Unforgettable Experience Immersed in South of France December 25, 2019

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/04/2019 to 12/21/2019 with

University of Minnesota: Montpellier - Language & Culture in France

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about French language and culture living with a host family and taking French classes, while making close American friends and having the support of a strong program. I directly experienced the political world of France, studying at a time when gilet jaunes were protesting frequently, but I always felt safe and I think that only enhanced my cultural experience. It was absolutely worthwhile and I would not hesitate to go back. Montpellier is an amazing city that I got to know so well, I liked that it was a smaller city.

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.

Difficult because all classes were in French, but homework amount was very reasonable, and the overall class work load was light

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The University of Minnesota staff and program leaders were fantastic and very supportive, they made the study abroad experience so much easier and fun!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lived with a fantastic host family!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Montpellier was a small city, and I got to know it so well! I loved the community in Montpellier, and getting to know the area took no time at all!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Felt very safe in Montpellier, aside from the gilet jaunes. I did not have a personally dangerous encounter with the protests because I was well-aware of where and when the protests were going to occur.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I learned so much from my time here, I made so many close friends and had unforgettable experiences and trips with friends and also through the program. I would have loved to stay another semester.

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)

Difficult to budget, but definitely possible to. I had a difficult time, but overall Montpellier is cheaper than I had expected.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100

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

Was required to speak with host family in French and all 5 classes were completely in French.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? 105
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 with a host family!

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
  • 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?
  • Host Family
  • Program
  • City
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Not to worry about anything, because although it's a big step out of my comfort zone, everyone else in the program is doing the exact same thing, and that makes the bonds between people in the program so much stronger!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.