Deciding to do this program in Paris was one of the best decisions I ever made. Past Review

By (Sociology., Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/12/2013 to 05/30/2013 with

Sweet Briar College: JYF in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My french language ability increased enormously. I am practically fluent now. The culture was incredible, it was definitely worthwhile.

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.

This program was absolutely amazing, they provided literally every resource you could ask for and there was always someone there to help.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Sweet Briar College was very helpful and always provided support/advice when I called.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We were located in the heart of Paris in an apartment that SBC found for us (owned by a couple hosting another student next door)

* Food:

Nothing can beat french food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I cannot begin to say how much my french improved in only 5 months.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I only had to see a doctor once, but the fee was reimbursed by the health insurance the program provided.

* Safety:

I always felt pretty safe in Paris, but then again I never walked around super late by myself. If you're street smart you'll be fine. The violent crime rate is a lot lower there, most thefts are pickpocketing.

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)

I was usually able to keep within budget (aside from traveling). My program gave me a 360 euro per month stipend for food and laundrey, and since I cooked for myself and did my own food shopping it was usually enough.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? The stipend covered meals, for other expenses, I didn't do a lot of shopping so it was minimal. Maybe 50-100 euro.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook as much as you can instead of going out to eat. Make a reasonable budget for yourself and try to stick to it as best you can. And take out cash instead of using your card--it's what everyone does in Paris and you spend less.

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 always spoke in French on premises. All classes were in French.

How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 211
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? Just talk as much as you can all the time with friends, teachers, strangers, etc and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • The location
  • The staff
  • The amazing friends I made
* What could be improved?
  • I know a few people who had small problems with their host families.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I didn't know how much I'd love Paris, I wish I had been there for longer.

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!