Learn, See and Do Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee) - abroad from 08/26/2013 to 12/20/2013 with

CEA: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I really learned a lot about myself while abroad. I became more wise about where I was spending my money. I became more self reliant and independent. And I became a more well rounded student with a huge new found respect for different cultures.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The most supportive staff I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They were extremely helpful and made the transition into the abroad life very smooth.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It always takes some time at first but I felt that the program does a wonderful job at slowing integrating you into the local life so that you are not feeling quite so overwhelmed. I feel like a true Parisian now!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare in Paris, France is extremely accessible. I personally have not had to go to the doctor (thankfully) but I did call a doctor with a question and they were more than willing to help and speak in English with me as well. No vaccinations were necessary prior to this trip and Paris is just as clean and healthy as any other major metropolitan city in the world.

* Safety:

Just like any other large city, Paris comes with its safety drawbacks. You must really be aware of pickpocketers at all times. Furthermore, it is important to stay alert when riding the Métro, especially at night. Traveling at night by yourself is not usually a good idea - but with all that said, I personally have never encountered any safety concerns and feel very comfortable walking around places on my own.

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)

Unfortunately, Paris is very, very expensive. It is doable on a student budget but outside sources for income and aid were used in my case.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 15 to 20 Euro each week if I was really being careful.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Grocery shopping at local outdoor markets are a wonderful way to buy fresh produce for a relatively fair price. Grocery shopping in general is definitely less expensive than going out each day for food at a restaurant. Paris offers many discount grocery stores.

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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 6th semester college French
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? Taking classes for sure. But also watching movies, listening to music, and finding a local group discussion can also be the most helpful ways because conversation is what you are going to be doing the most while abroad.

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

  • 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?
  • Language Immersion
  • Planned Excursions
  • Friendly Staff
* What could be improved?
  • Elective classes
  • On campus resources
  • More group activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack light!

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.'