Discovering A New Place To Call Home Past Review

By (Graphic Design // French, Carthage College) - abroad from 01/15/2017 to 05/20/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was incredibly worthwhile, without a doubt. I am more open minded now than before. I embrace change, challenges, and my fears - I see them all as an opportunity for growth and personal development. I find myself more able to participate in conversations about topics such as politics, education, the economy, etc. Most importantly, I gained a huge sense of self-worth and confidence from my experience abroad with API.

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Naturally, some of my classes were more difficult than others but no matter the rigor, I always felt that API provided me the resources to succeed. When I was struggling with homework from one of my classes, the on site staff in Grenoble sat down with me to answer any questions I had and ultimately help me understand the material.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site staff in Grenoble are incredible! They provided around the clock support if needed, but also allowed students to seek independent opportunities which furthered student growth. The staff offered to make doctors appointments when I was sick, gave me advice on personal problems, and even helped me discover an assistant teaching opportunity in Grenoble!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I filled out a pretty detailed living arrangement survey before my semester abroad and nearly all of my preferences were met. For example, I requested (and was placed with) a non-smoking family, with multiple kids, who loved the outdoors and doing things together as a family.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was pretty well integrated with local culture because of the strong relationships I had formed with my host family and the friends of my host family. However, I wish I would have been able to interact with more students at the University. Since my classes were all with other foreigners learning French, it did not provide an opportunity to mix with French students in that way.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I actually went to the doctor twice during my semester abroad. Getting an appointment was a super simple process because the on-site staff of API offered to contact the doctor's office and make one for me. API uses the same doctor's office (and typically doctor) for all student needs. Consequently, the doctor is familiar with American students who might not be able to speak French well and she does really well trying to find ways to communicate if barriers exist. The only reason I rated health care lower is because of the reimbursement policy. I had been told it would be approximately X weeks before I received reimbursement for my medical treatment and in fact it was nearly double that length of time before I got a check in the mail.

* Safety:

There was never really a time when I felt unsafe in my host city. I lived just outside of the normal city limits of Grenoble and frequently walked home alone late at night. Contrastingly, I don't recommend walking alone in the city center late at night - there are a lot of people up and about so I was more comfortable in a group in those situations.

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

Overall I had an amazing experience with API. I felt like I was given the perfect amount of support while still being challenged to grow.


* 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 definitely did not live on a student's budget. I spent A LOT of money during my semester abroad but I also traveled to new countries and cities nearly every weekend.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Approximately $150 on normal expenses in a week; maybe around $400 per week including traveling
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Talk to your host family about having some fridge space! If you pack your lunches every day you will save a tremendous amount of money right there.


* 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? FRN 3080 - It's a culture and society French class
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? Engage with your host family! I talked to my host parents and sibling every day after I came home from university. Even when I didn't have much to say, I tried to come up with something just for the sake of practicing.

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
  • 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?
  • On-site directors
  • Perfect host family placement
  • Orientation in Paris
* What could be improved?
  • Health Care Policy
  • Optional courses with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? All of my classes will be taken with other international students, so it will be difficult to integrate into university life

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.