Enriching and Challenging June 08, 2017

By (Soka University of America) - abroad from 01/16/2017 to 05/22/2017 with

Accès: Strasbourg - Accès Classique: Semester Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
100% worthwhile! You grow so much as a person and you form a very special relationship with the people you share this experience with. It is amazing.

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.

So the academics at L'IIEF are not the best in the world and the options can be kind of boring but I had the most amazing teachers that really did help me improve my language skills. I also got very lucky with my classmates!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The teachers are helpful and very supportive but the actually administration is a joke. But that is just France.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I chose to stay with family in La Wantzenau which is a little ways outside the city. So my experience in this area is very different from that of many other students. Recommendation: stay close to the city.

* Food:

Food is great (especially the baguettes and kebabs) but the french eat smaller portions so at first I was always hungry. But there are so many cool places to eat here. Food adventures everywhere.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I think you are as integrated as you want to be. I felt more integrated the more I could use the language.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I lucky did not have any health issues this semester but Alex and Andrea were SUPER helpful with any questions we had about where to find medicines or advising us on where to go if we wanted to go to a specific type of doctor. They even offer to accompany us.

* Safety:

Strasbourg is definitely one of the least dangerous cities I've been to but it's still a city. You still have to be careful and aware of your surroundings.

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

Being in a foreign country not being able to fully communicate or express yourself is SO HARD and frustrating. BUT I have met the most amazing people and had some of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. It' so funny how as the end is approaching, you cannot wait to leave but when the day actually arrives, you don't want to go.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use the crap out of the student discounts.

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

We spoke English when we were SUPER confused so a lot in the beginning but as time passed when we went out, we didn't necessarily have to speak English.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 310 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? Don't be afraid to try. It help me to speak with my classmates because it is less pressure since we were all learning. We also only wrote in French to each other which I think helped A LOT.

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?
  • The director and his family
  • The excursions
  • Easy to travel from Strasbourg
* What could be improved?
  • The L'IIEF
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? No matter how independent you think you are, you aren't haha. I was very surprised at how much I missed home and now nervous I was to speak. I wish I could've gotten out of my head earlier on but it's okay. That comes with time.

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.'