Grenoble Summer Study Abroad Past Review

By (Economics., Pacific University) - abroad from 06/28/2013 to 07/29/2013 with

Université Grenoble Alpes - CUEF - University Center for French Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My language skills improved immensely and I learned a lot about French culture and every day life. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

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 was not satisfied with my professor in the program but I think this was mostly bad luck. Most students seemed to like their professors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I loved my on-site coordinator. She was extremely helpful and we were able to contact her whenever we needed to. She showed us around the city, bought us meals, took us on excursions. It was a great experience getting to know her and having her around.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with my host family was one of the best things about my study abroad experience. They were extremely friendly and helpful and always made me feel welcome. I was invited everywhere with them and met some very interesting people because of it. I learned so much just from having to communicate with my host family.

* Food:

My host mom made dinner for me every night and that was a great experience as well. It allowed me to experience real French food and the food was great! I also loved eating out and trying new things it was an exciting part of the trip.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The school really helps to integrate you in French culture which was nice. I think the most important thing is talking to native speakers and getting to know French people. I wish I would have done more of that. Another thing about Universite de Grenoble is that there are students from all over the world which is so cool! I met students from Brazil, Ireland, Iraq, Colombia, US, etc.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not need any vaccines for this program and had no health issues while I was there. A girl in my program got a really bad skin rash while we were there and she went to the pharmacy and it was fixed that day! So I feel as though health care would have been accessible if I had needed it.

* Safety:

I stayed in a town called Gieres which is a really safe town. Grenoble is a city and although it is smaller than Paris and Lyon, it is still a city. Public transit is safe and the city itself is pretty safe. I had one incident where a woman tried to open my backpack but I was able to stop her. It is just like any other city where you have to keep an eye on your belongings. Overall, I think it is a very safe area.

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)

For me, it would have been really cheap if I hadn't been buying clothes and shoes. I had breakfast and dinner at home every day and ate lunch at school. Lunch for me was usually just a sandwich which cost maybe 4 euros. The only other thing I had to pay for was public transit and excursions through the school.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe about 70 euros, not really sure.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at home as much as possible because the food is usually delicious and healthy. Excursions and trips are worth it so if you are trying to decide what to spend money on, go for the experiences! Also, if you are taking public transit every day, buy a monthly pass. It saved me probably 100-200 euros.


* 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

Since most of the students were from all over, we had to speak French most of the time in order to communicate. My host mom was not too great with English so French was always spoken at home for me as well. I made quite a few friends who did speak English, though, which made it hard for me to stay disciplined and speak French. Also, unlike cities like Paris, not everyone in Grenoble speaks English so when speaking at restaurants and other places it is usually necessary to speak in French.

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? French 385
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? Study vocabulary. I always find myself wishing I knew more vocabulary because often I know what I want to say and how to say everything except maybe one word. Study grammar and stuff before you get there so you are able to place in a high level class. This will help accelerate your learning.

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

  • 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?
  • Excursions
  • New Friendships
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Number of Students in Program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Talking to people and building relationships is one of the most valuable parts of studying abroad.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.