I can't wait to go back to see my host family and the amazing city views! August 07, 2018

By (University of Wisconsin - Madison) - abroad from 01/17/2018 to 05/04/2018 with

IES Abroad: Paris - Business & International Affairs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone. I also learned to grow my comfort zone and just accept that things are different. It was so valuable to learn to laugh at myself.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Paris - Business & International Affairs Photo

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.

I was surprised by how much I actually worked, but it was all working to things that really helped me feel like I was learning a lot or using a lot. I've actually never learned more useful things in a semester.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Choosing a homestay was the best option for me. It really helped me to dive into the culture, especially since most of my classes were in English.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Volunteering and being in a homestay helped a lot with this! It's just tricky to interact with locals as the school is pretty Americanized.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Constantly get updates on any safety concerns via email.

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

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)

I did a lot of grocery shopping and cooking on my own and also had three free meals a week in my homestay. The travel costs really add up, though.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100 without traveling costs
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Grocery stores are really cheap in Europe! Try to cook as much as you can and maybe save going out for the weekends.

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

Only with the front desk worker and French class

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? Third level
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? Get yourself in situations where people don't speak any english. This takes away from the embarrassment of someone switching immediately to english when you start speaking French.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Homestay
  • Classes
  • Staff
* What could be improved?
  • More field trips
  • More space to collab with peers
  • More excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The grading scale and style looks a lot different than in the USA

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

France Today: Politics and Society

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class touches on history and how it impacts the world today. The instructor has such a deep breadth of knowledge on not only France, but also the United States so we were able to do a lot of comparative analysis. We also had interesting and useful field trips. All exams are short answer and essay but are fairly graded and only touch on things discussed deeply in class.
Credit Transfer Issues: