I chose Aix-en Provence because of the location and culture. I was excited to live with a loving host family who would teach me the language and tell me stories. The school, community, and residents surpassed all my expectations. This is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Studying abroad introduces you to students/faculty who have similar interests as you, allows you to expand your learning, and opens your mind to new cultures.
Alumni Spotlight: Allison Weber
Allison Weber is a Junior at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, studying Business Management HR with a double major in Marketing and a certification in sales. She is always looking toward the future and taking advantage of her opportunities. Institute of American Universities was a opportunity of a life-time.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
IAU was very accommodating with living situation, classes, and knowledge to thrive away from home. I was lucky to have built a relationship with the IAU staff. They showed interest in me and cared for me as a student. IAU offered me a scholarship that helped me budget my experiences. Before leaving the USA, IAU sent all of the necessary information for arriving safely.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I would advise you to take Beginner French language as a class. This will help you experience the culture and people better. Don't worry about seeing the world all at one time; enjoy what France has to offer. Lastly, get to know the students/faculty; learn to network across the global. Most importantly, have fun!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Each day, I spent about 2 to 5 hours studying and going to class, then I would explore the streets of Aix. Some days, I would meet with students for gelato or coffee before going home for dinner with my host family. I loved sitting down at a table at the same time everyday to eat and be with my host family. This is where you make genuine connections and learn about the French culture.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear was having problems with the airlines, which I did experience. At the beginning, I was close to missing a flight, which resulted in losing my luggage. Traveling got easier with experience. I was also concerned about having personal items stolen, but that never happened as long as you are responsible.
What is your advice to prospective students?
Believe in yourself, be positive, and have an open mind. Studying abroad gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my career dreams. I hope one day to return for my Master’s degree. Don't worry about the small things when you are there, relax and enjoy your time in a new environment.