Absolutely Incredible Past Review

By (Entrepreneurship, Belmont University) - abroad from 02/12/2014 to 06/13/2014 with

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This question cannot be answered in a fill in the blank box online, but I will attempt. I learned about relating to different cultures, and just different people and things in general. I learned to broaden my mind. I learned to get outside my comfort zone. I learned to try new things. I learned to not be afraid of failure. I learned french! I learned french cuisine. I learned all that and more and it was so much more than worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The semester overall was absolutely incredible. Being in Paris was of course a dream, and having the teachers that I had at La Sorbonne were wonderful. They were all understanding of our desire to travel and at the same time intent on helping their students better their french. I felt very comfortable speaking with each of them about any issues I had in the class and overall enjoyed all my classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone at the CEA office was wonderful! Whether I went to the office for planned activities or questions/concerns I had, I always felt comfortable with the staff and enjoyed the excursions and found them to be extremely ready and willing to help me with anything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a host home and it was great. Breakfast was provided each morning and dinner two nights a week. Not having a roommate allowed me to really work on my french communication with my host mom and make me go out and experience french culture. I got along really well with my host mom and loved the apartment where we were staying. I would highly recommend the home stay option to anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the language.

* Food:

My host mom was a wonderful cook, and she loved vegetables. So we ate lots of vegetables! I loved learning about typical french cuisine through my dinners with her. Breakfast consisted of coffee, toast, and yogurt. I'm normally used to big "american" breakfasts so that took a little bit to get used to, but it was all delicious and if there was something I didn't like, I was able to communicate that to my host mom with no problem.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because of my housing situation, I felt well immersed in the culture. Of course, I had American friends as well through the CEA office and other American students in my classes. However, we had plenty of opportunities to meet french people whether that be at school, CEA events with parisian locals, or day-to-day activities such as grocery shopping and times on the metro.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had an health issues during the program but from the information provided by CEA, I felt well insured and didn't have any worries about what I would do if I did have an emergency.

* Safety:

Paris is known for not being the safest city. I heard stories of people who had their phones stolen whether that be on the metro or at restaurants. It is true that there are lots of pickpocketers out there and you need to be careful at night, and do not walk alone. However, I never had any problems or was ever scared or worried about my safety. I think the important thing is to be aware of that and take the necessary precautions.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? this number highly depended upon whether I was traveling or not. If I was not traveling, I spent 80-100euros per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? don't go out to eat for lunch! go grocery shopping and pack a lunch if possible


* 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

Living in a host home requires you to speak the language daily! I was very thankful for this opportunity and it really improved my french

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced I
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 be afraid to make mistakes! Making mistakes is the best way to learn and get better faster.

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?
  • Speaking french
  • Living with a host family
  • Group Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • I do not have any complaints for the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? French people aren't as scary as you think they are.

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.'