A Transformative Adventure Abroad Past Review

By (Liberal Arts, General Studies, Soka University of America) - abroad from 09/04/2015 to 12/19/2015 with

CEA: Aix-en-Provence, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was absolutely a worthwhile experience. I feel like I gained a lot of independence/just became generally better at taking initiative and doing things for myself. It is a testing time, you're away from everything that is familiar to you. This forces you to make new bonds and forge new connections with all kinds of people, which is such a valuable skill to have.

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

* 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?

* Safety:

Aix is, over all, a very safe city! Try to minimize walks by yourself after dark.

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 would estimate 50€ a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be mindful when you travel! Bringing snacks or items to make meals can save you on restaurant expenses.

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? 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? 300
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? Living with a host family is extremely useful and forces you to practice your language skills each day. Also try to break out of your comfort zone of speaking English with English speaking friends when you can.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Both Vivienne and Nancy were incredibly helpful throughout the program.
  • All of the program trips were well planned and fulfilling.
* What could be improved?
  • It is hard to think of any things that could be improved within the program!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had spent a little bit more time exploring Aix, rather than traveling to so many other places.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'