Monday, January 19, 2004

I spent a couple of hours online yesterday looking for other French language programs in France for this summer, and actually found one that looks even better than the EF International Language School I mentioned in a previous post. The program is called WorldLink Education. They've got programs in various places in France (and other countries, too, of course), but the one I'm looking at is the one in Nice. (Hugo's got me hooked on this whole Nice thing.) The overall program is pretty much the same as the EF program and many others I've looked at; the main differences are that class sizes are very small (5-8, limited to 10), and just about everything is included in the program cost -- tuition, books, housing, insurance (which is extendable after the program for leisure travel), and all "excursions" and activities through the program are included. Most of the other programs I've looked at offer insurance and excursions "at a discounted program rate," but that means you still have to pay extra for them. The WorldLink Education (WLE) program is a bit more expensive than the EF program, but that's because the excursions, etc. are considered part of the course material. I figure that if I do the WLE program I'm much more likely to actually go on all the trips, since I won't have to consider each one from a financial standpoint and think I have to make the decision about whether or not I can afford to go. Because even if the trips are offered at "discounted" rates, I'm sure they still rack up pretty quickly.

So anyway, that's where I am with France at the moment. I'll most likely be staying with a host family, since it's cheaper than getting a studio (they charge extra for studios/apartments in the high season), and living with a French family is a really good way to get French ingrained into your system. I can choose the option to have my own room within a homestay or share a room with another student. I'll probably still go for the single room, just so I can have a bit of privacy. That's important to a Lacey.

Oh, and on an almost-but-not-quite random note -- I did a brief calculation and cost comparison of this language school and Stanford last night. I took one of my old Stanford bills (from Winter 2002, so I'm sure things have gone up considerably since then), added up the prices for tuition, housing and dining (leaving out health insurance, dorm fees, etc.), and divided by 3 to get the monthly cost -- it's over $1000 more than a month-long program through WLF. Yikes. I'm glad I'm going to PSU.

One last interesting note: I was talking with Graham yesterday, and he asked me what my angel card for the year was. Turns out it's very appropriate for everything that's going on for me this year -- Enthusiasm! Hooray! It's funny how angel cards work sometimes...

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