Portrait of an AUCP Student

Portrait of an AUCP Student


An AUCP student is not your typical university student.

An AUCP student isn’t looking for a semester abroad that « feels like home ». She isn’t looking for a little America abroad. She isn’t looking for a year spent « getting by » speaking English in France. She isn’t looking for an « easy » semester.

Au contraire, an AUCP student thrives on becoming part of her new culture. An AUCP student pushes herself to go above and beyond, and she prides herself in taking on the challenge of speaking French day-in and day-out, even if it is difficult. She helps others stay committed.

She  may get discouraged, miss home, feel frustrated and lost. But she uses and analyses those experiences to learn more about herself and herown culture, comparing and contrasting with the French and their own, coming out of it stronger and wiser.

An AUCP student is aware of his surroundings, and does his best to do as the French do. He takes advantage of what he learns about the French, in everyday life and in class, and uses it to become a part of the local community during his time abroad.

He makes his community service requirement count, whether it be weekly conversations with the elderly, helping out in a class of children, tutoring underpriveledged youth, or working with the Red Cross. He uses it as an opportunity not only to learn French, but also to help others and support his adoptive community.

An AUCP student learns to accept not being in control of her surroundings, and not being able to plan things out to the last detail.  Sometimes, impromptu soirées are organized by text message as she’s getting out of class. She lets go of her desire to plan, and it helps her meet new friends.

He’ll go out of his comfort zone. He’ll try foods he may never have tried (escargots, anyone?), buy that strange smelling cheese at the market, go to an opera, see a French movie, take a cooking class even if he struggles making mac n’ cheese.

An AUCP student spends time getting to know her host family, and realizes that letting a total stranger into one’s home isn’t easy. She’ll help out around the house, just like she does at home or in her own apartment.  She’ll share her day over a cup of coffee or tea, and learn about life in a French household so similar and yet so different from her own.

He’ll do his best to let go of feeling embarrassed or silly if he uses the wrong word, or mispronounces something. He realizes that making mistakes is crucial to his French progress.

She uses every day, every conversation and every experience as yet another opportunity to learn, grow and discover.

An AUCP student is not your typical university student.