Aixperience the South of France Past Review

By (French, Linguistics, Western Washington University) - abroad from 09/06/2014 to 04/18/2015 with

CEA: Aix-en-Provence, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot of things about how I interact in new situations and my ability to communicate with others in general. I found the experience to be completely worthwhile.

Review Photos

CEA: Aix-en-Provence, France Photo CEA: Aix-en-Provence, France Photo

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.

A nice balance between complete rigor and allowing us time to explore the culture. Teachers were able to identify where we were academically with French and work with us in the areas that we needed most help in

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Excellent administration for CEA in Aix. Both Vivienne and Nancy were able to help me through whatever problem I had, especially more complex issues dealing with French postal services and phone companies.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Apartment was excellent and was in an extraordinary location.

* Food:

Its France, of course the food was great

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The locals could be a little standoffish but the international community in the city was extraordinarly accepting and inviting

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health issues really but from what others in the program experienced it seemed to be relatively easy and straightforward

* Safety:

Never felt I was in any harms way

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)

I spent around $80 a week on food and then maybe an additional $40 a week on random other things.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go out every night, either partying or for dinner. You do not have to fly somewhere every weekend, you can still have an adventure near or in your study abroad city. Walk places when its reasonable, you'll get to know the city better.

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 deemed it imperative to use the language when speaking with locals and other French speakers, and encouraged French use with the program staff and other students in the program.

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? 300 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? Go do cultural things, whether that be go to the theatre, the cinema, a dinner party, wining tasting, or anything of the sort.

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

  • 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 excursions
  • The activities
  • The classes
* What could be improved?
  • The university facility
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have looked up the average temperature for late summer! In general I wish i would have known more about the city and the surrounding areas

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.