Life changing in the best ways. September 07, 2023

By (Political Science and Government, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/27/2023 to 05/31/2023 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I am much more capable of adventure and thriving on my own than I realized which is always worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic rigor is definitely not as intense as Wellesley, and you have to figure out a lot of the resources yourself, but they are not difficult to figure out. I personally loved discovering all of the new tools available to me, and felt a major sense of ownership.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Monique is amazing! She is always on your team, and will fight tooth and nail for you to get what you need. Celia is an absolute ray of sunshine and adores plants and cats. Both of them made my experience in Aix so lovely.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Rossini which was the best decision I could’ve made. The Rossini is independent, and right in the heart of town. The best part was the fact that it is located right next to the main bus station so traveling to Marseille, to the airport, to the train station and more was incredibly efficient.

* Food:

It’s France, of course the food is amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Aix is an incredibly immersive program that puts you at quite the precipice of total integration with the local culture and community. For example I took dance lessons in Aix and learned it all in French, and became good friends with the people at my studio.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

France has a very different approach to medicine than the US. The pharmacy’s only sell herbal medicine or low dose over the counter medicines for pain relief, allergies, and flu. You must get a prescription for anything like antibiotics, or anything stronger than 500mg most times depending on the medicine. Doctors are also not put through as many years of schooling as American doctors so their decisions can sometimes be questionable.

* Safety:

I always told people I could’ve walked down the street naked at 4am and no one would have bothered me. Aix is so ridiculously safe.

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

The Wellesley in Aix program was a dream come true. The positives far outweigh any of the negatives I experienced especially because they were few and far between.


* 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)

It is easy to live on a student budget with the Wellesley Stipend for the Rossini.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? When I wasn’t traveling to other countries, it was usually $150 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don’t overspend on Monoprix groceries. Go to YAPAGASPI down by the Gare SNCF in the centre ville.


* 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

So essentially you don’t have a choice but to speak French unless you find other international students.

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 French course
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Request for people to continue speaking in French with you. Make French friends. Join French clubs. Travel in france.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The field trips we took!
  • Culture stipend
  • Wellesley in Aix dinners.
* What could be improved?
  • Orientation week needs to be less intense, or offer more time to explore the city.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known about YAPAGASPI to shop for groceries because I saved so much money. I also wish I had known about DoctoLib, the SNCF application, and many other discount opportunities that are commonly used by europeans.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Histoire d'immigration en France

Course Department: Histoire / Politiques
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Madame Regnard was a joy to have as a professor. She is so unbelievably kind and understands our difficulties as International students. She takes the time to consider your questions, and gives thorough responses on top of having an extremely comprehensive course in itself with fascinating material.
Credit Transfer Issues: