"Attending the Penn-in-Tours program has definitely been one of my best decisions at Penn so far. Summer 2013 couldn't have been better! An idyllic location in a quaint French city in the heart of the country, the most interesting courses, wonderful host families and a great group of people- the program has all the ingredients to make it a top-priority on your bucket list. Think about it- When next are you going to get an opportunity to take off to another part of the world for 6 weeks and completely immerse yourself in the culture, history and heritage of that country. Think fresh French baguettes, pains au chocolats, great wine, incredible macaroons everyday for 6 weeks. It's absolute bliss! The classes are very hands-on and allow you to go out and take advantage of the fact that you're in the country you're learning about. Your language skills will improve greatly. It's just one of those things that you have to experience!"
Saanya (Huntsman '16)
"Penn-in-Tours has certainly been the highlight of my experience at Penn so far. The program was intellectually challenging and culturally fascinating. First, staying with a host family allows you to truly dive into French culture and understand how the French live – you stop being a tourist and become part of Tours! The program thus allows you to engage with the francophone world in an unparalleled way and truly broaden your horizon. On an academic level, Penn-in-Tours made me not only improve my grammar and vocabulary, but also attain a level of fluency almost impossible to obtain within the boundaries of a classroom. The full-immersion qualities of the program make for an incredibly rich development of one’s language capabilities, incomparable to any class you could take here at Penn. Finally, the places you visit, the people you meet, the food you eat… they all make Penn-in-Tour absolutely ideal for anybody interested in France. I had a fantastic experience both in and out of the classroom in Tours and would definitely recommend it to everybody!!!"
Andrea (Huntsman '16)
"Penn-In-Tours is definitely one of the most exciting and amazing experiences that I have had as a Penn student. It not only helped me improve my French oral and writing skills, but it let me immerse in a culture that has so much to offer. Whether it was sitting at a café during the afternoons with my friends, eating fresh baguette every day, appreciating the taste of a good wine, enjoying the freshness of products in the weekly market, or stopping at a patisserie way too often, I enjoyed a way of life that is so different from the one I was used to back at Penn.
The program’s organization never ceased to amaze me, since we were full of fun and interesting activities during the afternoons and the weekends. We went to the movies to watch French films, participated in cooking classes, visited castles and beautiful villages in the surroundings, made picnics, amongst many others. I was also able to travel and explore France and have memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
One of my greatest fears about the program was living with a host family, but I was pleasantly surprised. They were a great support during my stay by making me feel at home. They were also the key element for achieving the level of French immersion that I desired. I loved my host family and miss them greatly! I also met some amazing people during the Penn-In-Tours program, and I am sure that they will remain good friends of mine for the years to come!
And last but not least, the Penn-In-Tours program offers classes that complemented perfectly my overall experience of living in France. Not only were the professors amazing, but the classes were interesting as well. In French 216, I was able to discover the city of Tours through several assignments and improved my French oral and writing skills at the same time. In French 226 I learned about French history, and element that helped me better understand French culture and their way of life. It was also very cool to be able to make the connection between the castles and historical buildings that I visited with the things that I had learned in class.
In summary, I LOVED PENN-IN-TOURS!!!"
Florence (College '15)
One of the things that I truly enjoyed the most about Penn-In-Tours was being able to take advantage of 'Le Studio,' Tours' very own independent movie theater. After delving into French conversation and grammar in class, it was very nice to be able to hear the language as it is actually spoken by French people on screen. Plus, it was fun just to be able to go see a movie after class with friends (and even get to meet one of the actresses in a film that was showing: Les Beaux Jours!). Another great asset of the program are the excursions. France is a beautiful country with a rich history that can sound dull if heard only in the classroom. What's great about Penn-In-Tours is that you actually get to go to places that you talk about in class. I took advantage of the long weekend to take a biking excursion with friends to Villandry, a gorgeous chateau with beautiful gardens. There really are just so many things to do/see while in France, and it's just about taking the time to choose the things that you love and are interested in. Plus, you'll have wonderful, caring teachers there to help you every step of the way (seriously). Also, this program is a great way to finally put your French-speaking skills in action and to better them!
Catalina (College '16)
"Participating in Penn-in-Tours was absolutely the right decision. I immersed myself in the French language and culture with a welcoming family, fellow students who would become some of my great friends, and faculty unmatched in professionalism, competency, and amiability. I left for France hoping to dramatically improve my speaking and comprehension abilities. And while I definitely feel I accomplished all that I set out to, I returned home with so much more. For that, I can only say merci beaucoup Penn-in-Tours!"
Andrew (College '14)
"Cheesy enough to say but completely true, Penn-in-Tours was one of the best six weeks in my life. I met the most amazing people and had the best experience. The home stay was a very nice cultural immersion and Tours was the perfect size for six weeks to explore. During the weekdays we studied, explored the city, and indulged ourselves with pastries in cafés. On the weekends, there was always the option to travel to many different cities. Words can't really describe the experience of Penn-in-Tours, I do not regret a single moment and ended up having six weeks worth of memories to treasure the rest of my life. Don't make not going to Penn-in-Tours your biggest regret!"
Christina (Wharton '16)
"It’s difficult to fully describe all that Penn-in-Tours has to offer. The program was much more than just studying abroad. From the get-go I met a lot of dynamic individuals who eventually became my friends. After arriving in Tours, I began to interact with the language on a very daily and personal level, something that is impossible to achieve here in the states. France, specifically Tours, became a vibrant and fun-filled home for me. Classes were classes but Professor Rollet made each session truly memorable. In addition, I got the opportunity to bond with my host family and they demonstrated their hospitality by going out of their way to take care of me. The food was spectacular, the weekend outings were impressive, and the nights were unforgettable. Am I exaggerating? Not the slightest."
John (College '16)