Study Abroad Program in Paris Past Review

By (Psychology And French, The University of Texas at Austin) for

AIFS: Paris - Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience was life-changing and made me appreciate other cultures and my own a lot more. I've never been prouder to be an American.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Sorbonne
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.

Learning is left up to you, the teachers do not hold your hand there and you really have to want to learn in order to learn.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was friendly, knowledgeable, and accessible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The 15th arrondisement, apartment, split room with another American from my program. <br /><br /> Great location and great family.

* Food:

food is expensive there so we cooked a lot at my friend's so as not to inconvenience my host family

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program planned many excursions but I could not attend many because they conflicted with a course I was taking.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

You just have to more aware overseas than at home. If you act alert (and avoid getting intoxicated in public), and don't wander alone, it's very safe. There was also an accessible English-speaking doctor.

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


* 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? Everything is just much more expensive so you must budget accordingly. I cooked dinner every night during the week and ate at a cafeteria every lunch to keep down food costs and only ate out on the weekend.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French literature and advanced grammar
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

French was mostly only used in the classroom. I wish the program had offered more opportunities to meet local kids our age. Instead we all kind of hung out together and spoke English the majority of the time. A lot of people in Paris spoke English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Americans
* 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? Take advantage of every opportunity the program offers and get to know as many people on your program as you can.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Paris, son histoire, et son architecture

Course Department: Fine arts
Instructor: Greaves
Instruction Language: French
Comments: interesting material but poorly organized and taught.
Credit Transfer Issues: there isn't a good equivalent already set but if you send in your syllabus you can get architecture or art history credit
Course Name/Rating:

Cours Practique

Course Department: French
Instructor: Viard
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Great class, fun and I learned a lot. My language skills improved and I got to meet students from all over the world.
Credit Transfer Issues: Lots of credit is available for this since it includes a phonetic component. Just ask the department and you can find a lot of options.
Course Name/Rating:

19th and 20th century French literature

Course Department: FR226L
Instructor: ?
Instruction Language: French
Comments: TERRIBLE. Purely lecture, no outside reading which was surprising for a literature class. The grade was determined by one 15 question test that was very very difficult. The teacher was very dull and hard to understand.
Credit Transfer Issues: No, this one transfers easily.