IAU Avignon Past Review

By (English and French, The University of Texas at Austin) 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?
My experience was incredibly worthwhile and I learned to be more confident and culturally aware than I was when I arrived. I discussed politics and culture with all sorts of people and learned not to judge books by their cover. I speak French more easily now and have seen many many beautiful places because of my time abroad.

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 program was very easy for me, but the knowledge I gained is still valuable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the administrators were extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the goings-on around town. They were eager to help us with any problem and were very nice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really enjoyed living with my host family. They lived one block from school in the cutest apartment, and they were the nicest people. They were always kind and hospitable to me and taught me a lot about French language and culture.

* Food:

My host family watched what they ate for health reasons, so portions were quite small.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our group was very social and we went out very often during the program. There are arranged visits to plays, dinners together, and visits to archeological sites that were very interesting. The International Theatre Festival is held in Avignon over the summer and it was so much fun to go see plays and people-watch on the street.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe during the daytime in my host city, and at night when I was with a group. I didn't have any experiences with healthcare. I recommend not going out by yourself late at night, as any program will suggest.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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? Save as much as possible! I spent more than I thought I would and I budgeted very carefully. Apply for scholarships!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Upper division linguistics
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

While the classes were conducted in French and I spoke only French with my host family, all of my fellow students spoke English exclusively after three days in the program. My skills definitely improved but I wish I could have spoken French more.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student with a good knowledge of French will do better than someone who has only begun to learn it.