An Amazing Semester June 05, 2017

By (Lee University) - abroad from 01/11/2017 to 06/01/2017 with

Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I got to meet people from so many parts of the world and really gained appreciation for so many different cultures.

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.

I was actually surprised by how much easier the language classes at the university were than I had expected. The teachers were very nice but the technology was outdated and I found the university at times ver insufficient. Be prepared for some frustration when you want questions answered at the offices in the university. This in no way reflects Access, which was answered any questions I had very quickly. The university was where I found some frustration, yet I still found my french highly improved simply because I was able to use the things I learned from class in my daily life.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Alex and Access were superb. He is always there for you if you have questions and has excellent office hours.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was amazing. They took me with them on a hiking trip, and on a youth retreat as well. I enjoyed the evening meals and really saw my french improve from them. It is a little nerve-racking when you first live with a family from another country but if you are willing to open up and be willing to converse and get to know them they can become lifelong friends.

* Food:

Staying with a host family, I learned that french people usually do not eat as much as Americans do. For me as a guy this was a problem and so I spent more money than I planned going out to eat. Breakfast is normally bread and an apple and I found myself hungry many days so I spent a lot more money on lunch than I would have liked to. If you know how to budget and can eat sandwiches and cheaper items it won't be expensive. If you prefer eating mcdonalds and fast-food then bring a lot of money as it is more expensive in france.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Strasbourg is a wonderful city. It is full of international students and has shopping centers and lots of local concerts in the bars if you get bored. It might take a little while to get used to the cultural mindset which is more eco friendly (no air conditioning ) and more calm than american culture, but if you are willing to try new things and are open to cultural differences you will enjoy it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Medicine is inexpensive in France. If you have social security it is almost free. I paid 8 euros for medicine when I had a fever and a sore throat and that was without social security.

* Safety:

The city is very safe. I heard of one or two incidents with pick-pockets but if you are conscious of your surrounding you will not have a problem. I myself never experienced or felt unsafe in the city.

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

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)

As I said before, french people eat less and so for the first few months I was hungry a lot and ate out more than I expected. Eventually I got into a routine and learned where to shop for less and eat a lot of sandwiches. It's necessary that you budget or you will spend a lot of money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat sandwiches and stay away from mcdonalds and KFC which is pricy.

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

Access tries to get you to use french, but in the end you learn as much as you are willing to speak.

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? Level 300 courses
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? Read and write a lot. Watch movies in French. And most of all, stay away from other students that refuse to talk in French. Get involved in programs that surround you with other french speakers, whether that be volunteering at un centre socio-culturel or a church.

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
  • 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?
  • the location
  • being in France
  • the opportunity to travel
* What could be improved?
  • the push for the access students to speak in french when together
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much I would spend on food. That it is really cold in strasbourg during winter but super hot in summer with no air conditioning.

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!