An Experience I'll Never Forget August 23, 2019

By (Saint Joseph's University) - abroad from 01/16/2019 to 05/04/2019 with

IES Abroad: Paris - Business & International Affairs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was incredible. I have wanted to go Paris since I was 6 years old and it exceeded all my expectations. I fell in love with this city and I learned to put myself out there and be confident in trying new things, going to new places, and meeting new people.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

IES classes were great and the professors are so interesting and intelligent. They were so friendly and loved talking to their students not just about classes but about their lives in France.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IES was really helpful in providing advice and support. I thought they really did a good job with this and the people who worked at IES were super sweet and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

In my opinion I got the most amazing host mom in the world. She was so patient with my awful French and helped me in finding new things to do in Paris. I was comfortable asking her anything and she let me look at her photo albums, her husband’s music collection, etc. She is such a great person and I learned so much from her.

* Food:

The food in Paris was amazing and my host mom made the best food. I am honestly surprised that I didn't gain a billion pounds because the food was incredible.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel I tried to make the most of my experience in Paris and just immerse myself with the culture. The only thing I wish is that I knew the language better, but people were really nice in helping me out.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Yeah, it was pretty accessible.

* Safety:

I always felt safe when I was in Paris. Also, IES gave us so much safety advice that I felt I was always prepared if a situation ever were to come up.

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

I loved the program and the people I met. If it weren't for the program I wouldn't have met my host mom, language partner, or my friends and I am so thankful to have met all of them.


* 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)

3 for difficulty. About $100 a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make a budget your first week and try to keep up with that. Also, make sure to manage and save up money for when you want to travel to other countries when you're abroad.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French Economics 471
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? I recommend living with a host family and doing the language exchange program through IES.

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 people I met
* What could be improved?
  • Having more programs and events with french universities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The metro system and how it works. It was so confusing at first, but it's actually so easy after the first time you take the metro.

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.'