Such a wonderful year!! Past Review

By (Psychology And French, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/01/2014 to 05/16/2014 with

Sarah Lawrence College: Paris - Sarah Lawrence College in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained amazing friends, incredible memories, my French improved SO much, I got to know a new city, I traveled all over Europe, I had awesome professors, and it was 100% worth while!!!

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.

This program was challenging, but manageable. Most of my professors were wonderful. They have high expectations, but they are supportive.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Outstanding. Very helpful getting my documents and visa ready before departure. While in Paris they were always available, friendly and happy to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I chose to live at an international dorm. It was fun and social, and we all had nice single rooms with big windows and tall ceilings. However, the showers were sometimes cold and the kitchens were pretty messy, and sometimes people stole food from the fridges.

* Food:

The food in France is (obviously) great, and the program took us out occasionally to special meals together. On the average day I made my own food, which made it possible to eat well on a student budget. There are also very affordable student cafeterias throughout the city, but the food is pretty bad (limited options and poor quality).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our program hosted events with french students, and it was always fun to meet new people and practice our language skills. However, these students were usually significantly younger than us as they were in preparatory programs before entering university and we didn't make many lasting friendships. SLC also provides the option to attend classes at the Parisian universities, and this was a better way to meet people outside the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt 100% safe when doing program-related activities. Paris is a big city though with a very diverse population, and as a foreigner it is easy to draw attention. There were a couple times when I was on the metro or in the city alone when I felt a little uncomfortable, but such is true of just about any big city.

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 expensive... but we got by!

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You can save a lot of money by making your own food and packing a lunch. Unlocking your phone abroad can be expensive (60 euros-ish) so perhaps it is better to do ahead of time.


* 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

We were required to take all of our classes in French and speak French on all program-related activities. Most of us were into practicing the language as much as possible, so we appreciated this.

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? 136B, Necessity and Freedom in French Literature
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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

  • Local Students
  • 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 students
  • My classes
  • The city
* What could be improved?
  • The dorm is a little funky
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I'm happy I didm't know what to expect - it left room for surprises and adventures.

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!