Paris: The City That (Literally) Never Sleeps and What I Learned Past Review

By (HISTORY., 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?
I thought the trip was amazing, and would do it again in a heartbeat. I was a little dissatisfied with my living arrangement (namely how small it was) but the program was well run, and the advisors overseas were wonderful. I learned a lot, especially in my interactions with other people, and would very much recommend the program to other students.

Personal Information

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

The workload, which was mostly busy-work, was a little too much, but the professor was approachable. Grades are calculated on a different scale, so that needs to be kept in mind for American students (20pt scale rather than 100pt, and 18 is practically the highest achievable grade).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very efficient, friendly. Cultural activities were always interesting, and they offered great advice. Loved working with them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The room was adequate, although I slept on a cot and my roommate on a couch. Would have liked either more space or more information about the rooming situation before making my decision on housing. Very close to nightlife, and in the very center of town, which was convenient. I bought another pillow and towel.

* Food:

Food allowance fair and covered quite a bit. Cheap local food can be found if you look for it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Loved the field trips to Versailles and Mont St Michel. Very worth-while

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe; walking around at night could be eerie, but no more so than in the US and one only needs to use the same precautions. I had no problem with health, but the program offered advice/help for those who did.

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? I had no trouble with money, I felt very prepared by UT and the program.


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

Language acquisition improvement?

Practice with other students and french people. Regardless of level, the more you interact in French, the more students will learn and, often, the more help you will receive from native speakers. While most people in Paris speak English, they certainly appreciate it if you can speak (however little) to them in French.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Someone who has never been abroad before but has street smarts, because the program introduces so many new cultural activities but there is a lot of individual activity as well.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Cours Pratique- Intermediare

Course Department: French 301
Instructor: Melanie Scalone
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Covered much of the material already presented at home university, but with additional complexities or explanations. Participation very important, as well as before-class preparation.
Credit Transfer Issues: None to report
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: French Conversation 101
Instructor: Jean-Pierre Girodon
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Loved this professor. This was a great way to learn more of the "slang" terms or everyday colloquialisms. Highly recommended. Very relaxed, little to no homework.
Credit Transfer Issues: None.