My Summer in the Heaven (aka the South of France) Past Review

By (French Language, Literature, Texas A&M University - College Station) - abroad from 05/11/2015 to 07/17/2015 with

CEA: Aix-en-Provence, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As dramatic/cheesy as it may sound, my summer abroad in France was the best summer of my life. I knew it would likely be a very neat experience, but I underestimated just how life-changing it would actually turn out to be. My linguistic skills improved dramatically - in ways that I am not sure would have been possible without immersion. The things I saw, people I met, memories I made - I would go back in a heartbeat. Worth every bit of hard work and money it took to get there.

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.

Course was very difficult, but I learned SO MUCH

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was one of the best parts of my trip.

* Food:

French food and wine - enough said!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Felt very safe

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)

Ate most meals with host family, but Aix-en-Provence is not a cheap place to live by any means.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ?
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take more money than you think you'll need, and get a chip on your credit card for international use!

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

CONSTANTLY. I truly feel like I was immersed in the culture and language, and though it was really stressful and times, I learned an incredible amount.

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? B2
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? You can't be over-prepared. Study useful phrases and words as much as possible before departure!

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

  • 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 full cultural experience
* What could be improved?
  • More student scholarships
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bring several pairs of durable, comfortable shoes!

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!