Abroad101 Cool Program of the Week in Strasbourg France with Accès Classique


Sometimes its cool to be small.  This week’s cool program is in Strasbourg, one of the safest most livable cities in France.  Accès is a small program (less than 15 students per semester) with an Acces - Strasbourg Franceexperienced American staff that gets to know each student personally and helps each get the most out of their time in France.

Accès provides the support and guidance American college students need to get the most out of their study abroad experience.  They arrange housing with host families and boarding houses, help students register for the classes they need at the University of Strasbourg, transfer academic credit to US colleges, set up internships at local associations, and organize excursions throughout France.

To find out more about this program, read returning student reviews and learn more or apply, please visit:


Cool Program of the Week – Jazz in Paris


Cool Program of the Week loves all the stories coming in from summer’s abroad.  Summer is such a good time to study and do cool things – like Jazz in Paris:


What is this program about?

We spend the summer following in their footsteps to understand how Jazz developed and why it was so enthusiastically received by the Parisians in the 1920s. In addition to historical lectures, films, and live music in class, we will capture the flavor of the period with excursions to the nightclubs, restaurants, concert venues, and cafes owned and frequented by these African American pioneers abroad.

The ability to speak French or read music is not necessary—a passion to learn about American jazz in Paris is required!

Student Review

“I gained confidence in following my dreams and turning them into reality. The experience was the best world exposure I ever had.”  Read the full review


Five Reasons to Consider a Long-term Study Abroad Program

Review_30573_Photo__f9d7So you want to see the world, and you’re enticed by all the short-term programs out there. A few weeks in Sweden, a stop in Germany, and a long weekend in Belgium. Sounds like a good deal: you get to see lots of places in a short amount of time, right? Well, it’s a good start, but I’d like to propose a deeper adventure. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on some life-changing opportunities. As someone who spent a year studying at a university in Toulouse, France, I can tell you from firsthand experience what you will gain if you decide to go the distance and chose an immersion program:

Make Lasting Friendships

Relationships take time to cultivate. You may begin to make friends on a summer program, but if you stay for a year, you’ll have a chance to make lasting friendships not only with other study abroad students, but also students from the host country. Doing class projects with French students and living in a student residence gave me the opportunity to meet American, international and French students with whom I studied, cooked meals and even went to Barcelona and Dublin. Who knows, you could even develop a romantic connection that inspires you to stay for even longer!

Cultivate a Deeper Understanding of the Language

What if you accidentally told your host family that you were pregnant when you meant to say you were full? Well, spending longer in your destination will sharpen your language skills to the point where you won’t be making silly mistakes like that anymore. Going to class everyday, speaking to classmates, neighbors, and your local grocery clerk will put you on the fast track to fluency. Your improved language ability will improve your grades, communication skills, and make you more qualified for jobs that list bilingual as an asset or requirement.

Really Get to Know the Culture

How many kisses do you give when greeting someone in Normandy? (4!) When do you use informal and formal parts of speech? Which words are OK to shorten? Which fingers do you hold up when you mean 2? While some of this can be learned beforehand, most cultural competency is learned by repetitive practice. If you’re only in a place for a few weeks, how will you get to know its people and customs? Long-term programs give participants the opportunity to become aware of stereotypes and biases they may have subconsciously been subscribing to before living in the country. You will also learn about beliefs held by host country natives about Americans! By developing a deeper understanding of the host culture, you will be able to communicate better with people from all countries because you will learn how to put your “American” beliefs aside in order to really understand where someone else is coming from. This skill comes in very handy for networking, international business, and simply communicating with people different from ourselves.

Make Progress Towards your Degree

I was a French major, so for me it was easy to find classes that counted towards my major in France. However, you can make progress towards your major, minor or general requirements while studying abroad. If you plan carefully ahead of time by making sure the host university offers the kinds of classes you want (biology in Australia, literature in England, computer science in Chile, fashion in Rome, etc.) you can stay on track for graduation or even get ahead! Talk to your department chair and study abroad advisor for more information. In addition to meeting graduation requirements, study abroad (especially long-term programs) looks impressive on a resume or grad school application and can help you stand out in a crowd.

Learn about Yourself

Aside from the practical reasons listed above, living in another country enriches your life personally as well. How do I set up electricity in my apartment? Open a bank account? Plan a trip to Argentina? Where do I go if I get sick? You learn your limits, become more independent and open-minded, develop resiliency and the ability to cope with difficult situations. Instead of someone planning everything for you and telling you where to go and what to do, you are in charge. Because of this, the victory of solving a problem such as finding an apartment or even finding your way home is that much more satisfying. Once you’ve accomplished the challenge of really living abroad, you have some bigger questions to answer: Do I want to come back and live here? Will I inspire others to take on the challenge? Where will I go next?


My study abroad program affected me so profoundly that I ended up working at my university’s study abroad office for three years. I then lived in Paris during my graduate studies and again while writing a book about my study abroad experience: Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France, available on Amazon. I invite you to read the book if you’re curious about what it’s like do an immersion program, live in France, or both. Still not sure? Go out there and see for yourself!

Read Jessica’s study abroad review on Abroad101.com


Guest article by:

Jessica Pasa

French Teacher

M.A. French Studies NYU

Author of Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France

Happy Bastille Day!

Bastille Day
photo credit:

Tomorrow, the 14th of July marks the annual celebration for all French and Francophile enthusiasts, Bastille Day! Bastille Day is what English speaking countries refer to the day as, yet in France it’s better know as La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) or  Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July)

Continue reading