A relaxing, exciting time in the Alps good food, and good people. Past Review

By (University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) - abroad from 09/05/2012 to 12/23/2012 with

Université Grenoble Alpes - CUEF - University Center for French Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more about myself, the world around me, how I fit in to it, and gained a vast amount of knowledge on French language and culture.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My French language teacher, Mme. Morell, was absolutely phenomenal. I'd started out at a fairly solid B1+ student and she definitely helped refine my French to a solid B2. Tough, but fair, and genuinely cared about students' progress. Supplementary humanity classes were mostly interesting with good professors, although content lacked at times.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program administrator is amazingly knowledgeable of the region, always helpful, tries his hardest to integrate everyone in the culture, and is all around just a really friendly guy. Patrick is almost as great as his cat, Sylvie. Meow.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was amazing. Kind, involved me a lot, amazing cooks, gave me privacy while making me feel part of the family.

* Food:

My host mother's cooking was hands down some of the best I've ever had. The program director also involves students in weekly culinary endeavors, which is great. Lastly, you're in France. Of course the food is good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The school and program director make it very easy to get involved. Join a club that does not directly relate to your American program and a door of opportunities will open! I was able to join a jazz band with the music school and it really got me involved.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Never had any problems.

* Safety:

Never felt unsafe. Director does a great job of saying which areas to avoid and as always, be prudent when traveling somewhere unknown!

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)

The program provides it so you don't NEED to spend much of your own money to be honest...it's just hard to budget whenever you want to do everything possible!! :)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Book travel plans in advanced.


* 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

Was mostly immersed in the language except when with fellow Americans. Make an effort to make foreign friends!

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? B1 French
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? Put yourself out there and do things in the community NOT with students from the same country as you.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People
  • Food
  • Activities
* What could be improved?
  • Push harder for American students to not group together
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Spend as much time with your host family and friends as possible. You'll miss them immensely.