My semester that i spent in Grenoble, France was the best semester I have had so far. I have never had more fun, met more amazing people, and learned so much academically and personally. From the moment I arrived in France I was comfortable. Our program director Miranda went above and beyond, making sure that everything went smoothly and without unnecessary road bumps.
My host family was amazing. They instantly welcomed me into their family. The food was amazing, every meal was new and different. I still think fondly about wednesday night pasta night. So good. The initial awkwardness of living in someone else's home faded after the first night after playing board games with my host brother. My host family was instrumental in my stay in France. I always new that I had somewhere that I could go home to and people that really cared about me and wanted to help me in whatever way they could. I miss them immensely now being back in the United States and cannot wait until I can go back and visit them. I know that I will be in contact with them for the rest of my life.
I love Grenoble as a city. I come from a small town in northern NH and had never lived in a city and was a little nervous before leaving about living in a city. It was amazing. From the public transport system to the culture and activities, I was never bored. I could get anywhere I wanted on the tram and the bus system and there was a plethora of things to do. There was free museum weekend, a wine tasting festival, movies, cafes, shopping. Literally, anything I could dream about doing I could do it in Grenoble. Not to mention the city's location. Nestled in the Alps, the city is surrounded by mountains. It's gorgeous. I hiked the Bastille multiple times and its beauty never got old. It was one of the first things that I took my mother to do when she visited me.
I really enjoyed my time as a student at University of Grenoble Stendhal. It was really an incredible experience to be taught by professors of a different culture. It is definitely different than the US, professors do not have office hours and are not as readily available to you as much as they are in the US but I learned an amazing amount by merely letting myself experience something new. Learning went outside the classroom, even ordering a crepe at lunch became a lesson. My professor for my language classes was incredible and I still listen to my playlist of classes that I accumulated from him classes. He made learning french fun. He included popular films that were always very french and a tad bit bizarre, classic french songs that we got to sing in language lab, and his personality just made learning that much more fun. I really enjoyed my semester at the University of Grenoble and can say that my french definitely improved by leaps and bounds.
I would most definitely recommend this program to a friend. Anyone who is interested in studying abroad in France should consider AIFS Grenoble because it will be an experience that will change your life in so many ways. You meet people you will never forget and forge relationships that will last a lifetime.