France

Institute for Global Studies

For three weeks during the summer of 2014 I worked with an non-profit called Innocence in Danger (IID). It is an NGO that strives to protect children against pedophiles and it operates in 32 countries around the world. There was a two-fold purpose for interning with this organization: to enhance my fluency in french and to support a cause that is very close to my heart. Its office in France was located in Paris, which was an added bonus!
The internship itself was a rewarding experience as I learnt much about the french work culture and lifestyle. Discussing and brainstorming ideas with colleagues was the perfect method to improve my language fluency. As a marketing-cum-technology intern, I increased their presence on social networking platforms such as linkedIn, instagram, facebook, idealist etc. Furthermore, to enhance their fundraising practices, I created dynamic presentations on Prezi and composed a succinct first-email to send to prospective donors in english. Additionally, translating texts and creating videos were the other tasks I completed.
Serendipitously, during my stint at Paris, I spent 5 days in Gstaad (Switzerland) assisting IID with their annual resilience retreat to help victims recuperate. It was ideal to learn about the impact the organization was making on the lives of the children.
Paris was a warm host. Though at first I thought the people were slightly impolite to foreigners, I quickly realized that not all Parisiens were that way. All in all, the location of our program was well-suited to our goals.
I recommend IGS to anyone and everyone looking for unconventional internships and volunteer opportunities. The team is very helpful and wants to make sure you get what you asked for.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Aug 24, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8

Visions Service Adventures

I recommend this program to anyone seeking an incredible experience, great people, and self discovery.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Aug 16, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

CSA - Center for Study Abroad

Studied in Paris thru CSA. Highly recommend it. Cost less than many others, and I earned 15 semester credits. I plan to use CSA again to study next year in China. Thanks CSA !

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Aug 11, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
8

Agency for Internship in India (AII)

Bonjour , i am alekjendar i live in france ... i did my internship in english program with Aii .. its a very good orgnization i found in india and all staff is so good and very helpful for me .. Aii gave me a better opportunity and better atmosphere during my program duration .. I am thankful for Aii and very soon i will come again ... à bientôt :)

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: May 2, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for American Universities (IAU)

I participated in the 6 week summer program at the Marchutz School of Fine Arts (part of the Institute for American Universities) in Aix-en-Provence, France. It was an experience that far exceeded any of my expectations. Not only was IAU an extrememly professional program but it was fun! There were weekly extra curricular events (not mandatory). Some of those events included the following: wine tasting, informational lectures about culture/politics, day trips, and links to other events hosted by the city's Office of Tourism. Every member of the IAU staff worked hard to make sure that the students were getting the help/resources/information they needed. The matching program with my host family worked out great, and I am still in contact with my host family. The professors at the Marchutz School of Fine Arts, John and Alan, are phenomenal. The insight I gained about painting, philosophy, and a holistic perspective on art is invaluable. Attending this program is something that changed my life, opened my eyes, and allowed me to grow as a person.

An aspect about this program that attracted me initially to it was the openness it had towards its students. As I am a pharmacy student I hardly have any training in painting/drawing. Luckily that is not a requirement for Marchutz. There are artists of every level there and it does not matter what stage you are in your art career, as long as there is a passion you can succeed!

I would highly recommend this program to anybody who wishes to explore southern France, be among some of the most talented professors I've ever had, and grow more as a person in six weeks than I ever thought possible!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Aug 30, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
8

CSA - Center for Study Abroad

Studied in Nice, France thru CSA this past March. Had a wonderful time...great program. CSA registration process was easy, and I received my confirmation documents quickly. Teachers there were very helpful and understanding to all the new students. My host-family was French and very friendly. They fed me well, and I had a nice, private room with my own bathroom. They even took me out to places and showed me around Nice's tourist spots. Simply loved it !
Also, want to say that CSA helped me get my financial aid to help pay for most of the program costs. I hope to study in Spain this summer, and plan to use CSA again to attend a program in Barcelona. CSA does not do everything for you.....but they provide enough support. The staff there in Nice provided me with everything else I needed. Bonjour....Hola.....

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: May 22, 2013
Overall:
7
Support:
5
Value:
10

CSA - Center for Study Abroad

I am a grad student from China. I like CSA study abroad services. Used them to study in Paris. Will use them again to study next summer in Provence, France.

Being from China, I do not understand why American students complain so much about everything. They should come to China....where you are basically ignored if you complain too much.

Example: American tourist buys a purse from a store in Beijing and pays the asking price...with no haggling. A friend of hers buys the same purse from a different store nearby...negotiates... and only pays half-price of what her friend paid. The first person then get's so mad for paying more than her friend.....but fails to understand that it is her own fault for not trying to negotiate over the price. It is the store's objective to get as much as possible for the purse, and it is the customer's "responsibility" to negotiate....or pay more !

Studying abroad to China is a good idea for American's....and European's.....both of which need to "re-learn" free-market capitalism.

CSA offers several good programs in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

Keep in mind.....the USA owes China a lot of money......China is getting richer, and the indebted Western countries are getting poorer.......

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: May 3, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

GeoVisions

I have had a long but great search for my host family, the person that was in charge of placing me was Jodi Standrowicz, she has been a wonderful help and is a great person. I had been accepted by a family but they were horrible at contacting me back and then I came to learn that they were actually still considering families. That made me a little discouraged and sad because there didn't seem to be great communication. Jodi however kept my spirits and hopes high and would always message me back and return my calls, the longest I ever had to wait for a response was probably a day. Jodi is a great person and I would recommend her however, she is switching to sales but she really kept me happy. I didn't have a problem with getting my money back if there wasn't a placement, luckily I did receive a placement. I can't wait to spend three months in France and learn the language that I love.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Apr 12, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

GeoVisions

Before taking the leap and enrolling in a program from this agency, I was nervous. The company is registered with the Better Business Bureau, but you have to lay down $350 right off the bat, and then you have to wait for up to 60 days. Communication was really fast before I submitted my application and deposit, but it did get slower afterward, which made me a bit nervous.

However, right around the 50 day mark, I received an email with the applications and contact info of my host families. They couldn't find a single family who wanted to have an exchange student for 3 whole months in the autumn/winter, but I didn't mind the prospect of two different experiences.
One of my host families was rather bad at communication, but luckily the first family I was going to stay with was great and responded quickly, so I didn't have to be afraid that no one would come to get me at the airport.

The Geovisions fee is expensive (I paid a little over $1500 for my program), but once you get here, you have a free place to stay plus three meals per day, so any way you slice it, it's cheaper than living in even the sleaziest motel back home and eating a peanut butter sandwich for dinner every night. I'm currently located in an absolutely beautiful little town in southern France, so I definitely don't regret paying the program fee. It gets you a place to stay, meals, insurance, and the peace of mind of someone doing a background check on the people you're going to live with, and you have the added security of knowing that if, somehow, the experience is truly awful, someone is going to answer your phone call and help you.

The French coordinator for my stay told me about problems that another girl staying in France was having. She and the host family apparently didn't get along, because the girl didn't know French very well and that annoyed the host mom. However, the girl was quickly transferred to a different family who treated her better.

I was pretty terrified before catching my plane to France two months ago, but everything has worked out more spectacularly than I even dared dream. There weren't very many detailed reviews when I was looking around, so hopefully this one is of some use to you if you're considering Geovisions. My host family has been incredibly sweet. They take me to lots of cities to explore, and I got to help harvest grapes one day and olives another day. This program really has allowed me to have experiences I could never have with a plain old study abroad program through university. And just for reference, the program I chose requires me to teach English to my host family for 15 hours every week. It's really fun; my host family is very enthusiastic about learning.

Program:
Location: France
Posted: Oct 25, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

CSA is a complete and total scam!

I registered to study at La Sorbonne in Paris and found myself in a complete nightmare after being ripped off by CSA.

I ended up paying CSA almost $600 which the website advertised as being a deposit which would be included in the "total cost." They claim that the registration fee is only $35, when in fact they make you pay nearly $600 which must be deposited directly into their bank account. That was the first red flag. No credit card payments are accepted (because all the customers would undoubtedly want their money back after they figure out what happens next).

Later, they sent me an email with the balance due for tuition which was in ADDITION to the $600 I already paid them. When I contested this, they denied the claims on their website and told me that the deposit was non refundable. In addition, they pressured me multiple times to pay the remaining tuition to CSA instead of directly to La Sorbonne, citing their reason as I'd be receiving a 5% discount through CSA if I paid them instead. I declined.

They sent me NO info about registration nor my acceptance letter from La Sorbonne which was necessary for me to obtain my visa. I had to contact the school directly to get these papers. So much for "quick confirmation documents." These "confirmation documents" are generic PDF files emailed to you which contain NO (ZERO!) info about the specific program you are enrollment in.

The nightmare doesn't end there. Wen I finally arrived at La Sorbonne to register for classes, the program director told me that CSa had never sent them any info about my registration. Unbelievable!! Furthermore, she told me that she had received complaints from numerous students about similar scams from CSA and I was one of the luckier ones who was smart enough not to pay the full tuition to CSA. There are apparently students who did so and ended up paying DOUBLE the tuition in the end because CSA pocketed the money and disappeared.

As the other reviewers have claimed, CSA does nit answer phone calls and they also ignore emails once you figure out what's going on and try to call them out on it. Go ahead and google the name of the program director Alima and you will see that she has been involved in many of these scams for nearly 20 years. It's a shame that any human being can rip off students who are not in a position to be scammed for their money this way.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Oct 9, 2012
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Comments

Oh, and should I mention that this genius of a program director used her own first name to post "positive reviews" of this program while posing as a student who used the program. Just brilliant, Alima.
Your complaint simply does not sound credible. It seems you did not register properly and pay the confirmation deposit. CSA is a very legit company.....since 1990. I used them to study in China, and they were very helpful, provided me my confirmation docs, and overall was very convenient and very reasonable cost. CSA saved me from spending much more with another company ! My brother will be using them to go to China next summer 2013 !! Stop complaining, and take some responsibility for not registering properly !! CSA....you Rock !
This complaint is pure bullshit. If CSA did such things....they would be out of business - shut down by now. Not crebible complaint at all. This website will post anything....from anybody ! I used CSA to study in Hamburg, Germany. Very satisfied with CSA services and the program. Some people who file these complaints are just whiners and liars......probably becuase they had a bad time overseas...due to their own inability to adapt to the other culture. American's are the worst travelers worldwide....biggest complainers of all.....that I have ever met while traveling abroad !
Studied in Aix-en-Provence, France. Loved it ! CSA provided everything I needed at low cost. CSA is NOT a scam. The person - Ella - writing above does not know what she is talking about. CSA has been around for over 20 years.....it is a legit company....offering a much better deal for students than most other providers.

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