I chose Abbey Road programs because I was looking for a residential language immersion program in Nice, France, that was relatively inexpensive and had an emphasis on adult supervision. Abbey Road was a great value program; I liked that we stayed in a residential dorm but spent the weekends exploring the south of France. I liked the French classes and the emphasis on free time as well.
Annaleise Hendrickson is a sixteen-year-old who lives in North Carolina. She attends public school and dances competitively in her free 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?
The program did a great job organizing all of the trips and excursions. The staff organized all of our transportation and event tickets when we went on trips. I never had to worry about buying my own train tickets. Almost all of the meals every day were organized by the program. Lunch and dinner were often cooked in the residence. Breakfast was up to the students, but the program supplied the students with a kitchen stocked with food to make breakfast.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
If you are looking for a language-intensive program, this might be a little too mild for your taste. My listening and speaking skills improved vastly because of the language immersion, speaking and ordering in French often, and my personal work at tutoring hours and commitment to studying. However, this program has much more focus on culture and personal growth than I was initially expecting.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Classes are from 9 to 12 am, lunch and dinner are scheduled with the program, and trips and excursions happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and day trips happen on the weekends.
Electives take place in the afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Most of the other time in the day is scheduled free time.
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 interacting with people. I'm naturally introverted, and I'm one of those people who had trouble ordering my own food and interacting with strangers. Going on this program forced me to dive into unfamiliarity, speak to strangers in my non-native language, and meet tons of new people. I am much better now at interacting with people thanks to this program.
The biggest question I had was: what do the accommodations and facilities look like?
Each student gets a single bedroom and a private bathroom with a closet, mini kitchen (with a sink, stovetop burner, and a mini-fridge), twin bed, desk and chair, and a well-needed fan. The rooms are small and not air-conditioned. There is a communal kitchen that the staff supplies with basic groceries and snacks that are free for all students. I was incredibly happy with the accommodations; I loved having a room to call my own at the end of a long day.