Go for the City, Not for Oxbridge Past Review

By (Anonymous University) - abroad from 07/03/2017 to 07/30/2017 with

Oxbridge Academic Programs: Paris - Oxbridge in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be independent in a city, and live (mostly) like a university student. I am now looking forward to college, and I am considering a semester abroad.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Some students had a great experience with their classes, yet the classes I took were less than organized. The teachers failed to provide a syllabus, and it was obvious that they did not have a plan for the four-week course. Additionally, the trips that were taken around the city often failed to connect with the subject of the class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was multiple instances of miscommunication on the actual rules of the program, and they were changed throughout the course of our stay and did not align with the handbook. For example, the Oxbridge handbook says that smoking is not tolerated within the program, yet students were allowed to smoke- at times even with the faculty (which I found inappropriate). Another rule that changed regarded the quiet hours. At first, it was clearly stated that quiet hours were to be at midnight. Yet, people would get in trouble for being "too loud" at 9, 10, or 11 p.m. Additionally, multiple students complained about the lack of respect from the faculty. Some students even felt as if they were "targeted" by specific members. Personally, I had many experiences where the faculty came off as unnecessarily rude or impolite.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I didn't have any problems with my room, and I actually enjoyed the living conditions we were in. However, it was unclear on the site that the majority of students would be in single rooms; it was stated on the website that students would be in doubles or even triples.

* Food:

The program provided breakfast and dinner which was a good option for students who were looking to potentially save some money. However, the breakfast consisted of bread, cereal, and sometimes fruit (apples/peaches/oranges) and mostly failed to provide anything other than grains. I ended up simply not eating breakfast most days, but that was a personal decision. The dinner was okay, as there were a lot of options. However, two of my friends got food poisoning on one of the nights, so I opted for eating out in the city most of the time.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was very obvious that we were foreigners in France, but the Parisians were (most of the time) friendly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

First of all, we did not need any vaccines for this program. Secondly, I didn't have any health issues, so my rating only comes from what my friends had to say. The program was not allowed to give us any medicine, so we had to purchase it ourselves at a local pharmacy. If the condition was more serious than a medicine could subdue, then a staff member would walk the sick student to a hospital. The student would then pay for their hospital visit which could be a hundred euros. Overall, the program did very little to assist the students, and the students were mainly independent in taking care of themselves. For example, my friend had an allergic reaction, and the program failed to do anything about it. However, this was simply program policy. Lastly, if a student was sick and missed class, the student was not allowed to leave the building for that day.

* Safety:

Overall, the program was pretty safe and there weren't any incidents. However, the independent nature of the program allowed for sketchy situations to occur in the city, which were mainly inevitable.

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

I would choose the same program in a different city. I talked to other people doing Oxbridge in other locations (England, Spain, etc.), and they did not have the same issues as Oxbridge Paris did. Although the program has been established for awhile now in Paris, it felt like it was Oxbridge Paris's first year running the program.


* 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? I probably spent 300 euros per week due mainly to food.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If your program provides a kitchen, buy groceries and make food. Our program did not, but we sometimes bought microwavable meals just to save money. Take advantage of the metro and bus; don't rely so much on uber or taxis.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Friends
  • Independence
  • Paris
* What could be improved?
  • Staff
  • Rules
  • Activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more about the program before I went, as the website was rather vague and the blog on the website is not an accurate description of the program.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.