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Semester in Aix en Provence
CISabroad participants CISabroad participants

Semester in Aix en Provence

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    4

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    7

Certainly a memorable semester

Aix en Provence is a great place to study abroad- the college town vibes while close to Marseille is great. You truly get a small town French country feel, while living in the bustling windy streets of Aix. The program itself was okay. There are a few schools and providers you can study abroad with in this college town. The program through CIS entailed going to an American school for study abroad students, which i didn’t really like. I would’ve liked more immersion in the French university system, going to Aix- Marseille. In addition, communication with CIS wasn’t the best pre departure.
I don’t mean to sound off-putting; I highly recommend Aix en Provence- just do a little research before you go to see what options suit you best.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Semester in Aix-en-Provence

Aix was a great city to study abroad in. It was on the medium to small side but really gave the chance for cultural immersion and experience French life. The locals were extremely friendly and the food was amazing.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    4

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    8

Aix review

I felt this program was really good, but I had to search out the honors program to really get into French and that make me a little stressed at times. There were a lot of people that only came to study in France and not French, which I found a little sad.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

Semester in Aix-en-Provence (Spring 2015)

My time in Aix was wonderful. By chance I was placed with a wonderful host family and a great house mate. I was a few miles outside of the city center so I could either take the bus or walk for 45 minutes to school everyday.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Community

    6

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Program Administration

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Academics

    5

Review

This program was a great experience to have. I have learned so much through out my semester abroad. I was disappointed in the school system set up through my program, but it could have been worse. I was ripped off so much money by choosing this program, but it is what it is.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Aix-cellent Adventures in Aix

When I boarded a plane for the first time four months I ago, I would have never guessed I would be who I am today. My study abroad experience has been everything that I never could imagine and so much more.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    7

Semester in Aix-en-Provence with IAU

Everyone says this, but study abroad is a life changing experience. And an experience like that you want to be with people who will make it the best possible. That's what I found here. From the professors and administrators to the other students and my host, these people have helped shape me in a positive way. One of the hardest things for me was balancing exploring other places and exploring the place you're living. Don't forget that even when the place you're staying becomes familiar, it's still exciting.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Semester in Aix

Overall, I have a great experience studying at IAU in Aix en Provence. The professor are all wonderful and the school had a lot of activities and trips planned for students on weekends. The only downside was that the school was often unorganized with these activities, but if you have a "go with the flow" attitude (unlike me) then this won't bother you as much. Also, I would have preferred to live in an apartment as opposed to a home stay, but that is my personal preference. Many of my friends had great home stay experiences, and my host was very kind and considerate, but I would have preferred the independence and privacy of an apartment.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

Laissez Tomber Vos Inhibitions

This program will provide you every opportunity to take what you want from France. If your goal is to simply find a place to study so that you can travel Europe at your leisure on the weekend, you can do just that. If your goal is to obtain certain credit hours but to do so in a beautiful setting far different from the States, you can do just that. And if your goal is to better your French, you can do just that by fully immersing yourself in the experience of a home-stay and the night life of Aix. However, IAU has a very French way (and preferable in my mind) of facilitating this process. They will provide you all the elements and materials you need to make the leap of immersing yourself but it is up to you to make that leap.

My experience was enjoyable for any number of reasons: I made French friends quickly at the bars, my home-stay was by far one of the best cooks I've ever met, I traveled rarely so I felt like a part of Aix culture as opposed to a tourist of Europe. Additionally, the wine tasting courses are superb and unique to anything that other programs would have to offer. I would fully recommend this to anyone who is willing to put forth the effort to buckling down and learning the language. The rewards are immense.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    7

IAU: A = American

All of your classmates will be American (don't get me wrong, I love my new friends from across the US). Don't expect to learn a lot of French without serious effort. As far as the host family situation goes, it’s hit or miss on how helpful your host is. My learning and experience might have been better if I'd lived with an actual family unit, instead of a single lady whose children are grown.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Community

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

An Experience For the Taking

This program is literally what you make it. You can hide behind the protective walls of the primarily English speaking Americans you're studying with or you can go out and immerse yourself in the French culture around you. People always talk how studying in a foreign country helped them immeasurably improve their respective knowledge of that language, but you as the recipient of that story only see the finished result. You don't see the work that went into that process: the journal of vocab words that they might have kept, the frustration from being unable to communicate something fluidly with a native, or even the joy of their first success. This program offers you all the tools to make this leap but it is entirely up to the individual as to whether they take the plunge.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    1

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    7

Aix-perience

Aix-en-Provence is a really pretty city and an awesome location if you like beautiful weather and beaches. However, it is not the ideal spot to go if you want to truly become immersed into the French culture. There are just too many tourists who kill the vibe.

Academics:
Great professors.

Living Situation:
My host family consisted of a son and a mother who fought every day. My host mom was great and nice to me most of the time, but her son simply treated her and I poorly.

Cultural Immersion:
The only part of cultural immersion that I felt was being in the host family. Other than that, everyone spoke English all the time and there were even host families that would speak English to other students. Plus, we attended a college strictly for Americans.

Program Administration:
They didn't always have available books for each class, but they did pretty good job for the most part.

Health and Safety:
Some areas can get creepy at night time, but Aix-en-Provence is generally a safe place.

Social Life:
People are willing to talk to you for the most part and at least ask you what you are doing in France and what you are studying.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    6

Great?

Had a great time and would do it in a heartbeat again!

Program Administration:
Did always have everything together. Often unreliable

Social Life:
Expensive to go out in and lived far from town do it was difficult to go out at night

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

An AIXtraordinary place

Aix will steal your heart and provide you with some of the best memories of your life. Get ready!

Academics:
Studying abroad is unique in that you get to learn outside of the classroom and that is something I was grateful for during my semester in Aix. While the classes I took abroad were no where near as challenging as the ones I take at my home university, they did allow me to learn my self and my passions. What you learn from your classes abroad could never be thought by a textbook.

Living Situation:
The family that I lived with were very accommodating and loving and made me feel welcomed. No surprise there were cultural barriers at times but we were able to work through them and enjoy each other's company.

Cultural Immersion:
I lived the French lifestyle for 4 wonderful months. I truly felt like I was immersed in French culture. The only thing is that French people are culturally very private so it was hard to spark up conversations in French with people.

Program Administration:
At times the administration could be disorganized and it seemed that they had difficulty with communication. There is definitely room for improvement in those aspects. Overall the administration was quite nice.

Health and Safety:
I felt completely safe in Aix. There was never a time were I felt unsafe even at night.

Social Life:
Aix might not be a big city like London or Barcelona but don't underestimate it. There is A LOT to do here and the night life it not bad at all. I promise you will have an amazing time in my lovely Aix.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Aix-en-Provence Spring 2014

Aix was a beautiful place to study abroad and highly recommend it to anyone to visit! I learned a lot and got to visit many cities in Europe.

My suggestion for anyone planning to study here is to apply at the Aix-Marseille University, which is an actual university than thousands of french students apply to. I was unknowingly sent to IAU which is an American institute with a terrible administration and a serious lack of communication.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    2

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    3

  • Community

    8

Improvement

The opportunity was priceless as well as the lessons I learned and the friends I made. The trip I will always remember. The home stay was not ideal and students such be fully aware of the situation the hostesses are in before moving. Other than the home stay, the trip was very nice and I had a lot of fun.

Academics:
Courses aren't as intensive as my home university and much of it was review rather than new information.

Living Situation:
The apartment I stayed in was impoverished and the hostess had a living situation that was not ideal for a student. The day to day routine was hectic to say the least and I wouldn't want other students to go through what I went through.

Health and Safety:
I heard gun shots numerous nights and cars on the block perpendicular to mine with broken windows regularly. Also, one night I heard a car bombing or something similar to that to which I discussed with my hostess mother.

Social Life:
I

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

A stay in a beautiful town and amazing school with a variety of opportunities to engage in the culture

Aix en Provence is a small, beautiful town/city that is easy to navigate and you will quickly feel at home here. There is also a lively night scene which I wasn't expecting. Take advantage. The IAU staff is also excellent and I will dearly miss the connections I made with them and the intimacy I felt while studying amongst them.

Academics:
The professors that I had were amazing. They engaged the students and made them feel comfortable, providing challenging and thought provoking coursework without giving too much homework outside of class. This allowed for both optimum learning and time for exploring and enjoying our surrounding community.

Living Situation:
My host family provided all that they were required to, but didn't seem genuinely interested in hosting myself or my housemate. They didn't attempt to connect with us and remained distant and formal throughout our stay.

Cultural Immersion:
The school provided opportunities to meet other French students but they weren't organized in appealing ways that made everyone feel comfortable. All interactions remained pretty surface level. However many of my professors were French and they were great outlets into French culture.

Program Administration:
excellent excellent excellent

Health and Safety:
I never felt in danger, ever

Social Life:
I made what I'm sure will be lifelong friends

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

An AIX-ceptional semester in Southern France

My semester in Aix-en-Provence has been one of my best experiences in college and life. I met incredible people and had many new encounters. The culture was amazing- delicious food and wine and a very relaxed/laid-back feel. My only complaint was that the academics while easy in the workload were graded somewhat difficultly considering most of us were taking general ed credits outside of our majors. This stress made it harder to really immerse ourselves in the culture and truly experience the lifestyle. I would go back in a heartbeat though, and would urge anyone remotely interested to study in Aix!

Academics:
I was able to take courses in all different subjects and get each course to count as credit at my home school. However some of the classes were pretty boring. My wine studies class was my favorite and was actually a lot of work.

Living Situation:
I had an amazing host mom who took great care of us. My room was comfortable and my roommate and I had our own bathroom.

Cultural Immersion:
I did not feel that CIS did anything to help immerse us in the French culture. There were some activities with the university, but none specifically through CIS.

Program Administration:
There was no tech support of any sort at my school which was a bit unprofessional. There were also some rude and uncaring employees.

Health and Safety:
I never felt unsafe in Aix.

Social Life:
My only complaint a homestay was that we weren't able to have friends over like we would when at school in the U.S. This made it so in order to spend time with friends you had to go out, which we weren't always interested in doing. It would have been nice to have a student lounge open on nights and weekends at the school so that students could hang out there if they didn't want to go out drinking or spend money at a cafe.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

Aix Marks the Spot

I never anticipated leaving Ohio for three and a half months and spending the best period of my life in Aix en Provence, France. My experience abroad was truly the most rewarding experience of my life. I met the most inspiring dynamic group of people that opened my eyes to so much in the world. I participated in a culture that I hated at times, but grew to love and be fond of. There is nothing I recommend more than studying abroad, especially in a city like Aix en Provence. The size of the city was perfect. Everything was within a 15-45 minute walking distance. Food was fresh, all the time. Most people I encountered were nice and inviting and were willing to help you if you were lost or confused. There were so many things to do, even with the small size of the city. The city was very safe as well. Although I was overly cautious at times, I primarily felt safe in Aix. It was a beautiful city, with wonderful history, culture, art, and style. The fashion sense in Aix is definitely a huge part of the culture since the city is mainly wealthy/upper class; however that isn't to say that someone can't live there who isn't primarily into fashion. Aix is an expensive city, but you can live and enjoy yourself there on a reasonable dollar. Overall, studying abroad in Aix en Provence, France was probably the best decision I've made in my life thus far. I created so many amazing memories with so many incredible people and now have a second home and best friends all over the world.

Academics:
I found the academics to be rewarding. I had one of the best professors of my entire academic career while abroad and I learned an immense amount from her class. At times professors were unorganized and unprofessional, but overall I enjoyed the courses I took and the professors as well. It was wonderful being able to learn material that pertained the city I was living in.

Living Situation:
My living situation turned out wonderfully. It started off very rough as a result of a lack of communication by certain individuals not giving imperative information to my original host mother, but it was taken care of in an orderly fashion and I was moved into my new place within a week. I loved my host parents and loved having my own space as well. Due to the fact that I was living in a studio apartment attached to my host parents house I didn't exactly have as much time to speak French with them as I liked, but it was nice having my own space and being able to cook and live on my own.

Cultural Immersion:
Cultural immersion was difficult for me at the start. French culture was not at all what I anticipated. Granted I purposefully didn't go into the experience with expectations, but discovered while in France that I often times strongly disagreed with the culture. I had trouble at first dealing with the cultural differences, but grew to work with them rather than against them.

Program Administration:
I found almost all members of staff to be nice and accommodating. Certain individuals were unorganized and dealt with situations in a manner that was unprofessional, but overall the collective was kind and respectful.

Health and Safety:
Aix is an incredibly safe city. And the program staff made me feel safe as well. Although I was overly cautious and anxious at times my own safety due to the fact that I lived a 30 minute walk from the center of town and didn't want to walk every night into the city alone, past dark parks, etc, I felt safe walking with a friend, or taking a cab.

Social Life:
I had a wonderful social life while in France, but that was all thanks to the students in my program. I know it definitely would have been more difficult had I not gone and met such an incredible group of people. I didn't meet as many French students until halfway through my program and near the end, but those that I did meet were very sweet. It's hard to live in Aix though, and not have some sort of social life. Whether going to the cinema, or galleries, or out to bars there is something to do for everyone.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    2

  • Cultural Immersion

    3

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

Average

My study abroad experience was wonderful but it definitely could have been better. The home stays are all in it for the money from what I experienced. It's a bit awkward and definitely doesn't feel like home. I was fed bread and rice for every meal. Your French will improve as much as you want it to... The key here is to put yourself out there and search for opportunities to grow as a French speaker. Aix is a wonderful city though and I couldn't imagine a better city in France to study abroad in.

Academics:
The academic course load was not challenging. I wish that our final week abroad wasn't consumed by final exams. I had a final less than 24 hours before my flight home. I wish I would have been able to enjoy my last week in France without finals.

Living Situation:
My first home stay was an absolute mess, but after the situation was fixed my experience went a lot better. I think the program should be careful people who only house students for the money. It's an uncomfortable situation and I wish I was able to live on my own, rather than with a host family. That option should be available without being forced to find your own living situation.

Cultural Immersion:
There could have been more cultural immersion within the program, especially within the first few weeks.

Program Administration:
The staff were all very friendly!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

An Aix-perience

I really enjoyed my time in France. The CIS team was very helpful and I got the most of my experience.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Studying Abroad is NEVER a bad decision

I definitely learned a lot that I wouldn't have learned if I had stayed at my home university, and I've definitely changed and grown as a person.

Academics:
It was reasonable

Living Situation:
The woman was a great cook, nice person, and open to meeting new people. We had our differences of course, but I think that's part of the experience.

Cultural Immersion:
Since it was an American University, meeting French people was hard.

Program Administration:
They could be a little unorganized, but at the same time they're genuinely committed to what they do.

Health and Safety:
Since Aix is the second most expensive place to live in France, I think that made to crime rate sort of low

Social Life:
Aix is a fantastic little city for students.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

Incredible experience in an amazing city.

I could not have imagined a better experience. All the people were as nice as could be, and the city was amazing. Without a doubt best decision I have ever made in regards to my academics.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    6

Good location, good people. (for the most part)

First off, teachers. The teachers for the most part are pretty good, my arch prof was fantastic and frankly, quite hilarious. All of my profs seemed to know their stuff, though my art prof was a little, how shall we say, free spirited with class and time organization. My housemate was a little frustrated with the econ and business department. The French teachers are great, they know they’re teaching non-French majors and the really want the students to learn French and French culture. They were always willing to answer any questions France. The building that the program mainly uses is an old one, but they’re moving to a new address in the Fall, so next year’s students won’t get the tiny cramped library (with books that are older than my grandparents) and the bathroom stalls with doors that hit your knees. Everyone in the program was located no more than thirty minutes away from the program, so a fair bit of walking was done. I can’t think of much else. Overall the program wasn’t bad.

Academics:
The courses were not particularly mentally challenging aside from the fact that some of them were in French.

Living Situation:
I had an awesome host family who were very welcoming, but I did know of students who had bad host experiences and had to change host families once or even twice.

Cultural Immersion:
Looking back I wished that I had not chosen to live with an American house mate as I feel it would have forced me to immerse myself even more in the language. But I realized that one of the mail goals of the program in this town is to provide a program abroad for students who have no experience in French

Program Administration:
CIS was very helpful in getting me all set up, and then staff in France were generally very helpful, especially the teachers.

Health and Safety:
I only had one or two mildly scary experiences. If you're smart, you'll be fine.

Social Life:
I heard it was okay, I'm not the kind of person to go out drinking till two am though. It's expensive though.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

Aix-en-Vacances

Best life decision I've made thus far. Aix is so incredibly charming. The people, the food, the atmosphere -- all wonderful. You'll discover something new this city everyday. Study in Aix, stay with a host family, explore the world ... you won't regret it.

Health and Safety:
Always felt very safe. Just make smart decisions and you'll be fine!

Social Life:
There's something going on every night of the week in the centre-ville. Hint: Tuesday is Ladies' Night at Manoir ... free (cheap) champagne!