On My Own and Loving It February 06, 2023

By (International Relations - Economics, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/22/2022 to 12/09/2022 with

Sciences Po: Paris - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained language skills, living on my own skills, got braver and more confident, took fascinating classes, and had many opportunities to travel around Europe. It was incredibly worthwhile and I highly recommend.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Highly rigorous, would have benefitted from more academic support from the host institution

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This program requires being highly proactive and doing things for yourself. There is little to no hand holding. However, it is mostly well organized and administrators are respectful and kind.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was left up to each individual, and I loved living on my own in a studio apartment!

* Food:

Food was also left up to us, and I really enjoyed grocery shopping, cooking for myself, and eating pastries from my local bakery!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The individuality of the experience required integration, but I didn't get all the way there. With more time I think I could have.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't go to a doctor, but I found the pharmacists extremely helpful in dealing with small issues.

* Safety:

I always felt safe, but it is a city so a certain amount of vigilance is required.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I wanted to be independent, and I was. I actually got to live in a new place and experience the culture.


* 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 lived on $50-100/wk, but I think I could have lived on less if I had really tried.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make a budget right from the start and stick to it.


* 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

I had two classes taught completely in French.

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? French 206
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* 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?
  • Language and cultural immersion
  • Opportunities to travel
  • Interesting and relevant classes
* What could be improved?
  • More academic support from host institution
  • More support from Wellesley on finding housing and applying for a student visa
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You don't need much stuff, pack as light as you possibly can.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'