Great classes and wonderful language immersion experience June 22, 2018

By (Covenant College) - abroad from 01/20/2018 to 05/13/2018 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 what it was like to be a foreigner and to have to rely on other people for help. It was an incredibly humbling experience and I learned a lot about the host culture as well as my own American culture through the experience.

Review Photos

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

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.

All around great classes and teachers! Not as academically rigorous as my home university, but my classes were interesting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Some disorganization in the administration

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had wonderful host parents who were very kind and gracious and really helped me learn the language well.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Didn't get to meet any French/International students since it was all American students in the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe city. I never felt unsafe walking around day or night.

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

I loved studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence; it is a great city for a study abroad experience. I made amazing friends through my program who I have kept up with. IAU was a great program with interesting classes and educational experiences. They did a decent job of being available to students for help.

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)

Definitely spent more than I had expected. Food and meals out were generally fairly expensive and I wanted to appreciate the food culture so I avoided buying grocery store sandwiches and pre-made meals. It really depends on your food preferences how much you spend.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 80 euros per week. Some weeks I could stretch 40 euros to last a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget your food. When you travel, don't eat out very often, but try to cook your own food when you can. Also figure out how much you want to spend on shopping so you don't splurge and then end up with not enough money at the end of the semester.

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? None
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? none
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? Speak it whenever you can and every chance you get. It can be nerve-wracking and scary at first, but don't be afraid to make mistakes. Using the language is the best way to get better.

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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • great professors
  • work study
* What could be improved?
  • better administration/organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? that it was only other American students and no students from other countries (unless they were coming from American universities). Also I wish I had known that my host parents didn't know any English.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!