Aix me manque February 29, 2016

By (Mass Communications, Linfield College) - abroad from 09/07/2015 to 12/20/2015 with

American University Center of Provence (AUCP): Aix-en-Provence - Advanced French Study

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I can actually speak french now and understand it, I love Aix and want to go back so badly. I learned about an amazing culture and so much more about Europe.

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 had one of the lowest french levels in the program and really struggled comparatively to everyone else, but I also received a lot of help and improved a great deal.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Helpful and friendly staff.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was sad not to have a host "family" but having only a host mom let me get more attention and I loved her!

* Food:

The food was amazing. I gained a lot of weight. My host mom cooked all the time, the restaurants were great and the cooking class taught me some yummy recipes.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was hard making French friends because our program is only with other americans. By the end of the semester I had better French friends but would have liked more time

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Living a bus ride away from the center of town made going out to dinner and going out late at night difficult and using taxies every weekend was expensive but my host picked me up sometimes.I always felt safe and just didn't walk home at night by myself.

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

Even though my time abroad was not completely perfect, it was pretty close. Yes, there are some things I would change but overall I had the best time of my entire life, I absolutely love Aix and my French improved more than I ever thought it would.

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)

I don't even want to know how much money I spent during my time abroad. Yes, it's possible to live on a better budget than mine but even just going out to restaurants and places on the weekend can get expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? A lot
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at Monoprix and the market for lunch.

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

Signing a language contract

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 202
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? Watch tv shows or movies in french and with french subtitles. Follow french news, twitters and instagrams.

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
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?
  • classes
  • extra curricular classes
  • celebrations like thanksgiving
* What could be improved?
  • language partners/french friends
  • transportation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? So much more about French and France and I want to know more.