Just Started and Soaking It In Past Review

By (Studio Art, ) for

Institute for American Universities (IAU): The School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Aix-en-Provence, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have a better understanding of politics and the relationships between the US and France, as well as a better cultural understanding. I gained more self-confidence to do things on my own and explore. Of course the language improvement was worth it too!

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 have four classes in french and one in english. I would recommend taking all in French, because it becomes rather confusing to switch between the languages. Also my English class was a gen ed class so it was not as exciting as taking a class that focused more on the host country.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The directors are always available, helpful, and supportive. They know all the best places to go and ideas to create your own unique experience. Take advantage of them!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Host family is arranged by the program. It includes laundry each week, sheets, 7 breakfasts and 6 dinners. 20 minute walk from the school in a flat on a busy street. The host family is good for language practice.

* Food:

only breakfast and dinner included in homestay, enough food, plenty of options to eat out

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

lots of activities to do in the city, parks, museums, other attractions just a plane or train ride away, plenty of clubs offered

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

health insurance included and it was easy to go to the doctor/pharmacy, safe town

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

Language practice was mostly with the host family, because at school the students speak english. However, there are plenty of language classes available. My host mom did not speak English to me.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The type of student that would benefit most from this program is outgoing and a self-starter, because meeting local people and finding local activities on your own takes a lot of courage and effort. Having previous French language experience is a must. Also, this is a very expensive city, so you would need to be able to be well off financially.