French Adventures Past Review

By (Modern Languages; Economics, University of Hartford) - abroad from 09/02/2013 to 12/20/2013 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be independent and get things done on my own. How to be confident travelling alone. How to make friends quickly.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a wonderful, wonderful host mom who was a lot like me in many ways!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The API staff helped us to join international clubs and get involved in campus activities, as well as gave us recommendations as to where to go in Grenoble for eating, dancing, activities, and sightseeing! We also got to meet the mayor of Lyon.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

You need to make sure to schedule your doctor visits well in advance. I was very sick and just wanted someone to take a swab of my throat so I could get some medicine, but I was put off appointment-wise till after the weekend because there were no slots available.

* Safety:

I found Grenoble to be very safe, and so easy to navigate. The tramway makes it impossible to get lost, as well as the handy maps at every bus station. It's a small place.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 euro / ~65 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? CARPOOLING. Which is called "covoiturage" in France. It's a website, and it saved me hundreds of dollars in train transportation and allowed me to do so much more travelling than I would have been able to otherwise. I dont know why the API staff do not underline the benefit of carpooling, which is much more sophisticated in Europe than in the States.


* 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? FR 348
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? Talk to everybody, even if you know they speak english. Always take the opportunity. Go to foreign movies, sign up for clubs (I was in a choir), and participate in dinner conversations even if youre worried about your grammar. People will happily correct you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • my host mom
  • The trip to Strasbourg
  • Grenoble!
* What could be improved?
  • academic rigor
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Always buy the flight insurance.

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!