Education Abroad...the most important challenge of your life! January 30, 2018

By (The Catholic University of America) - abroad from 08/29/2017 to 12/08/2017 with

IES Abroad: Paris - Business & International Affairs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Education abroad was worth every penny. I can speak French at an advanced to boarder line fluent level. The traveling was incredible. Every country was a different adventure with new challenges.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

It is simple. I wanted to be completely immersed into a new culture and leave with a whole new set of skills (most importantly the ability to speak French).

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 250 euros to 400 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Create a budget for trips and excursions then calculate a weekly budget goal. My big mistake was not planning any trips and losing control of my weekly budget. I didn't go broke however, I didn't have much organization/control of how much I was spending per week.

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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 204
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? Do not live in an apartment if you want to learn the host country's language. I lived in a host family and was studying in the business program (only 1 French taught class). I was speaking 10 times better than the students in the French studies program that did not live in a home stay (even though they were taking 4 plus French taught classes). Another huge aspect of the home stay is requesting that your host family speak to you in only French (for the majority of the time).

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The city of Paris
  • Speaking French
  • Traveling
* What could be improved?
  • More excursions led by IES
  • Clearer assistance with the Phones and how/what you should buy
  • Travel assistance i.e. how to get to Charles de Gaulle fastest and easiest
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? French

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'