Life changing experience! Past Review

By (Fashion / Apparel Design, Bunker Hill Community College) - abroad from 05/28/2016 to 07/02/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned what it was like being completely out of my comfort-zone. It was sooo worth it!

Review Photos

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

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.

This program is quite rigorous but there are a lot of resources, advisors, and tutors that will meet you where you are at regardless of how experienced or inexperienced you are with French.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators are there to help you all you have to do is ask. You are a foreigner in the country. They know it can be a challenge and are equipped to help if need be.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a wonderful host family who I could practice the language with. They respected my space and let me enjoy my freedom in Annecy, France. They also gave me a lot of pointers on where to eat, and how to enjoy my experience in France.

* Food:

My host family offered me breakfast which was great. I was responsible for providing my lunch and dinner. Carrefour market definitely came in handy and my peers showed me great places to eat out.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It took a week to get adjusted but when I finally did I felt like I had been in France all my life.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues while I was abroad.

* Safety:

I felt safe the entire time I was in Annecy, France. I would recommend keeping an eye out for pick-pocketers, but it wasn't a huge issue.

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

I would do an entire year at IFALPES if I had the time, I know I would come back to America speaking fluent French!


* 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 managed to live on the budget that was alotted to me. I bought necessities first. I wouldn't recommend anticipating living a more flagrant lifestyle on a student's budget, especially in a foreign country.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 70 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Practice bugdeting your money now. See if you can get all your necessities each week for less than 100 dollars. That practice will help you budget while abroad.


* 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

All day, everyday. We were encouraged to practice at our host home, school, out with friends. Practice,practice,practice..

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
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? Find someone to practice your French with.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Peer relationships
  • Freedom
  • Immersion in the culture
* What could be improved?
  • Some teachers
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how easy it was to travel to other countries once i'm in Europe.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'