the best six months of my life Past Review

By (French, University of Tennessee - Knoxville) for

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Aix-en-Provence, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about myself and how important it is to travel and see the world. I can't wait to go back.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Université Aix-Marseille III
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.

Very light workload and very manageable. I learned a lot without being busy with school work. The longer class periods allowed for more language exposure. Differences: much longer classes, not much work, few tests. The educational system in France was much more laid-back.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I had the most amazing experience with my program decision and could not imagine a better place to study abroad. The program directors were overly patient and helpful and made every experience ten times better. All of my expectations were enormously surpassed. I liked the smaller program size because it provided an opportunity to get acquainted with everyone and meet more people. I couldn't have imagined a better group.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay was a great location, about 15 minute walk from school and maybe 20-25 minute walk to nightlife but it was very enjoyable. I did not need to supply any of my own things other than toiletries. My roommate and myself were welcomed as family for the most part but there were still evident boundaries not to cross.

* Food:

We were provided just about every meal throughout the week unless we chose to eat out. My house mother tried to cook things according to our eating habits and preferences and was always open to suggestions.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The excursions were incredible. Nice and Monaco was definitely a highlight. The Camargue was not one of my favorites but weather was a major factor in the day. It was enjoyable that all the excursions were so meticulously arranged and organized. I also really enjoyed the weekly things offered to us in order to be submersed in the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I found Aix to be extremely safe for the most part until tourist season picked up and it attracted more non-local people. My area of town was extremely safe, however, and I was always cautious but never felt threatened.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

My host family and host roommate, teachers, friends. Yes language was a major part of every day as my host family did not speak English. I found that most people knew at least a little English but appreciated speaking French much more so I usually opted to speak in French

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The program advisors
  • The location
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I felt like there was something for everyone and everyone found their particular niche, so I don't think it would be difficult for anyone to enjoy this program. I would advise any student to take advantage of every opportunity.