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Old 11-25-07, 10:53 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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Anybody here study abroad in college?

If so,
Where at? Also, did you like it?

I was pondering trying to go to school in Europe for a year maybe. I'd love to make it France, but I don't speak French anymore . I can understand it moderately well, but I do suspect I can pick it up again if I wanted to. It was my first language...
Plus, I am a rightful citizen of France, and I think that makes me a citizen of the EU. If that makes it easier or not to get in, so be it.
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Old 11-25-07, 11:08 AM   #2
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I'm sure a lot of people studied more than one broad in college! *ba-dum-tsssh*
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Old 11-25-07, 11:14 AM   #3
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I'm sure a lot of people studied more than one broad in college! *ba-dum-tsssh*
**** I was going to go with "Sure I studied lots of broads in college"...you stole my thunder
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Old 11-25-07, 11:41 AM   #4
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I studied quite a few, but not too many would let me take the final exam.

However, I did spend a semester in Eastbourne, England. It was fantastic, and I can not recommend the experience enough. In fact, I think every American should be kicked out of the country for a minimum of 3 months once they become adults, but that is another story. Any way, if you have the slightest inclination, I would encourage you to do it. With having dual citizenship, you at least have the opportunity to do something similar in the future, but for many Americans it would not be so easy.

I also spent a month traveling around Europe when I had my "mid-life crisis" 3 years ago, and much of that time was spent in France, conveniently enough in July. I found the stereotype of the French as hating Americans to definitely not be true. I was struck by the friendliness of the people, and the beauty of the countryside. Even though I speak virtually no French, the people we still very nice and helpful. I'd go back to either country in a heartbeat.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:43 PM   #5
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I didn't and that's one of my biggest regrets of my college experience. Everyone I know that did had a great time and doesn't want to live in America anymore.

One thing I would point out is that many agree the French don't care for Americans. In other countries english is a pretty standard language and you won't be lost if you don't speak german/spanish/etc.. This may not be the case in france. I could just be spewing dumb american bs though. Take it or leave it.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:58 PM   #6
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Anybody here study a broad in college?
I studied lots of them.
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Old 11-25-07, 01:08 PM   #7
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Wow, same lame joke over and over. Yuks all around.

I spent a summer month in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, in 1994. It was one of the greatest times of my life.

Met people from all over the world, ate great food, spent weekends traveling to other parts of the country (Guanajuato is incredible for its history), explored the city, drank in cantinas with story-telling old men, learned about good tequila, rooted for the US in the World Cup, and learned a lot of Spanish and got credit for it.

Great time. Highly recommended!

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Old 11-25-07, 01:15 PM   #8
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One thing I would point out is that many agree the French don't care for Americans. In other countries english is a pretty standard language and you won't be lost if you don't speak german/spanish/etc.. This may not be the case in france. I could just be spewing dumb american bs though. Take it or leave it.
I generally had pretty good experiences in France. At the hotel where I was staying, a young lady spent at least 30 minutes checking maps, calling home, checking the Tour route, photocopying maps, etc to help me get from Tolouse to Plateau de Beille.

At a gas station on the outskirts of Paris, a cashier and a patron drew a map to direct me to the finish on the Champs Elysse. Another time in Paris, a person on the street noticed I was looking at a map, and approached me to help with directions (and they weren't "selling" anything either).

Another night in Rambouillette, I was hanging out with a woman from Ireland and some of her French friends. I don't speak much French, so I was more or less an outsider for much of the conversation and just enjoying the ambiance. At one point, one of the French made a point of saying to me in broken English that even though the French may disagree with the politics of the American government, they don't hold it against the individual people of the country. (This was in 2004.)

Way back in 1991, I had gotten lost in Bordeaux. I was walking around with some people I met at the youth hostel, and they stopped to buy some drugs on the street. I wanted nothing to do with that, and I separated myself from the group. I got lost on the way back to the youth hostel, and asked some guys who were jump starting a car for directions back to the hostel. Their spoken directions weren't sinking in, so they ended up driving me back - and wouldn't accept any money for gas!

One trick that I think was helpful was that when I approached a stranger, I would usually ask in French if they spoke English. If they said no, I would ask if they spoke Italian or Spanish in those respective languages. Even though I'm not totally proficient in Italian and Spanish, I think it helped to convey that I wasn't expecting everyone to automatically speak English, and that I have tried to learn some foreign languages. Of course learning "please" and "thank you" in the native language and smiling a lot go a long way too! There were two unpleasant people who I met during the month that I was in Europe, but that's pretty good statistically speaking. I am going to definitely go back to France - and learn more of the language in advance.
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Old 11-25-07, 01:29 PM   #9
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Okay, I mean did anybody study at a college outside of the US.

I think that I'll fit into France well enough. I've been there twice. Both times it was the Northern portion, Paris and above. I have family in Paris, Rambouillette, Normandy area, and basically the Loire valley. My father is French, so I am a French citizen. I've got a lot of family out there, and I look European. I've got the quintessential French nose...
Plus, I have been told that many of my ideals coincide with European ideals.

My concern is just that a University may only speak the native language, this is a perfectly legitimate thing for them to do of course. But if English isn't the primary, then I may be screwed.
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Old 11-25-07, 03:03 PM   #10
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I did a summer study abroad in Costa Rica and had a blast. I wish I had done a full year. If you want to speak French there really isn't any better way than to go to France and be forced to speak it all the time. My only regret about Costa Rica is that they were running a little short on host families, so I got put in a house with another American. The grandson of the host family also happened to speak great English, so there was a lot of English being spoken in the house. I ended up learning a lot of Spanish, but I could have learned so much more if I had lived alone with a host family.

There are schools in Europe where you can speak English, but that doesn't seem like as much fun to me. Sure, your grades may take a little hit at a foreign language school as you're first learning the language, but you gain so many other things that are worth more than a grade. You can gain memories that last a lifetime, but how long are you going to remember that you got a B+ instead of an A? Unless you want to go to med school or something I doubt it will matter when you go searching for a job.
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Old 11-25-07, 03:11 PM   #11
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Okay, I mean did anybody study at a college outside of the US.

I think that I'll fit into France well enough. I've been there twice. Both times it was the Northern portion, Paris and above. I have family in Paris, Rambouillette, Normandy area, and basically the Loire valley. My father is French, so I am a French citizen. I've got a lot of family out there, and I look European. I've got the quintessential French nose...
Plus, I have been told that many of my ideals coincide with European ideals.

My concern is just that a University may only speak the native language, this is a perfectly legitimate thing for them to do of course. But if English isn't the primary, then I may be screwed.
If you want to study in France just for the experience of going to Europe for a while, then put your major on a back burner and concentrate on language that semester. You can get back to engineering after you are back in the states.
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Old 11-25-07, 03:48 PM   #12
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Yes, it is worth it. Go now before it is too late.
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Old 11-25-07, 04:26 PM   #13
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Did you ever get this mess straightened out?
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Old 11-25-07, 04:46 PM   #14
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studying abroad just means partying in a different location
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Old 11-25-07, 05:28 PM   #15
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Not in college but spent time as an exchange student in high school in South Australia. Was an amazing experience!
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Old 11-25-07, 05:29 PM   #16
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DO IT. You of all people, phantomcow, would benefit and enjoy it immensely. DO IT.
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Old 11-25-07, 05:29 PM   #17
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Did you ever get this mess straightened out?
yeah, was just thinking about that one
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Old 11-25-07, 05:39 PM   #18
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Funny you mention that. What happened:
They told me to go to the French Embassy on a specific date last june. I didn't go, and sent a letter telling them I won't go.

Two months later I get a letter, "Thankyou, you have fulfilled your obligation to the country of France, here is a confirmation certificate of your registration for our draft".
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Old 11-25-07, 06:02 PM   #19
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1. make sure when you sign up for classes that they'll transfer to whatever school you intend to transfer to (assuming you intend to finish at a US uni).
2. it's often cheaper to attend school outside the US - particularly in Europe. even with the weak dollar.
3. knowing the language isn't always super-necessary - lots of schools deal with non-native speakers. here in the US and abroad. or at least the good ones do.

i have large numbers of friends and acquaintances who have attended foreign unis - mostly in England, but some were in France, Russia and Italy. i've not - though i have attended classes by a US uni in South America and the Caribbean.

but go for it. it'll be good for you!
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Old 11-25-07, 06:11 PM   #20
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Funny you mention that. What happened:
They told me to go to the French Embassy on a specific date last june. I didn't go, and sent a letter telling them I won't go.

Two months later I get a letter, "Thankyou, you have fulfilled your obligation to the country of France, here is a confirmation certificate of your registration for our draft".
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Old 11-25-07, 08:16 PM   #21
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Okay, that cleared up, will schools be able to accommodates me not speaking French fluently? Concern over this makes England more attractive.
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Old 11-26-07, 10:58 AM   #22
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1. make sure when you sign up for classes that they'll transfer to whatever school you intend to transfer to (assuming you intend to finish at a US uni).
2. it's often cheaper to attend school outside the US - particularly in Europe. even with the weak dollar.
3. knowing the language isn't always super-necessary - lots of schools deal with non-native speakers. here in the US and abroad. or at least the good ones do.

i have large numbers of friends and acquaintances who have attended foreign unis - mostly in England, but some were in France, Russia and Italy. i've not - though i have attended classes by a US uni in South America and the Caribbean.

but go for it. it'll be good for you!
I completely agree with #1 and #3. As for #2, yes tuition is cheaper (non-existent in many Western European countries) but the cost of living in most of Europe is waaay higher than the US.
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Old 11-26-07, 11:01 AM   #23
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Hey phantomcow2,

I am a Canadian uni student just on exchange in Denmark - and LOVING every minute of it. I do not regret (and don't anticipate ever regretting) coming here. The only downer is that I'm only here for a semester and not longer...

Anyway, as for your concern regarding language, as has been said above, many universities offer a 'study in English' program. I am in Denmark, don't speak Danish (other than the few words I've picked up here) and all my classes are in English.

I know that the same can be done in Sweden, Norway, Croatia, and I am sure there are many more...

PM me if you have any more questions...
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Old 11-26-07, 11:02 AM   #24
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Oh yeah, do come to Scandinavia - the girls here are all amazingly hot!!
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Old 11-26-07, 11:56 AM   #25
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My wife studied in France for a while. The biggest problem she had was that her host family was in it purely for the money, which made her time there rather miserable (they basically said "here is your room" and forgot about her) and expensive (she had to cover a lot of things that the host family was supposed to provide, for example).

The schooling part she loved, but I think she enjoyed backpacking across Europe (literally) on her own time more.
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