Leaving my Comfort Zone Past Review

By (Business Marketing, Illinois State University) - abroad from 06/04/2012 to 06/22/2012 with

ICN Business School Nancy-Metz: Nancy - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My abroad experience was AMAZING because I made it amazing. I was constantly put in challenging situations. I met new people. I opened my eyes to the world. I was able to see things I had only dreamed of.

Review Photos

Direct Enrollment: Nancy - ICN Business School Photo Direct Enrollment: Nancy - ICN Business School Photo Direct Enrollment: Nancy - ICN Business School Photo Direct Enrollment: Nancy - ICN Business School Photo

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.

We learned a lot of information all jammed into 3 weeks. We did not have homework only 2 exams. There was no way of predicting what was going to be on the exams, often times it was random information that would not be found in my notes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Bertrand (our program director) was always available for questions or help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our housing felt like a 70's hostel. The building was always dark and the people who stayed there were rude and creepy to the Americans. Our rooms themselves were nice and spacious. I had my own room and bathroom that was cleaned regularly.

* Food:

The food in the dining area was not good. There were limited options. I am usually a healthy eater and I found it almost impossible to eat healthy. I didn't want to waste money eating out when I had already paid for this meal plan through the program. I never knew exactly what I was eating it was mostly a mystery.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Metz was a fairly small town. When we traveled in groups, we would clearly stand out as Americans and often times get stared or yelled at. I, personally, didn't speak French so I didn't have much interaction other than that.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never experienced any health issues while I was abroad.

* Safety:

As I said, the housing building was a little creepy to walk around alone at night. I never went anywhere by myself. In all of Europe it was important to pay attention to pick pocketers. But, I never came across a dangerous situation in Metz.

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)

During the program it was fairly easy to manage my money. If I could bear to eat the provided food from the meal plan then I didn't find myself spending much money during the week at all. The weekend trips were expensive because I would pay for housing, meals, transportation. But those trips were not required by the program.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Including my additional weekend travels, about $500
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead to find the cheapest hostels and research inexpensive restaurants. Don't splurge on anything extra that you would be able to buy in America. Buy cheap meals from grocery stores or stands and eat in the park.


* 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

Most of the students in my program didn't speak French. We took a French course, but how much can one learn in just 3 weeks? By the end of the program I did have a better understanding of the French 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? Beginner
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? Take a beginner course ahead of time to prepare. Know basic phrases and pronunciation.

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

  • Other
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • Other
* 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?
  • Bertrand, our program director
  • additional travel on weekends and after the program
* What could be improved?
  • the housing situation
  • preparation for the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to book a hostel, the benefits of a Eurail pass, what type of clothes to bring, public transportation systems, I wish I had planned ahead where to go on weekend trips so I could make the most of my time, I wish I knew the other students before hand to be able to contact others from my program (not just from ISU)