Bordeaux: A Fun Cultural Experience! August 18, 2017

By (Bowdoin College) - abroad from 01/03/2017 to 05/04/2017 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Bordeaux

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I got much better with my language skills and felt like I was able to see a new side of French culture that I had not seen or learned about before. I would like to go back again sometime and would recommend it to others as well.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Other than the director of the program himself, everybody else was very helpful and wonderful. The director would often deflect blame for issues or problems that came up. However, there was very minimal interactions with him so overall I had a fairly good experience with the administration.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

There were great restaurants all around the city.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* 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)

There were a few meals with the host family every week, and food was fairly cheap at the grocery store. Restaurants tended to be more expensive but high quality. Overall, it depends on what you feel like eating and how much you want to spend, but cheap foods are always an option.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Lunches at the cafeteria are well-rounded for very cheap. For lunch in the city, I would get pâté from a grocery store and bread from a bakery, which would cost me a total of 3 euros and would be enough to last me through two lunches.

Language

* 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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Highest level offered by my university.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Interact with as many local students as you can.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Excursions with the program
  • Tutors available for help with classes
* What could be improved?
  • Director of the program
  • Freedom to choose classes from more subjects
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? At the university I went to, it was hard to interact with local students since they already have their own friend groups. Since there were lots of other international students as well through other programs, being an international student isn't unique, so they don't feel the need to start conversations with you. If you really want to interact with the students, you need to take the initiative and introduce yourself.