High School Summer Abroad Program: Language Immersion in France & Switzerland

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About

Why Study French on Location in Europe?

Imagine enjoying a lunch at a bistro on the Champs-Élysées, taking French works of art in at the Louvre, or walking the cobblestone markets of the Latin Quarter. There is no place to better improve on French language skills than in in the heart of France.

The moment students land in Paris their years of French studies are brought to life as they explore local shops and markets, utilizing their language skills to communicate. Each location in which we reside reveals something new, from the beautiful esplanades and relaxing beaches of Nice, to the picturesque mountains and waterfalls of the Alps, students will come away with vastly improved vocabulary and confidence in French. The France and Switzerland program includes four weeks of travel and learning in Paris, Annecy, Swiss Alps, Avignon, and Nice.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 8 reviews
  • Growth 9.8
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Noah
10/10

Best Summer ever

Hey future participants. My name is Noah, I’m 16 and I’m going to tell you about the awesome MEI trip. I thought my experience on the France & Switzerland trip was absolutely incredible! Each place we visited I swear I couldn’t stop smiling. Everything was beautiful and every place had its own special feature to make it awesome.

My experience was unique because we had the opportunity to be in Paris during the semi final AND final of the World Cup. France was in these two matches and the energy in the city was something I’ll never forget. Whenever they scored the city would explode! And when France won, colour powder everywhere, flags everywhere, people cheering. I will never forget that.

To all future participants, I would highly recommend this program. First off, the teachers are awesome. Their not your average high school teacher because they like to have fun when they learn and they do everything they can to make sure you have the best experience ever. My teachers were Ayanna, David and Alexis. They were all incredible and if you get them on your trip, they would make it 10x better. Also before on the trip I was quite worried for the safety and visiting a big populated city like Paris. Just a heads up that you’ll be way more safer then you thought. Everyone is in a group of 4 minimum at all time and we had no problems with anything getting stolen on the whole trip. Also, at the start of the trip, you’ll immediately realize that mini groups start to form between people that already know each other, but that shouldn’t bother you, going up to people in your class and talking to them will instantly make you closer to them. I met so many awesome and super nice people on this trip.

In conclusion... just do it, it was honestly so fun. If you want to know more about my awesome experience, go on YouTube and search: Noah Van Dam. I made a video of everyplace we visited (sadly Annecy got taken down for copyright purposes) Paris 2018, Switzerland 2018 and Nice 2018. Thanks !

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved if students received a mark for the amount of French that they spoke. I feel like this way the students are encourage to speak more French on the trip.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emma
9/10

Not Just a French Program

I came into the MEI France and Switzerland Program feeling scared and expecting it to be like regular school, but it turns out my fears were for nothing and it was very different from regular school. Where in regular school you learn about things more in theory, during this trip there were a lot of opportunities to practice your french skills with first hand experiences such as talking to merchants at the market in Annecy or ordering your meals everyday. Because of this practice talking to francophones in real life, I found myself becoming more confident in my french speaking skills and in actually speaking french to others, something I was previously embarrassed to do. Speaking to francophones also helps to improve how well you understand people when they speak french. The teachers also help with this because they always speak to you in french. As for the actual lessons, I found I learned a lot despite the short period of time. There were two lessons a day and each one was taught on site. For example, we learned about gothic architecture and the Notre Dame right in front of the Notre Dame, after having walked around inside and climbed to the top. This kind of learning really helped me internalize the information because I could make connections with what I was seeing, and it made it fun. Aside from the actual school learning, this trip teaches you a lot about yourself as well because you learn to be independent and responsible so that you can hand in assignments on time, or so that you don't get lost during free time. Finally, everyone on the trip, the students and the teachers, are very nice and extremely supportive of one another. When you spend so much time together you are bound to make close friendships and that's exactly what happens. There are so many opportunities to try new things and get out your comfort zone and the biggest suggestion I can give to anyone going on this trip is to get out of your comfort zone and try something you wouldn't normal do. It's opportunities like these where you can learn the most about yourself and about life.

How can this program be improved?
My only suggestion for how this program could be improved is possibly giving students a little bit more time to sleep. I found that most nights, especially in Paris, we came back very late, around midnight, and were expected to finish our homework and still wake up fairly early. I understand that this was the only way we were able to see so many tourist attractions, but it was still hard to be going off of little sleep.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lauren
10/10

Study Abroad: France 2018

I have grown so much in the past month since when I first found out about this program. I was nervous and had no clue that this voyage would be the beginning of something new for me. I climbed the Eiffel Tower, had a lesson on Lac D'Annecy, and got to swim in the Mediterranean in Nice! I will never forget this experience and I hope to one day take a program similar to this again. Had I not taken this program for he summer, I would not have grown my independence, my confidence, my sense of adventure, and my sense of daring to try new things and take new experiences in stride.

How can this program be improved?
Better hotel choices would be great, as the Sportchalet hotel in Murren had awkward access plugs. Also, the communal showers were clean and sanitary, but the amenities were slightly lacking.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kayla
9/10

MEI France and Switzerland

My experience on MEI France and Switzerland was one that I will never forget. Being immersed in the French language allowed me to improve on my skills as well as my confidence with the language. Learning on site was very engaging and allowed for many unique opportunities that you would not receive in a normal school. On top of this I met so many great people that made my trip even more enjoyable. From eating escargot in Paris to climbing Almendhuble in Mürren, I was forced to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I had never done before.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved if there was more time allotted for completing assignment and studying tests. The lack of time for work resulted in late nights leaving many tired for the next day of activities. Finally there could have been more options for meals especially for those with dietary restrictions.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jorja
10/10

Awesome MEI trip!!

This program is really awesome and it was the experience of a lifetime! I went on the 2018 France and Switzerland trip and I would 100% recommend it to anyone considering doing an exchange program. I made incredible new friends and the teachers were amazing. By doing this program, I think that my spoken French has greatly improved and I hope that I’ll will feel more confident doing other exchange trips or even travelling on my own. All in all one of the best experiences of my life and I hope to be able to someday do something like this again!

How can this program be improved?
More environementally friendly because in France they don’t recycle so if there’s anything that can be done to minimize the amount of plastic used!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sarah
9/10

Trip of a lifetime

I just finished the France and Switzerland trip 2018 and I loved the trip so much! All the teachers were very positive and helpful, they truly wanted to see you succeed. Our group got the chance to do so many amazing things like climbing mountains in the Swiss Alps and watching the world cup final game on the big screens. Being in a french speaking country allowed me to fully immerse myself in french culture and grow as a person. I would highly recommend this trip to anybody interested in travelling and improving their french skills!

How can this program be improved?
I would suggest that more time to work is given to the students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Owain
10/10

Amazing Trip

Given it was my first time in Europe, I’d say it was a pretty great experience. We went to some great places and saw a ton of cool stuff. Not only were the things we did fun and interesting, but I feel like I’ve also taken away a greater appreciation for french culture and french language itself. The group we traveled with and the people I met is what made this trip even better. Overall am excellent trip and one that I would highly recommend.

How can this program be improved?
Better time management, for both students and teachers
Yes, I recommend this program
Evelina
10/10

Amazing Experience Overall

I went on the France and Switzerland trip in 2012 before going in to my grade 12 year. It was truly a phenomenal experience. From having the opportunity to be fully immersed in the French culture and to practice the language in a total French environment, to amazing and supportive teachers that motivated us to succeed, not only academically but beyond the classroom towards our future careers. This program truly made me excel in the language and have great respect for the French culture. In addition I made amazing friends with whom I still keep in touch today! This trip blew me away with how much fun you can have while still maintaining a valuable learning experience completing tasks and assignments and by the lessons given. After this trip I actually decided to pursue a career in teaching and will soon be a French teacher! Thanks MEI!

Yes, I recommend this program

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With MEI International Academy you'll need to bring your passport, because the world is our classroom. Rather than a typical exchange program, high school students and recent graduates from around the world travel from city to city and country to...