Grenoble: A Gain of Higher-Level French And A Greater Sense of Self Past Review

By (French And Spanish, Presbyterian College) for

Université Grenoble Alpes: Grenoble - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
From the study abroad I gained a greater understanding of the many different cultures of the world. It did not change any of my plans in the immediate future of majoring in languages but it did give me a greater fire to want to learn more and more of and about the language. As for future plans, I am now planning on returning to France and living there for a longer time than the very short semester I just had.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The differences in the educational systems of France and America are extensive! It seemed very disorganized when I arrived, but I soon found out that is just how the system works. You do not sign up for classes prior to their start but rather attend multiple classes and then choose the few you want to get credit for. The workload was manageable for the courses meant for international kids. The workload for the modern French history course (meant for native french speakers) was very challenging, in that it was a bunch of reading and dissertations each week.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Program size didn't seem too overwhelmingly big so it wasn't too hard to find time to talk to them when they were in their office. This does not necessarily mean though that your questions would be answered.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The residence hall was a converted soldiers barracks. It was located halfway up a mountain which included a 10 min walk/20 tram ride or 5 min bus ride/30 min tram ride to get to campus. Though from the centre-ville it was only a 10-15 min walk down the mountain. As for the facilities, there were turkish toilets and barely working burners. A sheet and blanket were provided but pillows and cookware were on our own dime.

* Food:

It's french food, how can it not be 5 stars?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were not many non-academic aspects of the program that I participated in.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Grenoble was a very safe city, but I don't really see how the program assisted in this. I did not have any dealings with the healthcare system really.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Personal expenses weren't really a weekly expense for me (minus the one week of vacation). As for food I'd spend maybe 250 euros a month.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? There are a good many unanticipated expenses when you first arrive and when finalizing your visa. There is a social security fee close to 200 euros, and a few others in the first week. As for the visa, it is another 50 euros or so to get the official residence sticker. There is also housing insurance you have to purchase (or at least I had to for my residence hall).


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? L1 History
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced most in my classes. Outside the classroom I practiced with a French guy I met through a Californian. I used French daily to get around, in the market, etc. My residence hall was filled with international kids so unfortunately though french and english were the common languages, english became the language of choice.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The difficulty of the courses. And the beautiful location.
* What could be improved?
  • The aid given to the student at their entrance into a foreign country, language, and system.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? eat. drink. speak. try anything that might be a bit different from the norm. you will be missing it as soon as the semester or year is over so try and experience every little bit.