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IAU College, Aix-en-Provence - Study in the South of France

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Just DO IT!

Honestly, I had done a study abroad program before, and IAU and Aix blew it out of the water. GO HERE. The people of Aix and the IAU administration make this the most unforgettable experience. Can't say enough good things, it went by way to quickly.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

The Perfect Cultural Immersion Study Abroad Experience

It is impossible for me to name just one memorable experience. Every single experience I had through IAU was an incredible one- from our trips to Nice, Le Luberon, and Marseille, to my class field trips to Arles and Avignon, the Thanksgiving celebration dinner they had for us, my classes held in the local cafes, to celebrating the end of the semester by cooking crepes and drinking wine in French class... it was all incredible.

I chose this program because I was looking to learn a new language, starting completely from scratch, and there are very few programs in countries that don't speak English in which beginners can enroll. I did not speak a word of French when I embarked on my journey to France, and I left conversational.

I lived in a home stay with my own room, and my host mother, her son, my roommate, and I all shared a bathroom, which was rarely, if ever, a problem. My host mother cooked dinner for us 6 nights a week, and she had breakfast for us every morning. She always offered to leave some dinner for us to heat up on her nights off that she wasn't required to have anything for us. We bought lunch for ourselves everyday.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    10

The Perfect Cultural Immersion Study Abroad Experience.

IAU was, in my opinion, the ideal study abroad experience. I lived in a home stay that challenged me to live in the least American way possible, my French (beginner, keep in mind) class was entirely French-speaking, and the program itself was fairly small, allowing for intimate classroom settings and for creating actual relationships with professors and administrators. What really struck me was when teachers actually knew my name within the first week of my arrival.

Academics:
The academics were challenging, but the professors made conscious efforts not to give too much "homework" as to allow students the chance to explore Aix as well as experience Europe. I found that a lot of the homework I was assigned was related to immersing myself into the culture and the community.

Living Situation:
Living in a home stay was one of the most important aspects to me when studying abroad. My host mother spoke very little English, and while that was challenging, it allowed me to take myself out of my comfort zone and fully immerse myself into the culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life-changing

The excursions and homestay were really stand-outs for me with IAU. They both illustrate the Institute's commitment to making sure students are fully immersed in the local and nation-wide culture. I also was able to do a bit of traveling and hiking while in France, which I would absolutely recommend if those are interests of yours.

I knew I wanted to be in France, but a large city like Paris was just not my speed. Aix and IAU bot were the perfect balance to me of total cultural immersion with much needed support.

I lived in a small condo with a single French woman and two other American students. As I mentioned previously, it was an incredibly close, supportive and fun environment.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Aix has my heart forever

IAU takes its students on a few different trips in the south of France. All were packed with activities and very informative. I also had the opportunity to attend a conference for study abroad students in Paris. It was amazing to make a presentation based on our cultural experiences and hear the experiences of others. IAU has no end to the opportunities it provides its students. If you want to do something, they will help you achieve it.

This program was recommended by my university. My university had a long standing, successful relationship with IAU. It benefited me in particular because of the French Honors Program.

I lived in a house in the city of Aix. My host mother and father were elderly grandparents who have been hosting students for 30 something years. They spoke no English, which provided for a very rich language experience. I was in an upstairs apartment with 3 other students, two french and another american. There were two more americans on the floor below me with my host parents. My host mother was like a second mother. She was extremely accommodating when I had friends or family visit me. She allowed friends to stay in my room and loved cooking them meals. She gave us a lot of freedom. As long as we communicated with her, she respected that we were in Aix to experience the culture and travel. It would take me about 10 minutes to walk to IAU and I was lucky enough to have friends around the corner. I was always sure to walk with others. While Aix was by no means unsafe, it was necessary to be aware that it was a different culture and you could not act like it was your home town.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best College Experience!

My most memorable experiences were the ones that involved excursions to cities and regions around France.

I chose the French Honors Program with IAU because I wanted a chance to truly immerse myself in the French culture. Aix is the perfect size to discover a city in a few months time and lacks the Americanization that someone could experience in a city like Paris. I also liked that I had the opportunity to live with a host family and experience the day-to-day mode de vie first-hand.

I lived with a French woman, who lived on her own, and another American student, though I had my own room. My host mom was definitely interesting and an amazing cook, so dinner was always the best time of the day.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life-changing

I've said it a thousand times, but studying abroad was one of the most important things I've ever done for myself and I can't imagine doing it differently than Aix. My homestay became a little microcosmic family that will always remain a part of my life. The academics were exactly what they needed to be - challenging and geared towards teaching about the culture surrounding you. There was a strong focus on getting out of the classroom and into the community, which is unbelievable rich with history. The professors and administration clearly enjoy what they're doing and work hard to make sure everyone loves Aix as much as they do. There's a clear cultural and intellectual edge to Aix, with many universities in the compact ville. There is always something to do, yet Aix maintains it's small city charm.

Living Situation:
I made what I see as life-long friends with the girls that were in my homestay with me. We might not speak everyday anymore, but they will always be incredibly special to me because of the experience we shared. Our host-mother was one of the most generous women I've ever met. She went above and beyond what she needed to do to create a little family with us.

Cultural Immersion:
Living in Aix is just that - you are a part of the culture and the community. There are many local French colleges and other study abroad programs nearby so it's incredibly simple to meet other college-aged students of a variety of nationalities.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Aix has my heart forever

It is almost impossible to put into words how valuable my study abroad in Aix-en-Provence was to me. I entered college knowing I wanted to go to Aix with the goal to be fluent when I left. IAU has a french honors program which put me among peers with the same goals, provided me with a french mentor, and provided us with historical and cultural classes. The other classes I took were difficult enough that I learned a lot but not hard enough that it detracted from my ability to travel and spend time in Aix. Aix itself is pedestrian friendly with very few driven streets in its center. While it runs on the expensive side, as it is "Petite Paris", it was not impossible to find cheap food and drink options. The friends I made in this program are still some of my best friends two years later. Unlike some previous reviews, there were safe and effective ways to make french friends. I ended the semester having spent more time among french peers. In fact, one of my french friends drove my friend and me to the airport on our last morning in France.

Health and Safety:
There were very few times I felt unsafe in Aix and in France in general. I was sure to take the precautions IAU taught us during our first day of orientation. They were very straight forward. Don't take drinks from strangers, don't walk alone, don't tell anyone you don't know where you live. As long as you followed these guidelines, you should have no trouble.

Social Life:
Aix was very walkable so the social life was great. Many of the bars and restaurants spoke English so even if you weren't fluent or near fluent it was possible to go out and enjoy yourself.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Best College Experience!

My semester in Aix-en-Provence was the best semester of my college career! My comprehension, accent and speaking abilities improved immensely during my time there. My professors were all incredibly interesting and intelligent who not only helped me improve my French but also my understanding of the French and Provencal culture. I was able to travel all around Provence and France and truly gaining an understanding of that beautiful country!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Excellent experience

IAU did an excellent job at being available to help students with anything they needed - the cultural immersion was more up to the student to implement.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Wonderful

A wonderful experience that I will never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best decision ever!

My study abroad experience was one in a lifetime and definitely the best decision I have made. I encourage everybody to study abroad at one point in their life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Superb!

great cultural experience. Not only were the classes small and great, but the city was a classroom of its own. I really feel like i got in touch with the French culture and I am so happy I decided to do the program. Program admin is really chill and helpful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

IAU Amazing Experience

This is my 2nd time at IAU-great school, great experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Live in it, Love it!

Three weeks go by very fast but I have loved every minute of it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Eye opening experience in Aix en Provence

It has been a life changing and eye opening experience that all Americans should experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Beautiful City! Amazing Experience!

Stayed with a wonderful family in a beautiful city

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Awesome Experience

The French homestay mixed with the small college fell in Aix made this experience awesome!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Fantastic

I learned a lot from both the academics and the homestay.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Amazing program. Great experience

Classes were very engaging and I felt like I was not only studying abroad, but also living abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

GREAT!

only wish! I could stay longer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing experience

Life changing! It was a great learning experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Excellent

An excellent way to learn a language and get to experience another culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great Experience

I'm so glad I chose to come to France! It was awesome and I hope one day I will be able to return.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

GREEEEEAAAAT

It was super awesome