A Great Semester! Past Review

By (French and Francophone Studies, Columbia University) - abroad from 01/03/2015 to 05/22/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I realized while being abroad that I was not really exposed to conversational French in my past 8 years of studying the language, and I improved in that area. My experience was extremely worthwhile and I can't wait to return to France to work/study.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Wellesley-in-Aix offers several options for housing (Homestay, dormitory, or apartments) and you can usually change housing options if you are unhappy with your original housing assignment.

* Food:

I was very happy with the meals from my host family.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Partaking in the university salsa club as well as using Wellesley's cultural stipend for activities in Aix helped me to meet locals in Aix.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A I did not have any experience with healthcare.

* Safety:

I felt safe in Aix and just used street smarts that I would use in any city.

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)

Wellesley's monthly stipend for meals is very generous. I did not have any problems living on a student budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around 70-100 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find cheap options for lunch like buying lunch at the Fac.


* 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

You're required to speak French at the Wellesley center in Aix and on group outings.

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? 3000 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? Find a French TV show/ radio to practice listening comprehension and reach out to French students through clubs or cross-cultural meet-ups (Coco Boheme, a cafe near the Wellesley center in Aix hosted sessions on Monday evenings where non-French students could practice their French with French students).

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?
  • Supportive Wellesley staff
  • The city - Aix-en-Provence
  • Program organized trips
* What could be improved?
  • Wifi wasn't always reliable at the Wellesley Center
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had planned my cultural stipend better and used all of the 200 euros given to us for the semester.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.