Annecy: An Amazing Experience Past Review

By (biology, french, Truman State University) for

College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS): Annecy - Institut Français des Alpes

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved Annecy and I loved IFALPES. I plan to return to Annecy soon and just take a vacation there. I learned so much about French culture, mostly from living with a host family.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was a lot less than typical American classes, and the teaching style was much better. More was done in class to integrate language and culture than any other French class I've had at Truman. Also, the grading system was different. Instead of letter grades, everything is rated out of 20. However, anything above a 15 is considered an American "A".

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone was supportive and it was easy to ask questions about grades/excursions.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host mom. She provided everything I needed and was really welcoming. She was full of good suggestions as to what to do and was knowledgeable about how to get around. The neighborhood was extremely safe and I felt comfortable walking around after midnight.

* Food:

My host mom really liked vegetables, so a lot of times we had salad for dinner, which wasn't always enough. But for the most part, the food was different but really good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The excursions were awesome. The guide was French and he was very knowledgeable.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Annecy is a small town. It's pretty safe. Don't be stupid and walk around by yourself at night.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about 30 euro per week on food/personal expenses. This doesn't include shopping.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I was never told that I still had to pay housing costs when I got there, even though Truman took $900 extra for "credit transfers".


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French civilization, french comp/conversation (300 level)
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced French with my host family and other foreign students in my class. However, most of the students were American, so I thought too much English was spoken.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I liked the town.
* What could be improved?
  • The study abroad office could hire people that know what they're doing.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be aware that euro to dollar conversions are sometimes painful because of the awful exchange rate. Be prepared to have no help from the study abroad office once you're over there. Know that each excursion runs about 30 euro, so plan ahead. Bring a swimsuit because the lake is beautiful. Also, bring cold weather gear because an excursion to Mont Blanc will mean going pretty high up in the Alps.