My host mom attacked me and my teacher called me grotesque: an Odyssey. Past Review

By (We do not have majors, Sarah Lawrence College) - abroad from 09/03/2013 to 12/19/2013 with

Sarah Lawrence College: Paris - Sarah Lawrence College in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an appreciation for my life at SLC in New York after seeing how awful it could have been. I do not feel that the program was worthwhile for me.

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.

I had one very nice class, one acceptable class, and two classes that made me so dull and pointless it was a struggle to attend.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I had problems with my host mother. When I approached the coordinator of the program asking for help, she downplayed my issues and remained polite but dismissive until I gave up and left.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mother was emotionally manipulative, unkind, and made no effort to introduce me to the city. She was also extremely passive aggressive-- She never communicated her issues or desires with me, then ended up blowing up in my face with no warning instead of talking her problems out. She also didn't speak french with me often, preferring to use English around her son. Her house and son were nice, though.

* Food:

Nothing I ate was particularly memorable. I have been lucky enough to eat wonderful food in the US, though, so perhaps that explains why I was unimpressed.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I liked Paris and found conversing with Parisians pleasant.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no issues with health care.

* Safety:

I always felt very safe. I did have friends whose phones were stolen, however.

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)

I spent between 70 and 100 euros a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 70-100 euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Work a lot beforehand and save up.


* 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

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? Intermediate French 3
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? Go out and put yourself in situations you wouldn 't normally encounter. I took a pasta making class and ended up making Parisian friends who taught me about the spoken language. (I also learned that I suck at making pasta!)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
  • 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?
  • How easy Paris is to navigate
  • Speaking French
  • Meeting Parisians
* What could be improved?
  • The classes
  • The host family program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That classes with Madame Moll are exercises in misery and frustration and being called insulting names, that having a host mother is a very bad idea if said host mother is wacko, and that the food in Paris isn't particularly good unless you have a lot of money to spend on it.

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!