Leaving your heart around the globe. Past Review

By (Oklahoma State University - Stillwater) - abroad from 01/11/2016 to 05/13/2016 with

University of Strasbourg: Strasbourg - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to travel: how to ask the right questions, where to search for travel options, what to have arranged, what to have planned, what to leave to spontaneity, the need for having a backup plan, and the definite need for flexibility, otherwise you WILL go insane from sheer panic. I learned how to learn a language. It's not just reading books and studying vocab. It's going to workshops, it's speaking the language with people, even if they speak English better. It's being willing to ask for help and experiment with phrases, so that you might find the correct way to express yourself. Studying abroad is SO worthwhile. While my time here was not always a walk in the park (although there are many parks), the good things, the bad things, and the ugly things all taught me lessons, mostly about myself. You cannot truly see your own country and culture until you have experienced that of another and seen your country through their eyes.

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.

Before we came, we were not informed that, because of our year/status, our classes would only last six weeks, with the option of doing a short internship afterwards. This would have been great information and a great opportunity.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Just be prepared, French administration is the worst! However, it is not impossible, you just have to keep asking questions, and probably from multiple sources.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living arrangements are pretty small, but you choose your own from a variety of options.

* Food:

French food is sooo good. Unless it's imitation American.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

French people as a whole have pretty hard shells, so you may have to really work to get into a group of French people. Day to day interactions with them are fine. Usually very nice.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was easily accessible with our university. However, what they did not tell us, was that if you did need some kind reimbursement for medical things, you could not receive it without first opening a French bank account. Depending on the day, opening a French bank account could be the mother of all difficulties.

* Safety:

Strasbourg is a very safe city. The males are overly bold will maybe catcall if given the opportunity, but you are not in any immediate danger.

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

Strasbourg is the perfect location. It is cute, historic, unique from the rest of France, not a HUGE city, yet not a small town, and close to other countries (10 minute bus ride from Germany).


* 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)

Depending on the week and how you spend your money, you could easily get by on $75-100 a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? See how other students are living. If you have any idea how to cook and an available kitchen, your cheapest option may be buying groceries and fixing things yourself.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French Diction and Phonetics
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? Be ok with failing. You can't learn a language just in your head. You're going to mess up, so just laugh and politely ask for help. People will respect your desire to learn their language. You might be able to look online and see if their are any language workshops at a any bars or cafes in your city.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Lots of programs, activities, and opportunities for meeting other international students
  • Having freedom to be on my own
  • Welcome week: getting to meet other students and learn about the university and opportunities.
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between professors and international students
  • Administration stuff and paperwork for when you first enter the country/program.
  • Communication or opportunities to build relationships with nationals here.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This is truly a dream come true, and I will treasure my time here and the relationships for the rest of my life. However, this is still just another stage of life, and with that comes all the emotions, struggles, and fears of life back home, with even a few wild cards thrown in. It's incredible, but it's not a fairy tale.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'