The trip of my dreams Past Review

By (Business Management, University of Utah) - abroad from 06/02/2014 to 06/27/2014 with

CEA: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Living abroad with strangers/roommates in a foreign country helped me grow as a professional, as a student, and as an individual because I am even more open to new experiences and am not afraid to explore and be out of my comfort zone.

Review Photos

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CEA staff of Paris, France was very helpful and friendly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied with my living arrangements! The CEA staff in Paris, France picked out the best apartment for me and my roommates and was always ready to help in case we needed it.

* Food:

Parisian food is excellent!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I integrated myself into the Parisian culture, at least tried to.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

I did not budge out how much euros I have spent in a week but I would recommend to do grocery shopping and make sandwiches or prepare your meals because eating out in Paris, France can get quite pricey.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? A lot!
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget how much euros you will be spending and stick to it because it is easy to get out of control. Try to do grocery shopping instead of eating out, walking instead of taking taxi etc.

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? Advanced
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? Advanced
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Learn the very basics and you should be fine. Saying Hello, Thank you, Morning, etc makes all the difference.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Paris, France - Location
  • New friends I made
  • Everything
* What could be improved?
  • Learning Abroad office should utilize students that came back from a program to help future students to help them with personal tips that are not covered by the Learning Abroad office.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? • Yes, pick-pocketing is not only common in Paris, but among the most common crimes in Europe. Try to always keep a minimum of money and important documents on you at all times. • When traveling by train, hug or sit on your valuables so that in case you fall asleep, your things will not be at risk. • Stick to cities centers. Most European cities follow the same urban phenomenon as Paris – cities centers are historical and tourist centers, and tend to be safer than surrounding suburbs. • Do not speak English loudly in public. You can be a target of pick-pocketing and harassment. • Be VERY CAREFUL talking on cell phones in the street or in the metro. Do not use your phone or text from your phone in public! Thieves can snatch it and run away. • Walk with purpose and discretion. You should always have a map of the city you are in with you at all times. You may get yourself in trouble if you get lost. • Do not leave valuables in shared hostel rooms. Carry valuables with you at all times. • While Parisians live in a relatively calm and welcoming metropolis by day, the tone changes at nightfall. Areas which seem perfectly safe during the day can be havens for both petty and more serious crime in late hours. Between 11pm and 4am, Paris shows its worst colors, with the Champs Elysées ranking number 1 in number of crimes per day. • Your public language should be French. Learn to speak French as much as possible. If you are approached by someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, the best action is to not speak. Simply tilt your head and put up your hand to show that you are not interested. • You may notice that many people out on the street do not make eye contact directly with strangers. Be careful to ‘gaze’ in front of you, not giving obvious attention to anyone in particular. Do not smile at strangers (it is a sexual invitation). • In order to stay safe, try to ‘fit in’ to the crowd of people you will be around. Do not try to stand out as a tourist. • Keep your valuables deep in your hand bag or back pack. Making them conveniently located for you will mean that they are too accessible to thieves. • When at a café or restaurant, do not put your bag or coat in a chair next to yours. Hold onto your belongings or tie them to your chair. In the metro, hold onto your belongings in front of you. Do not keep backpacks on your backs. • Do not place valuables on bistro tables. • Should Carry: a small pocket umbrella, a small water bottle, a map of paris, your metro pass, a pouch of tissues, enough money only for the day, ID, a photocopy of your passport, only the documents you think are appropriate, a cell phone, 20 euros in cash (at least). • Should Not Carry: all of your credit and debit cards, American store cards, American driver’s license, Passport, Plane tickets, more than 50 Euros in cash, valuable photos or mementos, expensive hand bags or wallets, American check books. o Do not forget to buy adapter and converter from either Walmart or Target in order to charge your electronics. o Bring extra batteries and extra memory card for your camera. o Most places accept Visa in France. When traveling aboard, Visa and/or Mastercard are best because when you use it, there’s 0 charge. Also, do not forget to contact your bank before you leave the country and to inquire further of any charges when used for transactions. o Before you leave the country, make sure to pick up euros (500€ or so and split it up in your luggage) from either Chase or Zions Bank, there is 0 charge in exchanging money. When you try to exchange money in France, there will be service charge. o You do not have to tip when riding taxi or when eating at a café or a restaurant. Although if you would like to, you can. Taxes on things and objects are already included on the prices you see at stores. o Most people in France speak English. However, they appreciate it if you speak in French first even if you know little of French. o When you buy baguettes, it can be cheap as 97 cents at grocery stores like Monoprix. When you buy from bakeries (boulangerie) it can be as cheap or euro to two euros depending what kind of bread or size. Make sure to eat all of your baguette within a day as it dries up within that day. o There are many varieties of wines. Some wines are cheap as 6€ but still good quality. o When using your metro pass, make sure the door allows you to pass through. Otherwise you can be fined up to 50-100€ for not using the right metro pass if an officer catches you. (I was fined for 50€ before) o www.timhotel.com is a hotel that can be cheap as 50-60€ a night, depending on location. (Popular areas are more expensive) o Do not be surprised if there are long lines at museums and monuments. Either get up early to avoid long lines or stay in the line and to go through the museums and monuments. The French do not mind waiting for hours. o Make sure to order carafe d’eau, this is jug of water that is free, all the other waters at restaurants and cafés are priced and pricey. o Make sure to put your bag in front of your lap even when you’re eating at a restaurant or café, thieves can take off with it if you put it elsewhere. Do not put your cellphone or money on the table, thieves can snatch it and take off. o Finally, have lots of fun and take many pictures!!!! ☺

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.