France: Cultural Discovery

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About

Start your journey with immersion into French culture in Paris. You will visit the city’s most iconic sites, including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, and Champs Élysées. Explore diverse neighborhoods and sample French cuisine in quaint street-side cafés as you deepen your understanding of Parisian culture.
Cross the border with your group into either Italy, Germany, or Spain to explore the landscapes and culture of a French neighbor. You might find yourself strolling through Germany’s picturesque towns and picnicking in the Black Forest, exploring the villages of Italy’s stunning Cinque Terre, or taking in Spanish art in Barcelona. As you close the program in Paris, you’ll reflect on the insights you’ve gained into the diversity of France and the culture of neighboring countries.

Highlights
  • Arts
  • Language
  • Culinary
  • Physical Activity
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 15 reviews
  • Growth 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 15
Default avatar
Wildine
10/10

France!! No way!!

Rester, c'est exister, mias voyager, c'est vivre. To stay in the same place is to exist, but to travel is to live. This Summer 2018, I was given the life changing opportunity to go abroad, in which I was exposed to French life and culture over the span of 3 weeks, even visiting the country of Germany in the process. All honesty, I had personally thought that although I was given the chance, I wasn't going to be able to experience it due to the complication of not having a passport, but surely enough, after 7 attempts (a long story) I was handed the blue colored leather document and within the next 4 days, I was seated in the aisle seat of a plane to France. My first few days were definitely an introduction to the country, the moment where I was able to dip my toe into the water to test it all out, consisting of sight seeing, metro trips and trying new foods that some could only imagine eating, like snails. It wasn't until I had seen the Eiffel tower that the fact that I was in France hit me by 25%.

Soon after, we left Paris and headed to the city of Nancy, where I jumped straight into French life, living with strangers who easily became my second family. I fell in love with my homestay parents and siblings as soon as they approached me, flipping through French to English dictionaries. They led me around their hometown, bringing me to the square, explaining the history and buying me treats I hadn't known existed such as bubble gum ice cream. At home, I was treated like their own child, running around the backyard with my brother and sisters playing soccer, helping set the table and cook dinner and even witnessing France win the world cup, which ended in an everlasting celebration. It was the day we departed from our families, as we wiped the tears off of each others cheeks that the fact that I was in France hit me by 50%. We headed straight to Germany for 3 days after our homestays, where we had gotten a glimpse of German life, including their food and luxurious hotels before going back to France. The last few days, we did more sightseeing and group bond building, our last night ending with dinner on a boat right beside the glowing tower before taking a boat ride around the area. That night, I was hit with by 70% realisation.

It was like before I could say “allez les bleus”, I was on my way back to America. That morning in the airport, our goodbyes were filled with fresh tears and 98% of realisation that I had just spent 3 weeks in the home country of the Eiffel Tower and the macaroon (even with the fact that I couldn't stop saying “merci” after being offered anything) hit me. I came home with not just French phrases staining my vocabulary or the fact that I communicate with my homestay family with every chance I had, but also with a sense of independence, self worth and confidence in trying new things. Till this day, I still feel like I’m dreaming, like I hadn't gone to France and Germany at the age of 16, being an African American girl from a low income part of New York, but I did, that's all thanks to The Experiment In International Living.

How can this program be improved?
Be sure to assure that every participant knows what to bring including how much money is necessary so they don't go under or over the needed amount.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Giselle
10/10

Wouldn't Change a Thing

Where do I even begin? I loved every single second of those three weeks. I reminisce about it. I wish I can go through everything again. I remember when my group and I first met, we were all so quiet and nervous. Who knew how much amazing things were going to come our way? From seeing masterpieces at the Louvre to climbing up steps of the Notre Dame to seeing the Eiffel Tower in front of our very eyes to canoeing at Le Gard to celebrating France's victory on the World Cup of 2018. Every moment was captivating and mesmerizing. Friendships that started out as caterpillars into blooming like butterflies. I don't even know what to say because so many wonderful things happened. It makes me sad knowing that I won't experience that exact moment ever again in my life. I love my homestay family, they made me feel at home even when home was 6,000 kilometers away. I cried so much when I had to leave them, but we exchanged a "see you soon" instead of "goodbye." Then we went to Italy, Italy is beautiful, it's so colorful as if cans of paint splashed on it, an artwork...a masterpiece. The pizza was so good, and I wish I can teleport myself back there and taste it one more time. From starting in Paris to Nimes to Santa Margherita Ligure in Italy back to France in Nice to ending our journey in Paris, we went on so many excursions, explorations, and had so much fun. Saying goodbye was very hard but I wouldn't change a thing. I'm very grateful and thankful for the Experiment in International Living for giving me this experience. It may sound over-exaggerated to say that this experience was life-changing, but it really expanded my perspective of the world and myself as an individual. The more effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it. So thank you to the Experiment in International Living from the bottom of my heart. These are memories that I will cherish forever.

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, there is not much that needs to be improved for this program. They excelled in every aspect of it. I can't think of any major change that can be done. If anything, I wish the program was longer. Maybe extend the time of the homestay portion, and definitely extending the excursion to Italy.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jason
10/10

Jet Lag

France was phenomenal experience. The time spent their was splendid. There was an abundance of activities from kayaking to celebrating France's World Cup Victory with our host families. I met some of the funniest and amazing people. I always felt safe thanks to our group leaders. The first few days were hard because it was difficult acclimating to a new culture and a different time zone (especially if you want to keep in contact with your parents). Personally, I feel more confident in myself.

How can this program be improved?
More time should be spent on the bordering countries (Spain, Italy, Germany). This program could definitely be 4 weeks because many people in my group wished they could've spend more time in Italy.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Elida
10/10

The hardest part was coming back

This program was honestly the best experience i have ever had and I hope more students are able to hear about it and apply. The leaders in my group were like parents to me as well as friends and I felt 100% safe at all times. Overall for me, my experience was great and my home-stay family was a perfect match! I never got homesick while at my home-stay and to me that was such a shocking thing since I tend to get homesick fast. The fact that my family was able to make me feel so at home meant so much to me.

How can this program be improved?
I do recommend looking into the interest of applicants into going out of their comfort zone because there were a few students who did not like to participate in activities or try new things.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jailee
10/10

Abroad in France 🇫🇷‼️

This program was amazing !!! I’ve met people from all across the states. We all an open mind to the cultural barriers in language & setting. We had so much fun seeing the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and many beautiful stores and learning about the history behind different architecture. Not only is France all about Paris but many places are rural/ suburban having a country feel that you’ll see with your host family. It was best of both worlds getting to experience tourist & cultural immersion vibes.

How can this program be improved?
This program could’ve been longer and go for 4 weeks! I had so much fun that I wanted to stay longer. The city had confusing routes that we could’ve navigated better, but we found our way. Loved it overall #allezlesbleu #championdumonde
Yes, I recommend this program
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Char
10/10

International experience

With my time abroad I had life changing experiences and memories that will last a life time. I met so many people from different backgrounds, and I think that helped me grow as a person. There wasn't a time where I was bored. This program exposed me on how people live outside of my country. I was able to live like a local and get a better understanding of how a normal day would be like. I would definitely recommend this program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jasmine
9/10

Fun & Engaging Opportunity!

The Experiment in International Living is a wonderful experience that provides time to explore a new environment in a country away from home. I traveled to France and Germany with The Experiment on their France: Regional Cultures program. My group and I had the opportunity to do everything from exploring Paris, to biking through the French countryside in Munster, to hiking in the Black Forest in Germany, to watching and celebrating France's 2018 World Cup win with our host families in Nancy. The time I spent abroad with the Experiment was wonderful, and it was further augmented by the diverse selection of students I had the opportunity to travel through France with. I highly recommend the Experiment in International Living for high school students looking to broaden their cultural horizons and experience something truly life-changing.

How can this program be improved?
We were there for three weeks, but I had such a good time I wish it were longer!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Eva
10/10

A Trip Full of Curiosity

One can definitely see Frances exquisite culture while roaming through the city of Paris. The city is made up of beautiful monuments, street art, cafes, and most importantly welcoming people. Seeing the Eiffel Tower at night felt like something out of a movie, I was star struck by a monument. The special part about the nigh was that I got to share it with multiple other students that also had shared the same dream as me.

How can this program be improved?
By giving the group more time in the second country that they are visiting
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brijtanie
10/10

Three weeks to remember

I was very pleased with my experience in France and Germany. It was amazing to see how much cultures can change in one country and around the borders of that country. Also, it was cool to see how Freiburg and Strasbourg were so similar but a part of different countries. I won't change my experience for anything in the world; I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see Europe and with amazing people!

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Ruth
9/10

A Summer That Will Forever Live in my Heart

I participated in The Experiment in their French Culture and Regional Identity where I visited cities in France (Paris, Strasbourg, Colmar, Metz, Nancy, and the Alsace-Lorraine Region) and in Germany (Freiburg). Those three weeks were the best and most rewarding time of my life. I felt really immersed in the culture and life of France, so much so that I miss everything about it. (The part I miss the most is eating cheese and bread at every meal.) The program allowed me to see the beauty in everything, from a simple wall art in Paris to great views of the city of Strasbourg. Our first few days in Paris was really hard for me because the environment was quite different from San Francisco. However, when we got to our homestays, everything settled down. I love my homestay family! They were so kind to me, and I really felt accepted by them. The week and half I spent with them was not enough, and I very much plan on visiting them again. (I still talk to them!) After our homestay, we headed to Freiburg, Germany and visited the Black Forest! It was so much fun! We went hiking and boating! It was also here that I faced my fear of heights and rode a ferris wheel for the first time! Then, we went back into France, stayed in Colmar where I really fell in love with France. We ended in Paris, and it was the hardest goodbye I've ever had to do. But this whole trip is really unexplainable, no words can accurately explain what I experienced. The program itself was so amazing! My group leaders were very kindhearted, accepting, and I knew I could trust them. They made the whole trip easier to handle. I felt very safe in every place that we went to, and that's a major part of why The Experiment is very, very good. Overall, my experience was really one-of-a-kind. I would definitely do it again with The Experiment!

How can this program be improved?
More activities that are particular to only the French!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Debra
10/10

Best Summer so far !!

My trip with the Experiment honestly was amazing. I was so glad that I got the opportunity to go to France and discover a whole other part of the world. This trip allowed me to as a person and being independent and doing things myself. Traveling with people you don't really know maybe scary at first but after the first few days you will feel comfortable and feel like you have known them for a while. On this trip you do have a homestay and once you hear that you are going to be staying at a stranger's house but it is not bad. The Experiment will not put you in a dangerous environment and if you feel uncomfortable you can always talk to your leaders about it. Personally my homestay experience was amazing because I felt very comfortable with them after the first two days. I felt like I was home when I was with them and we would have our own jokes and my host sister and I still talk. Not only was the Homestay the fun part but the whole trip like spending time in Germany and hiking in the Black Forest and going to see the Mona Lisa in France. This was truly an experience that I will never forget.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Ruella
8/10

An Insightful Experience

I had a great time with this program. Although I was the only student not from the U.S., there was still a lot of diversity in both background and experience in my program group, and I made some great friends. Although I was not entirely happy that the administration may not have fully taken into account the situations of students living outside the U.S. or that the leaders were not extremely organised all the time, I still enjoyed myself and sometimes found that figuring out our plan as we went along made it more exciting than simply having a fully planned itinerary.

I got the chance to experience new things, like learning how to ride a bike, or archery, or living in a French family's house! I became more confident in my French speaking skills and truly enjoyed living in the moment, being it laughing at random feats, late-night conversations, or people-watching at cafes. I liked that the program focused not just on Paris but on regional culture, because I felt that I got to know France better and enjoyed it more by being in smaller cities/towns.

How can this program be improved?
- More time to spend in museums
- Less time shopping
- Better administrative process for non-U.S. students
Yes, I recommend this program
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Angie
10/10

More Than I'd Hoped For

I'm so glad I went on this journey with no true expectations of what it would look like. The spontaneity with which I approached this beautifully complex foreign country made the experience all the more rich. I gained an immense amount of confidence in my french speaking abilities and formed close with bonds with the friends I met along the way and the places I hope to return to. And the best part was, as fate would have it, the part I dreaded the most: the homestay!

Yes, I recommend this program
Hannah
9/10

Once in a Lifetime Experience

This program's main goal was to teach about the French culture and to teach about the regional differences. This program accomplished that and then some. Within the first day I learned about all 14 of my now great friends and I learned so much about the daily Paris life. It was busy busy busy, no time to stop. When we were participating in our homestays, I immediately noticed the differences in speak, and in culture. I felt immersed wherever I went, every time I was encouraged to speak French, and every time I spoke it without being encouraged. I felt truly like I was a part of the country. I adapted quickly and fell in love immediately. Now, back at home, I've implemented new things I learned into my home life. For example, I am in love with apricots now and buy them whenever I go to the store. I also encourage fresher produce and less store shopping and more farmer market outings. If you're looking for an amazing experience through an amazing program, go with this one. You won't regret it.

Yes, I recommend this program
Nhat
10/10

Cherishing The Memories For A Lifetime

The Experiment provided me with an amazing opportunity to travel to a beautiful country and meet new friends along the way. Their commitment to diversity cultivated an interesting group of individuals whose personalities heightened my experience in ways I did not believe was possible. From dancing with strangers in Colmar to choreographing a spectacle for our host families, there was never a dull moment with my fellow experimenters. In finding the perfect balance between scheduled events and free time, The Experiment allowed us to truly discover French culture for ourselves rather than through lectures or assigned reading. This was truly an experience I will never forget.

Yes, I recommend this program

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The Experiment in International Living is the most experienced provider of summer abroad programs for high school students. For more than 85 years, our immersive programs have allowed participants to explore the world in an authentic and impactful...