Wellesley is aix (the cities not the schools) May 12, 2023

By (Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/06/2023 to 05/30/2023 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how I function solo and gained travel knowledge.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

In-program courses had more immediate and constant expectations from the students with assignments every class meeting. Courses at Aix-Marseille University (AMU) were much less direct in their evaluation of student progress (2-3 homework assignments (once optional) besides the 2 exams per course).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I had no bad experiences with the on-site administration

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

conveniently located near the town center, the university, and Tavan

* Food:

had breakfast and 5 dinners/week with host family, lunches normally at student cafeteria (3,30 euros) and ate out or cooked for myself for other meals

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no issues with health during the program. Beyond the ongoing pandemic, there were no health issues and I did not need vaccines for the program.

* Safety:

Aix is safe; walked the twenty minutes to/from the bus stop to at 1am/6am with no problem. The one minor creepy incident at midday on a bus when a sing-songy man began chatting up the girls in our group the driver quickly took care of, letting the man know that the next stop was his.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I'd like to try something new!


* 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? Around $250/week when traveling; $75/week when not.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Pay attention to exchange rates and transaction fees: euro-dollar rate increased by a few cents during my time. If you happen to be near any of the RUs in the CROUS system (6 each in Aix and Marseille) at lunch, a hot meal is just 3,30 euros: https://www.crous-aix-marseille.fr/se-resaturer/ou-manger/


* 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

Frequent reminders on site to speak in French, even going so far as to warn us that we might all have to resign the entire contract solely for the language pledge in March.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? FREN 216
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? Talk to your host family, other students. Find international students! They've studied the language just like you and are prepared to discuss lapses in understanding.

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?
  • warmth
  • day trips
  • AP style classes
* What could be improved?
  • communication
  • orientation
  • choice of in-house courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how the academic learning style is similar to the that in the US