French immersion at it's best! Past Review

By (Economics 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?
I gained more confidence in my language skills, was able to make friends in classes and a connection with my host family, and was able to travel around Europe. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Given the option to take classes at both Aix Marseille Universite and Sciences Po, the classes at Sciences Po are more rigorous.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Wellesley administration, advisors, and support in general are excellent in Aix.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* 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)

Very easily, Wellesley is generous with the monthly stipend for lunch, transportation, and daily living expenses. We also had a 200 euro reimbursement fund for cultural activities.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 to 60 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring your student ID card with you everywhere and inquire about student discounts, even at certain casual restaurants.


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? 300 level French classes
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? Speak and engage with your host family as much as possible, and sit next to French students in class to chat with them during the breaks.

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 ability to take classes at multiple institutions on diverse subjects.
  • My host family and the bond I formed with them.
  • Living in Aix, with the great weather and more relaxed pace of life.
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between Sciences Po and Wellesley students since we are only part time enrolled.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The academics in France take more independent work at home and initiative individually. Coming out of the experience, I would have worked more consistently throughout the semester instead of mainly around exams and deadlines.

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.'