The MICEFA Experience

After years of planning, I decided on a departure date. I had held two jobs all summer, working over 50 hours a week to save up for my expenses. I researched, watched travel blogs and picked up a French minor. I applied for a French visa and spent time with my friends and family. Thankfully, my advisor made the process clear and easy, especially when communicating between two countries. Finally, I was ready to go. Landing was the most heart-racing and exciting moment of my life. I was alone in a new country with a 50-pound suitcase and a dream. Paris is gorgeous — a fact widely known and shown all over the world. But a city and its beauty are never what makes life beautiful; it is the people we surround ourselves with and the experiences we go through. This is why I am so excited about what this experience opens me up to. I went through orientation with my program, Mission Interuniversitaire de Coordination des Echanges Franco-Américains (MICEFA), the following day. MICEFA is a nonprofit organization that matches you to a French university that best fits your needs and desires for studying in France, and also provides a three-week French intensive program at the start to acclimate everyone to the language. I am about an A1/A2 level of French (intermediate) so I had classes with those who were in a similar spot. MICEFA also provides some welcoming activities and ongoing support throughout the entire time in France. It is the backbone that keeps all the students in the program afloat. My first week, I was able to go on a boat tour of the Seine, which was “trés cool.” I met all my fellow MICEFA peers and saw so many classic monuments. Since then, I have made friends, tried new foods and even experienced getting a cold and having to see a French doctor. The girls here became my friends quickly. This was mostly due to circumstance, but it’s so wonderful how the universe brings people together. We were matched into the same hostel room, where we all stayed for the first week until our accommodations were ready. It has been absolutely wonderful so far, and I am endlessly excited to see how I grow as time goes on. My French is already improving, the weather is gorgeous and the city has amazing transportation services. It is hard to leave a place you are so comfortable in, but it is worth it to push yourself. You never know what could happen.
Lauren Haughey
University of Texas at Austin Fall 2023
My experience with MICEFA was nothing but perfect. Regardless of my ability of speaking the language, moving to Paris was still nerve-wracking. I didn’t know what to expect, specifically where I would live, and what classes would be like. With MICEFA I was reassured of my ability to complete the daunting classes at Paris-Sorbonne and was helped to find this cute, typical Parisian apartment in the 5th, right on rue Mouffetard! The office was also a great refuge to stop by and chat, print off documents, or vent about the new experiences that one inevitably faces. Studying in Paris was a dream, it really lives up to every good stereotype one hears and MICEFA was the perfect group to help me as a Canadian not only find my feet in France, but also continue on with a successful term
Joshua Brand
University of Saskatchewan Spring 2017
Louis-Thomas Prüfer is a marketing, entrepreneurship & business administration student at the Gustave Eiffel Business School at UPEC. Through the MICEFA program he studied for one semester at the University of South Florida. Check out his video for a peek into his experience!
Louis-Thomas Prüfer
UPEC - USF Fall 2019
The MICEFA Movie, created by MICEFA alumni Benoit Pergent who attended CSU Long Beach in 2013-2014 gives a peek into what the MICEFA program has to offer North American students studying in Paris.
Benoit Pergent
MICEFA Alumni 2013-2014
I lived in the CROUS Résidence Lepaute. It perfect place to practice French and get a glimpse into the life of what real French students do. I, myself, never speak english here. The other students are friendly, helpful and inclusive. The room has everything you need: kitchen, bathroom, desk... It is a dorm so you do have to pay for furnishings such as pots, pans, cover for bed, trashcans, etc. (the basic furniture is provided). The neighborhood is on the very edge of Paris, the area is very modern. It is a lot like America so if you need help adapting, it is a good place to go. It takes a little longer to metro places since you are further, but there are many lines here. It is nice because it is not nearly as crowded as the city.
Jessie R.
CSU Long Beach 2017
Many of the students at MICEFA enjoy being a part of this great association. They organize activities and excursions for international students living in Paris. They recently sat down with a selection of MICEFA students to talk about their experiences as international students in the city of lights! Check out their facebook for more information!
EIAP Association
International Student Association
Mahaut went on exchange to the University of Miami with the MICEFA for the 2018-2019 year. She studies at Sciences Politiques in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. During her exchange Mahaut was able to practice her sport English boxing at a high level while on exchange. Here is her experience in her own words:
"The USIBA nationals were taking place in Syracuse, NY from March 22 to March 24. Representing the University of Miami, I initially competed for the 125 lbs beginner title. On Friday, I won my semi finals against Georgia Tech with a KO during the 1st round. On Saturday, I win my finals against Georgetown on an unanimous decision and win my first national title. I challenged the novice boxer from Illinois on Sunday (she did not have an opponent and as my division’s champion, I had the right to challenge the upper division’s boxer) and fought a second finals, which I won on an unanimous decision. Therefore, I am USIBA double national champion in the 125 lbs weight class, in two different divisions."
Mahaut de Villeneuve Bargemon
Sciences Politiques & University of Miami 2018-2019