It was amazing June 04, 2018

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/02/2018 to 05/20/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained more of a confidence about traveling and the knowledge that I can be independent.

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.

I had courses at Middlebury and courses at Paris 1. Overall the courses at middlebury were good, but the courses at paris 1 were difficult. The language barrier was very steep in general, but the courses at Paris 1 were disrupted by protests and even though the teachers tried to take it easier on international/abroad and the french students were extremely helpful and nice, there were few resources and the academics suffered. It was overall a frustrating semester at Paris 1.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

On-site administration was very good, and the administrator (Amy Tondu) was extremely nice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Overall, i was not that satisfied. my host mother was very strict and rigid, and would not allow me to really live in the city. she would get upset with me if i came 3 minutes late to dinner, and when i asked to move the dinner time 15 or 20 minutes she refused because she wanted to watch television at 9pm (dinner was almost always at 8pm). Other students in host families generally were allowed more freedom, but I found mine to be very restricting and she didnt treat me like an adult.

* Food:

My host family cooked very good meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt culturally integrated but I wish it would have been easier to make friends with the French students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got very sick and had food poisoning as well, but Middlebury helped me find a doctor and insurance paid for it. It was overall very smooth and helpful.

* Safety:

I always felt very safe in the city.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The program was very good, and perfectly geared for what i wanted to do.

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 an extremely expensive city, and it was pretty much all on my family and myself to provide money for expenses.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200 + on everything
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be careful about traveling, there are always hidden expenses that arent factored in outside of food, tickets etc.

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

There was a pledge.

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 189
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? Stick to the language if you really want to learn it, otherwise you'll regret it.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the city
  • the language
  • cultural/travel experiences
* What could be improved?
  • host family
  • the academics
  • the protests
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The city is very expensive and the language barrier is very hard to overcome.

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!