Difficult for the first two and a half months but gratifying for the last two July 17, 2018

By (Bowdoin College) - abroad from 01/03/2018 to 05/21/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile, I learned about cultural adaptation and grit. As a government major, observing the political life and influence of the state was very interesting to me 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.

Middlebury is a great program for academic rigor. It is about as serious as it gets in terms of practicing French and the same goes for the dedication of the students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

A very well organized program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

My host mother was a terrific cook, I had four meals a week with my host family and was glad I made that choice

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

You need to be careful and alert in Paris.

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

Yes, the stress was worth what I gained and the time I spent in an incredible city.

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 expensive city

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60-80$ on average per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sandwiches for lunch.

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? 3000 level french seminar
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? Listen to podcasts. Exposure and persistence is the key, it just takes time for your brain to transition to the language

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Organization
  • The students in the program
  • Well taught classes
* What could be improved?
  • Timeline after returning
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be prepared to change your expectations. Stay confident in your ability and be resilient.

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!