A worthwhile experience July 17, 2018

By (Swarthmore College) - abroad from 01/04/2018 to 05/15/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I went into the program focused on the academic aspects, namely improving my french language skills and familiarizing with the French university system. I achieved all of my goals in terms of academic improvement and I feel I was able to integrate French culture very well. I feel like the culture I learned about experienced and absorbed will now be part of my own personality.

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.

I appreciate that Middlebury paid attention to teaching us the methodology of French universities which differs greatly from the methodology in the United States. Something much different is expect from students in French university assignments and their grading system also reflects that. Middlebury enrolled every student in methodology only seminars to help us with that. However, I wish the methodology course had been done very early on in the semester or perhaps even before departure so that by the time we begin classes at host universities, our familiarity with the French methodology is more extensive. I think that would have helped me much more to succeed in the French academic context.

* 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?

I visited doctors on two different occasions while in Paris and did not have any issues with that experience. The insurance provided by the program covered all the expenses for the visit.

* Safety:

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

The program met my expectations in every way.


* 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? 100 EUR
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook as often as possible. Cook with friends if you can. Don't buy coffee in chain restaurants. The neighborhood traditional boulangerie is your best friend.


* 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 signed an agreement saying we would only speak French during the program with the exception of communications with family and in the case of emergency.

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? Intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Don't stay with other study abroad students. Try meeting locals and interacting with them as much as possible.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Rigorous language agreement
  • Extremely organized
  • Independence given to students
* What could be improved?
  • Orientation
  • Having a general meeting with all students before the end of the program/return to home country
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Methodology fo French university and what is required of local students.

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 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:

Retour du tragique dans le théatre du XXème

Course Department: French
Instructor: Bernard Alazet
Instruction Language: French
Comments: The course topic was interesting and well organized. Professor provided a clear syllabus at the beginning of the semester with clear assignments and instructions on when and how to complete them. The professor was extremely knowledgeable of the subject and had years and years of teaching experience on his back which transpired on the way he delivered his classes.
Credit Transfer Issues: So far, no problems