A great linguistic and cultural experience! April 09, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/28/2017 to 12/21/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Firstly, my french language skills improved a lot. For that reason alone it was worthwhile. Being able to immerse myself in French culture by living with a host family and taking classes in french at a Paris University proved to be very valuable experiences as well.

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.

Academics were a lot less intense than my home institution. It was difficult to find resources such as tutors to help, and professors were sometimes very hard to get a hold of over email. Classes at the Middlebury program were also less rigorous than the home institution, but professors were very willing to meet and help out students

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Middlebury program provided a good amount of guidance through the new academic and cultural life in France

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Stayed in a host family who was very nice and welcoming.

* Food:

Food can be expensive in Paris! But meals with my host family were always very good.

* 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

Yes I would choose the same program. While the academic life was different than i was used to, it proved to be a valuable cultural and personal experience. I gained independence and became a more well rounded individual as a result.

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)

Food added up very fast, as well as unintended expenses such as museum fees, fees to partake in extracurricular activities, etc

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy food from supermarkets and bring your own lunch during the day!

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

we took a language pledge to promise to only speak french during the semester

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 0230
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? Stay in a host family or live with a French roommate in a foyer. That way, you will be able to practice even when you come home from the day speaking and hearing french in classes and around the city

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?
  • Cultural immersion
  • Language pledge
  • Opportunities for trips/activities through middlebury school in france program
* What could be improved?
  • organisation (especially during registration and final exam periods)
  • communication between Middlebury school in Paris and the corresponding international programs staff at Middlebury College
  • more transparency and aid about what to expect at a french university (grading, making friends, getting help from professors, etc)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew better what to expect for getting involved in university life-it is a lot more difficult to connect with professors and other students, as well as join extracurricular activities, than it is at Middlebury College.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Advenced Intermediate French

Course Department: French
Instructor: Patrick Guedon
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Teacher was very knowledgable! Delved into linguistics and techniques that were completely new to me. Participated a lot in class, because the professor made participation an integral part of the classroom. Wrote a few papers over the course of the semester, and had a final oral examination one on one with the professor to test for improvement over the semester.
Credit Transfer Issues: No! It counts directly as a french credit at Middlebury
Course Name/Rating:

History of French Medieval Art

Course Department: Art History
Instructor: Julie Stevenson
Instruction Language: French
Comments: It was not extremely challenging, but I still learned a lot. Took field trips to Notre Dame Cathedral and to the Musée de l'Art Medieval in Paris. Had one oral presentation and two written exams during the semester.
Credit Transfer Issues: No problems. It counted as a general credit
Course Name/Rating:

Proteines, Enzymologie, Metabolisme

Course Department: Sciences de la vie
Instructor: Fernando Rodrigues-Lima
Instruction Language: French
Comments: The labs were really great, and I learned a lot from the labs and the write ups. Lecture was a lot of memorization, and the only grade was a final exam that counted for 75% of the final grade for the class. This exam was based on memorization of details rather than concepts and critical thinking. The discussion section was nice because it gave a chance to work on some practice problems in class, with the professor.
Credit Transfer Issues: Nope, it counted as an elective towards my major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Course Name/Rating:

Biodiversité, Biologie des Organismes

Course Department: Sciences de la Vie (Paris 7)
Instructor: Patrick Laurenti
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This class was challenging, but the professor was VERY engaging and interested in the material he was teaching. He taught the material well and his passion shone through. The lab was very difficult, mostly because of the language barrier (be prepared to learn names of specific parts of animals in french )...Dissections were very difficult without fully understanding all of the names for body parts in French, but in the end it was very rewarding. The final exam was a written comparative essay for the lecture, and there were assignments to complete for each lab section.
Credit Transfer Issues: No, it counted as a general biology credit