Mon immersion en France. AUCP: Marseille, Bridge to the Middle East Past Review

By (Austin College) - abroad from 09/08/2014 to 12/19/2014 with

Study Abroad Programs in France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The program in Marseille with the AUCP was not only a French language immersion but a cultural immersion as well. Marseille is a very unique city that deals with a lot of interesting immigration, religious and economic issues. I learned about not only French culture but American and North African Culture, as well. We had courses relating to interreligious communication and cross cultural communication, too. We went to Morocco for one week to do a cultural exchange and stayed with host families. We were able to speak about sensitive religious topics in such an open way. It was truly an eye opening experience that I had while in Marseille and I recommend the program to anyone who is looking to understand enhance their knowledge of other cultures while at the same time gaining insight into their own and deepening their French (and Arabic) language skills.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone who works at the AUCP in Marseille was extremely helpful not only in terms of administrative aspects, but getting to know the city, understanding the culture and helping to adjust to newness, as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was able to have a homestay while living in Marseille which was a total immersion. I loved it. When we went to Morocco for one week, I also stayed with a homestay which lent to a truly unique glimpse at the way of life of another culture and family.

* Food:

French food, yum! Plus, my host mom was an excellent chef.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

During the semester in Marseille, we were required to do a service internship, we have a language partner and live with a home stay which is designed for us to be more culturally and linguistically integrated into Marseille.

* 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? Yes

Finances

* 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)

The euro is slightly stronger than the dollar and some stuff is a bit more expensive in France.

Language

* 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

We were expected to speak French 100% of the time. We signed a language contract which stated that the students would speak exclusively French while together. We each had language partners who were French students and we all lived with homestays. We also learned Arabic while in Marseille!

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 4th semester college level and one intermediate conversation class
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Really try to speak that language all the time. Read in that language, write in that language and begin to think in that language!

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Focuss on linguistic improvement
  • Cultural Studies and Immersion
  • Home stay
* What could be improved?
  • Computer room quality
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I should have brought my swim suit to Marseille!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.