An incredible few months immersed in French life and culture Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/24/2019 to 03/13/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I definitely think that my experience abroad was worthwhile. I believe that I gained a lot of independence and a greater understanding of myself. The thing that I am the most proud of is how much my language skills improved over my months abroad.

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

The director of the Wellesley in Aix Program, Monique Fecteau, is absolutely fantastic. She is truly one of the best things about the program. She brings her heart and soul to everything she does and cares about all the students so much. I don't know what I would've done without her.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

Wellesley-in-Aix is a very well planned program. There are so many group outings and cultural activities planned by the program that make it truly a fantastic experience. The opportunity to live with host families is also incredible


* 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? $50-$60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I liked to keep a budget where I'd write down everything I spent money on. It helped make me very aware of where my money is going and I think it made me a smarter spender.


* 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? 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? Immerse yourself as much as possible and commit to using the language as much as possible. It's important to take advantage of all opportunities offered to use the language. Reading books, watching movies, and listening to the radio in the language are also all super important and helpful.

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?
  • The people I met and got to work/live with
  • Being immersed in the French language
  • Being able to travel around France
* What could be improved?
  • I found the academic level/rigor at the local university to be somewhat lacking. I don't know how this could really be improved, but I think it was the thing I struggled with the most.
  • More group bonding activities
  • More help finding local activities to get involved in
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I feel that I was very well informed before going in and I truly can't think of any one thing I wish I had been told. The format of classes at the French university is very different from what I was used to, however this is something that I was definitely alerted to beforehand.

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!