Beautiful culture, awful administration. Past Review

By (Drama, Theatre Arts, Stephen F. Austin State University) - abroad from 05/19/2015 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?
I gained greater knowledge in some grammatical concepts, but not many, and not really to a practical extent as a result of absolute disorganization. No, this particular academic program was not worthwhile to me, I enjoyed the independent aspects of the program and time spent with my host family, but the academics were fruitless.

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.

Overall extremely disorganized, academic expectations completely unclear. Frustrating.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Generally speaking the administration at our schools in France were fantastic.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing in Paris was exceptional, my housing in Dijon however was unfortunately uncomfortable as a result of some personal differences between myself and my host.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

This answer is difficult to give as we lived in 2 very different cities, in Dijon, living on a students budget was really simple, in Paris, a much tighter budget had to be kept.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you're living in a large city seek out student discounts, we were able to get into many of the museums in Paris for free with the student card provided to us by Ecole Suisse, our school in the city.


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200-level
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? Speak often and listen well.

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
  • International Students
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?
  • Cultural Exposure
  • Deepened relationship with classmates
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Better planning
  • Communication from professor
  • Academic Clarity
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The way in which US customs operates upon returning, how a large metro or bus system in the particular city in which I would be living would operate, and for this specific program I would have benefited from a lot of clarification in terms of academic expectations prior to departure.

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!