American in Angers April 26, 2018

By (Truman State University) - abroad from 01/15/2018 to 05/11/2018 with

Truman State University: France - Study Abroad at ESSCA

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I don't even know how to summarize this. Don't be afraid, but be cautious. Eat well, laugh often. Meet people, make connections, cry when you leave because you'll miss them.

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.

The work was mostly easy, with a heavy focus on group presentations. Very few papers, a midterm and final for some classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I had a lot of contact with ESSCA's international office and they were mostly helpful whenever I needed something.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I found a private residence to share with a friend. From my understanding, the student housing you can find through ESSCA is not great, but I didn't live there so I wouldn't know.

* Food:

It's France, so....

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The more you try to speak and learn, the better you'll feel about the time you spend in another country. It can be difficult at first to connect with French people, but I made a lot of friends among my classmates and other international students so that helped a lot

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't see a doctor or interact with the French health care system while I was here. Routine vaccines.

* Safety:

I felt safer going to school in France than I did in the US.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I really loved Angers, but ESSCA was not exactly what I was expecting. I probably would have tried to go to one of the other universities in town. But I was glad to go to a school on my own, without a lot of students from my home university.

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 traveled a lot during my study abroad experience, so some weeks I was eating ramen and spending 50 USD and others I was shelling out 300-400 for long trips.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save up beforehand, make a budget, stick to it.

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

I was already at an intermediate fluency level before I came to Angers- most of my classes were in 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French Civ II
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? Don't be afraid to make mistakes. That's the only way you'll learn!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 work was easy = easier to travel
  • I had a lot of down time to get my life together (and to travel)
  • It's freakin' France y'all- best semester of my college career
* What could be improved?
  • ESSCA administrators need to communicate more clearly with students before/during experience
  • Provide guidelines for working with local students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Save more- always save more. It's not as scary as you think it will be, or at least it'll be scary in different ways. Apply for the OFII part of the visa so you can get a reimbursement for housing.

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.'