An Incredible Experience Past Review

By (Ramapo College) - abroad from 06/03/2013 to 07/29/2013 with

ISA Study Abroad in Paris, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Immersion is probably the best way to learn a language. A lot of the times switching back to English was not an option. This forces you to speak the language frequently and to the effort to understand. My linguistics skills have improved significantly and it was an incredible experience.

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.

Speaking in French was strongly encouraged all throughout the classes. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but you'll be surprised how quickly your language skills improve!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

ISA was always there to help. They set up several excursions throughout the city and all around France. The staff was a diverse group with thorough knowledge of the city and had extensive international experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Whether it was street food or a classy restaurant, it was amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was pretty nervous at first with the typical French stereotypes, but quickly adapted and thrived in the cultural city.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not have any health issues, but someone else in my program did have a medical emergency. She contacted a member of the staff who quickly responded to her residence and took her to the hospital. The staff helped to translate and deal with paperwork.

* Safety:

I lived in a nice part of town as did the rest of the students in the program. At the start of my study abroad experience, the ISA staff went over the some of the places that should be avoided after dark and other safety protocols.

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)

Paris is an expensive city and it is really easy to spend money on all the awesome food. After a short while you learn where the affordable places to eat and that you can splurge every now and again.


* 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

If taking a language course or a regular course in French, speaking in French was highly encouraged.

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
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 assume everyone speaks English. Make the effort to approach people in French even if it's just a simple sentence. Also, it is helpful to listen to how the locals speak (they do not always speak in the proper French that we may have been taught back in the States) and this will help you blend in.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excursions
  • ISA staff
* What could be improved?
  • More variety of classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack lightly. Even though you may be going away for a few months, remember you will most likely be bringing a lot of stuff back with you!

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!