A great time in France but school is tough February 11, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/30/2018 to 12/19/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Bordeaux

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Gained an international perspective of people in general, french language skills. Definitely worthwhile

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

* 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

The program did a great job of hosting us. Bordeaux is a great place to live. The schools are just different.


* 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? 80-100 euro


* 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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300 level course at my college, after taking french for 7 years prior
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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
  • 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?
  • city of bordeaux
  • support of the program itself
  • host family
* What could be improved?
  • classes taken by the americans
  • cultural activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how to travel in europe for cheap

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:

General Culture

Course Department:
Instructor: Gregory Champeaud
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Actually fairly challenging. There was one outing in bordeaux which was cool. Teacher knowledgable for sure but pretty harsh. There were a lot of different assessments like essays, presentations and arguments etc. I didn't participate much.
Credit Transfer Issues: not sure yet
Course Name/Rating:

Political and Cultural History

Course Department:
Instructor: M Trouve
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Lectures were super fun and the teacher was good at it and knowledgable but the exam was incredibly difficult to study for and it turned out to be incredibly hard and unfair. I gather the international students actually took a different exam that was I believe more focused on memorization of key dates and terms but I didn't really know this would be the case beforehand so I actually learned all the material and then realized it was more about memorizing dates and names not actually learning. Maybe they think this makes it easier on the foreign speakers but it does not. One exam at the end was entire grade
Credit Transfer Issues: not sure yet
Course Name/Rating:

French Political Institutions

Course Department:
Instructor: Robert Lafore
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Exam wasn't super hard but required a massive amount of studying as that was the only grade. No field trips etc. Teacher extremely knowledgable and not a bad lecturer, but no powerpoint was tough for the foreign students. No participation as it was a big lecture.
Credit Transfer Issues: not sure yet
Course Name/Rating:

Political Communications Theory

Course Department:
Instructor: Tiberj
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Material was not difficult but exam required extremely vague subjects to be studied all for one all inclusive grade, in an unstructured class of all lectures loosely related to a powerpoint. No field trips etc. Teacher is def. very knowledgable and prepared but all over the place.
Credit Transfer Issues: not sure yet
Course Name/Rating:

Methods Sciences Po

Course Department:
Instructor: Vincent Caby
Instruction Language: French
Comments: The readings and project were challenging. Did not make use of location or field trips. Teacher was I guess knowledgable but not well prepared. Course was required though. I didn't participate much. Assessed on written homework and final research paper.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not sure yet
Course Name/Rating:

French as a foreign language

Course Department:
Instructor: Melanie Beziade
Instruction Language: French
Comments: It was not very challenging except for the listening on the exam. No field trips or location based stuff. Teacher was phenomenal. I participated about the same. Assessed on participation and final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not sure