Summer in Paris-Nothing Could Be Better Past Review

By (Nursing., Saint Anselm College) for

API (Academic Programs International): Paris - Institut Catholique de Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was so worthwhile. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I learned about myself and was able to explore my independence. Before this trip I did not think of myself as someone who could go abroad for this length of time and be on my own. But I learned through this experience that if you make the most of it it will change your life.

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.

There was barely any homework and tests and quizzes were very straightforward. All the information was clearly presented and there were absolutely no surprises on the tests. I would compare the work load to a high school foreign language class. I was in beginner 3 and it was information that I had learned my junior year in high school. The grading system is different as well. Grades are out of 20 instead of 100. I was told that anything over a 14/20 is considered an A.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone was very accessible and willing to help in any way we needed. They were very educated about American education and differences in the education system. This was very helpful to hear before our classes started so we knew what to expect.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Everything that we needed was provided for us. The neighborhood (10th arrondisment) is made up of mostly immigrants and other foreign nationalities. Most of the people/restaurants/stores in our area were Middle Eastern or African. I never felt unsafe, but it was definitely different than what I am used to. Nothing bad ever happened to me, but friends and roommates described being followed, cat calls, etc. I don't think it was unsafe but it was definitely uncomfortable at first.

* Food:

The latin quarter is a great place to get good food at good prices. I am a very picky eater and I never ran into problems anywhere trying to find something I like.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We traveled to the south of France, to the Mediterranean. It was absolutely beautiful!!!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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? Over the course of the month I spent about 1100 American dollars. I'd say it was probably 50% food and 50% activities, museums, etc. Food is very expensive especially if you will be eating at restaurants for every or most meals.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely use your student ID as much as possible because you can get great discounts at museums and for transportation. Bring all of the necessities with you. Of course you can buy it all there but toiletries are much more expensive. For example, a stick of deodorant was close to 8 American dollars.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had not taken any French in college.
Language acquisition improvement?

We did not speak English at all in class. A lot of the professors do not even speak it.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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