French Immersion in Angers, France

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About

This program is designed for you to immerse yourself in French language (regardless of French language ability) while also learning more about French culture, politics and society. This program contains courses covering many disciplines, with coursework in history, sociology, political science, French culture and civilization. You will study at the international language institute (CIDEF) of the Université Catholique de l'Ouest, taking courses with US and other international students. You will live with a French family for a fully immersive experience. Students studying in the summer sessions have the option of living in a university residence hall. Angers is a lively university community of more than 30,000 students, making it a lively city with a prominent youth culture. Angers is also a city of deep history, with a castle and churches dating back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

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Reviews

100%
based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 8
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Caitlyn
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Natalie
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend

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At Global Education Oregon, we create pathways to international, experiential learning for students, faculty, and university partners. Founded on the belief that international engagement is integral to developing global citizens, we prepare students...