AIXcelent June 17, 2016

By (International Relations, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/16/2016 to 05/15/2016 with

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 learned about myself, the culture, and what I was studying. It has been my best semester so far and it was absolutely worthwile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were interesting, professors were engaging, and extra curricular activities enhanced learning opportunities

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administration was often disorganized and slow to respond but that is somewhat the culture in France. Everything ended up working just fine but not always in the fastest or most efficient way

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family I was placed with was kind and eager to help

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Minimal opportunities were offered to meet other students in the community but by the end I definitely did not feel like a tourist anymore

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Aix is an incredibly safe city, I never felt uncomfortable but as always, don't go out alone at night, don't drink alone, be smart and you will be fine!

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

I loved Aix and IAU made life there seem like it was home

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)

Aix is a bit of a more expensive city but it is definitely possible to live on a budget as host family meals are already included

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buying groceries and making lunch is much cheaper than eating out everyday!

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

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? One upper division language class
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? Always try to use the language, locals are more than willing to help you out!

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

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • Professors Engagement
  • Weekend Trips
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Interaction with Community
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There are many required weekend or day trips that you aren't told about before the program starts, don't make your travel plans before you know about them!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.