Worth every penny! Past Review

By (Liberal Arts, General Studies, University of Texas - Arlington) - abroad from 03/02/2015 to 04/24/2015 with

Atelier Neo Medici: Villeneuve sur Lot - Annual Painting Course & 2-month Intensive Painting Workshop

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learn the techniques of the old masters. How can you say it was not worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Excellent experience and lots of work. But you can get out of it as much as you want.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a very nice apartment that was a 10 minute walk from the school.

* Food:

What can you say about food in France that hasn't already been said. Villeneuve-sur-Lot offers a wide range to choose from and is very affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had French speakers in the environment everyday and made several friends while there.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

None experienced

* Safety:

Very safe and no incidents to report.

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

What I learned in 8 weeks was only the start of becoming a master painter.


* 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)

If you want to eat Ramon noddles you can get by cheap, but you are in France so take advantage of it, but you can get by on $20 a day even eating a meal out.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I personally spent about $200 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn to cook and use the kitchen in your apartment.


* 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

Everyday there was a chance to use French.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Studied French, German and Spanish.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Try to make friends, very hard to do in France, but visit the same restaurant/bar regularly and try to get to know the locals.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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?
  • Painting 8 hours a day
  • Meeting new friends
  • Enjoying the region.
* What could be improved?
  • Stay longer
  • Work harder
  • Be pushed to the next level.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The program gave me everything I was looking for and I have no disappointments.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'