I wasn't sure I could do it but I'm glad I studied abroad! December 27, 2019

By (Sweet Briar College) - abroad from 09/01/2019 to 12/20/2019 with

Sweet Briar College: JYF in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I definitely could not live in a city for the rest of my life but it is very fun to visit. I learned so many things not just about French culture but about humanity in general

Review Photos

Sweet Briar College: JYF in Paris Photo Sweet Briar College: JYF in Paris Photo Sweet Briar College: JYF in Paris Photo Sweet Briar College: JYF in Paris Photo

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 classes were very challenging which I loved. Even though it was confusing at times, taking classes in another language made me feel even more accomplished when I earned good grades.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

JYF itself was very understanding and open about the process. The building itself was shared with another college (that was honestly less nice and understanding) but all in all great experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mother was very nice and cooked meals every day. We had great conversations

* Food:

Paris did not have many spicy foods (which I'm used to) but they definitely did have all the wine and cheese and sandwiches I could ever want! Also got to try lots of delicious pastries!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I do feel as though I received plenty of judgement for being an American so I had a lot of Parisians ignore or ridicule me. However, I did have friends there prior to arriving and they really helped me learn more of the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I only had one experience with the healthcare and they were helpful. It took a lot of emailing back and forth to explain my situation but, once they understood, the process was much easier.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in the area I was in (even though I didn't have a working phone for about a week!) I would definitely advise to always stay vigilant of your surroundings especially when crossing roads. The traffic lights often have cars turning when the light is green to walk and I've almost gotten hit!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The program was very helpful in getting me to experience the culture of Paris

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)

There were student discounts for food but definitely make sure you budget from the beginning!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Write out a budget on paper or in a planner. This helped me a lot especially in the last few weeks!

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

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? 300 level
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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?
  • Traveling to other parts of France
  • Tours around the city
  • Making macaroons
* What could be improved?
  • Have more opportunities to interact with other students in the Reid Hall building
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had looked more into public transportation. The last weeks (due to a strike) I had to walk to my classes. I was sad I had spent all that money and time in the metro when things were so close to walk to

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!