Extremely Challenging but Rewarding Past Review

By (Davidson College) - abroad from 09/03/2018 to 12/21/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
If I have to, I can survive taking five classes at the Sorbonne in French, which made me feel extremely independent and as if I can do almost anything if I need to

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.

Was extremely rigorous, five non-language courses in French

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Le Centre Madeleine was excellently located and suitable

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Extremely racist host family but couldn't have lived in a nicer apartment or area (Neuilly-sur-Seine, Avenue Charles de Gaulle)

* Food:

There is nothing better than French cuisine

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

was very difficult to integrate in one of the largest cities in the world but I made French friends

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My physical checkup in order to play basketball was free

* Safety:

Had to be careful around les Gilets Jaunes but just used common sense, was tear gassed once as a spectator and then did not go outside on Saturdays again

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would rather go to Middlebury in Bordeaux- living in a city as big as Paris was tiring and intimidating


* 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 incredibly expensive

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$90
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? if you can, live in an apartment so you can cook for yourself


* 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

signed language pledge forbidding me from speaking English

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? FRE335
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? Watch videos my French YouTubers- they talk like the average French person

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?
  • Language Pledge
  • fellow Middlebury students
  • attending class at the Sorbonne
* What could be improved?
  • better screening of host family
  • more interesting group activities
  • better help for students struggling with language aspect at the Sorbonne
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is a massive difference between being really good at a language and being fluent in it

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!