One of the most challenging and simultaneously most rewarding years of my life August 01, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/06/2018 to 05/19/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I became fluent in a language I love, discovered a new passion for art, and made many personal self-discoveries about how I deal with stress and adversity

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.

It was a very demanding program academically, which pushed me to learn as much as I could. Because of the demands my french improved rapidly and significantly. The resources were great and the classed were interesting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Incredibly organized and they were always there for us, regardless of the issue.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

My first host family's food was not great. When I moved into an apartment I simply made my own which was great

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Over the course of the year I made french friends -- thanks to being in a dorm -- and then truly felt lile a part of the french people and culture around me

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no problems but it was very affordable

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe -- though I know that my female contemporaries had to deal with a surprising amount of sexual harassment on the street

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

It was difficult and pushed me and allowed me to achieve my goals

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around $100 to $150 each week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? grocery shop at cheap places and buy in bulk.

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? Intermediate
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? An intermediate French lanaguage course
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? force yourself to go out there and speak to people. Join a group in any activity you like. Try and fall in love with the language. Do as much reading in that language as you can bear.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • full immersion
  • commitment to excellence in language skills
  • staff that were loving and could be relied upon
* What could be improved?
  • a clearer understanding of what to expect from certain courses
  • a more nuanced grade transfer system
  • more access to dorms and /or apartments
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had known that my academic experience wasn't the key experience and that I had stressed less about the grades early on

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:

Theories and images of totalitarianism

Course Department: Literature
Instructor: Martin Kaltenecker
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Yes it was very challenging as we had to read a theoretical text by Hannah Arendt in French. The teacher was very knowledgeable and also a kind and understanding man and I definitely learned a lot under his tutelage. We had two exams and a long final paper which were all difficult, but doable as long as one studied the books intensely.
Credit Transfer Issues: I am not sure yet as I haven't attempted to transfer it yet