I had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France during the spring of 2022. I am a French and Theatre double major, so France was a given. I chose Paris because I was greatly interested in its history and its cultural significance, and I am so thankful that I did. I chose AIFS as a program because they offer study at a section of the famous Sorbonne.
While in Paris I took three classes: French, Phonetics, and the History of Paris through its Art and Architecture. Both French and Phonetics were solely taught in French, which did pose challenges at times. I had French and Phonetics every day, for three hours each day in a traditional classroom setting. The history class I took was very interesting because it was not taught traditionally. Every class we had was at a different location in the city, usually a church or famous monument. We even went to the famous Louvre Museum several times just for class!
It is important for students looking at study abroad to understand that schools abroad are, of course, different than schools in the US. Some are similar, but my school was a lot less formal. I was unable to check my grades, and all announcements, including my initial schedule, were sent via email in French. The grading system was also different, therefore I had to convert grades in order to understand what I actually got. All in all, I enjoyed my school, but it took some adjusting and that is worth noting.
Actually living in Paris was great. I stayed with a wonderful French family that welcomed me into their home with open arms. Just like in school, the family only spoke French. I had my own bedroom, as did two other girls in my program. It was great to be able to hang out with my roommates as well as help each other translate things to our host family. I knew a couple students who got their own apartments, but most were staying with families like me. It was a huge adjustment living abroad, but after a week or so routines start to set in. Pretty soon I knew where to buy groceries, do my laundry, and hang out. It did take some time to get used to living in someone else’s home, but my family was very kind and they made me feel comfortable. Another thing for potential students to note is that studying abroad is very expensive and proper budgeting must be done to ensure that you will have enough money for the whole term.
Choosing to study abroad was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I made lifelong friendships, got to see many cool places, and, most importantly, I learned about myself and what I want in my life. I could not have done it without the support of my family and school, and I am so thankful to have had this opportunity!
Abby Gracey (BA French & Theatre) spent Spring 2022 studying abroad in Paris, France through AIFS. Abby had the following to say about studying abroad, “Study abroad is a life changing experience that all students who are able should do at least once in their life!”
Share this post: