So many French students to interact with since Montpellier is such a young city Past Review

By (Psychology/English, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/02/2013 to 05/15/2014 with

University of Minnesota: Study Abroad in Montpellier, France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. I am much more comfortable with my language use and I know that I can easily communicate what I want in French now and be understood.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was in a homestay and it was great! I was so close to the center of town, but that was not the experience most people had with host families. Most people ended up about a 30 minute tram ride away from the center of town, so I was really lucky to be so close!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

don't leave your phone in your back pocket. My host sister had her iPhone stolen that way.

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)

Everything was so expensive...there were so many unexpected costs that I didn't prepare for such as a monthly tram pass and lunch (host families only provide breakfast and dinner-and lunch on the weekends)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 20 euros at the least
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? don't buy the monthly tram pass if you don't have to, but definitely spend the 50 euros to buy the carte jeune for the train because it gives you much cheaper rates if you want to travel by train

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 rarely spoke French in the program's office outside of speaking to one of the administrators or class.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? FREN132
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Stay with a host family rather than in an apartment

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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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 program's onsite office
  • the ability to take classes at the French university with other French students
  • living with a host family
* What could be improved?
  • I would have wanted more options/suggestions of extra curriculars that I could have done on my own
  • better options of internships for the internship class
  • better course offerings
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wrote off going to Paris immediately because it is really touristy and I wanted to come to France and speak French. While I was right about that (in Paris if you try to speak French, often locals will respond to you in English), there are a lot of benefits to being in Paris as well. For one, throughout most of Europe, everything shuts down on Sundays leaving you with nothing to do, so Paris is great because there are a lot of museums and cultural things that are still open on Sundays for you to do. Additionally, it is a lot easier (and cheaper) to travel from Paris than from Montpellier because Paris is a huge travel destination and coming from Montpellier I often had to take a train to Marseille in order to get anywhere. That being said, I still would pick Montpellier over Paris, but I didn't realize those things before

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!