Amazing cultural opportunity, Some language exposure, A little lonely Past Review

By (Experimental Psychology, Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/10/2015 to 05/15/2015 with

American University of Paris: Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I found it an incredibly worthwhile experience in terms of personal growth and the ability to navigate a new culture and new people and traveling like I have never had the opportunity to do before. I say that I wouldn't choose this program again because I think I would have liked to be in a program more immersed in French language and culture, but I do appreciate that I was able to go and study in France without as much language experience as would have been required by my school for other programs.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Great home-stay; lots of discussion with host family.

* Food:

Cooked for myself; not really relevant!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Difficult to make connections with other students, much less locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Not applicable

* Safety:

I felt very safe in the city; was a little nerve-wracking to use public transportation at night, but I adjusted.

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)

Definitely a transition from dorm food to purchasing groceries for myself; public transportation was a cost, but it was helpful to purchase a monthly pass. Important to note that the monthly pass went from the beginning of each month; not from the day of purchase. It was nice that museums were free for the most part.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Monthly Navigo passes! Food markets are great for cheap produce.


* 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

AUP is VERY English-speaking. The students in the program did not speak French with each other very often; I really got most of my French speaking from living with a host family.

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? 203
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? Definitely do a homestay; it was also great to participate in the student teaching program.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Location
  • Courses using Paris as a teaching tool
  • Opportunity to participate in student teaching and an art history program at the Louvre
* What could be improved?
  • Language immersion
  • Immersion within Paris
  • More committed student organizations
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that students at AUP are predominantly American and speak mostly English; I think I would have looked into more programs (perhaps not through my home university) that offered an experience in between a complete immersion program (like the one offered by my home university in Aix-en-Provence) and a non-French speaking university like AUP.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Architecture of Paris

Course Department: Art History
Instructor: Gabriel Wick
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Lots of walking around the city of Paris; instructor was incredibly knowledgeable and made the material relevant and interesting; gained a new perspective on the history of the city and of architecture in general.
Credit Transfer Issues: