France

CSA is a low cost program provider. Great value. Provides you with your confirmation documents quickly. Offers much flexibility, and gives you more control over your program, housing, travel, and payment. If you are looking to study abroad at a much lower cost, and like being independent, then CSA can save you much time and money. Highly recommended for those students who are more independent minded.....and looking to study abroad at a much lower cost.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Oct 3, 2012
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Global Learning Semesters

I studied in Paris for the summer. This is an experince that I will truly never forget. When I first arrived to Paris I knew I was going to fall in love with the city which I ended up doing by the end of the program. I met some of the most amazing people and they provided me with memories that I will truly never forget. I still keep in contact with many of them, we traveled to other countires together. Global Learning semesters made sure we were safe while we were in Paris at all times but stil provided us with a vast amount of indpendence. The American Business school were always very helpful in making sure we had a great academic experince while we were in paris. I will be back in Paris as soon as possible!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Sep 10, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

GeoVisions

I participated in the GeoVisions Conversation Corps in France in winter 2012. This program offered me a way to spend an extended period of time in France at a very reasonable price. The cost was a definite advantage for me, and was much less than I would have paid for staying in hotels or hostels and eating out. As a teacher of English, the program also offered me the opportunity to teach English in a home setting, which was a new experience for me. Another advantage was that by living with local families, I felt involved in French culture every day. The primary disadvantage that I experienced was that I applied to the program in December, just as people in France were going away for their winter vacations. So my placement took a long time, and it was hard for me to plan my trip. In addition, I applied for a two-month placement, but was given one two-week placement and one for five weeks. So I didn't have the continuity that I was anticipating. But the staff at GeoVisions were helpful throughout the placement process, and their payment policies are clearly stated and very reasonable.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: France
Posted: May 3, 2012
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
10

CSA - Center for Study Abroad

I signed up with Center For Study Abroad (CSA) for the Paris Sorbonne program. Like most reviewers said.. they (actually it's probably just one person) take your money and send it to the university...pretty much what you can do yourself.

No support on the trip, no housing, nothing. This is COMPLETELY independent and you have to arrange EVERYTHING. All he/she does is sends your application to the university.

All communication is done via email and if you try to call, you get a voicemail message saying to leave an email.

Their confirmation documents are simply forwarded to you at the last minute and nothing is personalized.

I highly do not recommend this 'program'. If you are looking for a good alternative, I'd recommend just contacting the university yourself and applying. If you're looking for a more organized program, this is not it.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Jan 6, 2012
Overall:
2
Support:
1
Value:
3

Comments

I also enrolled with CSA.....and I received very good service for the price. I received my confirmation documents in a timely manner.....and it was very convenient to pay CSA the balance. CSA provided me with useful information that assisted me to study abroad in France for much less than going with other program providers. Overall, CSA saved me a lot of time.....and made the process of enrollment very easy. You get what you pay for. I have no complaints. CSA is doing a useful job in providing a useful service.
CSA saved me much time and money ! I received my confirmation documents quickly, and I attended a very good University program in Paris. Highly recommended for the independent oriented student ! Thank you - CSA !
CSA is a good company that saves you time and money. Confirmation docs are sent quickly and include useful information. CSA will also do your Consortium Agreement for financial aid. I studied in China with CSA. Had a great time.
Studied in Aix-en-Provence, France. CSA provided me with everything I needed. Was a wonderful experience. I hope to return to Provence next year, and I will use CSA again. CSA is a great value, provides your docs quickly, assists with your financial aid, helps with housing, offers a lot of flexibility, and overall very convenient.

Intrax Study Abroad and AYUSA Study Abroad

I was supposed to be there for a year. I ended up leaving towards the end of the first semester. It started off very well, I had a great time at the orientation in Paris, and met some fun people who were living near me. Then we got shipped off to our host families. Mine was a husband, wife, and four sons, three of whom lived in the house. The first week or so was wonderful and I was very excited. Then, however, school started and we realized that Intrax had NOT bothered to enroll me in school. So I arrived, a junior in high school, and was placed into the senior year of the lycee, while being only proficient in the spoken language, because both the sophomore and junior classes were full. Needless to say, my grades suffered a lot, and I found classes boring because they were so far beyond my level.

Things also started to deteriorate with my host family, as they had very different ideas of how I should spend my time. They did not like me going out or seeing friends beyond one time a week. Otherwise, I was expected to be home and in the living room (not in my own room) with the family directly after school ended and on weekends. My laptop was to be left downstairs at night so I wouldn't use it, which often meant I could not Skype with my friends back home. Finally, a couple weeks after I arrived, the host parents stopped talking to each other. Completely. Turns out, they were considering a divorce, and had hoped that the inclusion of a 'daughter', which was something they had always wanted, would repair their marriage. Needless to say, that was a terribly high bar to place on me, and did not work out.

My local coordinator was only seen once in the four months I was there. She surprised us with a visit early one Sunday morning, talked down to both my host family and I about the importance of communication, then promptly left, all in under fifteen minutes. She was very unhelpful when I contacted her about a potential move to a different host family, and eventually offered me a host family across the country, which is when I decided to just return home early. I left three boxes to send home to the US with my host parents, as well as money to ship them, but when they arrived, certain things, like some of my Christmas presents and the journal I kept were missing. Of the 13 people who went to orientation with me, 11 switched host families and 3 beyond myself returned within the first semester, 2 in the second. I have not kept in touch with my host family, nor the company, but I know one of the kids who went home early was planning to pursue legal action against Intrax due to his experience (which was admittedly much worse than mine).

Please take this into account before you choose Intrax. Every word in this review is true. There are much better programs out there, and the support of your host family and your local coordinator is indispensable. I am currently interning in Paris, and I know I absolutely could NOT do without my current host family, who is very supportive, and my network of coordinators.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Nov 16, 2011
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

API - Academic Programs International

Personally, I had a brillant time and my only regret is that I didn't go for the year (just a semester). API was with me every step of the way and answered all of my questions within hours.

Predeparture: They provided me with more than enough pre-departure material (including language tips, culture tips etc). They provided a guidebook that took me through each step of the way in addition to online resources/packets that you could print out.

Arrival: They picked us up at the airport and we were shuttled to the city where we spent the first week getting "oriented". Each day of "orientation" you cover a different topic (safety, culture, etc.). We were also provided a small, bound packet that had tips for living abroad, words for necessary items, suggestions for dinning, and everything else you could imagine. The staff was unbelievably helpful (esp. the assistant director who is an American who had lived in France for almost ten years) and often had small "treats" in the office (candy canes, chocolates etc.). The asst. director would also send weekly emails with things going on in the city.

During the Stay: We had several excursions throughout the semester (including two overnights) where you could either be in a French language group (tours of city, sites etc. in French) or an English language group. They had many resources available in their office to help you with travel. You have your choice of an apt (studio), host family, or dorm-style. All of the accomodations were hand picked and due to the number of years they've operated in Paris, they have their own list of families that they trust and use. I never heard a negative comment about living with a host family (which most of my friends did) (I lived at the Fondation des Etats-Unis). You have your choice of four programs (choosen at the application process) which essentially breaks down to four different school, so even though you may attend Institut Catholique de Paris (as I did), you also go on bigger excursions with the rest of the program participants (Sorbonne, Diderot, Universite de Paris IV etc). I picked my program because it was partly in English and partly in French. BEST PART of the program is that actual French professors are teaching you, not people the program hires; you are in classes with the French/Internationals.

The only negative comment I can possibly come up with is the French director is slightly less sympathic of culture shock (because she's French and livng in France--hard to relate). Overall though, she means well.

Departure: Besides the Farewell dinner, you're on your own, but by that time, you know the city well enough to manage to get to the airport. You're given an exit interview and they ask you to review their program (the review was the most frustrating part because it kept timing out).

I had such an amazing time I encourage my little sister to study abroad with the same company (she studied in Rome and had a similarly great experience).

Go abroad for the right reasons and you won't look back or question your decision for a second.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Aug 29, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

GeoVisions

I just returned from 2 months in France. I signed up last January and was placed the 2nd week in March. I spent the end of April through last week (late June) in Bordeaux, France with the most amazing host family you could ever ask for.

I attended 2 family weddings and 2 huge family birthday celebrations and really saw how the French celebrate and enjoy family. I was just part of the family and everyone treated me with so much respect.

I tutored some weeks only about 10 hours and maybe 2 weeks I went over my 15 but I thought it evened out. I had help from the ESL Lounge and GeoVisions has a Help Me Teach person named Betsy who sent me suggestions when I was stuck and gave me real-life ideas to use.

I have seen a couple of negative reviews here. You can believe what you want. But if you ask me, those people are simply spoiled. I had to wait. And I had to reach out to people in the office. I had the feeling they are very busy. And I thought my fee was perfect. I actually thought the airfare was too high. Where else could I go and live for 60-days, have a private bedroom, 3 meals a day and take in as much of the culture as I did for $1500? I was by far the best money I've spent since graduating.

I'm disappointed no one has called me to ask about my program and I hope they fix that. But the response before I went was good, the value was right on.

But where it mattered most, my host family, my life has changed forever. And I think I touched them as well.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Jun 19, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

CSA - Center for Study Abroad

I didn't know much about these guys when I went with them other than the connection they had with my school. They laid all the information our pretty clearly so I didn't have any surprises and made sure that I organized everything for my trip. There was quite a bit of "do it yourself" with the arrangements which i initially thought unusual but later found out that it saves a LOT of money. I caught up with several peers who told me what they paid for their trip and it was a huge difference.

All in all everything went very well and I actually appreciated the flexibility in the end as I was able to change my accommodations when i wanted. Nice website, easy registration and payments all online and great programs made my experience one that i will not forget.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Apr 12, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
10

AbroadCo

My apartment was not within walking distance of the school as I was told it would be. I did not receive my housing assignment until a few days before I left for the program. The Summer students overlapped with the Spring students so the Summer students were placed in an awful hotel that felt unsafe. Tawna the resident director told us that if we were lost at night when the metro closed we should wait until the metro reopened at 5 am. She seemed very bothered by her job. There are plenty of other study abroad programs for a similar price with much better staff, activities, and that are much more organized. I would not recommend the program to anyone.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Jul 27, 2010
Overall:
5
Support:
3
Value:
4

GeoVisions

I joined the Conversation Corps at GeoVisions and volunteered to tutor a family conversational English in Lille, France. Lille is a beautiful city just less than an hour from Paris. I loved it there.
I liked the Geovisions staff before I signed up. They made me feel comfortable with my decision. The person I had the most dealings with before I signed up was named Chris.
Once I signed up, Marybeth contacted me and gave me all the information I needed to complete my host family packet. They request a copy of my passport, a dear family letter, photographs and a background check. I waited about two months before I got my placement.
I will tell you there is no formal orientation for this program. You arrive and make your way to the train station closest to your family. They pick you up and a few days later you can meet staff if you like and get an orientation.
My family was wonderful and they took me on little weekends out and I was able to meet the extended family too for birthday celebrations and the like.
I highly recommend Conversation Corps and I would recommend GeoVisions and have to most of my friends.
If I were going to report any downsides it would be they do take time to make a placement or a "match" as they call it. And during that time it can seem like forever. But my "match" was perfect and I was able to travel with other tutors in the same area and they were all having a great time.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Jul 21, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Comments

We are thrilled you had a great program and a wonderful host family. Thank you for coming here to share your positive comments.
Did you speak alot of French before you left? I am interested in this program but I'm not sure my highschool French is enough.

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