CEA Study Abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France

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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

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 42 reviews
  • Academics 8.5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 16 - 30 of 42
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Paris
10/10

The best excursions!

CEA gave us a ton of cool excursion options but my favorite by far was when we went to Nice and Monte Carlo! In Nice we were able to walk around and explore the city on our own, looking in all the shops and even hiking to the beautiful chateau, and then CEA got us tickets to the Bataille des Fleurs for Carnaval. This was probably the coolest thing I did the whole semester, it was a huge parade where everyone kept handing you gorgeous flowers! Then we went to Monte Carlo and got dressed up for a delicious dinner and hung out at the casino and other cool places! The next day we had free time to see all the sites of Monte Carlo! This trip was so much fun and I'm so glad CEA planned it for us!

How can this program be improved?
I think it was perfect!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Megan
10/10

Aixcellent!

Studying abroad with CEA in Aix en Provence was the best decision I ever made! Leaving your home for 3 months to a year can be scary but the CEA staff and the friends you make really do become your family. I love Vivienne and Nancy; they are amazing and super helpful if you ever need to make a doctor's appointment or even just a haircut. I have made lifelong memories and friends through my experience with CEA and I cannot recommend this program enough!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Makenzie
10/10

Overexposed Dream

This program changed my life.
The courses were extremely rewarding. I took a photography class and a global fashion marketing class. The photography class was incredible. My professor tailored the class based on what kind of camera each student had. She taught us how to use OUR cameras, instead of using blanket terms for everyone. I would also say that the class had a philosophy of photography component to it. We talked not only about photographers, but about why. The global fashion marketing class was also extremely rewarding. We did an in depth market analysis of a french brand. My was Sézane, and I challenged myself more than I ever have before to get to know that company, who they were trying to reach, their product lines, and the overall aesthetic.
The city was also incredible. The architecture was so intricate it was paralyzing. I often found myself unable to walk because I was so immersed in the beauty surrounding me. The weather was perfection. The people in the community were very kind, and I always felt safe walking around the city alone. I highly recommend spending time at CocoBoheme, or any other small local shop you find. I made some lasting friendships with some french students there. Make international friends.
When you go on incursions, or explore your own city, think like a tourist, but act like a local. Learn everything you can about the history, any story about a building. Do the touristy things, but once you do spend 2 hours at a cafe soaking the beauty in around you. Struggle to speak the language, listen for the Aixoise accent. Try to seem like a local.
You get out what you put in. This program gives you the resources you need to have the greatest summer of your life, I have left you some tips on how to make your AIXperience as great as possible, now it is up to you to take the risk. You will love every second, I promise.

How can this program be improved?
I made local friends by going out of my comfort zone and making conversation with locals. It would be nice if the school offered a social, or some other activity, for students to meet other local students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lue
10/10

Love in Aix!!

Life time opportunity. A must do and must have experience. From north Minneapolis to the southern part of France, one must experience it. I would recommend making friends with other international student and share contacts. Regret not sharing contact sooner. Made lifetime friends and will one day visit them. Would make the recommendation to all friends and family. CEA did a fantastic job. Love, love, love and miss the staff from Aix en Provence.

How can this program be improved?
Nothing. Keep the staff..!!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Wesley
10/10

AIX IS THE GREATEST

So many people only know of big towns in european countries like Paris or London or Milan. The same was true of me in the beginning of my search for a study abroad program. But after randomly choosing Aix because the classes coincided with ones that would transfer back to my university, I am beyond happy that I didn't choose a big city. During my travels I have gone to cities like London and Paris and it was so overwhelming. I felt like the people were meaner, the food was more expensive, and my feet hurt more from walking. In Aix, I can walk from on side of centre-ville to the other in 20 minutes. If I struggle with French, people actually help me. And the food, well it's some of the best that I've had in my whole life. I'm so glad I chose Aix because when I return to my home-stay after a weekend excursion or day trip, it truly does feel like a home.

How can this program be improved?
I love the program and Nancy and Vivienne because they have been so helpful throughout this entire process. But I guess if I had to change one thing it'd be the language in which we speak. At the beginning, when I didn't really know french, it was very helpful to speak in English. But now, I can hold a conversation, and obviously not all the time, but sometimes it'd be nice to just listen and have to respond to french commands and questions.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sara
10/10

Once in a lifetime experience

I had the time of my life in Aix-en-Provence. I had the best host family and they were so generous to me. It was so nice to have support from our Program Director and staff, making friends from all over the U.S., and traveling together to Nice, Monte Carlo, etc.

I loved walking on Cours Mirabeau, going to bakeries, eating Pizza Capri, watching movies, and traveling to other cities and countries.
The food in France is so good and I was lucky to have the best host family and have home cooked meals.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have studied abroad and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Allison
10/10

Best Place to Immerse Yourself in French Language & Culture

When I studied in Aix in 2010, it was my first trip to Francd EVER. I had considered Paris, but I really wanted to become more fluent in French, so I chose a smaller city with fewer English speakers. I was not disappointed. Plus my teacher, Monsieur Tissot, was fantastic at improving our language skills in a fun, engaging way. At the same time, Vivienne and her staff were there to help when we needed it--my roommate and I blew a fuse in our apartment at 10pm one night, and they were there to help in less than an hour. Most importantly, the people I met in the program have become my lifelong friends. We have attended each other's weddings and visited each other all over the United States. The stories we tell about our time in Aix never get old. Choose Aix if you are looking for everything there is to love about French culture without the stress of big-city life! You will NOT regret it!

How can this program be improved?
I really can't think of anything I would improve about CEA Aix. I have zero negative memories of this experience.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Michelle
10/10

Aix-cellent!

Aix-en-Provence was an truly an amazing experience, and CEA was a large part in making it so memorable. I took part in the French Immersion program in the Summer of 2015 and through it I came to know the beauty of the French culture and people. Aix-en-Provence is the most picturesque town and for a few months you arguably live in a postcard. What is great about living in Aix is that it is the perfect size and you are able to become familiar with the town and form relationships with locals. All the excursions were great, I highly recommend them (you might not always know where you are going but trust George).I recommend Aix because it has so many things to offer and Vivienne and Nancy are very helpful and always know the best places to visit! I recommend Aix to anyone who wants to be able to immerse themselves in a culture, and explore the South of France. Honestly the best part about Aix is that at the end of the day you get gelato and sit by a fountain for hours...so it really is Aix-cellent.

Yes, I recommend this program
Joe
10/10

Fall semester - Aix en Provence

I really loved this study abroad program. Especially when I arrived and received an incredible amount of help and advice from Vivienne, the program director. I made tons of new friends there that I still talk to this day. One thing about being there for the Fall semester I really enjoyed were the activities leading up to Christmas and New Years. With the other students, I was able to try vin chaud for the first time and feel the mistral during walks through the city. The area is bound with ancient history that we could learn about when we visited Avignon and Arles as part of excursions. The location of Aix in the South of France meant that slightly longer than weekend trips were doable to Italy, Monaco, and Spain. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could in order to do things I wasn't able to do when I was there.

How can this program be improved?
I'm not sure.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Darby
10/10

Loved it!

I loved my stay in Aix-en-Provence. Vivienne was wonderful, and I only wished I had stayed longer! Great people, great education, and the most beautiful place on earth. I was ok in french when I got there, but definately still a beginner. I improved tremendously... the people in Aix gladly let you practice your French with them. The nightlife was a lot of fun as well, and I loved the people who went with me, of which I knew nobody before going!

How can this program be improved?
That I could have stayed longer!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kendra
10/10

Go to Aix!

Aix was the most amazing city to study abroad in. You had plenty of people that don't know English, which is perfect for learning French. People are extremely accepting of foreigners in Aix, which separates it a lot from the atmosphere in Paris. Vivienne was the most amazing CEA staff member. She was always there to help us though any situation, from housing to travel plans, to planning our excursions. You will not regret choosing Aix!

How can this program be improved?
I don't know. It was an excellent program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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B.
7/10

Chez Lolo

Have you ever eaten lunch in a cave house that is 100s of years old? I did. Our CEA director Vivienne was amazing at finding unique day trips for us and one of them was to visit Lolo. He is the last of a long line of farmers and lives in a beautiful cave farmhouse where he still prepares farm fresh meals for groups. He is the sweetest old man and his house is amazing to see! If you take a walk around the house and the yard you can see old farming equipment stashed away or simply left out in the elements. Lolo prepared a lovely French lunch for us all while we enjoyed the picturesque view and the Provence sunshine.

How can this program be improved?
I wished that my host family would only speak to me in French.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brooke
10/10

The Only Place to Study Abroad in France

While I was in Aix, I turned 21, which is a huge staple in the US. I wasn't going to be able to celebrate with anyone from home. Another girl who became one of my close friends shared a birthday with me, as well. Mama Viv arranged for us to have a nice dinner at Cafe Carrefour with our friends. Everyone sang to us (including the wait staff). Afterwards, we danced around in the cafe and had a fabulous time. It was one of my favorite birthdays, and it was truly unforgettable!

How can this program be improved?
A better tour of the city upon arrival. I still feel like there was so much of Aix that I never knew existed until I left!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Anne
10/10

Supportive staff

I had only been in France about a week when I got news that my grandpa and one of my cousins had been killed in a car accident back home and that my grandma and aunt and uncle were all in intensive care in the hospital because of the accident. That was on a Sunday that I found out. On Monday morning, I went to the CEA office and let them know what had happened. Although they could probably barely understand me through my tears, they were there for me, which was what I needed at the time. They were so supportive. Once I made it through that initial shock, they continued to make sure that I was doing ok throughout my semester there. It was one of the hardest times in my life, and I couldn't have asked for better people to help me through.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe if there was a rule that English be spoken as little as possible so that everyone is forced to work on their French.
Response from CEA Study Abroad

Thank you for the kind feedback regarding your experience with the Aix-en-Provence staff! We’re sorry to hear about your loss, and glad to hear the CEA team members were supportive during this difficult time for you and your family.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lindsay
9/10

Life changing program

This program changed my life. Everything from the academics at the University to the excursions that we had on the weekends. I had such an authentic awesome semester in Aix. The scenery couldn't have been more amazing. Our apartment was everything that a college student could need. The women in the office were always helpful. I really enjoyed hanging out there, borrowing books, asking questions, and getting advice. The city is such a fun atmosphere as well because there are so many young people in the area. It is so different from Paris and so uniquely French. I wish that I could do this all over again and if I could I would have done a year and set of a semester. In order to become 100% immersed in the program it is really importan I wish that I could do this all over again and if I could I would have done a year and set of a semester.

How can this program be improved?
Our apartment was broken into at one point and our laptops were stolen. students should be aware that any city in any country is subject to being unsafe!
Yes, I recommend this program

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