Lonely and disappointing May 08, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/01/2017 to 01/10/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Culturally, I learned and enjoyed a lot. Academically, it was not remotely worth it.

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.

The program had very little information or resources for science students. I learned a decent amount in my Linguistics classes, but the Computer Science classes were difficult without really teaching me a lot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was a lot of false information about registration and other bureaucratic issues with my host university. When I came to the academic director for help, she refused to intervene on my behalf and simply told me what I should have done to avoid my problems. She was quite insensitive to my issues with depression, which I disclosed to the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved the house and my host family, but being an hour away from campus made it very difficult to make friends and maintain good attendance.

* Food:

My host mother was an excellent cook, and food at the Middlebury center was good too.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I really struggled to make friends with other french students, especially given the lack of extracurricular involvement.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you have experience navigating a big city, you'll be fine. Paris is beautiful and not too hard to find your way around.

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

I was miserable most of the time and I got no major credits.

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)

Paris is very expensive, and you may not get as many meals from your host family as you would like.

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? French 221
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? Watch movies, listen to podcasts, talk to native French speakers.

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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • cultural excursions
  • speaking french
* What could be improved?
  • Don't blame students for not having a good time because they failed to "step out of their comfort zone."
  • better communication between Paris office and Middlebury office
  • tutors and assistance for science students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is almost no support for science students.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Programmation Fonctionelle

Course Department: UFR Informatique
Instructor:
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Ridiculously hard. Very little support.
Credit Transfer Issues: