Paris is What YOU Make It January 28, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/08/2018 to 05/14/2018 with

American University of Paris: Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent, how to savor the present moment, and to embrace the culture you're surrounded by.

Review Photos

American University of Paris: Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo American University of Paris: Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo American University of Paris: Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo American University of Paris: Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo American University of Paris: Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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.

I learned a lot more from these courses than I originally expected to. The four courses I took were interesting and engaging. Professors were kind, well-informed, and available for office hours and by request.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I did not interact much with the administration at the American University of Paris, so I can't say much. They weren't very visible, so that's not a great thing. I remember orientation was nice and planned well, so they did a good job with that.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Personally, I loved the housing I had in Paris. I thought the apartment was beautiful and the location was great. Our neighborhood was safe and fun. Besides it being a expensive, I liked everything about our apartment.

* Food:

Food in Paris is amazing -- that's not very surprising. But specifically around the university, there is an excellent selection of cheap (but good) places for students to get food for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It is what you make of it. I intentionally tried to interact with the local culture as much as possible, so I felt very connected. However, I could see how some people I know in the same program as me did not feel connected, as it is easy to stay in the American University of Paris "bubble" and just speak in English to your friends, if you wanted to.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Honestly, I found it very difficult to figure out healthcare options while abroad. One time my roommate was sick and she had to pay out of her pocket for the service of a doctor, but was promised reimbursement through the university. This ended up being very difficult and it took months for her to get her money back. The whole process was very confusing and I'm lucky to have not been sick while abroad, as I can see it would have been very difficult.

* Safety:

Paris is pretty safe, especially if you know where to go. The only thing I warn people about is to be aware of pickpocketers. It is very common for things to be stolen out of your pockets and/or bags, so as long as you're mindful of that, you'll be fine. I just always walked around with my hands in my pockets and a securely closed bag, so I never had a problem with this. Just be aware of your surroundings!

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

This program was fine, but I would perhaps have liked a program with more structure, funding, and support.

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 managed my expenses pretty well, but Paris is enticing, so I spent more money than usual per week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $120/week probably
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find student deals for lunch and dinner. Bakeries in Paris are very cheap and great for a delicious, authentic French breakfast and lunch.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

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

  • 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
  • Food
  • Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Support of students (with health and lifestyle)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How healthcare worked in France.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.