API High School: French Immersion Program in Paris

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About

High school students (ages 17-18) have this great opportunity to study abroad with API High School next summer in Paris, France at the Institut Catholique de Paris. The French Language Immersion Program incorporates each student's French language proficiency when determining their proper focus of study. The program can be worth 5 US college credits when completed.

After morning classes, students will attend cultural and recreational activities around Paris, giving them a thorough experience of the city. Students will live with local host families while in France. Check out more details on this exciting opportunity on API High School's informative website!

Aspire by API is now known simply as API. API (Academic Programs International) has been the parent company of Aspire by API since 2009, and API has sent thousands of students abroad since 1997. Our name has changed, but our mission will remain the same. We still aim to transform lives by providing enriching experiential programs abroad that foster increased self-knowledge, cultural sensitivity and understanding of the global nature of our contemporary world.

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ParisGirl2013
5/10

Summer in Paris

Aspire by API's Summer French Immersion Program was quite an experience. Upon reading the initial itinerary sent a few weeks before arriving in Paris, I was immediately filled with excitement for the opportunities sure to come.
The group flight is optional although most of us selected that option, and it was kind of a nice way to start getting to know some of the people in the group.
Speaking of the group- it was very small. I'm not really sure how I liked that. On one hand it was nice cause I suppose there was more individual attention, but on the other hand it wasn't that great because we didn't speak a lot of french since all of us were American and of very different skill levels. Towards the end even I saw a little bit of mob mentality going on, not always thinking about every single person in the group when plans were changed. The small group/Host family atmosphere kind of limited the amount of people you could meet. It almost felt like we were in a bit of a bubble. It was up to you to go out and try to meet other people from around the world.
We did have a lot of activities planned (which was great because ALL of that was included in our program fee) but it was frustrating because all of them were mandatory. We truly were exposed to a lot of Paris and we got to see nearly all of the big monuments and museums. Needless to say, we didn't have a lot of free time on this program. It was very structured- Always classes Monday through Friday from 9:00 until 12 plus 2 until 5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a Language Workshop. Those two hours from 12 until 2 we always had for lunch but on monday wednesday and friday we usually had an activity or two right at 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Some of the activities were really interesting such as a tour of a true Parisian "Boulangerie" where we got to see how the baker makes Baguettes and Croissants. We also went to a ballet at the Opera Garnier. Some people really did not like going to all of those museums and found that portion to be kind of boring. When we did have free time, people enjoyed going shopping, having a coffee at a cafe, cooking for our host families, drawing the intricate statues in the museums of Paris, taking walks through Parisian gardens, or going for Ice cream.
Classes at the Institut Catholique de Paris were good,though a few people were placed into the incorrect level. French school was something to get used to but it seemed like mostly everyone really liked their professors. The classes were completely in French so involved a lot of speaking. We did presentations in French as well as listening exercises and written composition work.
All of us stayed in host families and it seemed like there were different experiences for everyone. Some people had strict rules to maintain and others were more relaxed. Some had very interactive families and others were more private. Some had communication issues with their hosts and others did just fine. Some host families even had young french people living in the house which added to the experience. I suppose it is just the luck of the draw.
This program did seem like it was very new and they had not worked out all of the issues yet. Itinerary plans kept changing and there was not always good communication between the group leader and others or between certain host families and the leaders. Some of the weekend trips were really cool but at times a bit rushed. I think those are things that they should probably work out before next summer.
I have to say though, the in-country staff (Delphine and Anne Marie) were very helpful in many ways. A really big positive about the program is that everything is included and you do get a lot for your money.

Things I would recommend to future applicants:
Have a little bit of a handle on your french skills before going
Try to see as much as you can- if its all included, get the most out of your money... And on Free Time?? GO EXPLORE. Use your NaviGo metro pass and GO.
Buy your toiletries in France to save room in your suitcase
Don't let your creative side suffer in the pessimistic tendencies of some walks of Parisian life
Have fun, but be yourself.
Eat Pim's cookies, Pistachio Eclairs, Chocolate Crepes, haribo gummies, KinderSurprise chocolate, lots of baguettes with cheese and don't forget some healthy food too!

When asked if I would recommend this program to a friend, I am not sure. I don't think it worked for everyone in the group. Most people liked it, but there were some people that had issues with the structure or host families. I think that is a chance you have to take though, because how do you really know what an experience will be like until you get there? I do not think it would work for every friend. But I can definitely think of a few personally who would like it a lot..

Response from

Hello, and thank you for joining Aspire by API this summer in Paris! We are constantly striving to improve our programs, and we truly appreciate your feedback.

Yes, I recommend

About API

College students may study abroad with API in over two dozen countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. With a wide variety of courses offered in almost every major discipline and in various languages of instruction, it is...