I Will Never Be the Same Past Review

By (French, Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/03/2015 to 05/23/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely a worthwhile experience. My French speaking and listening skills improved vastly, and I gained a level of confidence which I hadn't really had before.

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.

Academic rigor was more due to the language than the rigor of the classes themselves.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Easy access to WIA center; program administrators were very helpful if problems arose. Wifi at the WIA center was unreliable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very happy with my host parents; they were very kind and accommodating.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no major health issues, but I was able to access over-the-counter medicine easily at the pharmacy.

* Safety:

For the most part, Aix seemed very safe; I had no safety problems while I was there. However, as it is a city, I did sometimes feel uncomfortable out and about by myself at night.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook for yourself as much as possible--don't go out to eat regularly. And buy veggies at the open-air markets.


* 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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 324
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? Try to join social groups or activities where you'll be interacting with French people more, like a cooking class, sport, theater group, etc.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • WIA admin support system
  • Flexibility in determining my own regular activities/experiences
  • Close-knit program group
* What could be improved?
  • Wifi in the WIA center could be more reliable
  • Tours on group outings could be shorter and self-directed exploration could be longer
  • Otherwise, n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had been more prepared for how different academically the French university system would be compared to my small, high-rigor, liberal arts school back in the US.

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.'