Sunny and Yummy! Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/01/2014 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?
It was definitely worthwhile. I feel more independent and mature for having navigated a foreign country for 5 months.

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.

The classes were designed so that you didn't really have to study until finals - this was good and bad. There were very very few resources for me to go to in the Music department, and I had no references for which professors, courses were good for foreign students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators in general were very accessible! However, I felt completely lost during registration and felt like I was on my own. This may be due to the fact that the university was so disorganized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was wonderful. Unfortunately, I had to take taxis home at night because my house was too far from town.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made some friends at the university, so that helped.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the doctors once when I had a bad cold. I got the recommendation from my host mom, and she helped me facilitate the whole thing. He was very good and the pharmacy was easy to use.

* Safety:

Overall, pretty safe. Always walk around at night with someone, because sometimes there are drunk people wandering around.

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)

Traveling was my main concern. I found that I could easily pay for lunches and do activities, given my stipend. Taxis were an unfortunate expense, however, that cost me a lot of money purely because of my host family's location.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Spend more money on travel than clothes! Book flights and trains early.


* 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

total immersion

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? high 200-level
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? talk with your host family!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • immersion
  • program trips
  • orientation in Paris
* What could be improved?
  • clarity of registration
  • would like to know about host family before arriving
  • direct contact with music department at university
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take courses that you will feel comfortable in. When you feel totally lost, you feel overwhelmed, and that is avoidable.

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.'