No Regrets! Past Review

By (French Studies, Stephen F. Austin State University) - abroad from 05/27/2015 to 06/14/2015 with

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA): Dijon and Paris - French Language and Culture Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Oh my, so much! I gained a whole new view on the world! Coming back home wasn't the same! I learned so much from the French Culture, and it some areas appreciated my home culture a bit more, But overall going abroad was awesome! It was worthwhile and i would encourage anyone to do it in a heartbeat! You learn so much about yourself, how you interact with others, and your perspective of the world will change which is not a bad thing, but more of a growing up thing!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Academically wise it was average, the Ecole Suiss seemed unprepared in Paris, and really tried to kill time during most class days, unless we worked on presentations. Dijon was much better for me, personally, the teachers were much more personal with the students and the lessons were fun!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Sylvie was awesome!! she really made an effort to make sure we were enjoying our experience and again was much more personal than the administration in Paris. That administration wasn't bad, i mean they made an effort to make sure we were good.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I LOVED MY HOST FAMILY IN DIJON! That really made my trip the most memorable, they were awesome, a GREAT family and really genuine and caring. MY host mother in Paris was awesome too, the lifestyle there was different! She still made an effort to make sure i was doing okay and enjoying my experience! She was lovely and very sweet!

* Food:

No doubt I loved the FOOD! i enjoyed getting to try new things with my host families and not once did i eat anything i didn't enjoy!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

In Dijon, I felt way more integrated because it was local people and so it was easier to talk with them and really get to know the French way of the people. Paris on the other hand was tougher because of so many tourists, at times i felt like i was back in the US. Still there were places were i was able to see and connect with the local culture, in areas were tourism wasn't a big deal.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health problems!

* Safety:

I felt more safe in both cities than i do back home, which is weird! The big crowds of people helped because everyone seemed to be on the same page of things. In Dijon, i felt safe at all times, nothing crazy ever happened and it was relatively calm for the most part Paris, of course being a bigger city made me a little more alert but again nothing crazy ever happened. Also we were always in either pairs or as group so we always knew were everyone was for the most part.

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)

2.5 In Dijon it was easier to manage my money on Food and personal expenses, but in Paris since everything was way more expensive, I felt limited on the Food i could obtain. Overall though, I think i was able to manage my money pretty well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 100-150 euros a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure that when you are calculating how much money you are planning to bring to include nights were you want to go out with Friends, besides Food, souvenirs and nights out were what really struck my money the most. Also don't go crazy on food, be smart but buy something tasty!


* 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

5 Our host families only spoke French, at school we only spoke French so we were encouraged and it was necessary.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? A 400 CLASS
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? When with your friends, it becomes easy to forget the language and start talking in English, but really try and make an effort to use the language at all times! Soak it all in and don't be offended when someone corrects you!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host family
  • FOOD
  • getting lost and exploring
* What could be improved?
  • Intensity of the classes
  • communication with SFA proffesor
  • interaction of our host families
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish i knew adjusting to the transportation style was easy! I was little worried that i was going to get lost and have no idea how to get from point A to point B, but in fact it was all so easy and accessible!

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.