Past Review

By (Art History, Criticism and Conservation., Barnard College) for

Vanderbilt University: Aix-en-Provence - Vanderbilt Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My goal in studying abroad was to improve and gain a greater understanding of the French language; I definitely met my goals and had fun while I was abroad.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Personally, my previous knowledge of French had been two years of study at college. I would recommend having experience in the language from high school; it was difficult at first to keep up with the coursework.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the same building as the VIF center, with 3 other American students and 1 French student. It was very convenient to live right over the place where all my classes were held, and the neighborhood we lived in was very nice. <br /><br /> I shared a room with another American student; living right about the VIF center was definitely convenient. Living in apartments fostered a sense of living independently that living with a host family would not have given me.

* Food:

The food cooked for us each night was great! We were definitely overfed!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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


* 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? I would advise saving up a lot of money before you study abroad- travel and going out are better enjoyed when one doesn't have to worry about the expense involved.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
Language acquisition improvement?

My French language skills improved exponentially as a result of my study abroad experience. We lived with French students with whom we spoke French, as well as attending dinner 4 nights a week with a French family. We were only supposed to speak in French in the VIF center.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans