A 4 month course on how to drink wine, cut cheese, and live like the French January 25, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/31/2018 to 12/22/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Bordeaux

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent and how to relax a little in my studies, basically becoming okay with the fact that I'm not going to understand everything. I learned how to adapt to life in a new place with no initial acquaintances and how to function in a new environment and a new language.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Middlebury administration was fine, Sciences Po administration was very disorganized

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* 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

I came to France because I wanted to make my French better. I knew that by choosing Bordeaux I would be exposed to less English than I would be in Paris. I loved the intimacy of the city and the size of the group.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan side-trips trips early


* 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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 230
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • The people
  • The activities/outings
  • Accessibility and knowledge of tutors
* What could be improved?
  • Communication
  • More group activities at the beginning
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had known that my lifestyle was going to change dramatically. I had to live without certain things that I have gotten very accustomed to living with in the US and not being able to do/have those things in my day was difficult.

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:

Histoire Culturel et Politique

Course Department:
Instructor: M. Trouvé
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Easy to follow but a lot of information
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Institutions Politiques Françaises

Course Department:
Instructor: R. Lafore
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Very hard to follow but interesting material. Organization was not clear.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Sociologie Politique

Course Department:
Instructor: V. Tiberj
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Really interesting material, but professor went on tangents a lot
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Methodes de la Science Politique

Course Department:
Instructor: S. Duchesne
Instruction Language:
Comments: Course was not intended for international students. Learned a lot, but felt very out of place.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Culture Generale

Course Department:
Instructor: A. Soubiron
Instruction Language:
Comments: This was the hardest class I had. The professor didn't seem to care about the Americans in the class and she was downright scary. She didn't give us the opportunities to present our work.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instructor: M. Beziade
Instruction Language: French
Comments: My favorite class. I learned a great deal about French culture and my vocabulary grew a great deal thanks to this class. The professor was animated and engaging.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A