Leaving my comfort zone led to best experience of my life Past Review

By (International Studies & Political Science, University of South Carolina - Columbia) - 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?
If given the ability to see the world you should take it. There are places and things you should see for yourself and much more that you can learn than your textbook.

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.

My language professor was very adequate and I learned a lot however there was another professor who taught us once a week whom I though was very terrible. Our other elective professors were also very good.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The most incredible group of people for on-site administration. They were like our friends and incredibly helpful. They are always kind and cheery and made my experience with studying abroad great and easy.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Although being in a home stay was not my first choice my host mom was very kind and she tried her best for me being her first student.

* Food:

There was not much variety in my home stay and probably one of the more negative aspects of my program.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very much a part of French culture. CEA always hosted events to have us mingle with the locals and participate in local events.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was provided with quick visits to the doctors however I still have yet to be refunded with the money I spent with the health costs.

* Safety:

Aix-en-Provence is very safe and I never felt like my life was in danger. I also never got threatened or had anything stolen for me.

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? 100 on food and other local things
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely look into cheap travel option and keep a budget for each trip. Aix is a very expensive city but by cooking and not eating out you can save a lot of money.


* 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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 210
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? Go out and experience french life. Try to meet locals and make friends your age.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • on site staff
  • excursions
  • events
* What could be improved?
  • class professors
  • home stays
  • more local integration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? make the effort to go out more and meet and make more friends with people from outside your program.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.