Loved the Housing!! June 17, 2018

By (University of Illinois - Chicago) - abroad from 06/12/2017 to 07/15/2017 with

CEA: Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It definitely was worthwhile! I really enjoyed interacting with the locals at my internship and also living with the other students in my program. I would say I visited almost all of the major touristy spots in Paris.

Review Photos

CEA: Paris, France Photo CEA: Paris, France Photo CEA: Paris, France Photo CEA: Paris, France Photo 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.

Since I participated in a faculty-led internship program in Paris, France I did not take any of the classes that CEA offers. My university put together the internship class and my professor coordinated my classmates' and my internship placements. Our professor also traveled to Paris with us and held the internship class at the CEA Center, who reserved a classroom just for us and provided us with all the necessary equipment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I used to go to the CEA Center only once a week for my internship class. So I did not get to interact with the staff as much as I would have liked to. However, when I did interact with then they were always nice and willing to help my classmates and me. I do wish I would have had more chances to get to know them and talk to them. Maybe for the future they can accompany faculty-led groups to museum visits.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was amazing!! Before leaving for Paris my classmates and I (nine students in total) were told that we would most likely be housed in different apartments throughout the city. However, somehow CEA managed to house us all in two apartments in the same apartment building in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods of the city! And we had a view of the Eiffel Tower!!!! Both apartments were nicely decorated and came with all of the appliances and things that we needed. They were also spacious for Parisian apartments. The CEA Center also had extra appliances that we could request, like fans, utensils, and even hair straighteners. We were also told we would have no TV but the apartments did come with one. I really appreciate it how CEA housed us all in the same place because I was able to bond with my classmates. We would get together to make dinner, watch movies, do homework, etc. We became like a family. It truly felt like home! CEA did such an awesome job with our housing placement, thank you so much!! My only problem was that at the end of the program we had to be out of the apartment by 10am the day after Bastille Day. I would have preferred it if we had to leave the apartment later in the day because I felt rushed to pack up and clean the apartment. Other than that, everything was great!

* Food:

We we were responsible for buying our own food. CEA did tell us about which supermarkets were the best. There was also a welcome lunch and farewell dinner for my group and took us to different restaurants, and the food was amazing at both places. The day we arrived CEA gave us each a little bag with snacks, which was mainly candy and chips. I would have preferred to received fruit or something more filling because I was hungry after the long plane ride. I was also not able to go to the grocery store until the afternoon that day and I arrived to Paris in the morning. I did go to a restaurant around midday. But there might be other students who do not have access to food right away.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the local culture because of my internship. I interned at a social services agency that works with the homeless population. Interacting with professionals in my field of study and the local population allowed me to learn more about the French culture. I also felt like I was just another French citizen going to work every day and contributing to society. This particular internship program is offered only to students at my university, but I know that CEA does offer internship opportunities. I would encourage anyone considering doing an internship in Paris to go for it. However, I would have liked for there to be more opportunities to meet more people of our age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Considering I went to Paris months after the terrorist attacks, there was a lot of security throughout the city in the neighborhoods, touristy areas, and at big events. I even went to the Bastille Day Parade because I knew that there would be a lot of security, and there was. CEA would also send out safety measures to take if we planned on going to big events like this one. They also told us what areas of the city to try to avoid and which public transportation not to take after a certain time, among other security measure. There are pickpockets in Paris so try to always keep an eye on my personal belongings.

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)

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

I already spoke an advanced level of French coming to Paris, and CEA encouraged my classmates and I to speak only in French especially on the streets and in public places.

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
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?
  • The housing
* What could be improved?
  • Maybe tell future students about the best ways to meet more people of our age or organize events with to meet more people.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Which foods I should try.

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!