Gaining independence and achieving fluency July 30, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/04/2018 to 05/20/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Above anything else, I gained an understanding of another culture, and the ways in which it, as a European culture, is similar to and different from the American culture in which I grew up. Studying abroad was absolutely a worthwhile experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* 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?

* Safety:

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

I had an amazing time doing this program. I found that it was very well run, I made some great friends, and I absolutely loved Paris. So it would be an easy yes to choose to do it again.


* 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? $150


* 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 220
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? Speak as often as you can to whoever you can, whether it's your host family, your friends, or the cashier at your neighborhood supermarket, because the more you speak, the more confident you'll feel in your ability to communicate, and the faster you'll improve.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Split between classes at the program center and the partner university
  • Friendliness and helpfulness of the program staff
* What could be improved?
  • More information provided early on about metro cards and cell phone plans
  • More program-wide activities/trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I knew that the French education system would be different than ours, but I don't think I fully understood or internalized the extent to which that would be true. I wish I had known to not stress so much about that because at the end it is a great experience, it will work out, and it's only a part of the entire abroad experience.

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:


Course Department: Language
Instructor: Mme Raymon
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This class was immensely helpful in improving my pronunciation and speaking in general. We were graded on three exams and a journal that we worked on throughout the semester.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

War, Politics, and Society: Vichy, the New Europe, and the World

Course Department: History
Instructor: Mme Aglan, M Theofilakis
Instruction Language: French
Comments: The course was very well taught, and the professors were very understanding of my status as an international student. We were assessed on a paper, a few short reflections, and an oral exam.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of the French Revolution

Course Department: History
Instructor: M Serna, M Regent
Instruction Language: French
Comments: The CM was largely well taught and interesting, even if at times it felt as though our focus was very specific and there was not much of a broader perspective on the Revolution provided. TD, on the other hand, was always entirely led by a student giving their oral presentation, and I found that without much input from the professor, this section of the class was not very useful to improving my understanding of the subject. We were graded on our oral presentation and one reading quiz.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of the Roman Republic

Course Department: History
Instructor: Mme Berendoner, M Maillard
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This course was incredibly well taught, both in TD and CM. Both professors were immensely knowledgeable on the time period and provided a relevant mix of specific information and broader themes relating to the period covered. We were graded on a paper, an in class quiz, and an oral exam.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

The French Monarchy during the Renaissance

Course Department: History
Instructor: M Le Person
Instruction Language: French
Comments: M Le Person was incredibly knowledgeable about Renaissance France and Europe in general, so it was always interesting to hear him talk on the subject. The class was very well taught and I felt like I learned a lot and gained insight into some of the historical aspects that make France what it is today. We were graded on a paper, a midterm, a presentation, and a final.
Credit Transfer Issues: