French Challenges and Successes Past Review

By (English and French, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/22/2014 to 01/16/2015 with

Wellesley College: Aix-en-Provence - Wellesley-in-Aix

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My comprehension improved greatly, as did my confidence in speaking. I also was able to read a lot, which helped to improve overall comprehension-although it took a lot longer to complete my reading. VERY worthwhile.

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.

These classes went incredibly fast, but it helped me to improve my french comprehension greatly.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program director and her assistant were awesome. They were there to help us in any way necessary, and they were genuinely concerned for our well-being.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My studio was amazing, as was my host family. It was in a great location, close to campus and to various kinds of shopping.

* Food:

I really enjoyed trying different kinds of french cuisine. I cooked for myself a great deal, but when I went out and when I dined with my host parents the food was wonderful.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like the locals that I met were very open to meeting new people and were very nice, but I always felt like a foreigner.

* 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)

It was difficult at times, so my parents had to help me. However, this was largely caused by the late processing of an outside scholarship.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do not try to buy fruit and vegetables for future use. Plan to use any produce within a day or two, otherwise the food will spoil, and the money will have been wasted. France does not use pesticides like the US, so produce spoils more quickly.


* 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

It was mandatory to speak french on any program-related trips, with host families, and in the Wellesley-in-Aix center.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? 300-level
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? Take every opportunity to practice speaking and comprehension. Go to movies, safely initiate conversations with people around you, participate in group activities.

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?
  • The classes
  • The animateurs (student guides)
  • My host parents
* What could be improved?
  • I was thrilled with the program. Nothing needs improvement.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't let timidity stop you from getting involved in activities. Some people may mock your accent, but most of the people will be really nice, and appreciative of your efforts.

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 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!