Great time in Aix-en-Provence March 11, 2020

By (Syracuse University) - abroad from 08/23/2019 to 12/23/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
YES! My French dramatically improved and I became a lot more independent.

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.

The entire program, and thus my entire life, were in French for the semester. This total immersion is naturally very intense. However, the courses themselves at the university and with the program are not that difficult, the hardest part is the language.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Excellent resources in France. Monique the program director and the two grad student assistants were exceptionally helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived alone in a student apartment. It could be isolating but was really fun and I made friends with the other program students that lived in my building.

* Food:

Its France, the food is excellent.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

If you are only going to be there for the a couple of months it can be really hard to make French friends. However, I had a couple of pals that I saw in class or in organizations.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any experince with the health care in France

* Safety:

There was only one time when I felt unsafe for a couple minutes but the city is well lit and no more or less safe than anywhere else in the world.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

It was everything that I imagined it would be.


* 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)

They gave us a stipend for apartment students that was about $750 a month. This was plenty for all of my food and other basic necessities costs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? No more than the stipend allowed


* 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 spoke French constantly

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? 300 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? Make sure that you speak to people in French even if they speak English. Especially with other program participants because they can be your best resources.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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?
  • French immersion
  • Week in Paris
  • Apartment living
* What could be improved?
  • Orientation that aims to make students on the program bond
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The level of immersion that was needed. It was more immersive than I had originally anticipated.

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!