There are better Parisian programs than this Past Review

By (Philosophy., Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/01/2012 to 05/30/2013 with

Sarah Lawrence College: Paris - Sarah Lawrence College in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Worthwhile, but there's a lot I would have done differently. Paris is definitely the best place to study in France, but I would have done it with a program other than Sarah Lawrence. Their courses and academic rigor were nothing compared to Wellesley's.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes I took outside of Sarah Lawrence’s program were great, but their required in-program classes were badly organized, not at all challenging, and felt like an overall waste of time. Their "Advanced" French courses were terrible and disorganized, and taught by someone who did not know how to fill the class time they had.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Terrible. I was sexually harassed by one of my professors, and Monique Middleton, the director, basically told me to just put up with it and that she "trusted his professionalism." The Admin was also completely incompetent when it came to managing housing, banking, and other practical problems.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

FEUSA was highly unsanitary

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was very integrated, but that was due to my own imitative. Sarah Lawrence hosted a couple of "Events", but they were mostly with French adolescents and not students our age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

finding a doctor in france isn't easy, but it can be done.

* Safety:

It's Paris, there are pickpokets, flashers, etc. But that's just how Paris is.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)


* 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

they had an honor code, but none of the Sarah Lawrence students followed the french-only code. I ended up spending time with the locals instead, because there was no lingual immersion with Sarah Lawrence students

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 1 yr immersion - Quebec
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Find a more professional program than Sarah Lawrence.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Taking classes outside of SL - at Paris IV
  • Living in Paris
  • Navigating a big city with A+ public transport
* What could be improved?
  • The Administration
  • Sarah Lawrence's courses, especially their French courses
  • a better enforced honor code
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that I should take more classes at the Sorbonne, and fewer with Sarah Lawrence