Paris — challenging but still amazing! Past Review

By (Economics, Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/19/2015 to 05/12/2015 with

Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was difficult moving to a new place with little of the language and no one I knew! Though it took quite a while to settle in, I'm really grateful for the time I spent in Paris. Traveling around Europe was also life changing, very worthwhile!

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.

Academic standards were much less intense than those at Wellesley. It was easy to keep up without doing too much work, although the language was sometimes a barrier.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration at Sciences Po was bureaucratic and not very responsive. Staff was hard to find and instructions were difficult.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I found housing through an agent in Paris and roommates through a group on Facebook. Though the location of our place was great (in the 7th, within walking distance from Sciences Po), the agency was unclear and unwilling to deal with the issues in our apartment.

* Food:

Food in France is amazing!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

International students mostly stayed with other international students at the school, but I also made friends through other venues.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It was easy to find an English-speaking doctor in Paris, and the pharmacies were easy. However, I had to pay for French medical insurance through the school but when I tried to get reimbursed from the insurance company, they would not allow it because I did not have a French bank account to complete the paperwork. Because of that I did not visit doctors after that. The nurse at the school is barely ever available and not very helpful.

* Safety:

I felt Paris was generally safe, but be careful of your belongings, especially cell phones!!

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 very expensive!!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • Paris, especially in the spring
  • Traveling around Europe
  • New friends
* What could be improved?
  • School administration
  • Housing
  • Cost of living
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Things will always work out! Take spontaneous trips, go out of your comfort zone, make the most of your time.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.