My reason for studying abroad with API in Caen was simple: they were the only program that didn't say "no" or "not possible" when I asked if I could find a host family for me and my cat. While they weren't able to, they searched and they involved more than just the director in Caen in their hunt for the perfect host family for the two of us. When it became clear that I wouldn't be able to bring my cat abroad, they helped me find a family with the next best thing: and amazing and friendly dog. I've been dealing with anxiety for the past few years, and though it sounds silly, my cat has greatly helped in reduce panic attacks, thus the need for her abroad. However, because API was able to find me a family with an incredible friendly dog I was able to cuddle her instead. Thus my year in Caen began, at the train station (after an incredible orientation in Paris, mind you) on my knees hugging this gorgeous dog (Gaia) who would quickly snuggle her way into my heart.
API would be nothing without their incredible program directors and on-site-advisers, for me in Caen, that would be Caroline. She was there at a moments notice for my first three weeks when I battled an ear infection, strep throat, and then an allergic reaction to all the antibiotics. She sat down with me for for hours to discuss my future plans in France and to give me advise on jobs and housing and all the paperwork in between!
As for the academics in Caen. I've never loved learning French as much as I did this year abroad. Between phonetics, grammar, literature, gastronomy, culture, and arts, I learned and improved more than I ever thought possible.
Even the city of Caen I loved, despite 80% being destroyed during WWII enough remained to exude that French charm and at the same time be modern and functional.
I can't recommend API Caen enough. It changed my life for the better and I can only hope it will continue to do the same to future students.