Skip to content

France : Reviews (Angers)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Study Abroad & Global Engagement
Rate Your Study Abroad Program!
Laurie Catherine Winkel, Fall 2012 Participant
Living in Angers was definitely unforgettable. The city's remarkable beauty, attractions, and friendliness, along with its proximity to Nantes and Paris was ideal. I was very pleased, too, that most of its inhabitants didn't speak English well--they were both curious about and accommodating to Americans, which made them enthusiastic conversation partners. That really boosted my French skills.

 

Henry Hin-Yuen Chan, Spring 2012 Participant
The french cuisine was one of my favorites. Nearly everything is produced organically by US standards and made fresh.

 

Spring 2012 Participant
The city was incredible. It was the perfect size, with just enough to explore, but not so big that it felt overwhelming. Transportation was really easy, too.

 

Spring 2012 Participant
My favorite part of the program was definitely living with my host mom. She didn't speak more that 4 or 5 words of English, but she loved to talk, so my French improved dramatically. In addition, she is quite an incredible lady and had a lifetime's worth of experiences to share.

 

Amy Elizabeth Tadlock, Fall 2013 Participant
I loved meeting students from all over the world, as CIDEF is an international school. The excursions and cultural experiences made the program for me. The teachers were kind and understanding, which was incredibly helpful especially since when I arrived in Angers I struggled with speaking full sentences in French.

 

Sydney Sara Rayl, Spring 2013 Participant
It was incredible to live somewhere where it was normal to say, "I think I'll go to Paris for the weekend." I met amazing new friends, lived with the sweetest host family, improved my French speaking skills, and to top it all off, ate French food every day. The school was great, and I learned much more than I could have imagined.

 

Maria Alba Ferrara, Fall 2015 Participant
I loved Angers. Its a really beautiful city and everything was within walking distance. It was small enough that everything was accesible and safe but big enough to keep me curious and adventuring.

 

Elizabeth Christine James, Fall 2015 Participant
My favorite part of the program was the month of September. It was kind of like a French language boot camp. The students were together 9 to 5 every day and then we often went out together at night as well. We learned a lot of French and became very close as a program.

 

Lauren Elizabeth Metzler, Fall 2015 Participant
My favorite part of my semester in France was how easy it was to travel. I was able to visit seven countries in Europe in four months and experience cultures other than just the French culture.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
The most amazing part of this program was being able to meet many different people from all over the world and practicing and developing in the language with them.

 

Elizabeth P Orr, Fall 2016 Participant
Angers has a college-town feel that quickly felt like home. It's large enough to always have fun things happening, but small enough to feel like home.

 

Spring 2016 Participant
My favorite part was meeting students from other countries and cultures in the CIDEF program, but also to be able to interact with the French on a daily basis.

 

Spring 2016 Participant
I loved talking about the similarities and differences among the different cultures that were represented in my class, discussed all in french!

 

Meghan Lynne Ketcham, Spring 2016 Participant
My favorite part of this program was staying with a host family. We shared many wonderful dinners together, and I not only spoke better French, but I connected with the French culture much more than I could have imagined.

 

Madelynn G Kurtz, Fall 2017 Participant
My favorite part of this program are all the new friends I've made through it. They were what really enriched my experience abroad.

 

Carly Kay Clasen, Spring 2017 Participant
Being immersed in the culture and experiencing that through the food, my host family, and in and outside of the classroom was beyond what I had expected. It was better! It's one thing to learn a language in a classroom versus living it out and practicing everyday and I can finally say with confidence I have a better understanding of the culture and language, still trying to work on that accent though- c'est difficile!

 

Gabrielle A Maida, Spring 2017 Participant
I was comfortable because I was with other foreign study abroad students but also felt well integrated because of my host-family living style.

 

Spring 2017 Participant
I loved just being in France. I felt so at home in Angers, and I learned and grew so much just by going about my daily life there. I'm definitely more independent, confident, and cultured than I was just four months ago.

 

Spring 2017 Participant
I loved how multi cultural the program was. I met many people from so many new and exciting cultures. It was great to learn about their ways of life!

 

Spring 2018 Participant
My favorite part of this program was meeting new people from completely different walks of life but all bonding together over this amazing experience.

 

Spring 2018 Participant
My favorite part of this program was the opportunity to meet and interact with people from all around the world! In the classroom, city, and on trips, there are so many opportunities to learn about even more than just the French culture and create memories that'll last a lifetime!

 

Ethan Adair Lovell, Fall 2012 Participant
CIDEF is a wonderful close-knit community, and the level of French instruction there is wonderful. I found involvement with CIDEF incredibly rewarding. Also, the ability to travel, put myself outside of my comfort zone, and meet new people every day.

 

Amelia Paige Taylor, Fall 2012 Participant
I found the complete French language immersion so rewarding. I found sometimes it was harder to speak English than French because my classes were made up of people from China, Japan, or Poland so our only form of verbal communication was through French. I realized how much I learned from when all the study abroad students leaving in December gathered for one last assembly and I understood 97% of what the director was saying when only 4 months prior I understood maybe 50%. It's in that moment I realized how far I have come with French and motivates me to continue learning more.

 

Carina Victoria Wade, Fall 2012 Participant
Interacting with the other international students at CIDEF. I was able to learn about French culture as well as many others such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Canadian, Central American and more!!

 

Laurie Catherine Winkel, Fall 2012 Participant
The excursions were amazing and well worth the money! I saw the show of a lifetime at Puy de Fou, for one. They were very illuminating as far as French culture, as well. The CIDEF had many wonderful programs as well for meeting people and discovering Angers. I owe a great many of my "funny language/culture misunderstanding" to our International Nights at Soft Bar in Angers.

 

Jason Abbott, Spring 2012 Participant
The most rewarding parts were the social interactions I had while out in the city and the interactions I had with the professors.

 

Alex Charles Applegate, Spring 2012 Participant
Total cultural immersion!

 

Spring 2012 Participant
I got to know some really amazing international students from all over the world. I learned so much about many cultures, not just France.

 

Fall 2013 Participant
The fact that all classes were in French allowed me to progress linguistically, and nearly all of the professors were engaged and loved teaching.

 

Sydney Sara Rayl, Spring 2013 Participant
By the end of the program when my mom came to visit and meet my host family, I was able to translate between them French to English and English to French, which made me realize how far I had come since the beginning of the semester. I felt so proud to have learned so much.

 

Aryn Kelsey Yohn, Spring 2013 Participant
Living in Angers and communicating with the teachers, host families, and students helped me more with my french than i would have ever guessed.

 

Spring 2014 Participant
•   Host family: I loved being able to live with my host mom. Living with her forced me to use French in my life outside of school. This definitely increased my ability to speak in French.
•   Schooling: I feel like my French ability increased immensely from my Langue class. Phonetics helped improve my accent and helped improve my oral comprehension. My history and socio culture class helped me learn a lot about Angers and France as a whole. My business French class helped show me the differences in language that occur in business as well as the differences between European and American businesses.
•   Excursions: I loved all the different excursions. They allowed me to see things that may be to difficult to see without a car/bus. My favorite was definitely going to the caves for the winery tour and troglodyte village.
•   Angers: As a city, I loved it. It was very calm, peaceful, and super laid back. It was a great place to be outdoors with friends.

 

Maria Alba Ferrara, Fall 2015 Participant
I really enjoyed staying with my host family. I got to speak a lot of French and learn about culture and cuisine.

 

Elizabeth Christine James, Fall 2015 Participant
I got to know not only French people, but people from all over the world. I now have friends to keep up with in various parts of the United States, Korea, China, Chile, Greece, and France.

 

Lauren Elizabeth Metzler, Fall 2015 Participant
The most rewarding part of my experience was all the amazing people I met. I have now made new connections across the globe and the U.S. Everyone I met was so intelligent and friendly. They helped open my eyes to new opinions and cultures. Also, there was no greater experience than having a conversation with a French person in French.

 

Carmen Ortiz, Spring 2015 Participant
I could really tell that my French was improving. When I first got to France I was so scared to speak French to anyone, but after a while I got over that fear and reminded myself that's why I was there! The immersion was really essential to my improvement.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
While there were many aspects of this study abroad program that were rewarding I think the most rewarding was the relationship I built with my host parents. Having a family to live with and learn with was invaluable, and I know that I could not have made the progress that I did without their help, love, and encouragement.

 

Elizabeth P Orr, Fall 2016 Participant
The university provides a number of activities and clubs that help to integrate you into the culture, do fun things, and meet French students.

 

Spring 2016 Participant
I found the classes and traveling the most rewarding. The classes challenged you to truly speak and listen in French and other languages were prohibited to allow this type of learning. Traveling also served as a huge learning experience by learning to talk to others in different cultures or using different languages and learning about other countries' traditions and ways of life.

 

Meghan Lynne Ketcham, Spring 2016 Participant
Meeting students from countries all around the world was very rewarding. I hadn't anticipated learning so much about other cultures besides the French, so it was cool to be in a class sporting 12 different nationalities.

 

Alexander Scott Hansen, Academic Year 2017 Participant
The most rewarding element was being pushed academically to learn more complex vocabulary and grammar structures so that I could have better conversations with people and understand them better than before.

 

Madelynn G Kurtz, Fall 2017 Participant
My progress as a French speaker and the exposure to a different culture experience were the most rewarding elements of the program. I feel like I was able to grow so much as a global citizen and as an individual thanks to my time in France.

 

Carly Kay Clasen, Spring 2017 Participant
I found the most rewarding was the amazing and patient host family I got. I have to say I was quite anxious to see what family I would be assigned to but that was the least of my worries when i got there. They were super welcoming, friendly, and understanding in the fact that they knew I was there to learn a completely new language. The program includes three meals a week and I always looked forward to those nights. I still keep in touch with them and hope to meet up with them again un jour!

 

Spring 2017 Participant
I met so many people from all over the world, and because we both spoke French, we were able to communicate. These were people I never would have met or been able to talk to otherwise, and it was so cool to be able to make friends that way.

 

Spring 2017 Participant
I found the interactions between the teachers and the students to be very rewarding. All my teachers were very encouraging, welcoming, and really allowed me to progress in my learning.

 

Fall 2018 Participant
Being accepted as a real member of my host family was incredible. I feel like I will always have a home to return to in Angers.

 

Spring 2018 Participant
What I found most rewarding was the academic side particularly with my improvements in writing French.

 

Spring 2018 Participant
I found that the host family and friends that I made were the most rewarding elements of the program. Being totally immersed with a family and friends was completely and totally awesome! You can't match the experiences you have going to art fairs with your host mom and celebrating your host brother's birthday with him and his friends down by the river!

 

Laurie Catherine Winkel, Fall 2012 Participant
People will tell study abroad students that immersion will happen and they will just pick the language right up--that is not entirely true! It takes guts and a lot of putting yourself out there. I had a lot of socially awkward moments and I was regularly frustrated with my language level. I opened my eyes and ears and started noticing everything and my French skills skyrocketed in large part due to hard work. It was so worth it. I would certainly advise students that they'll have fun no matter what, but if they dive headfirst into the social challenges of an unknown culture, it will take a lot of courage but will be their greatest pride. And it's the only way to become fluent.

 

Jason Abbott, Spring 2012 Participant
Keep an open mind and remember that you have a great chance to learn many things about a new culture and yourself.

 

Henry Hin-Yuen Chan, Spring 2012 Participant
Go during the Fall. The weather there is much nicer and there are much more stuff going on in general.

 

Spring 2012 Participant
Be open to meeting people from other countries. Even though there may be a language barrier and it may be difficult, once you break through it will be the most rewarding thing you will have done.

 

Sydney Sara Rayl, Spring 2013 Participant
It's so important to dive in to every opportunity that comes your way while abroad. Don't be scared to talk to people in a foreign language and be independent. That way you won't miss out on anything.

 

Elizabeth Christine James, Fall 2015 Participant
I learned a lot of familiar conversational French that was very current because I learned it from French people living in France. I can hold a conversation with a French person and they don't have to change the way they speak for me to understand.

 

Elizabeth P Orr, Fall 2016 Participant
Be open minded and try new things that come your way!

 

Fall 2016 Participant
Be ready to adapt and don't panic! Things will go wrong and be difficult but you will be able to navigate around these obstacles.

 

Spring 2016 Participant
I learned to not take things too personally and to have an open mindset. Many times people can come off as rude or indifferent, but that's just the way the culture is. Also, listen carefully to what the program directors and teachers tell you because they are only trying to help even if it creates more of a hassle for you.

 

Meghan Lynne Ketcham, Spring 2016 Participant
There is not a lot of homework, so spend your free time wisely. Keep busy, especially in the first month, to keep from getting homesick. France is very rainy and cold in February, so spend time with your host family, try to cook some warm French food and try your hand at reading a novel in French when the weather is bad.

 

Alexander Scott Hansen, Academic Year 2017 Participant
I learned the value of being immersed in a completely foreign environment and how that changes you as a citizen of the world.

 

Gabrielle A Maida, Spring 2017 Participant
Angers is not a huge town and is very easy to maneuver. Also, you aren't drowning in homework every single night because they want you to experience truly living in France.

 

Spring 2017 Participant
Be open-minded, be curious, be brave.