I loved my experience with CEA Paris and I wish I could go back! Past Review

By (Interior Design., Washington State University - Pullman campus) - abroad from 01/23/2011 to 05/21/2011 with

CEA: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was amazing! I think I've become more confident and open to new experiences. I've learned how important it is to communicate clearly and be organized. I want to continue improving with French and I'm saving all my money to make a trip back!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My classes were interesting and it was wonderful not having class on Friday to go travel on the weekends.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The onsite staff were amazing and helpful! I miss seeing Hélène and Elisabeth's smiling faces everyday! I felt like I could go to them for any questions or concerns I had.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Devon was very helpful! I lived in a single room at Cité internationale universitaire de Paris. The room was very spacious and comfortable but it felt a bit isolated away for the city.

* Food:

Almost all food in Paris is delicious but expensive! I wish we could've had a small food stipend.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved having classes with local French students and having fun activities to do with them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues but I bet if I did they would've been very helpful!

* Safety:

I felt safer in Paris than at home. I think they gave us good tips to blend in and I never felt threatened walking home or to school.

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)

Everything in Paris is very expensive but I chose to eat a bit more extravagantly than I would at school.

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I think be mindful of what you're money is going towards but don't miss out on opportunities because you're worried about the cost. You can live like a poor college student when you return home. :)

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

They were very encouraging but it's difficult when you're around almost all Americans and everyone speaks English to each other.

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? Intermediate
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? Speak it whenever you can! Talk to locals and don't be embarrassed if you mess up. Everyone appreciates your effort!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* 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?
  • The helpfulness of the onsite state
  • Meeting local French students
  • Having a single room
* What could be improved?
  • Food stipend!
  • Have the welcome orientation two days after students arrive instead of the morning after when everyone's exhausted and jet lagged.
  • Have finals a week earlier and not on Saturdays to have more time to explore the city before students leave.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack light and figure out some places you'd like to go before you arrive. It's challenging to work on schoolwork while planning a trip.