Life Changing Experience! I love IAU! March 03, 2017

By (Colorado State University) - abroad from 01/20/2013 to 05/15/2013 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?
Absolutely!

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.

The education experience at IAU was incredible. It taught me how to love learning, I highly recommend this program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IAU staff were extremely helpful and there were many resources for me as a student.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with a host was a great cultural experience. My language skills improved greatly because of this.

* Food:

French food is fantastic, especially the produce!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very socially integrated in the French culture. I do believe this varies from person to person and depends how open you are to new culture to begin with.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the doctor twice and it was a breeze. IAU helped me find an English speaking doctor and the care I received was the same as back home.

* Safety:

I always felt very safe in Aix.

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

I wish I did a year instead of a semester!

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)

I spent around 100 a week but most of my meals were covered by my host.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? EURO 150 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to do minimal spending at lunch. I would buy salad stuff at the market and make my salads/sandwich on campus in between class. IAU provides an area to eat lunch and this is how I saved money.

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

A lot of language encouragement!

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 1
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? Avoid speaking English with your American friends and meet French friends:)

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

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • IAU Professors
  • IAU Staff
  • Aix as a city
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
  • Meals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Dont be afraid to integrate with French people.