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Study Abroad

Student Testimonials

From 2019 Program

Angers changed my outlook on life. I’ve traveled overseas before to several different countries but being fully emerged in a new culture is a completely different experience. From learning the French culture’s way of public transport, dinner etiquette and many other things this program opened my eyes to so many new adventures. The excursions taught us history and how life was hundreds of years ago. The castles had us lost for words and the beignets...amazing. Going into this trip I knew no one in the group and was nervous to be alone but the second I was dropped off with my host family they made me feel welcomed and at home. My classmates and I grew close in such a short amount of time… I still talk to them daily and speak to my host family about how my life is going after the study abroad program. I would tell anyone if they had the opportunity to do a study abroad to any country take it. … It is a once in a lifetime experience.
Jesse McGraw 

Angers definitely took me out of my comfort zone. However I’m happy for all the opportunities it’s given me and for all the great friendships I’ve made while on the trip. I was able to discover a whole new culture firsthand instead of just reading about it in a textbook. Dr. Giacchetti and all the other students helped me feel safe, secure, and well-looked after while in France and I’m forever grateful for this opportunity. I couldn’t recommend studying abroad enough.
Joy Balanag 

I participated twice in the Angers study abroad program and I don’t regret either trip. On both occasions I learned a lot. It is not just about learning the language but the culture as well.
I benefited greatly from the classes, the field trips, my host parents, and the city of Angers. All of these things together made for a great experience and it is difficult to pick out the best thing. However, having host parents who only speak French was a very unique experience. I tried to talk to my host parents as much as possible during dinner everyday. I absolutely loved having the same host parents on both trips, I got to meet many members of their extended family.
I highly recommend studying abroad. For many students this may be the last chance to travel before settling down with a family and a full-time job. Even if students get to travel in the future, a studying abroad experience offers them the experience to travel as a local and not as a tourist.
Irma Salinas

My time in Angers can only be described as an opportunity of a lifetime. The people, the language, the landscape, and the culture of France will always hold a special place in my heart. This program was not only an amazing experience but also a fantastic value for what you will discover. I woke up every day excited to enhance my French language skills and to connect with the people who call this wonderful country home. Every aspect of your study abroad is carefully planned and personalized by the wonderful staff of both the University of Houston and the Université catholique de l’Ouest in Angers. I would encourage every student to take the leap, step outside their comfort zone, and discover France firsthand.
Austin Goodwin

Thanks to this program, my dream of living and studying in France came true. From beginning to end, the trip was amazing. I loved my classes and the weekly excursions. Dr. Giacchetti put together a wonderful program and I would urge anyone who is on the fence to just take the leap. If you're serious about learning French, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. It's true what they say: there's no better way to learn a language than to immerse yourself in the culture. This was the best summer of my life.
Doug Meyer

From 2017 Program

My one month study abroad in Angers, France with the French program at the University of Houston was a once in a life time, life changing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. (…) It is a fantastic, very well organized, program, and Dr. Giacchetti is wonderful about making sure that everyone gets what they need out of the program and has a great time as well. If you are able to, I definitely recommend this program. (…) Immersion is the best way to really learn a new language and understand a different culture, and studying abroad is a lot of fun!
Navoda Perikala 

Studying abroad is an experience that adds a whole new layer to being a college student. (…) One moment you are experiencing a culture as a newcomer, drinking coffee out of a cereal bowl, watching everyone ride bikes, carrying baguettes under their arms … And by the end, you are speaking French and joking with the locals about French politics and how funny the world is on your public transit ride home. Experiencing other cultures around the world broadens your knowledge and teaches you to think and live differently(…) I think sending students abroad is an easy way to set up our generation to be a more globally-minded, progressive, and empathetic society.
Juliet Hillbrand 

If you’re given the opportunity to live in France for a month, DO IT!!! Dr. Giacchetti is an amazing program director! She took such good care of us, and the trip would have been nothing without her. Each excursion was magical, and I found that being in the upper-level courses added a different cultural understanding that made Angers feel like home. I think this trip is a great learning experience for the language and culture but also for personal development. It is 1,000% worth every cent to go on this trip. You will learn how to BE French. When you come home, you’ll feel French. When you speak French, you’ll sound French. It will change your life in infinitely positive ways.
Sara Stelling

the French Department's learning abroad opportunity in Angers, France was one of the most culturally immersive experiences of my life. (…) This learning abroad trip taught me how to navigate both the French language and French culture in a way that I never would have been able to were it not for the trip, and the friendships I made with the other UH students and with native French people made the process all the more enjoyable.
Arnulfo Diaz

Studying Abroad was one of the best decisions I ever made. (…) Living with a French family for a month and speaking only French with them was a crazy, and at times difficult experience; but I know it helped me so much with my French. Studying abroad has given me life long friends, and a bigger appreciation for all things French. I just can't wait to go back.
Audrey Daniel

Studying abroad in Angers and living with a family really gave me the true feeling of being French. Our family treated us with so much love and kindness that talking to them felt natural and my conversational skills became highly developed. (…). The excursions did not limit us to Angers and we got to see so many unique places and experience different regions. One of my favorite excursions was seeing a 5th generation chocolatier talk about and demonstrate his craft, and getting to taste it too! I will keep this experience in my heart forever and I can't wait to go back one day!
Brittney Hernandez

Studying abroad in France was a wonderful experience for me. I am not a french major or minor, I am majoring in Hotel and Restaurant management and I've always had a dream to live and work in France so when the opportunity to study abroad came up I took it! I fell in love with the country, language, and the people. My host family was better than I could have asked for and I am still in contact with them today! The excursions we went on as a group were very educational and fun!
Shayna Jacobs

Angers France breathtaking lovely small city full of culture, and beautiful people. Spending a whole month with a french family was difficult, yet one of the best things I’ve ever done (…). I am grateful I was able to be part of this program with Dr. Giacchetti, she was very helpful and attentive to all of her students. I recommend studying abroad because it makes you a better person, you're in a new environment with new people that at the end will become great friends.
Best thing I ever did for myself.
Valeria Myers

Studying abroad made me realize how much I was missing out on. It has been the best decision i have made. The program in Angers changed me in so many ways,  educationally and personally. I learned more French in a month than I ever did in a classroom. (…. The excursions to the castles were breathtaking. Overall, Angers was simply beautiful. I totally recommend it to anybody, even if you are not a French. You will gain friends and make so many great memories.
Victoria Meyers

From 2015 Program

It was the combination of great teachers, beautiful scenery, unforgettable excursions, a loving host-family, and a fun, diverse group of students, which made this program one of my best college memories. I would recommend to anyone who is interested in traveling and learning a new language to jump at the opportunity to participate in this amazing study abroad program. I started missing France the moment I left. This was truly the best learning and growing experience I have had in my college career, and certainly the most unforgettable.  
Jayde Fitzgerald 

My study abroad trip was definitely one of my best experiences ever. It pushes you to not only absorb and learn the culture, but to become independent. I noticed the great change in my capability to understand and express myself in French as well as my growth as a young adult. As a first-generation college student, I'm really proud of my accomplishments overseas.
Kim Lopez  

This summer was my first time going overseas, to France, and being away from my family. The opportunity to take part in this program allowed me to cultivate a greater knowledge of the French language and culture. Angers 2015 was an amazing, wonderful experience overall!
Fritzi Cardenas

Between the schoolwork, the excursions and my host family, I hardly ever spoke English, which is the goal. This level of immersion was crucial for improving my conversational French. 
Elicia Shotland

This program gave exactly what I wanted from study abroad and more. I feel as if I have advanced an incredible amount in comprehension, grammar, and conversation in French; I'm not fluent, but this program set me on the right path and allowed me to make connections I couldn't have made any other way. The excursions are phenomenal.  I will not only remember this trip for the rest of my life; it also has truly changed me in very positive ways.
Gerald Smith

I have traveled Europe many times, but without exception, the Angers Learning Abroad Program with Dr. Giacchetti was the most remarkable.  My summer was an exceptional fusion of culture and academics.  I enjoyed the interesting French conversations with my host family, shopkeepers, bus drivers, and some of the local people.  I could never have imagined the beauty, and majesty, when I visited the castles in the Loire Region. This was a life changing experience, never to be forgotten.  It’s an opportunity that you don’t want to miss!  
Samalla Parker

Everyone was working toward making my trip unforgettable and amazing. My host family allowed me to see into the typical French lifestyle. Yet they also let me have the freedom to explore the town and region, took into account my pesky food allergies, and chatted amicably with me as much as possible. Dr. Giacchetti, both the UH faculty leader for the program and my upper-level professor, infused our literature and culture classes with enthusiasm, and I gained a much deeper appreciation of French and European art and history. And the friends I made – both French and American – accompanied me to classic cafés, exciting excursions, and even a last-minute, weekend escape to Nantes. There are so many things I’d recommend to you – but I guess you’ll have to see Angers and France for yourself!  
Chris Wong

The Angers study abroad program was a great experience. You would be surprised about the many things you can learn about a place when you actually get to live there. If you really want to try something different in the summer and would like to differentiate yourself from the rest of the students in UH then go and study abroad. Go to Angers, you will love it and the best thing is that it is faculty-led so your grades will actually count and you won’t have to transfer them!
Sofia Cordero

I was interested in the Angers program because I wanted to improve my French. The “total immersion” aspect of this program is perfect to achieve this goal. Every aspect of the program is very well organized and Dr. Giacchetti is remarkably attentive and involved. If anyone is looking for an opportunity to improve their French, I would highly recommend the Angers program with Dr. Giacchetti.
Colin Clark

I have dreamed of studying abroad since I discovered the possibility in high school. When I heard about the Angers study abroad program in my French class, I knew without hesitation I wanted to be a part of it. I am so glad I chose this program and enjoyed every second of the four weeks spent in Angers. There is no greater way to learn the language than to be immersed in the culture. Living with a family topped off the entire experience and made it much more personable. The learning did not stop when you stepped out of the classroom! I learned way more in just the four weeks than I could have imagined. Dr. Giacchetti was an amazing professor and truly cared about each of us individually. She spent time with me outside of class making sure I understood my mistakes and the material so I could be successful in the courses. Definitely challenging but totally worth it! My favorite parts of the trip were the excursions and pain au chocolat!!
DJ Gunter

From 2013 Program

I received a Teaching Assistantship to help teach kids English, in France, for six months for later this year (2014-2015). The program in Angers improved my French to the point that I was able to learn and pick up things easier in the speaking and listening areas. This of course was vital for qualifying and earning the opportunity to participate in the Teaching Assistantship program. So, I wanted to say thanks again. It was a memorable experience, and it helped me receive another amazing opportunity in France.
(Brad Wheeler, advanced level)

"Dr. Giacchetti was the best director one could hope for. Monsieur Melin and the rest of the French staff were also great, very friendly. I had a great time with my family too; they made me feel at home. All in all, it was a great learning experience both academically and personally."
(Patricia Savala, advanced level).

"This past summer was my first time ever going on a study aboard program and also my first time in Europe! This experience was, what can I say.....C'etait magnifique!  (…) I learned so much and I will always carry it with me; the culture, the language and the memories! We were lucky to have experienced and taken in the 'real France'. Professor Giacchetti really took the time to ensure we all felt comfortable, safe and where enjoying our time in France (I mean how could you not!). Needless to say I fell in love with the 'real France', I found the countryside way more charming and habitable than a huge city like Paris (and living in Paris had been my dream/goal since I could remember!). Somehow I came back with a whole new different point of view and a new-refreshed attitude!  (. . .) The relationships you make are incredible! I'm very grateful for the great experience I had! "
(Adriana E. Palencia, intermediate level)

"Going to Angers is a wonderful life experience that is well worth it. If you’re thinking about doing it, then do it. You’ll get to improve your French, visit beautiful sites, have a great life experience and you’ll get to do so much more, in France!
There was always something to see or do in Angers (. . .),interesting spectacles,  mini parades in street with music, artistic creations, and mini celebrations of various things.
Initially I was a little apprehensive about living with a family that I’ve never met before, but it was absolutely a wonderful experience. Living with a French family meant that I got a lot of opportunities to practice my French with a family who was eager to talk with me (and cook for me!). "
(Brad Wheeler, advanced level)

"Angers is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen and I learned more French in 5 weeks than I thought was possible.  If you can attend this study abroad, please do.
A few tips: Converse in French, visit the many museums, take a weekend visit to Paris, and eat all the sweets that you can!"
(Nikala Asante, Intermediate level)

"Thank you for the Angers Experience. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life and I am proud of myself for taking part in it."
(Armand Viscarri, intermediate level)

"The Angers program was the experience of a lifetime. I never thought it was possible to fall so much in love with a different culture and their customs that I would want to call that place my new home. The study abroad program was very welcoming; I loved my instructor, the courses, my host family, and the city. Absolutely everything."
(Cecilia Jeffrey, advanced level)

"I do not believe there is anyone who would ever go to the lengths to help others as Dr. Giacchetti did on our trip. This also goes for the administrative work I know she put in leading up to the Angers program.
Simply, she was around every corner. She made sure everyone had a comfortable home to live in, the proper menu according to each student's dietary needs, etc. She never left a stone unturned."
(Bryan Bishop, intermediate level  )

From 2010 & 2012 Programs

“The program went above and beyond my expectations and it became the experience of a lifetime.” (Erica Aguirre, 3000 level).

“I wanted to say that it was life changing- the experience helped me grow as a person in ways I never expected. I also made a great group of lifelong friends!” (Jessi Bowman, 2000 level).

“Studying abroad in this program drastically improved my French, introduced me to an entirely different cultural perspective, and made the coursework completely engaging and fun-- definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made.” (Traci Elsner, 3000 level).

“I had the most amazing time in Angers. It was definitely a life changing experience, I feel like I learned so much about who I am and what I want. (. . .) This experience would not have been the same without your guidance.” (Andrea Gallagher, 2000 level).

“The study abroad program (. . .) challenged me both academically and personally by allowing me to be immersed in the language I am learning…. It was truly a rewarding experience.” (Estibaliz Garcia, 3000 level).

“Choosing to go on the Angers Program was one of the best decisions I have ever made and an experience I could never forget!” (Erin O’Malley, 3000 level).

“In all honesty, the time during which I was living in Angers was the happiest month of my life. It made me consider living there.” (Jack Silverman, 2000 level).

“You were such a great director for this program! I couldn't have imagined a better experience.” (Megan Soh, 2000 level)

“Such an Awesome Adventure & life defining moment for me!” (Kimberly Holiday-Coleman, 2000 level)

Studying in Angers was one of my greatest life experiences. (. . .) When I was in Angers, I took full advantage of the culture and the time I had with my host family. (Salman Ghanchi, 3000 level)

"Taking the classes, learning the culture, and practicing the language were all major selling points for this trip, but above all, I made friends and memories that will last a life time. I learned not only about another culture but about myself I would do it all over again." (Nicholas Pessarra, 3000 level)