/2016 with

Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Coming into a new environment I feel everyone gains in personal growth and adapting oneself to the place one will make a home out of while abroad. Eating, living, working out ,going out, school life...one has to ask oneself, what does the city offer? I learned so much about having patience and making things workout while balancing a busy schedule and at the same time experimenting with all these things!

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

classes weren't the most exhilarating part of the experience and hours for schedule weren't ideal; despite this I still felt I advanced in my French by the end of the semester.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Directors took really good care of us, answered all our questions and concerns in a positive manner. Very pleased with the administration of our program!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Felt really at home and was given my space and liberty. Interactions with host family gave me many valuable life lesson; very warm and welcoming family.

* Food:

I come from a big city, LA; so to be honest I am used to more variety. Also meals are to pricey in France, in my opinion. I did however, try some very original plates and enjoyed French cuisine: sauces/bread/wine/meats which are not found everywhere, so this was unique.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was happy to try many things while here. Swimming at the local pools, trying various restaurants,visiting churches. I was able to chat with various store owners which go to let me know them better. This is not common back at home (in the States), so I appreciated this. Also, for the most part people in service were very helpful and kind. I struggled with the "horaires" or opening/closing hours here in France; until the end. I felt I could not integrate to timing everything precisely, especially for lunches. I ran into closed shops way to often, which is disappointing.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

From my friends experience I heard it was good and people are helpful; I had no first hand experience.

* Safety:

So safe! Coming back from late trips from other cities I never felt in any danger walking home or biking late a night. A tip for ladies, do not give "dragueurs" your attention, if men start calling out to you and you don't know them, you have no reason to stop for them. So watch out for that, since this type of flirting can feel very intrusive.

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

From the beginning I felt very well taken care of by the administration. Everything was made clear and I did not have to stress or worry to much about administrative stuff. My needs were met in terms of classes I wished to take and I am satisifed with experiences I gained. The best part of the learning happened in real life, out in society. I was a bit disappointed by the courses offered at the university; it was not what I expected but that is not to say that I didn't learn. Now that it is the end, I am finished with examinations and I am reflecting on how much the program took my experience outside of the classroom; I learned so much from this!

Finances

* 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)

a full good meal is around 20 euro; quite expensive. So one has to budget and food expenses and look around for the best options, university restaurants help in this respect.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100+
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? download an app or something to keep track of spending; make sure you take care of food expenses as a number one priority instead of spending excesively in other areas. Make categories of expenses you keep track of.

Language

* 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

Both written and oral :)

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? advanced 400 level course at University
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? Read! It's great because you can always find a genre that interests you and build vocabulary and learn colloquial expressions. Watch movies or listen to music. A bit of these everyday will keep you in the language au quotidien; you learn about culture and can find something that really interests you!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • well-organized administration
  • great cuisine tasting experiences
  • interesting excursions
* What could be improved?
  • planning perhaps of an event to facilitate meeting with locals
  • ways to connect program members
  • choices for credits (course option/internship/volunteer work)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That public transport is much better here than where I am from. I encourage future study abroaders to ask for information about trains, buses, trams (: it is convenient in France. You really get around well on bike in Strasbourg!

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.'