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APA Paris: Advanced Program
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APA Paris: Advanced Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Wonderful study abroad experience

I really enjoyed my study abroad experience with APA. Claire, Sophie, and Blandine who ran the program were very approachable and helpful. Their goal was to make sure students succeed academically and had a great time in Paris. There were only ten students in the program which made the experience very personal. It was just what I needed to improve my French. Each week, we went to some sort of show which was wonderful. There were also visits to nearby towns and attractions. I really appreciated these outings because I most likely wouldn't have done these things on my own. The two classes that they offered were very interesting and included weekend study tours to other countries. They were taught by dedicated professors who enjoyed working with international students. APA did a fabulous job matching each student with a host family. I am very happy that I chose to attend APA's program because they made Paris feel like home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Amazing and immersive experience!

APA Paris was the best program I could've asked for for what I wanted. Coming from a small liberal arts college, I really appreciated that the program was small (only 10 students in my cohort) and that the small but extremely dedicated, approachable, and available staff really cared about each of our individual needs and voices. I became really close to the program staff in Paris and had lots of fun with them on the weekly outings that they organized for us! Each week, we saw a different artistic performance, whether it be a circus, dance, cabaret, musical, play, or other work! It truly allowed me to get to know a side of Paris that I would have never seen unless it was organized for me! The French university system is also radically different from my experience in the U.S., but luckily the staff spent three weeks with us at the beginning of the semester teaching us about the university system through an orientation program. That support continued throughout the semester through tutoring sessions to learn the methodology of our course work or meetings with professors. The two in-house courses were also absolutely incredible and allowed us to get to know French professors while still having a small, intimate class where discussion was highly encouraged. We also got to go on a study-tour to a different country for each of the in-house classes! Those trips were weekend-long trips organized by the program that helped expand what were were learning in the classroom. The host family I was set up with was super caring as well. APA Staff are very particular in their process of matching a student to a host family so that the best match is possible. I lived in a great area with a mother and her daughter and had dinner with them 5x a week. APA did a great job at helping us really get to know Paris and become immersed in the Parisian lifestyle. Through APA, I was able to meet several French students who would meet up with us regular to go out to cafes or concerts. Especially because it can sometimes be hard to meet French students at your university, it was nice that APA set up programs for us to meet French students that we could befriend. I am very thankful to APA for a great experience that not only helped me improve my French language abilities, but also allowed me to fall in love with the City of Light.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Best program!

APA was the study abroad experience I had always dreamed about. Especially if you are interested in improving your french, this is the best way to go. APA offers a true immersion experience that other programs don't. Additionally, the cultural program gave us tickets each week for a show, whether it be dance, opera, or a "cirque." As Claire (awesome woman!!) the director put it, in a city of culture such as Paris, it is invaluable to be able to experience the variety and talent that the city offers. The ladies on the staff are AMAZING! It was like I had a whole team working to make my personal experience great, very personal attention. They do so much for us it is crazy, I even felt bad sometimes for all the incredible things they did for us to make our lives easier. So awesome! They specially select the host families and get to know you before you move-in to make sure that it will be a great match. I was lucky enough to get the greatest host-mother of all time who I love so much!!! Bottom line is I thank my lucky stars I chose APA, I would do it again in an instant, and if I went back in time I would do this program over any other even if I had to fight for it!!! Amazing 10/10 experience and program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Impactful study abroad experience w/ APA Paris spring 2011 semester

My experience with Academic Programs Abroad made my study abroad in Paris incredible. Each of us received personalized, thoughtful treatment as an intimate group of students studying in the program. I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural programming that was offered almost twice a month, and the two weekend trips to Normandy and the Loire Valley were memorable and so well organized. I made lifelong friends in this program, which did so much to foster these friendships and to cultivate these connections. Furthermore, APA accurately paired me with a host family whom I adored, and with whom to this day I still keep in touch with. I appreciated their approach in not pairing me with a family right away, rather getting to know me for a few days before making a decision as to the right type of living scenario and family I would feel most comfortable with. I would recommend APA Paris to anyone looking to explore liberal arts studies in Paris and to make such amazing memories along the way!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

APA Paris!

I think the best part of APA was how we were matched with our host family. It was unique and different in the way that we went to Paris blind, without knowing who we were living with. After staying in a hostel for a weekend with our program directors, they matched us with a family based on our personality. That special personalized touched really makes a difference!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

The best immersion program in France

If you are looking for an experience that will change your outlook on life, choose this program. This is the absolute best program for people looking to throw themselves into the French way of living. By living with French families and being directly enrolled in the French universities, you have the opportunity to develop your ability to speak French, to develop relationships, and to develop the knowledge of the French social system and culture. I truly cannot have seen myself in any other program that supported me as much. The support from the directors of this program allowed me to spread my wings and try new things in a new country. I have formed lasting relationships and have a new found confidence in my ability to speak French. Logistically, the program is very organized though some problems that come up are caused by the cultural differences between the French and American school system. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone and everyone who is passionate about French and French culture.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

Paris holds the key to my heart

It was my childhood dream to go to Paris and when I was applying to study abroad programs I was looking for a structured program with enough guidance to feel safe leaving the country for a semester but also enough leeway for me to enjoy free time in this new city. I wanted to get the most bang for my buck and APA delivered. I loved that we had could decide what Parisian universities to attend, our metro passes were included in the program fees, we got weekly tickets to all different kinds of shows across Paris (dance, traditional theater/avant garde, concerts), tutoring for French language. Sophie, Blandine, and Claire are very sweet and are genuinely concerned with how we were getting along with the program. They were always available by phone to help with any questions we had. When I missed my flight home because of baggage complications it was Sophie who calmed me down and helped me get the next flight home.

Things to note: 1) Beware of pickpocets! I can not stress this enough. Tourists/Americans are huge targets... even locals are frequently stolen from. Never leave your phone in your pocket. 2) You meet such amazing people through APA it's easy to stick to your new American friends and speak English. It's imperative to make French friends to learn slang and informal speech. 3) As a woman-of-color it can be a bit more of a culture shock to navigate being a minority in another country, make French friends you think might share the same experiences as you, they will have a lot of tips. 4) Some host families love it when you cook American meals to share with them at dinner 5) Explore the city even when you don't feel like it. A lot of times when I felt down and lonely cause I missed family and friends back home I'd go out to a part of the city I had never been before and discover something new to lift my mood.

All in all, this was an incredible experience and I'm so glad I chose APA. I felt so supported and I met some really amazing people and made lifelong friends!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

A really well-rounded programme

APA Paris excelled in all aspects of a study abroad programme. Each week the programme organised for us all to go to a show together, whether that be a ballet or a musical, which allowed us to see some of the best art in the world. This was all included in the programme cost. In terms of academics, there were two in-house course taught by two really amazing local teachers, who we eventually got to know over the course of the programme by socialising outside of class time. The host family that I stayed with were really lovely, always encouraged me to speak french with them, and cooked great food.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Perfect semester in Paris

Going abroad to Paris with APA was undoubtedly the best experience of my college career. I lived comfortably in the 17th with my host family in an apartment surrounded by bakeries, close to the lovely Parc Monceau, and a few minutes walk from an amazing open-air market.

After class, I spent time with friends on the Seine or exploring Paris's seemingly-infinite collection of museums. On weekends, I wandered different Parisian neighborhoods, sat in cafes with a book and an espresso, and bar hopped. On several occasions, I was lucky enough to go on weekend excursions with APA to beautiful Chateaus, vineyards, and gardens.

APA offered a great support network and made the transition from American academics to French university fairly painless. They also invested a lot of time to make sure that students' course credits would be recognized at their home universities. Although the informal language classes at their Alesia office were a pain, I can't really say I have any other complaints about the academics.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this program - you are able to take classes whose rigor matches those of American schools (if you so choose), get the support you need from a small program, and experience french culture without living in an American bubble (which often happens with many other abroad programs and universities, like Sciences Po).

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

A true taste of Paris

APA really gives you all the support you need while being abroad in a new country. Claire, Sophie, and Blandine took so much time to explain to us everything we needed to know, from the French university system to navigating living with a host family whom they very carefully chose for us. My host mom was amazing and gave me an even deeper look into what normal Parisian life is like while helping me greatly improving my French. Taking classes in real life French universities with French teachers and students was an extraordinary experience. Being unfamiliar with the system, there were a fair amount of struggles in regards to handling the academic work but APA does the most it can for us to be challenged yet supported. I am very grateful for these three ladies, their knowledge and expertise helped create a wonderful experience for me in Paris. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who is truly looking to immerse themselves in the rich culture.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Academic year 2014/2015

I couldn't have chosen a better program for my Junior year. I was allowed the freedom to live on my won without a host family but never felt disconnected from my peers or APA due to the help of Claire, Blandine and Sophie. The three women who run the administration of APA, were lifesavers. Anytime I needed help they were there, including when I was very sick and needed help finding a specialist doctor. APA also afforded us the opportunity to go on trips and cultural events as a group every week which really aided in understanding the French culture. Being enrolled directly into a French University was an entirely different experience, and I couldn't have asked for better. I was able to take classes that peaked my interests and had essentially free reign over my course choices. My understanding of the politics and culture in France increased immensely as did my language skills.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

APA Paris fall 2012-spring 2013

When I was looking for a study abroad program, I knew I wanted to go to France, and I knew that I wanted to have an immersive experience that allowed me to improve my French skills and learn as much about French culture as possible. With APA, I got exactly what I was looking for--and way more.

Organization/management: I can't say enough good things about the women who run APA. They truly go above and beyond to ensure that each student has a good experience in France. They make themselves available at all hours of the day and are always willing to talk about classes, home stay issues, and even personal problems. They make Paris home away from home for the time you're they're--and they even organize an amazing Thanksgiving dinner.

Housing: I was fortunate enough to be able to stay for the whole year and with the same family; I still keep in touch with them and I've visited them in France and they've visited me in the US. I have really great memories thanks to them, from watching the election from afar with my host day in 2012 to spending time with them in the Loire Valley. That being said, living with a host family is a different experience for everyone. APA does a ton of research and interviews before placing students with families, so most of the time, things do work out. I think that the most important thing is to go in with an open mind, and with an understanding that you are living in someone else's home and that you need to respect their rules (if there are any). The people who struggled the most were those who couldn't get out of the "dorm mindset." For example, if your host mom decides that dinner is at a certain time, you need to show up or let her know in advance that you won't make it.

Classes: For the most part, students take classes at local universities with APA. Honestly, the academics aren't on par with public/private universities in the US, but that's out of the control of the program. I really enjoyed some of the classes I took, others were not so great. APA bolsters French universities by offering their own classes, a shopping period, and private tutors. I felt as if I did so much learning outside of the classroom with APA, in terms of my French and knowledge of French culture and learning how to live in a different country--so it was a worthwhile trade-off.

Cultural program: This is one of the most unique aspects of the program, and it really allows you to get to know France. I loved the weekend trips we want on to different parts of the country--the sites were spectacular and there was never a shortage of food/wine!

Paris: The city is your oyster! With your metro card and student discounts, you can explore almost any corner of the city. There is never, ever a shortage of things to do. After all, it is the best city in the world.

If this sounds appealing to you, APA might be a perfect fit. I am so, so glad that I decided to spend a year with them. Not to get too cliche, BUT it truly can change your life.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

My best year in college

Without a doubt, my two semesters spent with APA in Paris were the most enriching semesters of my college experience. As a French major, I had always known one day I would want to study abroad, but I had no idea that choosing to study with APA would be my best decision. From the get-go, I was encouraged to speak French, not only with my host family, but in my classes (which were all in French) and with my peers. Although I spoke advanced French before arrival, it was studying in Paris for two semesters that really kicked my language skills into the fluent range. I learned expressions and vocabulary I never would have learned in a classroom — slang from young people, for example — and also thoroughly improved my academic writing in French.

Along the way, I took classes that were not available at my home institution, and even challenged myself to a Spanish class my second semester. The APA Art History class allowed me to visit various museums throughout the city and learn about artwork right in front of the piece in question, while La France D'aujourd'hui (a required French politics and government course) helped catch me up to date on current French affairs and learn more about the country's history.

If I could do it all over again, I would absolutely choose APA. I've yet to hear of another program like it.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

APA spring 2016

APA was a fantastic study abroad experience. The program was well organized and the directors provided great support in all aspects of our experience. The two weekend trips to Normandy and the Loire valley were fantastic as well. It was difficult at times to adjust to the French system but the program helped us with the adjustment process with lots of cultural preparation and a great host family system. I would make sure that you have a strong level of French before coming, since almost 100% of the programming is in French, which can be quite mentally taxing at times. However it is definitely worth it, as my French greatly improved.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Consider APA!

My semester abroad was truly one of the highlights (if not the highlight) of my college experience, and I'm so glad to have spent it with APA.
APA's support system is amazing; the three women who run the Paris office go above and beyond to make sure that you are happy, are integrated, and are doing well academically. When I started struggling a bit in my classes, they, without hesitation, set me up with a couple of tutoring sessions to ensure that I could succeed in the class. They truly care about each student.
Another highlight was the homestay. APA does a fantastic job of matching families with students. I loved my host family and was able to fully integrate into their way of life. My family was enthusiastic and helped me with my French, and my French dramatically improved as a result.
If you're looking for a full, immersive experience in Paris, consider APA!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

Discover Paris with APA!

Studying abroad with APA was absolutely incredible. APA has a very flexible academic program tailored to each student and a rich cultural program that makes the Paris art scene so accessible. The APA staff is supportive and friendly -- they go the extra mile to show students how much they care. I love living independently in Paris and exploring everything the city has to offer! One of my favorite aspects of the program were the group excursions to Normandy, the Loire Valley and Monet's gardens!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Community

    7

Should have been more open

Overall, the program was a success. I think some of the negativities I felt came about because I wasn't as open to change as I should have been. In most ways, the program provides you with a great way to experience Paris without coddling you. I wish we could have taken more university classes instead of having so many required APA classes, though.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    8

The right choice

What will always stand out for me about my study abroad experience is my host family. I got to live with two of the kindest souls I've ever met, and they became like parents to me: when I left Paris, they told me that they had come to think of me as their adoptive daughter. Their family was such a great fit for me, and they will always be my fondest memory of Paris. And I would never have met them if it weren't for APA: their housing questionnaire was so extensive that I knew I would be paired with a family that suited my needs, and upon my arrival in Paris, they took the time to get to know me in person to make sure they had made the right choice. Sophie, Blandine, and Claire know exactly how to give their APA students the greatest experiences, from placing them in the right host family, to choosing incredible opera and dance for us to see in our cultural excursions, to creating classes that allow for trips to the Louvre and even to London. I knew before even going to Paris that I would look back on APA as a fond experience, but I didn't realize how much I would appreciate their knack for providing me exactly what I needed while I was there.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    7

Great language experience

APA offered me a great experience in improving my French and getting to know local culture through a host family. The ladies of APA are incredibly supportive and helpful throughout the semester. The coursework isn't at the highest level, and the French university system is an adjustment, but the program experiences of authentic French cuisine and activities are worthwhile.