unexpected challenges / irreplaceable growth

Ratings
Overall
8
Academics: 6
Support: 9
Fun: 8
Housing: 8
Safety: 9
Review

CEA Paris has exposed me to an vast array of challenges through the duration of my semester abroad, but the accompanying insights into culture, sociology, history (especially of art), novel academic environments, and international consciousness/"citizenship" have been utterly incredible and dually vital to personal growth that I have no doubt would be impossible to replicate elsewhere.

Paris itself is a location that I genuinely believe outranks [virtually] all others as a destination for study abroad; as I see it, the simple fact is that few if any other global cities can rival the vastness of its rich history, culture, and modern-day draw. For the ways in which their program has permitted me to access and observe that, CEA has my gratitude without reservations.

The CEA Paris staff were an immensely helpful and kind team. All my personal experiences with them were highly positive, whether the reason for our interactions was connected to academics, student life, or my own personal life/experiences in the city.

Culturally, I gained ongoing insights and immersion opportunities through my courses at CEA. I think this was the greatest strength of academics in CEA's Paris Program—the integration of field studies, general out-of-classroom adventures, and French culture learning to encourage a deeper level of immersion in the local culture throughout the semester. Beyond academics too, a series of weekend trips, evening excursions, and in-house workshops supplied almost non-stop opportunities to explore the nuances and histories of Paris/France. This spread of activities was incredibly well-prepared and planned by the CEA staff and aided adaptation immensely. A bit sadly, I did not feel as though I had connection to community in Paris, nor did I find myself building relationships with Parisians through the course of the semester, though this is reflective of French social culture and *not* of CEA's immersion programming.

Through the excursions built into CEA courses and included as weekend activities of the program, there were many times during which I was able to connect more deeply with my peers as we shared very special exploration and discovery experiences in Paris and beyond. Paris/France are beautiful and *fascinating* places, and the people with whom you experience so many "firsts" here are ones with whom you naturally begin to grow closer. Despite the challenge of connecting with the local French people, the sense of community that I see within the student body here at CEA Paris is quite strong, and for that I am very grateful.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2018