Great Program in the South of France Past Review

By (HISTORY., Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/20/2012 to 12/20/2012 with

University of Minnesota: Study Abroad in Montpellier, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I made friends that I hope to keep in touch with and had a lot of fun. It was very much worthwhile. Also my language proficiency grew exponentially.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a three bedroom, top-story apartment. My room had an en-suite bathroom. The only thing that I did not like was the lack of a dishwasher or an oven.

* Food:

I did not live in a host family, so I prepared all of my own food or purchased it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I lived with Americans (by my own choosing) so I didn't feel 100% integrated with the culture. That being said, my French got much better by speaking it with the French friends I did make.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I came down with the flu three weeks before I left. I personally didn't go to the doctor, but my roommate, who had a case of pinkeye and had a terrible cold at one point went to the doctor and had nothing but praise.

* Safety:

The city seemed very safe, the one exception being when one of our neighbors in our apartment building left the outside door unlocked and someone came in and graffitied our entrance hall.

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 spent over $5,000 during my stay. Some of this was my own doing (for example, I went out a lot and traveled a bill) but I had to pay for other necessary expenses such as my phone bill, a Carte de Séjour (which I didn't need, but had to pay for due to a mistake on the part of the Boston Consulate) and other expenses such as food and my electric bill. Costs would have probably been much cheaper in a homestay though (I was in an apartment). Montpellier is cheaper than other cities such as Paris, however.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150 - $200

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

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? FREN 104
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? Live in a homestay if you want to maximize your use of French. If you live in an apartment, you will be with other Americans and will naturally speak English instead of French.

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 on-site staff
  • Housing
  • Students in the Program
* What could be improved?
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? N/A

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.