A wonderful semester Past Review

By (Haverford College) - abroad from 01/02/2015 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'm much better at French, more independent and happy. It was absolutely worth it.

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.

All classes are in French through AMU or the program -- classes at the fac are less rigorous than what I was used to but I still learned a lot just from being surrounded by French speakers.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had an incredible host family, truly a wonderful experience. Highly recommended if you want to improve your French.

* Food:

It's France.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I found local culture to be really interesting but I did have some problems meeting and getting to know local students. I'm not the most outgoing, though, and other students on the program did make friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues but other students did and were taken care of.

* Safety:

I lived 5 minutes from downtown and always felt safe walking home even alone and late at night. There were some other girls who were followed or catcalled though, so people who lived farther out often took cabs at night. That being said, as long as you're sensible, Aix is very safe.

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)

I spent a little more because I travelled, but if you only spend money on food and necessary expenses it wouldn't be too bad.

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? Definitely take advantage of the money offered by the program for cultural activities. The best lunch places are also cheap -- boulangeries and kebabs.


* 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

We were supposed to only speak French.

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? 200-level course (junior year of college)
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? Live with a host family and try really hard not to lapse into English with American friends. You will anyway, so make some friends who aren't American.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • small
  • academically rigourous
  • supportive
* What could be improved?
  • nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bring more warm weather clothes? Maybe that I would need to make a strong effort to get to know French students and that I should have signed up for a club or sports team right away.

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!