CEA Study Abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France

Video and Photos

Honey in a crêpe, like a white button-down or a thank you note, is never a bad idea.
Honey in a crêpe, like a white button-down or a thank you note, is never a bad idea.
Our first weekend in Aix, new friends in the program and I hiked this beautiful mountain overlooking Provence!
Our first weekend in Aix, new friends in the program and I hiked this beautiful mountain overlooking Provence!
France
France
Aix En Provence, France
Aix En Provence, France
Aix En Provence, France
Aix En Provence, France
Aix En Provence, France
Aix En Provence, France
Study Abroad in Aix En Provence, France
Study Abroad in Aix En Provence, France
Aix En Provence, France
Aix En Provence, France

About

Located just 19 miles north of Marseille, the country’s second-largest city and primary commercial port, Aix-en-Provence is a small, walkable city in the south of France with tree-lined boulevards, historical public squares, artisanal shops, cafés, churches, historic mansions, and over 20 fountains that reflect the city’s origin as Roman spa town. It is an ideal location for day trips to the Mediterranean coast, the French Alps, and Paris.

Our Aix program is designed for students at a high-intermediate or above French language proficiency. Although courses are offered in English and French, four semesters of French are required; intermediate students are accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Interested? Click the “Visit Site” button to learn what’s waiting for you!

Highlights
  • Hands-on learning experiences that transform the world abroad into a classroom
  • Personalized Pre-Departure Advising, including visa and immigration support
  • Courses offered in English that fulfill major and general graduation requirements
  • Comprehensive on-site support, including 24/7 emergency phone
  • Career workshops, Internships Abroad, and Alumni Ambassador positions

Scholarships

CEA Scholarships
CEA Scholarships and Financial Aid

Studying abroad will change your life, improve your employability, and enhance your global competence. That's why we commit more than $2.0 million each year to our financial and scholarship programs.

Value
$400 - $3,000

Apply by 10/3/2019 and get a $1,000 flight voucher!

Allow yourself to experience cultures in parts of the world you’ve only ever dreamt of. Take this opportunity to make this your life. Apply by October 3, 2019, and get up to $1000 in flight vouchers toward study or internship programs abroad.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 45 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 45
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Mackenzie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Cultural Experience

Studying abroad in Aix is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. I made lifelong friends, and felt totally immersed in the culture for the 5 months I spent there. CEA was the most kind, helpful, and protecting in preparing me for France and while I was abroad. I would 100% recommend them to anyone looking to study abroad. France was a unique cultural difference, but it helped me to see the world in a new way. I got to travel while also fulfilling credits that will transfer back to my home university. The school buildings were nice and offered as many programs possible, including clubs and a cafe! While I had a few issues with my specific academic program, I still was glad I got to experience it. Aside from that, everything was perfect! Would do it again in a heartbeat!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
While school is super important, don't be prepared for it to be the same as the American school system. It's not bad, just different, and I think that got to me; hindering some of my experiences.
Response from CEA Study Abroad

Mackenzie, we so appreciate your kind words about CEA and are thrilled you had a positive experience in Aix with us! “Would do it again in a heartbeat” echoes the same sentiments as so many of our alumni. We’re always working to improve upon our programs, so feel free to reach out if you have any further feedback or suggestions for CEA! Thank you again and we wish you the best 😊

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Ashleigh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience i'll ever have

My family and I were both nervous for me to study abroad. Being alone in an foreign place is scary the first time! CEA made everything so easy while preparing for my study abroad experience. They always answered my questions within 48 hours (no matter how small they were) and sent many personal reminder emails as the deadlines for forms got closer. When I got to Aix, there were many excursions included and the onsite staff was very helpful when I had no idea what I was doing. I participated in the Mobile Journalist (MOJO) program with CEA as well, taking photos, videos, and making blog posts throughout the semester. Choosing to be a mobile journalist was such a great idea for me because I had an excuse to go out and take pictures instead of studying :) and it allowed me to share my photography with a wider community. I would 100% recommend CEA to anyone hesitant about going abroad because of how helpful and knowledgeable the employees are.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have saved up more money for travelling. Especially while living in an apartment, there are many expenses that you do not account for. If I had come with more money, I would not have had to be so picky on where I went on the weekend, or how much food I could afford for the week.
Response from CEA Study Abroad

Thank you for your review, Ashleigh! We’re thrilled to hear you had a positive experience in Aix with CEA, and your thorough feedback + tips will serve as a guide for future students when researching their own study abroad destinations. We are so appreciative of your contributions as a CEA MOJO, too! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and be sure to stop by and say “Bonjour” the next time you find yourself in Aix!

Default avatar
Andrea
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Andrea in Aix Review

I loved studying abroad in Aix. It's such a beautiful city with a strong history and breathtaking architecture. The center is very walkable and accessible. The Cours Mirabeau is the most iconic promenade street where a market takes place in the morning to mid-afternoon. In every corner, you can find amazing, ornate fountains of all shapes and sizes. A fun way to get acquainted with the city is to walk around and find as many fountains as you can! These fountains can then serve as rendez-vous places or points of reference so you don't get lost during the first few weeks.

What I loved the most about living in Aix was able to experience life in Provence. Through CEA excursions, I was able to discover many beautiful, small villages nearby that show the calm, rural life in various areas in Provence. One of my favorite experiences was visiting the village of Trets during their garlic festival. We were able to dance and interact with the locals, which really helped with language acquisition. These small villages are hidden wonders. Aix's wonderful program advisers have very detailed handouts explaining transportation to several of these villages, their history, and things to do and see. If they do no have a handout for a specific location, they will go out of their way to help you research.

Although I had a few issues with the host institution, as I will elaborate on later, I really enjoyed my language course because I was in such a diverse class, which gave me such a distinct experience. There were students from at least four different countries, from youth to middle-aged students who were all there to learn French for different reasons, not just to study abroad. It made me open my eyes and feel even more grateful for the amazing opportunity and choice to study abroad.

I felt at home with host family. By the end of the program, it was very hard to say goodbye.

What would you improve about this program?
I absolutely loved this program. The only thing that I would improve would be the host institution for CEA Aix-en-Provence, SUFLE.

The institution is bureaucratically inefficient. It took them about two months for our student ID cards to be given to us. This was a combination of last-minute communication regarding the 90 euro additional fee by the French government, the confusing website to pay the fee, and the constant broken state of the machine used to create the IDs. Since we received our ID cards so late, we were unable to register for sports or clubs, which made it more difficult to feel connected to the university, Aix-Marseille Université since SUFLE (the institute for students learning French) is a little isolated from the rest of campus and the majority of French students.

The language-placement tests were not standard. During the test, you are placed in a classroom in which other students are also being tested. The placement results rest entirely on the professor who happens to test you; I was even asked what level I would prefer to be placed in, which was really confusing for me, as I personally think that I shouldn't be the one choosing my level. When I wanted to switch levels, it was incredibly difficult to do so because the change had to happen between professors; the secretaries could not help you at all. You had to ask your professor to ask the professor in the level you wanted to switch into to see if they had space in their class.

You are not able to choose when your classes start or end; you are simply assigned to a level and a group within that level. The two classes you are able to choose, your electives, are very limited depending on the level you're placed in. The course description is very limited and does not accurately reflect the course itself. The difficulty level varies tremendously on the professors. I loved my primary language course, but my electives for techniques of writing was everything but techniques of writing; most of the class was improvised it seemed and there was no syllabi.

Overall, I loved the program, but there were aspects of the institution itself that were not ideal and for that reason I would not give the program a 10 even though everything else would qualify to give it a ten.
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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I can't wait to go back!

Aix is a great city to live and study in, it's very safe with a lot to do. There's a spa, a mountain to hike, lots of hills to stay in shape, and endless restaurants for any craving you may be having. CEA provided amazing support to us students, and any issues we had were resolved immediately. They were available and made sure if they weren't for any reason that you still had help. Their office location is right in the center of town so it's easy to get to when need be. This program allowed me to become more confident in life, if I can handle a spiral city with a different language then I can do anything, and it was the best experience I've ever had. I got to see so many things with the program and experience the French culture in a new way. I highly recommend Aix and CEA!

Response from CEA Study Abroad

Jessica, we are so glad that you enjoyed your experience with both Aix-en-provence as well as CEA on your studying abroad adventure! Good luck with all your future endeavors and thanks again for choosing CEA Study Abroad.

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Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I wish I stayed for an entire year!

Studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence for a semester was such an amazing experience. I had a great homestay arrangement, enjoyed each and everyone of my classes, and made countless friends and memories. Everyday I wish for once again to be sitting in a cafe along the cours mirabeau or in place du hotel de ville sipping cafe au lait and soaking up the sun. The atmosphere of southern france is easily one to indulge in and I learned how to relax and enjoy every fleeting moment. The winding cobblestone streets, historic and beautiful architecture, the aromatic boulangeries, bumbling cafe chatter and wine nights with friends allowed Aix to quickly become my home. Each day held something new and exciting and opened my mind to endless possibilities the world has to offer.

What would you improve about this program?
Even though there were a handful of cultural activities and excursions I wish there were even more opportunities to meet with locals and explore surrounding regions.
Response from CEA Study Abroad

Thank you for sharing such a vivid recollection of your time studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, Julia. Your insights and descriptions will help future students as they select a destination in which to study or intern abroad.

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Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Aix: a quiet city, alive in the details.

It’s been a year since I lived in Aix-en-Provence for four months, growing roots in a city I long to return to every day with friends I miss so much. If you’re wondering whether this city is a good match for you, I’ll give you an idea of why I chose it: I was looking for a small city, a place where I wouldn’t feel lost stifled by tall buildings. I was looking for a place with those classically charming cobblestone streets, flanked on either side by boulangeries, little shops, and age-old homes slowing decaying but in the best way possible. Living in Aix brought those expectations to life and fully exceeded them. The blank shops and empty bakeries I imagined in my head before arriving turned into Jacobs, where you can get the best baguette of your life for just 80 centimes, or Joseph, for a tarte au citron (or, let’s be honest, any other stunning dessert in the display). Le garde Manger was a favorite too, for it’s too-cute-for-life balcony and killer quiche lorraine.
And I was actually able to get to all these places somewhat regularly because of my class schedule in the SUFLE program at Aix-Marseille Université. I only had class Monday to Thursday, and only for about 3 to 5 hours a day. My friends and I would go to a café in the afternoon and have a croissant and an espresso and read a novel for class or just sit and practice speaking in French.
Being in the CEA program made navigating a French University easy because I didn’t have to figure anything with class registration or anything like that.
CEA also did a wonderful job of keeping us busy with fun activities on those Fridays off, with everything from soap-making at a local savonnerie, wine tastings, or a drawing workshop in the Provençal outdoors with a view of Mt. Sainte-Victoire.
Overall, it was a great experience I wouldn’t change at all, and going there with CEA was the best decision I could’ve made.

What would you improve about this program?
I'm really not sure, it's quite good.
Response from CEA Study Abroad

Thank you for the vivid description of studying abroad in AIX, Sarah!

Default avatar
Sarah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CEA Let Me Live My Best Life In France!

Studying abroad in France is about more than baguettes. Baguettes do play a large role, but the real goodness of it all lies in the people and places you meet. I went to Aix-en-Provence, France with CEA from January-April 2017, and not a day goes by when I don't think about it. Aix was the perfect city for me -- it's teeming with cafés, shops, and picturesque winding streets, without having the feel of a gridded city with huge looming buildings. I’m so thankful to have been apart of CEA’s Aix program versus going on my own, because every staff person met or talked to genuinely wanted to be as helpful to me as possible. Whether I was freaking out over pre-departure documents, had questions about my classes or anything else, CEA was quick to respond and worked with me so that I didn’t have to figure things out on my own. While in France, my onsite directors Nancy and Vivienne were the best. I can’t imagine two people more perfect for their role. They had local activities planned for us every week, as well as frequent tea times in the CEA office where we could have tea and our favorite madeleine cakes. I can honestly say that studying abroad was the best four months of my life, and CEA made it so that I could most fully enjoy my time. I would go back in a heartbeat!

What would you improve about this program?
I loved the program but if I could change something, it would be better communication with the school. This isn’t necessarily CEA’s problem, but it would have improved the experience to not have roundabout ways of working with the school to change class placements and whatnot.
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Shannon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Oui, I would like another croissant

Over spring 2017, I studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France through CEA. They were absolutely amazing and surpassed my expectations in every way. From pre-departure paperwork and preparation, to picking us up at the airport, to showing us around town, to helping us through any issue during the entire semester, to helping us adjust back at home, CEA was phenomenal. They had an incredibly kind staff and Vivienne and Nancy in Aix were outstanding. When they moved us into our apartments, they had pasta, cookies and fruit already set out for us to have. How nice is that?! Throughout the semester, their doors were always open in case we wanted to talk to them about anything. Also, they planned excursions, cheese tastings and a ton of other fun activities for us all of the time. France was an absolute dream, but it would not have been possible without the help of CEA.

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Jennie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Go to Aix!

As someone who studied abroad in both Paris and Aix, Aix is hands down the place you want to be! It's sunny every day and totally walkable with so much charm. Without CEA my semester would've been 10 times less exciting. They make sure there are so many opportunities to meet people and provide super fun activities like wine tasting, oil painting Mont Sainte Victoire, and cool excursions to places off the beaten track. I feel like Aix also attracts a certain kind of personality- laid-back and up for anything or traveling anywhere, so I got along really well with everyone in my program!

Aix is so easy to travel from; we went somewhere almost every weekend! Nightlife is great because you don't have to worry about catching the subway or bus back because everything is within walking distance. Go to the farmer's market every chance you get! I miss it so much. Honestly, the only thing I liked better in Paris was the food selection. If you want sunny, warm weather, friendly locals, and easy travel - go to Aix!

What would you improve about this program?
Please don't change!
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Brooke
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A beautiful Aix Expierence

My stay in Aix was a beautiful experience. Aix is somewhat of a "college town" or rather there's many french/international students studying in that area. This was great because it allowed me to make french friends and international friends. Also Aix is the perfect location for visiting all around the South of France. Literally one of the most beautiful areas! I visited the alps, I visited islands, I visited mountain villages, and sea side villages. There's everything here that you could ever imagine. Aix is a cute little town but if your into that big city life marseille is just a 30 minute bus ride and the second largest city in France.

What would you improve about this program?
This program is pretty spectacular. If I had to improve it I would do more activities with the French students.
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Caro
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Month that I Swear was Only a Week

Tomorrow, I'm flying back to the US after spending 5 weeks in Aix-en-Provence, France. I could say so much about this program, but all I can say is that if you are considering it, go for it! I learned so much about different cultures and languages here--not just French! The city itself is exactly what you would expect out of a wealthier Southern France city but the school itself is really a huge mix of backgrounds and ethnicities! My favorite area is hands down the city center where you can see anything from African drummers during the Euro Cup to people playing the accordion while a reenactment of part of the French Revolution is happening in the same square (I saw both of these things in the same day, by the way).

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Jiselle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The BEST Decision of my Life

Aix is special for so many reasons, and it doesn't take much for one to understand why once they visit the town. The people, the scenery, the nightlife and the just everything in general make Aix the perfect destination for a college student while studying abroad. I was supposed to go to Paris, but switched last minute after the attacks last November. I had no idea what to expect, and was slightly bummed I couldn't go to Paris. However, it was clear during my first day in Aix that this is where I was meant to be the whole time. I instantly fell in love with the town, the people in my program and the wonderful directors who go above and beyond to make the students feel welcomed and important. I was able to meet many wonderful French students and actually speak French. I'm already planning my next trip back very soon. Because the town is smaller, the amount of people that speak English is much smaller than in a big city like Paris. So, I was forced to use my French and grew tremendously in my language skills. I also love the fact that you can walk anywhere in Aix and enjoy the beautiful weather by doing so. (It never gets really cold, which I enjoy because I'm from the Midwest.) There is also a wonderful bus system for a very small fare that can take you anywhere in the region (that means the beach!). Aix was the best, accidental, decision I have ever made, and I am very grateful for it.

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Masatoki
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Widening the Circle

The best thing about studying abroad is that academically, we can easily apply what we learned in class and we get immediate feedbacks on whether we applied our knowledge right or wrong. And socially, we build confidence. I even started a conversation with a lost stranger who ended up taking me to a dinner, all in French! I also checked hitchhiking off my bucket list and got to travel around so much more than I could have ever imagined. Now I have so many friends all over Europe that I could always come back to!

What would you improve about this program?
I definitely think it is important to have a few days together with a lot of the french university students at the beginning of the semester. Having this every semester would definitely make a difference in opening up a community of french speakers.
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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Aix-perience of a Lifetime

Studying abroad with CEA in Aix-en-Provence, France, was the most incredible opportunity and I would give anything to do it all over again. From the moment I stepped off the plane and was greeted by CEA staff who kindly directed me to my homestay and made sure that I made it there safely, I knew that I had picked the perfect program to study with. There were so many opportunities for the students to connect and travel together, with weekly excursions and cafe hours, not to mention other meals and wine and cheese tastings, all put on and organized by the directors. They never hesitated to check in with the students and help when in need, and I don't think my experience would have been the same without them. I never felt scared or worried while abroad, which was something I heavily anticipated upon moving to a new and foreign city.

CEA is hands down the most welcoming, engaging, helpful and friendly (I could go on for hours) program, and I would recommend them to EVERY student studying abroad. Thank you so much for making this semester the best 4 months of my life, I will miss my directors and the city dearly.

À la prochaine!

What would you improve about this program?
Beats me!
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Matthew
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Support and fun

Towards the end of my semester, I really wanted to go to the Camargues. By expressing this wish to Vivienne, one of the coordinators, I got my wish. Not only did she help me figure out which bus to use, she also talked to one of her former students who lived and worked in the area and got us a free wildlife tour. My friends and I had so much fun, and none of it would be possible if it weren't for the great work of our coordinators.

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About CEA Study Abroad

With 23 destinations across 13 countries, CEA Study Abroad offers an ideal balance of academics, internships, and adventure to more than 4,000 students each year. Find out where learning abroad can take you by clicking the “Visit Site” button and...