The most amazing experience of my life! Past Review

By (University of Tennessee - Knoxville) - abroad from 01/21/2013 to 05/18/2013 with

CEA: Aix-en-Provence, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about France and I learned more french, but I also was able to learn more about the world and how things are different in other countries than they are in America. I also learned a lot about myself, and I gained some amazing friends.

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.

Not all of the teachers were very helpful, and I had one that did not seem to care at all about if the students did well or learned anything. But, there were some teachers that I was able to learn a lot from. Also, there was not a lot of structure so we did not always know when we were having a test and things like that.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people in the CEA office were amazing! They went above and beyond to help us all out with any problems that we might have. They also made us feel like we had someone looking out for us. They also planned some really cool activities for us to do.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in an apartment and it was great! It was in a great location, and the apartment itself was very nice. We didn't have any really big issues with anything except for the washing machine breaking which couldn't be helped, and they got us a new one as quickly as possible.

* Food:

The food was delicious. I found that pretty much anything that I got to eat was good. All of the bakeries, pastry shops, cafes, and restaurants had fantastic food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did participate in activities that regular french people did such as going to the markets, but I was not really able to become friends with any french people. We didn't have classes with any french people, and many of the ones that I met places were not the most friendly people but that is just the way they are.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues, but I know that people were able to go to the doctor if they needed to very easily.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Aix, but you should never travel alone really late at night. You just have to be mindful of your surroundings and don't put yourself into bad situations.

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

Finances

* 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 bought groceries instead of going out to eat all of the time and you did not go clothes shopping at the really expensive stores, then it is fairly easy to maintain a budget. You just have to be smart with your money.

Language

* 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

They encouraged us to use the language all of the time. All of our classes were in french, and we were only allowed to speak french in our classes.

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? French 333 in college
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? Don't be afraid to speak the language. The only way to learn is to try.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • All the people I met who were in the program, and the people who worked for the program.
  • The excursions that we went on.
  • The opportunity to learn french.
* What could be improved?
  • Some of the teachers at the school.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That you shouldn't worry about sounding dumb when you speak french, and you should try it anyways because the french people like it when you try and most of the time will be very understanding.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.