Paris Study Abroad Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs., University of Hartford) for

AIFS: Paris - Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, very worthwhile. Don't regret anything, even if I do have a few minor complaints. I think I still have a lot to learn about myself and what I gained from the trip, I don't think I will entirely know for a while. I still need to see how things have effected me. I don't want to jump to conclusions on such an amazing once in a lifetime experience. I just took it for what it was worth. for now.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Sorbonne, International College de Cannes
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2008

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I didn't think the education system in France is as difficult as the US. I did very little work to do well in the classes. French was difficult, that took as much effort as a US class, but there was no reading or text books for the lecture classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

they were a little unorganized but I think they just had a lot of complicated things to do, running a study abroad program can't be easy. they planned fun activities and were very friendly, I confided in them a lot. overall, they did what they needed to do for me, I was satisfied and miss Danica(head of operations), Jon(culture), and Claire(housing) very much!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

everything was good, just a few times there was miscommunication because we couldn't speak to each other well and sometimes I was lonely living alone, but then again it got me out of the house more. it was safe, neighbors were friendly, it was pretty far away from where my classes were, always at least 20 minutes, but nothing to complain about.

* Food:

It's french food. Red wine is cheap and delicious and I can never drink anything else now.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As I explained culture was wonderful, I even made some Parisien friends! Social was good as well, but I didn't like the clicks and I wish I made more French friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I have awful anxiety flying but British Airways is such a good airline, I had good flights. I lived in a safe place. I got sick in Cannes, but apparently thats normal. Something about the microbes there are different than Paris. The water is not as clean I think in the Meditteranean sea, so it's easier to get sick. I love the healthcare system there, the US needs to get on top of that, asap.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I didn't keep track, a lot...
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save money in case you get sick or miss the metro and need to take a taxi home at 4am....that's all I have to say. Spending money on the night life is a complete waste of money, unless you have money to burn, but I didn't. Spend money on awesome food and drinks at cafe's with friends. Travel if you can, that's really expensive too.


Language acquisition improvement?

I didn't stay long enough to become fluent, I was just getting comfortable speaking when I left. It's frustrating. I did learn a lot though and I decided because I want to learn more, I am taking a french course, just for fun, at my home university.

Other Program Information

* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Blend in. Be a chameleon. Be a part of the culture and people. There is nothing better than doing and seeing completely different things. Do something new or scary everyday. Eat and drink weird things, you'll probably like it.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Franco-American Relations

Course Department:
Instructor: Professeur Galichon (I think)
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was the class I disliked the most. The teacher was nice, but very formal and it irritated me...probably because this was also the class that was at 8:30am with the 45 minute commute. I learned a good deal in the class, but there was no outside reading. At times, she was pretty disorganized and went off on a lot of tangents about France....she would go off on tangents that had very little to do with Franco-American relations. The part I liked most was an assignment we had twice where I and a partner explored the city, we went to locations she gave us to learn more about an important figure in Franco-American relations. We also went on walking tours to look at sites where monuments stood or something took place regarding the US and/or France.
Credit Transfer Issues: Didn't receive transcript yet.
Course Name/Rating:

French Literature in Translation

Course Department:
Instructor: Professeur Brunel (I think)
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very intelligent teacher. He was my favorite teacher. Learned a lot about French literature.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Architectural History in Paris

Course Department:
Instructor: Professeur VanDerbhovkev (really difficult name, I don't know how to spell it)
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This teacher had the most difficulty speaking English, she would sometimes use French and she was also the teacher that was consistenly late. I actually liked this course the most because the teacher was the friendliest and we did a lot of walking tours. Most of the classes were spent walking about the city of Paris and actually looking at the all architecture instead of just learning it from a book- so that was awesome.
Credit Transfer Issues: Didn't receive transcript yet.
Course Name/Rating:

French and Phonetics

Course Department:
Instructor: ...I can't remember
Instruction Language: French
Comments: It was really difficult, but I learned how to speak French! It's sad I didn't stay longer for this reason only because I think I was really starting to get the hang of using the language, finally starting to understand more, and getting comfortable using it. The teacher was hard on me sometimes, but she was very nice and funny. The day of class we had a Christmas lunch together, we all only spoke in French and it was my truly international class. So that was very memorable.
Credit Transfer Issues: Didn't receive transcript yet.