A Beautiful Scare August 04, 2017

By (University of Southern Indiana) - abroad from 08/05/2017 to 08/24/2017 with

USI: London, Paris, & Amsterdam - Art & Design

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have greatly underestimated how different our cultures are. It was a very worthwhile experience.

Review Photos

USI: London, Paris, & Amsterdam - Art & Design Photo USI: London, Paris, & Amsterdam - Art & Design Photo USI: London, Paris, & Amsterdam - Art & Design Photo USI: London, Paris, & Amsterdam - Art & Design Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I went without knowing how to speak French besides the normal, "hello"/ "Do you have a moment?" / "Thank you". I would highly recommend knowing more of the countries language. Also, it is best to keep in mind that the sites are indeed beautiful, but during a time where there are a large amount of immigration, it is best to keep your hands on your purse or wallet at all times. We were warned by various people about Pick-pocketers.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our tour guide was outstanding, he was hilarious and always there for us when we needed him. If I was to ever go international again I would want Armon again!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Overall, I thought it was wonderful. In France, I was a bit worried since we didn't have any heating or A.C. However, it was quite nice.

* Food:

The food was amazing, but at the same time, hard for me to take in. I have at least a dozen allergies and not knowing the language made it very hard for me to recognize what was in everything. Also, the price on some foods seemed very expensive, but I think this is due to staying in the touristy areas.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have anything happen to me that required hospitalization. However, in France, I had an awful allergic reaction which gave me food poisoning.

* Safety:

In London and Amsterdam it was wonderful, I felt quite at home. However, in France, I had a scare. After I got food poisoning, I stumbled back to our housing arrangements and took a wrong turn. There were some men calling and following me. I was crying and accidentally bumped into someone who spoke broken English who was my age. He lead me back to my apartment safely.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring all the money you will need on the trip first. You can cash it back in at a later time when you are in the states. ATMs in other countries will gouge you for money in the transferring process.

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

In France, if we could, always speak French. In Amsterdam, it was okay if we did not speak Dutch.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 1
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • I was able to be around people I knew and I had an extremely helpful tour guide
* What could be improved?
  • Have everyone in a wifi zone download Google Trasnlate.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Have everyone in a wifi zone download Google Translate. You can download the countries language you will be visiting and through the camera it will translate whatever language it is to English.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.