Paris: Pasteries, Excursions, and Too much fun Past Review

By (Business Administration, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) for

CEA: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience has made me want to travel more! I can't wait to come back after I graduate and travel Europe. I'm no longer afraid of venturing to a place I've never been, or afraid of language barriers. I've become a more independent person and feel like I've learned so much more about myself than I ever would have been able to at home.

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.

While the workload is a bit more than I originally expected from a study abroad program, it is about equal to that of my home university. A major difference is that at CEA they are very personable and WANT to help you succeed. You get one-on-one time with the professors and they are all available by email. Many of the classes take excursions out into the city so you get to actually see what you are learning about first hand. The teaching method is amazing and I've fallen in love with the campus and entire staff.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My host country's administration was AMAZING!!! They helped me with everything I needed and were friendly the entire time. Everyone feels like we are friends with the staff, and they are always joking and asking us how we are doing. Half of the staff is from Paris, and are all extremely knowledgeable about things to do and places to go. When I was feeling home sick one of the staff members talked it through with me and then gave me a list of hidden gems in Paris to visit that were quiet and secluded. The program size was around 60 people and we all became close. Many traveled and went out together on a weekly basis. All of my expectations were far exceeded and I was so sad to leave this amazing staff.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in an apartment with 3 other girls, 2 of us in each room. We loved our apartment, and were able to feel like true Parisians! Our neighbors were nice, and to save money we cooked dinner together each night. Our apartment came fully furnished, the only thing we had to bring was sheets, a pillow case, and I ended up buying an additional blanket.

* Food:

Paris is pretty expensive and while it's fun to go out to various cafes and experience the true Parisian life-style, I opted to cook food at home. I had to get creative because a lot of ingredients are different here than in the states. My roommates and I even made some French inspired dinners! It was a lot of fun, and we saved a ton of money.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

CEA organizes multiple excursions that are included in the program cost. We did a mystery excursion to Normandy, and we went to Fontainebleu, Versailles, Strasbourg, and Germany. Each one was so much fun and allowed us to see various parts of the country that many of us would have never seen.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

During orientation my program went over all the possibilities of what could happen. While at first intimidating they explained the worst of it all up front. It allowed me to know what to look for and know what to do in certain situations. I never felt unsafe or out of control and overall had a great time.

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)

Language

* 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?

Before starting this program I had never taken a French class in my life. In this city there are people who can speak/understand English; however, they very much want you to speak their language. The staff members at CEA helped me so much! They would make calls to doctors, or other specialists, and if I needed something translated they were able to adequately express what I wanted to say. They helped me learn and perfect common phrases that I otherwise would've been lost trying to say.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Staff
  • Courses
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You don't have to speak the language to come to Paris; however, you do have to be outgoing enough to want to learn. I'm really bad when it comes to languages, but you just have to smile and keep working through it. Stereotypes aside, the Parisians are nice and most are friendly and willing to help.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

International Marketing

Course Department: International Marketing (MKT320)
Instructor: Paul Mallette
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This is by far my favorite course. I am a business student, focusing on marketing so all this information is relevant to what I'm learning at my home institution; however, the way Professor Mallette engages with the class and speaks to us is very personal and helpful. He never makes you feel bad for asking questions, has hilarious anecdotes and is able to adequately convey his ideas. The fact that I have this class at 9:30 on Monday mornings, and I'm excited to go should speak for itself!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Haute Couture

Course Department: Haute Couture in Paris : History of Style & Fashion
Instructor: Dr Jean-Pierre Constant
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course is a history of fashion dating back to pretty much the beginning of time. It's interesting material; however, the professor is sometimes hard to understand since French is his primary language. He makes it really fun and interesting by adding in his own stories of working at Chanel and Dior. He would sometimes sing for us and tell us stories about models to break up the course load. He took us to many museums, and famous fashion centrals in Paris. Overall this class is fun and interesting if you're into fashion.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of Paris : An architectural perspective

Course Department: Architecture
Instructor: Prof. Linnéa R. Tilly
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was one of my most interesting courses this semester! The professor is so knowledgeable about so many aspects of architecture and art history. She is enthusiastic about teaching her students and works hard to help you succeed. Every Tuesday she lectures in the classroom about a specific building, or portion of the city, and then on Thursday's we meet at that place and get to see first hand what we learned in class. Everything is so interesting, and she tells you so many fun facts about buildings you would have never known. The reason I enjoyed this class is because many of the places are things I would have never seen before, or known anything about. I have a new-found respect for Notre Dame, and the Pantheon after taking this class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Communication and Global Competence

Course Department: COM340
Instructor: Christopher Edwards
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was so much fun, and extremely interesting. We discussed global communications and how it affects not only us personally, but also business and customer relations. It was interesting because there are so many various aspects of communication that people don't realize and we were able to openly discuss our hurtles and problems that we had experienced.
Credit Transfer Issues: