A truly unforgettable and worthwhile experience Past Review

By (Political Science And French, University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) - 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?
The best things I gained were amazing friends and a great experience. I was able to travel frequently independently and with my program, visiting Europe and the south of France, which is beautiful.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Vivienne and Vainess were amazingly attentive and helpful! They're what made this program so great!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Food and groceries were incredibly expensive in Aix; however the quality was excellent.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The people, and especially kids our age, were rather cold and unwelcoming, which made it nearly impossible to socialize with and get to know the locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

This is non-applicable, as I had no health related issues

* Safety:

I had my wallet stolen while getting on the bus. At night, the constant cat-calling on the streets was a source of major discomfort.

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 incredibly expensive city! Going out for drinks and grocery shopping made a major dent in my budget.

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? Shop at DIA for groceries.

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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 1000 level
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? Read and watch television/ films in that language.

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?
  • the people
  • the location/visits
  • the director
* What could be improved?
  • more integration with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how expensive Aix is before I came.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!