Paris is always a good idea Past Review

By (Economics., Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/24/2011 to 05/30/2012 with

Sweet Briar College: JYF in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was more than worthwhile. I learned more about myself.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: IV - Université Paris Sorbonne, VII - Université Paris Denis Diderot
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I found the classes at French universities to be demanding. The French system is very different from the American one, where everything is done FOR the student (e.g.office hours, slides available online, tutors, etc). In France, much depends on the student.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were very helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

My host-family was very nice and kind but I had expected to learn more about French cuisine. Since she worked herself, sometimes she would just defrost frozen food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I think that living in a host-family offered much insight into the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

When I had a toothache, the program administrators said that it wasn't covered by the insurance. However, the program director Mme.Gree gave her personal dentist's number.

* 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)

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

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? FREN 106B, The Art of Composition
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? Trying to make friends with as many french people (not only students) as you can and practice with them.

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

  • 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?
  • Amazing instructors of classes offered by SWB (Mme Délia Mellado and M. Jean-Christophe Pralong-Gourvennec)
  • Administration
  • Program-organized excursions
* What could be improved?
  • More cultural activities
  • The process of choosing classes at the Sorbonne
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's important not to feel too overwhelmed by the number of opportunities to immerse into Parisian life. Unfortunately, I didn't complete all my to-do's in Paris. I wish I tried to do something new each day since time flies so fast.