If you’re studying abroad for the first
time AIFS is a perfect organization to use, because the first day that I was
here I was so pleasantly surprised to find that all of the AIFS staff knew
our names, they knew our faces, and they had really done their homework on who we
were, and they really wanted to get to know us as people. One thing that’s
really great about AIFS is that it’s a really great balance between support and
planned activities, and independence so you get a good feel of the city and you
know some planned activities to other cities, but you also get to explore at
your own pace and do other excursions wherever you want to go. The city is the
main resource. It’s the live classroom. So most of our courses and our classes are
organized in a way that students use the city as their main resource. One of the
things that we like to do is develop a culture program and a travel program
which supplements what we’re doing in a classroom. Which makes a program more
enticing and more enjoyable here because one second to be in class, the next
second to be on a bus to Oxford, you know or in the Globe Theater seeing a Shakespeare
play. My personal way of education is integrating the students- makes them part
of the lessons. We don’t necessarily have to go to the library or on the internet
do our research, so we can actually go to the site and see it and take our own
pictures and learn about it on our own without using internet or the library to
do the research, which is really interesting. I mean they have the chance
of touching history, you know? So they have the chance of taking her to museums
to so neat palaces. It’s a great experience especially if you want to learn a
language, come to a foreign country where they don’t speak your language. You’ll
pick it up quickly. It’s an amazing, unforgettable experience. They will have
classes every morning, um about four hours of class or five hours depending on the
day, and this is with excellent teachers in the Sorbonne. In the beginning we
take them to classes and we show them around and give them an idea of the area
and get them on their feet. Because in the beginning it can be quite daunting
being in a new city, so we are here like their second mothers or second fathers.
The staff are very very personable, very caring, and very involved, and very
knowledgeable. After a week, after you know talking with the director, she just makes
you feel really at home and really welcome, and within a week this is your
home. The teachers really make it fun and change things up, and I’ve really learned
a lot. I feel a lot more comfortable with my Spanish now. It’s priceless to have this
experience as a teacher, when somebody can’t talk, and in four weeks- in four or
five weeks then they can communicate. They do a really good job making sure
everything is planned. It kind of takes the hassle out of it, especially it’s my
first time in Europe. AIFS does a really great job kind of coordinating
everything, making sure you got to see everything that you want to see, but
still giving you time to kind of go out and explore what you want to see on your own.
They include everything. They give us housing. They give us money for food. They
take us on tours. The tours are excellent. The food is included. It’s it’s very
well-rounded, very well-organized. Food is amazing you can’t even begin to
appreciate it until you’ve had it. They book your flight for you. They have
meals that are included. They have everything really structured. You know
when the meals are. You know exactly where to go, and anytime you have a
question there’s a million people to talk to to ask. We have an excellent apartment. It’s really-
it’s furnished, there’s everything that we need. We’re very lucky to be in such a
nice part of town. I really recommend it for people who haven’t traveled before.
You’ll make great friends, especially because you’re put in a situation that
you’re not used to. You get to see new things all the time, and getting to meet
new people and to be put in a completely different environment, it’s like a whole
nother world. Study Abroad is realizing that despite these superficial
stereotypes and despite extremism, is that the world is a small place and we
all have the same worries, the same anxieties, the same fears. Go ahead and take
advantage of everything you can have, anything you can possibly do. You know, I
said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that
yeah you’re not gonna get again, so go ahead and just do it.