Everyone should study abroad Past Review

By (University of Kentucky) - abroad from 01/06/2014 to 04/19/2014 with

CEA: Aix-en-Provence, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be independent. I learned that America is an awesome country and we have a lot to be thankful for. I learned that I am extremely blessed and have a lot of potential. I learned that the world is a big place and lots of different cultures are out there. And it was extremely worthwhile, one of the best experiences of my 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.

I'm a chemistry major, so I'm used to insanely difficult classes. Although the classes were completely in another language, there wasn't a ton of work, which was nice, for me.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Vivienne and Vainess are THE BEST on-site staff imaginable. They're super nice, always available, and love talking to the students and learning about what's going on.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was extremely nice and made my stay very comfortable

* Food:

My host mom is a warlock in the kitchen

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was a small town (Aix) so it was easy to feel integrated, even though I didn't try very hard.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Aix is a very safe city

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)

Aix is an expensive city but I did well financially by minimizing spending and buying groceries from the market rather than grocery stores.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75ish
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Hit up the local market as much as possible - cheap/good food!

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

Classes were exclusively in French and the on-site staff spoke French to us sometimes too.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? French 101
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? Stay in a homestay!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • 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?
  • Flexibility of time
  • The other students
  • The city it's in (Aix)
* What could be improved?
  • nothing
  • zero
  • naught
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how many awesome hiking trails there were, so I could've spent more time hiking and camping. But honestly everything else was perfect, I loved learning all kinds of new stuff as I went.

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.