The wonderful South of France! Past Review

By (French Secondary Education, Longwood 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?
Yes! I gained so much from this experience. I feel confident about my French skills. I have made friends from all over the U.S. and France.

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 workload at IAU was not overwhelming. The professors gave helpful assignments and included the area of Aix-en-Provence as much as possible to make learning a lot more fun. We had a lot of outside learning experiences. I think that I learned a lot of French at IAU. I also do not feel like I spent my entire semester abroad stuck in the library. It was a nice balance of experience and classroom work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I was very happy with IAU. They answered ALL of my questions that I had before studying abroad. While I was in France, I felt very safe and taken care of by the staff.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

IAU set up a host living arrangement for me. I lived with a host mother and another IAU student. It was great!

* Food:

My host mother was a fabulous cook. She also did not make things that I did not like to eat. I enjoyed eating at the sandwich shops around the university for lunch. Aix is super expensive, but there are some good deals to be found.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel pretty successful with my French through this experience. I can feel comfortable entering into any store, or cafe and speaking to the people inside.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Aix-en-Provence is a very safe city. I never felt unsafe.

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


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

There is an international buddy program at IAU. I also got a lot of practice at home with my host mother. I took all of my classes in French. There is a lot of English spoken around Aix, but I found that I used my French as much as I could to help improve my language abilities.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Come with an open mind. Be open to learning as much French as possible!