I am SO HAPPY I chose CEA! Past Review

By (University of California - Berkeley) - 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?
My experience as absolutely worthwhile. It was the best semester of my life, and I am so thankful I was able to go.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CEA staff were amazing!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally didn't have a healthcare related issue, but many of my friends did and we're helped out a lot.

* Safety:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent less than 50 euros on food each week, but spent more on travel expenses each weekend.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Book your flights/trains in advance, and stay at hostels that have kitchens so you can buy groceries for some meals, instead of always eating out. Also, try and cook as much as you can- it is a good way to get to know the local food and market culture, as well as a serious money-saver.

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

My French improved significantly.

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 literature
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Speak the language with your American friends if you can. Also, try and make local friends who you can practice with. There are a lot of people who want to practice their English, so try and find someone who is looking for some kind of language exchange. If you meet with them once or twice a week, you will both get something out of it, and you'll make a friend!

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?
  • Language immersion
  • The program staff
  • The ability to travel
* What could be improved?
  • Many of my friends didn't love their homestays
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Living in a home stay will provide you with more opportunities to learn the language, but it is still doable in an apartment- you just have to seek language opportunities out a little bit harder!