Totally Worthwhile Past Review

By (Language and Culture, SUNY Purchase) - abroad from 01/25/2012 to 05/27/2012 with

SUNY Oswego: Paris - La Sorbonne

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot of confidence from knowing I could take care of myself without the aid of my parents. I was happy to have improved my language skills and made friends with a number of interesting and supportive people. I had a lot of fun and would absolutely do it over again.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses I took were interesting and challenging. The grammar and phonetics courses I took broadened my understanding of the language and culture of French people. Our program director did an excellent job of taking care of us and making sure we felt comfortable and well-adjusted in our home away from home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program director was very proactive and always checked to see if we were doing well emotionally as well as academically. Independent students wouldn't have a problem with the program but those who are unused to taking care of their own affairs without the aid of a guardian would benefit from Celine's assistance.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I enjoyed living in the Foyer International des Etudiants. It was in a good part of the city, housed a group of students from several walks of life, and provided me the opportunity to practice my French with a very patient native speaker.

* Food:

My building was located in a very popular section of the city; I had easy access to grocers, native cuisine as well as more exotic restaurants. I ate very well :)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The French are typically very private people, but it was easy enough to break in with other immigrants or to find someone interesting to talk to on a night out or at cultural events.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never had any concerns for my wellfare.

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)

If you don't feel the need to party every night, you could easily live on 30 euros of groceries per week and possibly 60 euros for travel expenses per month.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60.00
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook for yourself as much as possible. Have dinner parties rather than going out to clubs, you'll only meet strange people anyway.


* 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

All of our courses were taught completely in French, even for beginning students. French people prefer their language to any other, and you will encounter enough people from different backgrounds who speak little to no English.

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? Intermediate
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? Find music and literature in your selected language and make sure when you meet a friend who speaks that language that you stay in contact with them and speak as often as possible.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Living independently
  • Cultural activities
  • Proximity to other countries
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had budgeted better so that I could plan to go places during spring break. Or to stay on a little longer after the semester ended.

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 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.