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My college daughter wants to study aboard in Paris. Any ideas?


My college daughter wants to study aboard in Paris. Any ideas?

Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:49 AM
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> My college daughter wants to study aboard in Paris. Any ideas?...Has anybody done this?<

I guess a lot depends on the sort of board she wants to study.

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Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:51 AM
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Hi DD,

Your daughter might want to ask the question at the Thorntreen Forum of www.lonelyplanet.com.

More people her age.

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Old May 3rd, 2007, 06:04 AM
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I did not have the opportunity to study abroad in college, but a friend of mine spent a semester in Florence through his university. They set him up with a local family. It was an amazing experience for him and 25 years later, they are all still extremely close. He visits them a couple of times a year, they come here, they talk on the phone often. It's a beautiful, life-long friendship. What a wonderful thing if your daughter could experience that.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 06:42 AM
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I can't speak specifically about studying in France but here is a vote for your daughter to do it! I did a semester abroad (through my university) in Copenhagen two years ago and it was the best experience of my life! I am the biggest advocate for studying abroad and I recommend it to everyone I know currently in college. Your daughter should go talk to the Study Abroad Office and ask them what her options are - at my university I had to submit a list of all the courses (complete with course descriptions) that I intended to take and then they approved them before I left. It may be a pain to arrange everything (it took me several months to get everything in place) but its SOOO worth it!
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:28 AM
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I did this in the Netherlands and it was the single most amazing experience of my life. Although there were no specific dorms, there was a huge student residence owned by a private company where all the exchange students stayed, and i couldn't begin to describe how great this experience was. I loved every single minute, and have a million stories to tell, though i won't as you probably won't want to know some of the things i got up to!!

I have made some lifelong friends through this experience, not to mention how much more focused i became after this.
Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:42 AM
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My advice is to avoid programs where you take classes with other Americans. Be sure she's in a program where she takes regular college classes with regular French college students. It may be hard at first (due to language especially) but it's the best way to learn the culture and language.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Just for another perspective on the study abroad thing...

My daughter is in Ireland this semester doing an internship that counts as a semester of school for her. She goes to a non-traditional college; no grades, no tests. Students work with advisors but bear much of the responsibility for setting their own course of study. As with most schools these days, they're big on students doing a semester abroad. So they do have an international studies department. But her advisors felt that, in her field of study, it would be more beneficial for her to do an internship than to take classes.

The school has no existing program in Ireland but wants to set one up. So, basically, they told her they would help in whatever way they could. They were wonderful in terms of dealing with the financial aspects; tuition, loans, etc. And they did put her in contact with a woman in Ireland who works with students to find internships, housing, etc. But she had to do a lot of work herself and is expected to share with the school in order to help them set up a program.

It was quite an ordeal! As many on this board know, we hit a lot of snags along the way. But it has turned out to be a wonderful experience for her! Not only is she getting valuable experience in her field of study, she is truly experiencing life in Ireland in a way that tourists or someone living on a campus doesn't. And, of course, there's the whole sense of accomplishment, development of "survival skills", life lessons type of thing that she's gained from this. I'm so grateful that she's had this opportunity.

I realize you're looking for France and a different kind of experience. As I said, just offering another perspective.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:44 PM
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As previous posters stated, she should start with the study abroad center at the University she is currently attending. Our son, a college soph., is going to Vienna for the fall semester of 2007. Be sure to allow time for all the paperwork to be completed. His initial paperwork had to be in months ago for this coming fall. He is now in the process of arranging his housing and applying for a visa. Good Luck!
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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sorry to hi-jack this thread, but....

My DD wants to spend a semester of high school in Paris. Any advice on how to go about that? Or anyone else have a personal experience that are willing to share?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:50 AM
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Both of my college aged kids studied abroad the last few years using independent(not affliated with their colleges) and it worked out great. My son studied in Torino Italy the first semester then transferred to Prague,Czech Republic for his second. Daughter studied in Sicily last year and loved it.
I found the study abroad programs on the internet and researched everything from credentials of schools to courses offered. The most important thing when choosing and "off campus abroad" program is to make sure that your college will accept the courses that they will be taking. This usually involves getting an individual course outline complete with books used,etc. and then asking the various departments at your school to okay in writing the acceptance before leaving.
Personally, both of my kids loved living in apartments within the cities that they were at. My daughter especially fell in love with her 80 year old "breadman",her fruit guy,etc. that she went to everyday at the local market.She survived without central heating in the damp colds of January and learned fabulous cooking skills while in Sicily.
My son lived in an apartment in Torino and then in an international dorm in Prague which I think was very helpful as the language is difficult to pick up.Both experiences changed his life in regard to his wanting to permanently live overseas which he is now trying to pursue.
I would also compare and contrast similar programs as sometimes they are the same thing but have a few extra trips added that might not warrant spending another 3 thousand dollars-found this out with daughter's exchange.
The one thing that I would stress is to start getting organized in regard to her visa,etc.I need a French visa for work and it is always a hassle trying to get it in one day when I have to renew it..
I am hoping that she is going in the spring as fall is closing in shortly for all the arrangements to be made. Good luck!
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Old May 5th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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I'm actually in Paris now and one of the main reasons for the trip was to visit with my niece, who's studying at the Sorbonne for the semester. She has taken french since high school and seems to have always wanted to study/live here. Her program includes one week hotel stay in the beginning and during that time, she met many other students and was able to rent an apartment with 3 of them. It has worked out relatively well, but she has also made other American and French friends. Her fellow students have a variety of living arrangements, including several who live with host families. Her french seems excellent to me but she says it definitely has been a challenge to follow all the nuances of classes. Nonetheless, her school has only pass/fail grades so it's of no concern. She's had a wonderful time and has been able to see/experience so much of Europe (including several trips outside Paris, and to Italy). She's also found that it has been much more expensive than she anticipated. Finally, if your daughter is going for the spring semester, she should be prepared for much time off! Not a bad thing, but their spring vacation was much of April.
Good luck!
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Old May 5th, 2007, 03:39 PM
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Is your niece taking the Cours de Civilization course for foreign students at the Sorbonne?(that is what my daughter will be taking this fall). If so, how does she like it? Are the classes in French? Also how far from school is her apt?
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Old May 5th, 2007, 05:07 PM
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Like "kwren" who posted on 5/2/07 I studied abroad for 2 years 30 years ago in Madrid at the Complutense. I didn't go through a university program and found my own lodging (age 19 at the time and went alone). Marshall University, where I attended, accepted the transferred credits. I highly recommend studying abroad for your daughter. I'm in the process of letting my children travel and study abroad also. So far they've traveled to China, Mexico, Spain, Italy. My daughter had one 'home stay" experience in Mexico and will doing another one in Italy this summer (She's 18). Good luck to your daughter!
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Old May 6th, 2007, 12:36 AM
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Hi Intex et al,

I took that Cours de Civilisation at the Sorbonne many years ago. My recollection is sometimes faulty but I hope this can be of use.

The whole course seems to be divided into three parts: the lectures, the grammar classes and the phonics or how to speak French with the right accent. When you register, you’ll be administered a short assessment to determine your knowledge of the French language. Don’t worry about this.

The lectures were mostly held in the mornings. There were different history classes (modern, medieval, etc), literature (again, modern, renaissance, middle ages, etc), philosophy and art and architecture classes. You get to pick two or three and you’d have to promise yourself to attend and take down notes because, at the end of the session, you’ll have to take a written essay-type test for which you’ll receive the course grade. Attendance is not checked and there’ll be 50 kids with you in the hall. The different lecture halls were spread all over the Latin Quarter (walking distance, too, from each other) so the timing of your chosen subjects is important.
Re. the grammar classes. They were held daily, if I remember correctly. I opted to schedule them in the afternoon. That way, I was able to attend most of the lecture series in the morning, even for those I didn’t intend to take the final tests on. Sorbonne has its own textbooks for the grammar lessons. But I recommend you buy two dictionaries (English/French obviously and a French one) and a thesaurus at FNAC. The “prof” took attendance, assigned daily homework and gave tests regularly. The “dictee” was especially stressed.

You’ll be grouped according to your French grammar experience/level so don’t worry about appearing to be the weakest student in the class. Class size was pretty small back then and I got classmates from all over, like China, Germany and Greece so it was fun to see how different students buckle down and work.

I had my phonic lessons schedule at night. I think there were only two sessions weekly and I had mine somewhere in the Cite Universitaire. This is where you get to meet fellow Americans because, well, we all have the same pronunciation quirks and problems. Afterwards, it will be fun to go out and grab a drink together.

I stayed in our apartment so I can’t say anything about the dorms.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 01:08 AM
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"When you register, you’ll be administered a short assessment to determine your knowledge of the French language. Don’t worry about this."

However, if your daughter opts to try for the accelerated course offered before the semester program, you do need to worry about it. I decided to take that course first--the placement test is much longer and much harder. Afterwards, they herd everyone into an auditoreum and call out your name to match you up with your teacher. If at the end, your name hasn't been called out, tant pis. You didn't pass and they have no further interest in you. About half the people who took the exam when I did failed to make the cut. At the time I took the prelim course, you needed to be at least high intermediate level to get in.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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She's not in that specific program. The program she's in had her select her classes and I think she's taking primarily literature and history classes (her area of interest). The classes are all taught in French and that has been challenging. Also, there are a lot of differences between the US and French educational system but they're manageable. Overall, you're not really going there for the education alone, I would think, but for the experience and education. Her classes are in different buildings in the Sorbonne and are a bus ride away. Very manageable for her.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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To the person who asked about high school. I studied for 3 months after my junior year through a program at the U of Louisville in Montpellier, France. We also got to travel to several other countries. I got enough credits, combined with a few college correspondance courses, to graduate a year early. It was an awesome summer and the experience changed me forever.
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