An extremely enriching and real-world study abroad experience September 10, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/03/2018 to 05/20/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was so worthwhile to go for the full academic year! I loved having the opportunity to work in a different country and also to take dance classes at the local drop-in studio. I learned a lot about what kind of environment,community and opportunities that I want after I graduate from Middlebury. I also think more than anything, it was so helpful to learn about how other countries perceive the U.S.

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.

* 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? No

If I could go back, I would choose Paris for Spring semester to study and then Summer for a work/internship experience. I would also have chosen Bordeaux to start my experience abroad. I think it facilitates an easier environment to learn French and immerse yourself amongst people and students who are willing to listen to you.

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? 35-50 euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Look for "traiteurs" for cheaper meals on the go or to take-home! Shopping at local markets are also so wonderful. It makes finding healthy and sustainable foods much more budget friendly.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? FREN 230 at Middlebury
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? Look up magazine interviews on French artists or celebrities to learn more about conversational French and how to write out conversational french.

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?
  • Internship
  • Independence
  • Language Immersion
* What could be improved?
  • relationship between Centre Madeleine and the Middlebury Major Departments
  • Creating a low-stakes, encouraging environment within the Middlebury Schools Abroad in Paris program amongst students
  • supporting students ESPECIALLY when mistakes are made and it effects students' overall mental health, academic growth and home environment
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I really wished I had known I would take classes with graduate students. I did not like being in the same class with those who had decided to pursue French after college. It changes the dynamic for us introverts. I believe that so much about study abroad undergraduate is learning how to live in a different culture and other social factors, but graduate students have other intentions and goals in mind since they have a bit more experience than us.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

La laïcité en France

Course Department: History
Instructor: M. Roussellier
Instruction Language: French
Comments: It was certainly a challenging course, and the professor was extremely well informed and interesting. I did not appreciate the group work, and did not think that my grade reflected my overall learning. I also did not feel that our class was not prepared for exams and had not many additional tools to seek guidance or more resources to better our knowledge.
Credit Transfer Issues: Yes, It is difficult to see any classes count for your major. If the teachers and admin at CM had a separate meeting to discuss specifically the transferring of credits for your major, then that would be much better.