Best Decision of My Entire College Career Past Review

By (Texas A&M University - College Station) - abroad from 01/20/2014 to 05/17/2014 with

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
What I learned about most was myself. Being put in an environment so different than the one i'm used to really put me in a place where I was allowed to grow and develop myself and my identity. I also learned an incredible amount about culture and diversity, experiencing things and meeting people that can't be compared to anything in the States. This trip was absolutely, 100% worthwhile.

Review Photos

CEA: Paris, France Photo CEA: Paris, France Photo CEA: Paris, France Photo CEA: Paris, France Photo CEA: Paris, France Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses were fine, but the professors expect way too much reading for the fact that you're studying abroad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Naples Foyer and it ended up being really great except for the wifi, which is TERRIBLE. It made working on classwork really difficult if you wanted to do it in your room or even in the study rooms. But overall, the foyer was clean (other than the kitchen, but that's the fault of residents) and it's a really great place to meet students from around the world.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

CEA did a great job of arranging cultural opportunities and excursions. It also takes some personal initiative to get out there and experience new things and meet local people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health issues, therefore I cannot rate the health care.

* Safety:

Paris is overall very safe, save the pickpockets. You have to be smart about where you are, who you're with, and the hour of the day, but that goes for any large city you're living in. Just always be on guard with your valuables AT ALL TIMES when out on the streets and in public.

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)

It's easier to live on a budget when living in a residence hall because of the fully functioning kitchen. I mainly cooked and ate in to save money, but I was also able to go out every once in a while. But Paris is an expensive city, so living on a budget is difficult if you like to go out often.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you go grocery shopping, do them weekly. Food goes bad quickly here due to lack of pesticides and chemicals, so you'll end up throwing out a lot of food if you buy too much. Any restaurant that sells a cafe (espresso) for more than 2.8 euros is overpriced. Try to find places with formulaires - they're generally worth the price.


* 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? 3 years in high school
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? Don't only hang out with English-speaking students. Get out of your comfort zone. It will be uncomfortable and frustrating, but hanging out and conversing with locals will definitely pay off in the end.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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?
  • CEA friendliness and willingness to help
  • Cultural integration
  • New ideas presented in the classroom
* What could be improved?
  • Less reading outside of the classroom
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Beware of children in the metros - they're the most unsuspecting pickpockets.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Comparative Healthcare Systems

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Davesne
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course topic was incredibly interesting and had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the teacher was new, seemed unprepared, and a bit insecure about his teaching. He required entirely too much reading outside of the classroom. If there were fewer required readings, perhaps the students would actually do them and the class would have flowed better. The lectures also seemed unorganized and were slightly difficult to follow. The professor seemed to know what he was talking about, but maybe didn't know how to communicate it as well as he could have.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Globalization: Politics, Culture & Global Governance

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Vauclair
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very interesting course. The teacher was very knowledgable and his lectures were incredibly thought provoking. The tests were fair if you did all of the reading and paid attention in class. The only negative thing I have to say about this class is the amount of reading required outside of the classroom.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Beginning French II

Course Department: International & Cultural Diversity
Instructor: Quesnay
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Overall, a good course. The teacher was a bit unorganized and I would have preferred the lectures to be more structured. I think it would have also benefitted the students much more if the professor checked the homework every class period, instead of collecting them all at the end of the semester. This would have required the students to actually keep up with what they were learning in class, rather than using Google Translate the night before they were due to complete all of the homeworks.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Communication & Global Competence

Course Department: Communications
Instructor: Edwards
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very good class. The topics discussed were thought provoking and mind expanding. I would have preferred more teaching from the professor himself rather than the students, and more time to complete the end of the year project. Other than that, the professor was very knowledgable over the subjects.
Credit Transfer Issues: