An American in Paris is happy because she bit back. Past Review

By (Dance, Foreign Languages, Scripps College) - abroad from 01/07/2014 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?
Yes, it was very worthwhile. Wonderful learning environment, I am now very confident in my abilities with the French language, I gained exposure to the French dance/arts scene and a sensation that I am an international dancer, I grew in adaptability, self-confidence, resourcefulness, and creativity. I made good friends, and I learned from wonderful teachers with whom I hope to stay in touch. I have a sort of home in Paris now, for it was my home for 5 months.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very very very good, but I have several suggestions for improvement: Weekly email with activities to look out for that week with locations. For dance intensive specifically: Prior to student's arrival, email dance students with practical information. Could include a letter from Susan Hamlin, dance studio information/ popular dance classes/teachers, what the SLC intensive consists of. List of dance vocabulary for technique classes- body parts. Give dancers schedules of former dance intensive students to see how they organized their time. Directions to and from the studios and Reid Hall. Check in with students about how the housing is going.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in two homestays. The first (1 1/2 months) presented many issues, and I was very unhappy, but Natalie and Monique in the Administrative office and Katrien Franken at Host Families in Paris truly came through for me. They helped me move within 2 days and it made all the difference. My second homestay was a very positive influence on my Paris experience. I am very grateful!

* Food:

Food provided by SLC was excellent.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt well-integrated in the city, but not intensely in the culture. The lessons for cultural adjustment during orientation were helpful, though. I suggest more events with students from Paris VII. The dance intensive also integrated me into local culture through dance classes/dance culture and live performances.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I get monthly allergy immunization shots and Natalie helped me initiate this process in Paris. From then on, it was relatively easy and accessible.

* Safety:

Do not use your cell phone/computer/ipod/apple/mac products in public when avoidable. Look up directions prior to leaving home/Reid Hall. Always carry Paris Pratique- it will never fail you. Women- make sure your night purse can fit Paris Pratique. Keep cash on hand. Parisian drivers should not be trusted - cross the street quickly!

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)

It can definitely be done if you prepare your own meals, but yes, Paris is expensive, especially when dining out.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Answer these questions: Will you regret not spending the money? Will you regret spending it? Is it worth it for the memory? Will it set you back?


* 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? 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? Engage your English-speaking friends in French. Speak in French whenever possible. Read in French. Watch/listen to the news in French. Talk through sticky situations in French. Text in French. Switch your phone to French.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Reid Hall is beautiful and well-located.
  • Dance, Dance, Dance! The dance intensive is SO unique and cool. What incredible exposure!
  • Speaking French was a requirement. Very good language immersion at school. Dominique Bendelian is an excellent grammar teacher.
* What could be improved?
  • Homestays overall
  • Communication with students prior to their arrival in Paris. What should they expect? What would be helpful to them in advance?
  • Cultural immersion
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Please refer to my suggestions for the on-site administration regarding pre-arrival information for dance students in particular.

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!