An unforgettable year in Aix Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/22/2014 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 became so much more confident and comfortable with myself, and I gained so much global perspective. This has been an invaluable experience for me.

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 fac leaves a lot to be desired. The administration is slow and usually incomprehensible and the facilities are in a pitiable state. However, the courses and professors themselves were excellent, and it was a truly wonderful experience for me to be able to engage in a French classroom and develop my language and critical thinking abilities.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration is excellent. All of the side trips were mostly very well-planned and interesting, and the program center was always a good place to go for resources and support.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Wonderful host family, ideally situated between the center and the fac, lovely neighborhood and very accommodating host parents. It was a real pleasure for me.

* Food:

Fantastic. Lots of French, Spanish, Italian and Moroccan cuisine. It was a real year of discovery for me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I'm naturally a more reserved person, so it's partly on me, but the student-led activities never fell during a time when I was free, and the way that the fac is set up is not conducive to developing ties with other students. However, I had plenty of opportunities to interact and exchange with my host family's friends and guests, which was excellent for me.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?


* Safety:

With the exception of Marseille at night and Aix during the really late hours of the night (maybe 4-6 in the morning), the town and all the neighborhoods are generally well-lit and animated enough that there's never a reason for concern.

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)

Aix is very touristic and, therefore, very expensive. I barely went out to eat or for drinks and I bought minimal groceries for lunches. However, if you're budget-conscious it's very doable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Better to drink at home than go out, especially for cocktails, which usually run you at least 7 euros each.


* 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? 303
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? Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with anyone. The more you do it the less anxious you are each time and the easier it gets.

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?
  • host family
  • interesting classes
  • great side trips
* What could be improved?
  • French administration
  • location
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bringing comfortable clothes is a good idea. The climate is mild but it does get chilly. Traveling in France and not just to other countries on the weekend is very rewarding and pretty simple.

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!