Better than I could have dreamed. June 01, 2017

By (Eastern University) - abroad from 01/07/2017 to 05/27/2017 with

Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to function as an individual and so much about French culture, Europe, and many different cultures across Europe and the world.

Review Photos

Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad Photo Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad Photo Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad Photo Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad Photo Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad Photo

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 did the Certificate of European Studies Program at Sciences-Po Strasbourg. I learned a lot, but I would not describe the program as rigorous. It was also very poorly organized compared to an American university (as is typical for France).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This review is regarding the administration at Sciences Po, which was horrible (NOT the administration at Acces, which was great). I never had information further in advance than a few days, which made it really difficult to plan travels. The Sciences-Po administrator was completely useless and not at all helpful, and it was really difficult for me to figure out what was going on and where I needed to be and when.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was amazing and so wonderful, I could not have had a better experience.

* Food:

It's France; the food was great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt integrated with an international community of Erasmus/intl students in Strasbourg, but I only had a few French friends my age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I only had to go to the pharmacy a few times, and if it was a Sunday my host parents helped me to find an open one.

* Safety:

I always felt very safe in Strasbourg.

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

I absolutely loved the people at Acces and the friends I made at Sciences-Po. Other than Sciences-Po's complete lack of organization (NOT Acces', they were as well organized as was possible), my semester was truly perfect. Strasbourg is the most amazing city I have ever had the pleasure to call home and my absolute favourite place to get to know.

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)

I spent a lot more money than I planned at first, but after a few months I figured out how to live and travel on a really tight budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When you travel, bring groceries. Buy alcohol at the supermarket instead of at bars. Set a budget for yourself each day or week and try to stick to it. Be careful when and how often you "treat yourself" and if you live with a host family, always eat with them, because it's free. Research travels a lot and in advance so it doesn't cost you too much money.

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

I lived with a host family so I used French a lot, and my speaking got much better. With the program director, we would use French often, but spoke mostly in English. In my classes at Sciences-Po they were all in English, and so I spoke English with all of my friends as well. I would have had to work much harder if I wanted to use French all of the time, and I didn't really push myself as much as I could have.

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? French202
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? At the beginning, establish friendships where you speak in French, and push yourself to use it even though it will be hard and you will be tired.

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

  • 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?
  • My friends
  • Acess excursions
  • the city of Strasbourg
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Administration
  • Information & when students were being informed
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known to expect a complete lack of organization because then I would have been ready for it. Once I adjusted to never being informed about my class schedule beyond the next two weeks or upcoming events etc I was able to accept it and be less bothered by it.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.