Past Review

By (Philosophy., Tufts University) 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?

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Spring 2008

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Academics here won't be like academics elsewhere. They contribute to your experience and inform it. The classes aren't too hard, but the material is designed to benefit your experience, so you have to apply it to get the most out of the semester or year. If you want, you can just party all the time and pass your classes, but it's not as rewarding. I discussed this with my classmates at the end of the semester. You have to take responsibility here for what you learn or you won't learn that much in class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They are awesome people. Very involved and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Amazing. Great host family in a house with host mother's parents in an attached apartment. They gave us a great balance of rules and independence and I felt more like a friend than a child. <br /><br /> Hosts are assigned, but Yamina is really helpful in dealing with problem families.

* Food:

Amazing food, and I learned how to make some of the dishes. Even the quick meals my host-mom made when she was tired were awesome. Plus, at least one roasted chicken a week.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Lots of awesome trips and cultural events. They get you involved and out in the city and region.

* Safety:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100. More (1000+) on the two week-long vacations.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The dollar was way down the whole time I was there. It hit its lowest point during our spring break.


Language acquisition improvement?

I wish I had made more French friends. We do speak a lot of English with classmates outside of class, but I still learned and spoke a lot of French, and other languages.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • 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? Do it. Make sure you go to all the bars and cafes and explore the different eateries (cheap ones, at least). Try chawarma/kebab (especially at Snack Bar) and crepes at Crepes a Go Go. Learn all the tricks and tips or cheap living early on, and figure out early what sites you want to visit and go there. Get the Cartreize bus pass.