You Have to do This Again Past Review

By (International Studies, French, University of Hartford) - abroad from 01/07/2013 to 05/17/2013 with

API (Academic Programs International): Grenoble - Université des Alpes

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to relax, slow down, and live everyday to the fullest. Before going to France I was stressed and too focused on reaching my goals. While I still have these goals I've taken a step back and am perusing in a different, less stressful way.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The actual academics were not hard, however from the language aspect it made the program more difficult. There was not a lot of homework, but since the point is to learn French it definitely exceeded my expectations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

API matched me up with the best host family I could have asked for. My host mother and I were so similar and they somehow lined me up perfectly with her morals and interests.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

No matter how hard I tried it was always obvious that I was American. However as my French improved it became easier to continue talking in French and fewer people jumped to English immediately.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had an experience with Health Care personally but my friends who needed it spoke highly of it. It was easy for them and never nerve wrecking because our Resident Director came with us.

* Safety:

Grenoble overall felt safe, but being a woman I felt uncomfortable walking alone. I was given countless advice to never walk alone and heard stories that scared me into making sure at all times I was with another person. I was never attacked, but I was a victim of unwanted attention, mainly from intoxicated older men.

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)

Paying for lunch at the University was affordable, especially since I did not buy large meals. Paying for entertainment and nightlife cost more but is a cost that is avoidable. It was my personal choice to visit costly museums, restaurants, and bars.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Write yourself out a budget, this way you have a concrete number to stick to every week! I did this and if I spent more one week than I wanted to I knew i had to cut back the next week.


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? 5 semester of College French
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Get away from your American group of friends and stay with your host family or your French friends. You will not improve if you keep speaking English. It also was helpful to stay away from Facebook or talking with friends at home. In weeks without Internet my language skills sky-rocketed.

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

  • 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?
  • Language
  • Host Family
  • American Friends
* What could be improved?
  • Course Offerings
  • Excursions
  • Opportunities to meet locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's okay to ask questions and make mistakes, it's hard and it is not your fault. Just speak and you will improve.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!