Paris, City of Lights Past Review

By (Political Science/French Studies, Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/05/2013 to 06/15/2013 with

Brigham Young University: Paris - Paris Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was an amazing program and amazing opportunity. I loved living in Paris and I thought that the study abroad program was the perfect way to experience my first true abroad stay. I was able to integrate myself into the culture and language but also have support and help from my American classmates and professors.

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.

I really enjoyed the way that academics were done on the program. I thought there was a near perfect balance of assignments/class time that allowed us to really experience the country and then shape our assignments after what we learned. This allowed for real flexibility in experiencing the culture rather than strict requirements that would limit.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program directors were amazing. They were our instructors but also approachable for advice or direction for students who were in a new foreign country.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because we didn't go to a French school, sometimes I didn't feel completely integrated because we would spend time in and out of class in our group of Americans and not with native French.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I fell sick during the program and was able to see a doctor very quickly, within one or two days, and then that same day receive antibiotics. I was very impressed and very pleased with how quickly the healthcare system worked.

* 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)

Paris is a very expensive city. Since we had to pay for all our lunches and then typically four of our dinner meals, the weekly cost added up. It was hard to visit a grocery store and bring food because we were so active and busy inside the actual city - far away from our homes, which required us to eat out most of our meals. It was fairly pricey.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just make sure you budget your money so that you don't run out before the program is up!


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 321
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 talk and communicate in the language as much as possible. And try to initiate conversations with natives because that will increase your language skills more than study or conversation with classmates

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Language
  • Food
  • Professors
* What could be improved?
  • Cost
  • More time with Host Family
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have practiced my French more

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.'