Unnati Patel - 2012 Program Participant

Unnati and her classmates visiting a boulangerie in Paris.
Unnati and her classmates visiting a boulangerie in Paris.

What was the main reason you decided on ISA over other study abroad programs?

I chose ISA because the other programs that my school recommended charged an additional homestay expense (approximately $2000). With ISA there was no added cost, and I felt that I wanted to go the homestay route because it was the best way to improve my French and experience the local culture.

What words of advice do you have for students at your former school about studying abroad? 

I would strongly recommend that they study abroad. During my time at Stockton, students were able to take 21 credits per semester. If students are concerned about graduating late, they are always able to take an extra class to catch up. Quite a few people have told me post-grad that their biggest regret was not studying abroad when they had the chance. Don't be one of those people!

Why did you choose Paris out of all the locations in France?

I wanted a place that felt authentically French but still offered many of the conveniences of being in a major metropolitan area. Paris was the most fitting choice, and as I was not the most fluent in French upon my arrival, it was very helpful that the local Parisians spoke some English. Also, public transportation is excellent and I got to experience the many neighborhoods of the city with my monthly transit pass.

What was your favorite class in Paris?

My favorite class was my French language course. The class was small, and the professor really cared about us learning the language properly. I got to know my classmates really well (we had students from Ukraine, Zimbabwe, and Germany) and I credit the professor for my transformation from a non-speaker to a conversational French speaker!

What is your final impression of studying abroad?

Studying abroad has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It taught me a lot about myself - navigating a foreign country for four months will do that - and I forged lifelong friendships in the process.