Paris is Incredible Past Review

By (University of South Carolina - Columbia) - abroad from 02/04/2016 to 05/25/2016 with

CEA: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My French improved greatly and I think that I am a much more independent and confident person.

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.

I really enjoyed my studies in Paris because I feel as if it greatly improved my French. However, I would have liked to attend a university with more young people/french students. There were a lot of adults at the Cours de Civilisation Fran├žaise de la Sorbonne because they had moved to Paris and needed to learn French. In addition, there were a lot of Americans there so it wasn't truly immersive.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff at CEA Paris are wonderful if a little disorganized at times. As a student who didn't have classes at the study center, I didn't really see them that much but they were a great resource to have.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living in my foyer because there were a lot of both French and international students. The one downfall was the internet. It wouldn't work when everyone was at home and was completely broken for the last month of my semester.

* Food:

French food is amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was so proud of myself when I was able to give strangers directions on the metro. The one area where my French improved the most was small, everyday conversations and this helped me connect more with the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I just went to the pharmacies which are great in France. The pharmacists are very knowledgeable and most of them speak a little English.

* Safety:

I never felt like I was in danger. However, it is really important to stay alert and be aware of the people around you. I knew a lot of people who were pickpocketed.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I might have tried to do an exchange program through my university. However, if I was going to go through a program provider I would definitely choose CEA.

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)

Paris is an expensive city but I did not spend nearly as much money as I had initially thought I would.

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? 310
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? Just use French as much as possible. In Paris in particular, it is very easy to get by using English. However, it will be a much more enriching experience if you use your French.

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
  • International Students
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 location
  • The staff
  • Fellow Students
* What could be improved?
  • Roommate Matching
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think I knew what to expect before spending a semester in Paris.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!