Live (mostly) like a local, with all the good and bad that includes August 07, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/03/2018 to 05/31/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was very independent while abroad which I think was good for me. I think some of the best parts of being abroad is just being able to live the day-to-day life in another culture. I also loved being able to visit a ton of Parisian museums (mostly free, thanks to being a local student). My french skills definitely improved, mostly in my speaking skills and oral comprehension. For me, it was worthwhile. Being able to travel to other areas from Paris was amazing and I still felt like I got to know Paris and see a lot of the city. The local academics were okay, but it's much more mechanic than in the US. It takes some getting used to but I found that if you go in not expecting to get the same type of classes as in the US, it's a very interesting cultural experience.

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.

Once you get used to the differences in educational styles, I found that I could get a lot out of my classes. I enjoyed having a class at the Middlebury Center rather than taking classes exclusively at Paris 3.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I found the on-site administrators fairly thorough and responsive. Especially during the end of the semester when everything was up in the air about finals (my university was blocked due to student protesters) Amy was amazing and let me go into the center on Saturday to take a timed test.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food in Paris is amazing, but food expenses do add up.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This is a mixed answer. I felt like I was living how most Parisians live, but I didn't find a lot of social integration in just one semester, aka I didn't really find French friends. That didn't really bother me but just expect that it's hard to make friends in a semester.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues.

* Safety:

Paris is like any big city with all its given risks. If you pay attention and make good choices you'll be fine. They do a session on safety during orientation and I found that, following those guidelines, I didn't have problems.

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

I really enjoyed my time abroad. I was unsure if I wanted to go to a big city, but I'm glad I chose Paris.

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)

2

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Traveling is really where you'll spend a lot of money. It's worth it to travel while you're abroad, but I would definitely be conscious of how much money you are spending cumulatively while traveling.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 300-level class.
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? Just speak the local language. Even if it's hard, even if it's with other people that speak English, just do 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
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?
  • Language immersion
  • Mix of local classes and Middlebury center classes
  • Central location
* What could be improved?
  • Financial support
  • Social integration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew a little more about what the local classes were going to be like.

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:

Parler d'Amour à la Renaissance

Course Department: French literature
Instructor: Nancy Oddo
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Professor is great. Hard class, but she was nice and I found I got a lot out of it.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Le dormeur éveillé

Course Department: Comparative Literature
Instructor: Françoise Lavocat
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I thought that the content of this class was super interesting. The professor is okay, some days were better than others. She gave a quiz that was unexpectedly difficult. She did ask for student participation more than the other two classes I took at Paris 3, but that still wasn't a lot just because it's not really in French university culture.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.
Course Name/Rating:

L'union européenne en crise(s)

Course Department: Middlebury Center
Instructor: Marion Gaillard
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I loved this class. Prof. Gaillard is amazing and makes the material understandable and interesting. I found her assessment methods fair and not to difficult as long as you prepare properly. I learned a lot from this class and came away with a much better understanding of the european union.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues as of yet.