Paris - The City of Love, Lights, and Constant Learning Past Review

By (Management Information Systems, The University of Texas at Austin) for

Hautes Etudes Commerciales / HEC: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I could not have asked for a better study abroad experience. I went into the program without expectations, not fluent in the language and cautious of the French stereotypes. This made the experience much more worthwhile as I was able to establish my own opinions on the country, the university, and the people. Although I'm an international student at UT, I had previously lived in Texas and had experienced the American culture. Going to France was a real international experience for me as I learned to navigate through a new country and culture. I would repeat the experience in a heart beat!

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.

The majority of classes revolved around one midterm and one final exam. Homework assignments were few. For the classes in which presentations were expected, groupwork was common. Professors did not publish office hours, and they could be hard to get a hold of.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program seemed to be well organized with a couple of events schedulued throughout the semester to bring together the exchange students. Members of the program administration made themselves available when needed. However, paper registration did make the process tedious and frustrating.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived on campus in the residence halls. I had my own room and shared a shower with the room next to mine. Bathrooms were located on each floor. The buildings don't have elevators, so climbing to the fourth floor with suitcases was a workout but doable. The rooms came with a bed, shelves, closet and desk. The campus also had a cafeteria for food.

* Food:

The quality of food at the on campus was ok, but lacked variety. Meals ran around 4 euros, which is considerably cheap for Paris. There was a local supermarket about 10 minute walk away to stock up on snacks.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Welcome Week events sponsored by the International Students association was a great way to meet other exchange and local students on campus. Along with guided tours of Paris, the organization arranged trips to Normandie and Lyon. The university's program administrators also organizaed a luncheon and a trip to Champagne to encourage interaction among foreign students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe throughout my stay in France. Like in any city, it is always better to practice safety measures to prevent any issues, like walking in a group and being aware of surroundings. The host university had a nurse on campus, but fortunately I did not have the need to access the local healthcare system.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Exchange rates significantly affect the aspects of the program. If you expect to travel, remember to factor in the cost of transportation, food, and lodging. Also, be aware that you might have to buy local healthcare insurance or pay a deposit for housing.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? In order to fully benefit from the program, you have to be open minded. You must be flexible to adapt to different situations and be willing to try new things.