La Belle Vie dans La Sud de la France! Past Review

By (Liberal Studies: Fine Art, SUNY Purchase) 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?
It was worthwhile. I had a wonderful experience. I learned about a different culture, which was much different than I had originally expected.

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.

Every professor had different grading systems some of them used the regulat American grdaing systems, some used the French, and some used weird made-up grading systems. As a whole I prefer my home university classes, the professors are more excited about what they are teaching, it seemed as if the professors in France were not very enthused.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The school is pretty unorganised. THey have a hard time communicating with all the students. The administrator changed half-way through the semester which I thought was very odd. But the size of the school was very small and comfortable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived far from downtown, but the school supplied the few of us who lived far with a bus pass. My host family was just a host mother, but she was wonderful. She treated me as family member.

* Food:

French host mothers like to feed you. They want you to take second and third helpings.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The school arranges three excursions throughout the semester. They are included in the tuition so it is to your benefit to go to them. Unfortunately since the school is disorganised they kind of lead you blindly out into the French country side. This can be someone unnerving, but once you accept that you'll never know where they're taking you next, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Aix is a very safe city. It's very small and friendly. I didn't have any healthcare experience.

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?

I used the host language with my host mom and in my two classes which were taught only in French. I also used the language in everyday intractions. Unfortunately all the students were Americans so we all spoke English with one another.

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
* 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? The school wasn't my favorite, but it was fine, and living in Aix really made up for any of the school's shortcomings. My friends and I were always realizing how grateful we were to be living in Aix and not in Paris. The South is so wonderful.