French Immersion in Angers, France

Video and Photos

Some of my friends having a drink on a weekend trip to Bordeaux!
My class! I made lots of friends and my prof was amazing!
Site director sue crust and a couple of oregon students at the Chateau d'Angers
Students in Angers
Students in Angers

About

This exciting immersion program allows students to study French language in Angers, France, while also learning more about French culture, politics and society. Open to all levels of language, from complete beginners to advanced students, this program contains courses covering many disciplines, with coursework in history, sociology, political science, French culture and civilization, in addition to language. Courses are taught at the international language institute (CIDEF) of the Université Catholique de l'Ouest alongside a diverse range of students from all over the world. Students live with a French family during the academic year or may have the option to live in a residence hall in summer. With more than 30,000 students, Angers is a lively city with a prominent youth culture as well as a deep history, with a castle and churches dating back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Highlights
  • Enroll in French classes at any ability level, from beginning to advanced
  • Explore French culture, history, society and more with a wide range of courses
  • Stay with a host family for an immersive experience or a residence hall in the summer for more independence.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 9.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying in Angers

Studying abroad in Angers, France was an incredible experience. I drastically improved my French skills and I met some amazing friends. After this trip, I felt a lot more confident and independent as a French speaker, a traveler, and as a person.

I came to Angers in July 2018. I remember walking to the foyer I was staying in that first evening that I arrived in town, after a stressful day of travel, and feeling like I was in a fairytale. Angers is beautiful! There are cobblestone streets, charming white buildings surrounding them, and breathtaking sunsets every evening. It is the perfect town to study in. You can walk everywhere- to school, to the city center, to the lake, to the museum.

I took a mid level French language course at UCO. I had class Monday-Friday. The days in class are long, but you are learning a lot. I was given many breaks throughout the day as well. The TAs are very supportive and helpful; they made me feel so comfortable practicing my French. I also really enjoyed class because I got the opportunity to meet and speak with students from all over the world. Additionally, my credits transferred over easily to my school in the US, no issues!

The foyer that the program set me up with was great. I had my own bathroom, closet and desk in my bedroom. The garden out back was so dreamy and there was kitchen where you could prep and store all of your own food. Its location was phenomenal as well! The resident cat is a plus :)

Overall I loved this program! No complaints. I will cherish my time in Angers forever.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would extend my stay a bit! I feel like my one month program was not quite enough. I think it would be great to study during a different season as well. Angers is definitely a university town and many of the students leave during the summer. Therefore, I didn't get much of a chance to meet French students and speak with them.
Default avatar
Robert
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersion Program in Angers

Studying in France and touring Europe truly changed my life. Not knowing any French and traveling alone, I was beyond nervous to partake in this program, and some serious doubts and concerns crept into my head when I landed in Paris. However, my host mother made life very easy for me, especially in the first week when I had no idea what I was doing. But what really made the trip not only manageable, but completely worth it, was the amazing teachers and staff that worked at UCO. Because I was going to be on campus and in classrooms five days each week, I wanted to pick a program that would have an impact on me academically and culturally, and I ultimately chose this program because of its amazing reputation. But the experience was beyond what I had imagined. The university is filled with some of the most generous and exceptional teachers I have ever experienced. And not only was the staff great, but the students were a perfect mixture of foreign and American, ranging from no French skills to nearly fluent. I not only met some amazing people from Turkey, Mexico, and Japan, but I also made some great friendships with people from Colorado, Michigan, and Mississippi that could actually speak french and helped me survive. I was in class for 20 hours a week, while also taking an online class from my home university, and because the credit transfer was very generous, I received all A's and 29 credits for a single trimester! If education and academics is your sole focus, hands down this is the program for you.

However, it doesn't stop there. Because Friday classes end before noon, nearly every weekend I was able to hop on a train Friday afternoon and spend my weekend in a different city or country. I spent a four-day weekend in London and LOVED it, I travelled to Switzerland for a weekend, and not to mention Paris many times. France, and Angers specifically, are in great locations if you want to travel Europe. Trains can quickly and easily take you to Spain, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, or even Italy. Plus, part of the program includes four different all-day field trips where you don't have to worry about travel and accommodations. So if traveling and seeing France and Europe is your primary goal, then I also believe this program is right for you.

Lastly, if you are worried about the homestay and living accommodations, there is nothing to fear. Although I arguably think my experience was the best out of everybody I met (my host-mother voluntarily cleaned my room once a week, helped me with laundry, made delicious meals, and was just incredibly kind), nobody that I talked to had bad experiences at all. Some students got to stay in larger families, or stay with other students, some stayed slightly outside of the downtown area, while some stayed within the city. I actually stayed with a single elderly lady all by myself. Her home was about 3 miles from campus and so she showed me how to use the public transit and the bus stop was just outside her door. My homestay was honestly perfect. So if you are worried about living with another family or living in a foreign country, this program will put all of your concerns away.

Overall, I think this program was amazing from top to bottom. The support staff, environment, and people along the way made this a truly life altering experience. Although I am biased, I think anybody considering studying abroad, or just considering an adventure, should really think about this program.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moments were when I had to deal with the big traveling experiences. Like landing in Paris for the first time I was a complete mess. I panicked trying to read a map, I was worried my train would leave without me, or worried I was on the wrong train. Thankfully, technology was able to help me every step of the way. I suggest bringing a portable phone charger everywhere you go, just in case.
Caitlyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Angers, France

This program and my time in France really was a once in a lifetime experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life, and no matter how cliché this may sound I stand by it. From the beautiful school where we took classes daily, to the amazing scenery and hundreds of years of history that you cannot find here in the U.S., Angers really was an amazing place to study. First off, my homestay housing option was one of the best things about the program and helped me to progress in the language in ways that I would not have otherwise. The family I lived with was the kindest elderly couple, and the house was always lively with their visiting family, grandchildren and friends. I watched soccer each night with my host father and attended ligue 1 soccer games with him on the weekend. We would all watch the news together, I would go for walks in the countryside with my host mom and they were always there to take me to the University for our early morning excursions. The two of them served as a family away from my family here in the States, and they really did help to make Angers feel like home. I still keep in close contact with them even at the end of my program and will always consider them as family to me. If you are in any way hesitant to take part in a program where the homestay is either suggested or necessary, please understand that I was as well and it is now one of my absolute fondest memories of the program. I had heard this sentiment beforehand but did not truly believe it until I was there, homestay is the best option. (Knowing someone who has both lived in dorms and homestay options in Angers, they said that the dorm experience absolutely does not compare to the homestay.) Angers itself is a beautiful town that is neither too big nor too small. I live a little ways away from the school itself on the outskirts of town but direct transportation such as the tramway (10/10), and buses made travelling around so easy. Angers is a direct train ride away from Paris and several other large cities that make weekend travel a breeze. Additionally, there are scheduled excursions that take you all around France, such as the D-Day beaches in Normandy, a cave where you eat the best dinner of your life, or to the Abbey of Mont-Saint Michel (just to name a few). The excursions were such an amazing way to see what else France has to offer and many times were very humbling experiences. To this day they are among some of my favorite memories in this program and in my life. On-site program adviser Sue Crust was such a kind and caring person who really looked to make sure that we were getting the most from our time in Angers. Between Sue and GEO adviser Margaret Stanney, they were really invaluable resources for this program, any questions that we could or did have, and anyone applying to this program should take advantage or their knowledge and willingness to help you! I was shown all of the ways that I could really find my place in Angers, and even became an active volunteer in the Anglophone library in town where I worked with groups of little kids looking to learn English. In terms of any advice I could have for students who are going abroad and are considering Angers as their destination, know that this will be one of the absolute best times of your life, but you may not know that until you are home again. Whether that makes sense now, I know that it will when you are back here. (I have expressed this to several people who have also gone abroad, and they have told me that they feel the exact same way. Also, your French will come along, so be patient! I was hoping to go abroad and wake up one morning after a week or two and be fluent, and that will not be the case. Communicating in a different language is difficult no matter what level you arrive at, but every single day it will get easier and somewhere near the middle or end of your program you will realize how absolutely effortless it is to communicate. It was not the flip of a switch that I unrealistically anticipated, but I would never have come this far in the language in such little time without living here. Overall, I really could not recommend this particular program enough. There are now days where all I want is to take the tram to our beautiful school tucked away in the heart of Angers, grab pastries from a local bakery and a 50 cent coffee from the school Foyer and just talk with my host family or friends. What other time in your life are you going to live a town with apartment building older than our country or a castle in the middle of town? There is no place like France, and there is really no town quite like Angers.

Default avatar
Natalie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review of Cultural Immersion in Angers

This cultural immersion experience has been one of the best things I've ever done in my life. The classes are rigorous and challenging and I improved my French skills by one hundred percent. I made so many friends that I hope to keep for the rest of my life, I lived the life of a French citizen with my host family, and I've been inspired to make world travel a lasting part of my lifestyle from now on.

One thing that I would say about the program is actually not about the experience, but more about the preparation to leave, I would say that it's super important to get in touch with the program director, Sue. Her fifteen years of experience with the program means that her advice is invaluable to prospective students, and GEO definitely does not use her to her full potential as a resource for students. The other thing that I would say is to definitely choose the home stay option. This is what truly improved my French more than anything else, and I learned so much about French from this experience.

Finally, if your schedule and budget allows, I would definitely suggest staying for more than one session, or more than one month. Four weeks is just enough time to get settled, and then you have to leave just when you're getting the hang of being abroad. More time allows you to really expand and travel around.

What would you improve about this program?
Site director sue crust should be used as more of a pre-departure resource for students. Her fifteen years of experience with the program is invaluable. She could also be used to update pre-departure information given out my GEO, as a lot of information I recieved was either spotty or incorrect. Also prepaid SIM cards with French phone numbers should be included in the program cost. They're not expensive and students shouldn't have to pay more to call home or get in touch with someone in case of an emergency.