Studying abroad will change your life! Past Review

By (French Language, Culture, Hofstra University) - abroad from 01/19/2015 to 05/16/2015 with

CEA: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The biggest thing I gained while studying abroad was a sense of independence. I feel more comfortable running errands or eating by myself. I am confident that I would be able to go to a foreign city and navigate its public transport system.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

CEA Paris offers incredibly interesting courses that give you a lot of opportunities to explore the city. Keep in mind that they ARE still classes - you can't just blow them off! Difficulty depends on the individual course but there are definitely classes which require a good amount of reading.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Anne-Cecile, Christopher, Elisa, Devon, Alexandra and Elisa are very friendly, very helpful, and very knowledgeable about Paris' hidden gems!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I cannot recommend AEPP highly enough. An apartment or a homestay just can't compare to living with and getting to know students from all over the world. Everyone is very friendly and every month there's a dinner for the whole building so people can get to know each other.

* Food:

On every excursion we went on, CEA provided us with first-class meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues during the program but my roommate did. She was given an appointment relatively quickly but she first tried going to the emergency room only to find it was closed. This isn't really the program's fault so much as a cultural difference though.

* Safety:

As in any city, students should be aware of their belongings and surroundings at all times. We were warned of pickpockets but I personally never experienced any problems with theft and never really felt unsafe at any point while abroad.

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 had budgeted to spend more money than I normally do while abroad. Still, if you are not eating out every night, it is relatively easy to keep a budget while in Paris.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn to cook! Preparing your own meals is fun and, more importantly, COST-EFFICIENT. Pasta and rice are both inexpensive and you don't need many ingredients to turn them into good meals. When buying clothes and other personal items, ask yourself if a) it will fit in your luggage. Paying for shipping or overweight luggage is no fun. b) do you REALLY need it? Will you use it at 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

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? French Level 4 at college
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? Get to know locals and speak with them! Even if it's just the cashier at the grocery store.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Cultural excursions
  • Program activities within the city
  • Meeting people from all over the world
* What could be improved?
  • More integration with local students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much I would regret not keeping a journal! I brought one with me but didn't follow up with it. One of my roommates did and it's probably the most invaluable souvenir she has. I'm insanely jealous.

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 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.