rollercoaster Past Review

By (IGS, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/09/2012 to 06/04/2012 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Despite all the obstacles, I would choose to study abroad all over again. I learned a lot about French culture that I could only learn while in Paris.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Paris 7 Diderot Middlebury In-House classes
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There are many resources like in-house tutors who are always willing to meet students. In-house teachers are great and are willing to talk with students before and after classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Some administrators are more helpful than others. Some try to work against you rather than with you which can be extremely challenging since we HAVE to speak in French the entire time. You can't ever speak in English which can be difficult when trying to relay a problem to an administrator who clearly does not understand the problem.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a dorm (foyer) which was great. The people working at the foyer were often more involved in my life than I would've liked but it gives you the freedom to enjoy Paris. Plus, it's always nice to have girls your age to spend time with and to help you with living in a new country.

* Food:

I didn't live in a host family so I had to cook my own meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Middlebury warned us about the dangers of living in a big city like Paris. At the end of the day, it's Paris and we have to learn things to hard way. When my wallet was stolen, they were very helpful with telling me all the things I needed to get done in order to resolve the situation.

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


* 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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150


* 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? 104 French Class
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? Don't feel forced to use the language ALL the time. I was always being told I wasn't allowed to speak English so it ended up stressing me out. Speak in French as much as you can but if you feel overwhelmed or need a break, take one! Don't feel badly when you have to speak in english for a little bit. Remember that you're in France to learn French but give yourself a break once in a while.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* 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?
  • resources
* What could be improved?
  • relationship between administration and students
  • structure of the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The program tries too hard to make sure we live in Paris like a Parisian that the well-being of the students can get swept under the table. Sometimes 'regulations' come before the needs of the student. Everything is done in French, which is great for integration, but sometimes certain issues should be discussed in english.