What Students Are Saying About AUCP Study Abroad…

What Students Are Saying About AUCP Study Abroad…

AUCP students have a one-of-a-kind study abroad experience – as part of the French Practicum, students are immersed in multiple facets of French life, language and culture.  But we’ll let them take the lead, and share with you impressions of their AUCP Study Abroad experience!

The AUCP Experience

I am very happy that I chose the AUCP. I have had an amazing experience that will influence my choices in life in the future. Because of my experience, I have changed the field of law that I am interested in and hope to study international law. – Meghan Strong, Ursinus College, AUCP Aix

Formidable! I couldn’t ask for better; The teachers were great, the classes challenging and interesting, the city beautiful and the friends that I made perfect. I hope to return to say “bonjour” one day! – Olivia Horton, Alma College, AUCP Aix

I think it’s one of the better programs for immersion and your French really will improve.  – Matthew Schlesinger, Fordham University, AUCP Aix

The AUCP experience is great. There are many options to learn about French Culture and work on improving vocabulary, grammar and linguistic strategies in French. There are also opportunities to discover other parts of Provence as a region. – Emmanuel Arthur, Franklin & Marshall College, AUCP Aix

Not only have I found unparalleled links with France, the language, Aix and the French, I’ve also made an incredible group of American friends. A group with whom I can’t wait to have AUCP reunions, eat cheese, drink wine, and speak French with once back in the States. – Sarah Robertson, Scripps College, AUCP Aix

The AUCP is a small university with quality professors who really care about their students! We became close and had a lot of attention from the professors. All of the people who work at the AUCP are sweet and caring. We had a lot of opportunities to travel to small surrounding areas of Marseille.  – Sarah Elena Dillabough, Austin College, AUCP Marseille

This is an intensive study abroad program for those who wish to really learn more about cultural relations and the French language. Not easy, but so rewarding and eye-opening. – Hannah Hummelberg, Claremont McKenna College, AUCP Marseille

The AUCP is definitely different from any other study abroad program. It is more rigorous and it challenges you, but you definitely get more out of it too. It provides you with opportunities to personalize your experience in France and really be able to do things like an actual real member of the society, not a visiting foreign student. – Hee Yoon Lee, Claremont McKenna, AUCP Marseille

My time at the AUCP was a once in a lifetime experience. My French vastly improved and it made me want to continue studying French in the future. – Bridget Moran, Claremont McKenna, AUCP Marseille

At the AUCP, you might discover something about yourself and what you like, and find interests you never knew you ad. It’s definitely an enriching program that will benefit you in unexpected ways. – Antoinette Cudney, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

I loved the AUCP overall, particularly because of the diverse opportunities for activities or trips. Marseille is a city of real French people and I feel that the AUCP helped me to have an authentic, non-touristic experience. – Colleen Moser, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

It was incroyable. I can’t believe that I have to leave in two weeks because I do not want to leave. Over the course of the last three months, I’ve developed a solid understanding of French culture and would love to come back to France if possible because of my great experience at the AUCP! – Aparna Mazumdar, Macalester College, AUCP Marseille


A vibrant, small city in the South of France. What more could you ask for?! Beautiful streets, fashionable, French and oppoprtunities to grow and learn like you could never imagine. – Katherine Buchanan, Wofford College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Anytime I left on vacation, I yearned to be back in this wonderful little town that now really feels like home. Full of charm, hidden sidestreets, charming bakeries, restaurants, shops and students everywhere you turn. It’s an ideal environment to integrate into a community. – Sarah Robertson, Scripps College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

I am so so happy I chose to study in Aix and not a big city. I’ve really been able to make myself feel at home here, and the atmosphere is so « French »! It’s calm and gorgeous, but not so tiny that there’s ever a lack of things to do. – Kristen Nassar, Carleton College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Small but big! You can traverse Aix in about forty-five minutes. But, there are hundreds of shops, restaurants, bars and plenty of other things packed into the city’s narrow streets. – Michaela Duffey, Linfield College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence was a great place to study. It is small enough that one can easily find their way around, but big enough that there are lots of little wonders to discover. The city is beautiful with all of its fountains. – Olivia Horton, Alma College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence


A fantastic, unpretentious city full of life and culture. The people are welcoming and boisterous, and will actually speak French to you. The city is incredibly beautiful in intself but even more so with the Mediterranean backdrop, and the breathtaking Calanques a short busride away! – Hannah Hummelberg, Claremont McKenna College, AUCP Marseille

I love Marseille. It is a city big enough that there are always things to explore, but small enough that most of the things are easily accessible. It is close to the Mediterranean Sea, and it is rich with history and old/new culture; Marseille is a city that never stops transforming itself to be better. – Hee Yoon Lee, Claremont McKenna, AUCP Marseille

Marseille is not a typical place to study abroad, or until recently, to be a tourist. But I really enjoyed this fact. Marseille is a city that feels very authentic, where you are able to pick up on the cutlure and general feel of the area relatively quickly. – Lars Naborn, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

Marseille is a complex, beautiful, diverse and exciting city. I’m so glad I chose to study abroad here as opposed to another French city. There are many things to do and a variety of people to meet. I appreciated so much the opportunity to live in a place so new and different from anything I have ever experienced before. – Colleen Moser, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

Classes & Professors

I swear, we have the best professors here at the AUCP. They worked so hard to get us to understand the way the French classroom works, but they also always took into account how we’re used to learning and participating. They were always there to answer our questions on language and culture, and they always had a sense of humor that made me want to go to class. – Kristen Nassar, Carleton College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

All of the classes are rigorous, but the teachers are, engaging, funny  and are ready to help you do your best. – Michaela Duffey, Linfield College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

The classes at the AUCP were very enlightening. They ranged from getting to know the immediate area where you live (Provence), to getting to know the whole of France. The teachers are very supportive and encouraging. – Olivia Horton, Alma College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Without exception, fantastic! Professional, helpful and above all, patient.  – Kelly Zapp, Austin College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

The professors were all helpful but above all, challenging and pushed me to grow as a student and in the French language. – Mitch Maffeo, Colby College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Sylvie, the professor for Immigrant Identities, is one of the most engaging mentors I have ever had the good fortune of meeting. She encourages her students to do their best and really grow through rewrites, constructive criticism, fascinating texts and challenging but manageable assignments. She uses Nobel-winning books, plays, films, video conferences with authors, news articles and more to share a comprehensive and absolutely incredible wealth of insight with her students. Thank you AUCP for a wonderful professor –  highly recommend!   – Helen Jiang, GWU, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

All of the teachers want to help you makd progress and learn as much as you can, and that is clear in the way that they teach. – Catherine Kanter, Tulane University, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

They exceeded my expectations.  – Mark Landry, Tulane University, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

I was very pleasantly surprised with the excellent quality of teachers and classes at the AUCP. I believe the teachers are highly approachable and genuinely enjoy being with us, which I truly appreciate. – Jenna Safran, Wofford College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence


A home away from home, staying in a host family gives you a unique chance to become a true member not only of the French society, but of a real French family. – Katherine Buchanan, Wofford College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

My host family was incredibly warm and inviting, and without them my experience would not be complete. – Hayden Tornabene, Carleton College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

The homestay was definitely one of the biggest highlights of the program. My host family allowed me to learn so much, eat really well, and feel like I had a nice place to go at the end of the day. – Kaitlin Curran, Colby College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Living with a truly Marseillais family will expose you cultural nuances unique to this city and to France that you can not experience elsewhere. Having support eases the study abroad transition – not to mention your French! – Hannah Hummelberg, Claremont McKenna, AUCP Marseille

I absolutely loved my host family and I also feel that living with them provided an extremely important opportunity to improve my French. We never spoke in English so I learned so much linguistically, but also culturally from living with a French family as opposed to with other Americans. – Colleen Moser, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

My individual placement immersion in a homestay was wonderful. I had a mom figure to cook me food and to console me, and a friend figure at the same time. I learned a lot from her, and we had a good relationship. I’m glad I was not in a dorm or apartment with other American students! – Sarah Elena Dillabough, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

French Language Partners

My language partners improved my experience completely. I really got to know French university students & I have made friends for a long time. I will definitely come back to see them. – Gaby De Frutos, Muhlenberg College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

The AUCP provides an excellent opportunity to meet French students your own age that most study abroad programs don’t. – Kate Francis, Barnard College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

My language partner was great. We saw each other about once a week, and I was able to spend two weekends in Marseille and stay with her and her grandparents! It was such a cool experience! – Michaela Duffey, Linfield College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

A very innovative way to help us integrate into French society. My language partners became more than people with whom to practice French & English, but evolved into valued friends with whom I could hanv out and explore Aix each weekend! – Katherine Buchanan, Wofford College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

My language partners were incredibly friendly right off the bat, and even though they were often busy, I met my closest French friends through them, and through the French language partners of other American students. I would have been too shy to meet people without them! – Kristen Nassar, Carleton College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Club/Personal Interest Activity

I have loved and played hockey since before I could walk, and to find a group here in Aix who shared that passion was awesome. I looked forward to practice each week and interacting with my French roller hockey team. – Mitch Maffeo, Colby College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

I play ultimate frisbee back at Grinnell, so my club here allowed me to continue one of my passions while also meeting new people. I loved playing a team sport that is very important to me, and feel that this was a valuable aspect of the program. – Colleen Moser, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

Fun and great exercise! My basketball team was very nice and gave me more opportunities to practice French, as well as be part of a team and have an outlet every week. – Lars Naborn, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

Irish dancing in France was a great experience. The teacher is wonderful and welcoming to all who go to class. I learned a lot and the other students were very nice. – Olivia Horton, Alma College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

My club was gratifying and surprising. I was able to share the wonders of art and learn how to talk about photography in French. My teacher and classmates were patient, knowledgeable and genuinely interested in me as a person, and not just as an American. – Helen Jiang, GWU, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

I joined a choir! Singing with that group each week was a great way to relax and build new relationships! – Stefani Priskos, Barnard College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Community Service

It was very neat to do community service at La Croix Rouge ( The Red Cross). I got to know the people who worked there and they were always willing to talk and help me with my French. – Olivia Horton, Alma College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

The community service opportunities are amazing. I’ve met so many people with interesting stories and felt less like a stranger in France, and more like a member of the community. – Antoinette Cudney, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

My comunity service with the French Red Cross gave me a great chance to see a different side of Marseille and to practice my speaking skills in real-life situations. – Lars Naborn, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

I enjoyed my community service immensely. I helped young children from diverse backgrounds with their homework, which forced me to improve my French, while also learning from them. I felt connected with the city of Marseille and its inhabitants because of my volunteer work. – Colleen Moser, Grinnell College, AUCP Marseille

Cooking Class

My definition of bonheur is everything this class with Chef Bruno gave me. Laughter, shared moments with sincere friends, knwoledge of cooking and life, and all of the food from those cherished Friday afternoons… – Helen Jiang, GWU, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Chef Bruno infused years of knowledge and expertise into a warmth and kindness that made the cooking class the most enjoyable and influential experience for me at the AUCP. – Hayden Tornabene, Carleton College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

We cooked top quality ingredients perfectly, under the watchful eyes of Chef Bruno. We learned how to savor and bring out the natural flavors of a plethora of delicious ingredients. – Mark Landry, Tulane University, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

The cooking class with Bruno was one of the highlights of my experience. The food was incredible and classically French, and sharing the meal with each other after working hard together to prepare it made it all the more rewarding and enjoyable. Bruno’s warmth, personality and sense of humor created a relaxed atmosphere in the kitchen. The hours I spent there provided me with a great opportunity to practice French as well as valuable cooking skills that I will certainly use when I return! – Julia Barry, Colby College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Wine Tasting Class

Wine tasting was incredible, you don’t know what you’re missing until you try it. Once I tasted some of those fine wines…oh man! I didn’t know a drink could be so complex, delicious & wonderful at the same time. – Mark Landry, Tulane University, AUCP Aix-en-Provence

Before this semester, I was not a fan of wine. But after my time here I have grown to appreciate and love wine and the culture that surrounds it. For me, it was one of the my favorite parts of the program, learning the intricacies of the different tastes each wine posesses and having the ability to taste some of the finest wines France has to offer. – Mitch Maffeo, Colby College, AUCP Aix-en-Provence