Cosy Semester in Poitiers September 11, 2023

By (Conservation Biology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/02/2023 to 04/28/2023 with

Middlebury Language Schools: French Language School

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot of language ability, insight into different education systems, how to live on my own.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I didn't really feel like I had guidance in choosing which program I would enroll in. Some courses were really difficult and I would have liked some help. I did have tutors, but with the way the school system works, they often didn't have the right answers to work done in previous years, because they don't get feedback. I wasn't prepared for how much work I had to do! I think if we had a liaison between the school and midd students, who knew both programs, it would be really helpful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Did we have on site admin? We had a french tutor who was really lovely and helpful, and another student who helped get us situated for the first month and was really helpful. In terms of ppl who understood Middlebury and could help us in the transition and with processing our abroad, I didn't feel like we had that.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Typical dorm living. Admin were really tricky to deal with and won't refund me by deposit but that's because of the cultural difference.

* Food:

I made all my own food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had a lot of international Friends! A lot of the french kids went home for the weekend so it was difficult but they were so lvoely in class.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Nothing crazy. I was hung up on when I tried to call a doctors' office for an issue because I didn't understand some medical term the receptionist used. I didn't use geoblue, and it wouldn't have been helpful in this case

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I felt I was more often frustrated with the expectations put on me than I felt I was really basking in being abroad!


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Rent was almost 400$ and I didn't have any choice.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probs 500 without including fun things


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 209? + previous abroad
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? speak to your peers

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Independance
  • Friends
* What could be improved?
  • Administration
  • Organisation
  • Support
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I should have probably stayed with a host family, that I wouldn't get much support, and that the town in quite small

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Immunology and Endocrinology

Course Department: Science
Instruction Language: french
Comments: This was challenging. it was two hours of lecture for each class period, and in endocrinology we did a problem set once. I was called on a lot but didn't participate much. we were assessed in one final exam that was two hours long and had one questions for each subject (one for immuno, one for endo)
Credit Transfer Issues: I think I got an organismal biology course credit for this because Midd had an immuno course.
Course Name/Rating:

Adaptations in the Environment and Genetic Evolution

Course Department: bio
Instruction Language: french
Comments: It was challenging, though it was only difficult in that it was a LOT to remember. The teachers really only wanted us to relay information, not really absorb it, I felt. We had one 8-hour lab, all other times were large, long lectures. we were assessed in our work on the lab (I never received feedback) and the final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of Life

Course Department: bio
Instruction Language: french
Comments: really difficult, the professor only spoke without slides. He did want us to actually understand what he was teaching, not only memorize the words, which was difficult but I appreciated it. the exam was an oral, he just asked me to talk about whatever I learned. We had 2-hour lectures and then 2-hour periods where we got to play with fossils and skeletons
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

French in the 17th century

Course Department: French History
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This was quite fun! I'm not a history person so it was difficult but the instructor is so excited about it that it's ok. We didn't get to take a field trip but the first time we met him we walked to many different churches in town. we had a presentation and a paper which were on the same subject, and a final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: