Parisien pour un semestre Past Review

By (French, German, International Studies, Trinity University) - abroad from 01/14/2012 to 05/31/2012 with

Sweet Briar College: JYF in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I did not significantly improve my French, but studying abroad in Paris exceeded my expectations. I was very much integrated into French culture and made many local friends.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Sweet Briar College, Universite de Paris IV
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

One of the reasons for which I chose to study abroad with Sweet Briar College was that it allowed students to take courses at a local university. Thus, one had access to a wide range of class offerings and academic resources. Every student was able to design a class schedule according to his or her academic rigor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration guided students through many important processes such as registering for classes at a Parisian university and also organized tours and cultural activities (theater, ballet etc.).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Before departure, students fill out a questionnaire to match them with a host family (there's also an option to live independently). I was received in a very nice family that had long experiences with hosting students from abroad.

* Food:

Authentic French food at home with my host family...

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I would highly recommend to live with a host family to make the most of the study abroad experience. The program also integrated students with the local culture by placing them in local universities and (optionally) in internship positions.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No experience

* Safety:

Because of the great amount of tourists, Paris also attracts pickpocketing. However, this is normal for a city like Paris, and one should always be aware of their belongings, especially in the metro.

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)

Living costs are very high in Paris and this applies to essential things such as transportation (about 20 Euros for a week). However, expenses on food can be minimized by cooking at home (if you're not eating with a host family already). Also, there are discounts for students in many museums. Always ask.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes


* 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 courses at Sweet Briar were taught in French. Also, the program maintains a policy of using French only in the study area.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? I had some upper division courses in French literature.
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? Again, the best way to practice the language is to speak as often as possible. Living with a host family provides many opportunities to practice speaking.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Placement in a wonderful host family
  • Assistance on finding an internship
  • Group visits to Provence, Lyon, and Rouen
* What could be improved?
  • Smaller classes and bigger rooms
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That one should use everyday to go out and explore Paris; that one should spend as much time with their host family as possible; that learning takes place mostly outside of class!

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.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Histoire de Paris a travers ses monuments

Course Department:
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This class was composed of lectures and visits to monuments and important "quartiers" in Paris. By the end of the course, students learn much about the history of Paris and cover key areas. The class assesses student through quizzes and requires a research paper.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Atelier d'ecriture

Course Department:
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This class reviewed French grammar with regular writing activities. The teacher provided useful examples of common mistakes among American students and taught idiomatic expressions that were useful outside of class.
Credit Transfer Issues: