Academic Rigor and Full Immersion January 14, 2020

By (Tufts University) - abroad from 09/02/2019 to 12/18/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience abroad taught me so much about myself. Being removed from my fellow peers at my home university to get to know new friends in an entirely different linguistic and cultural context forced me to reflect on what makes me who I am - when all my familiar environments are taken away, what is left? This was invaluable. I also learned so much about France and the way that French language allows for expression in certain ways that English does not (and vice versa). I would highly recommend going abroad to Paris!

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:

Middlebury gives important safety information entirely in French. While this allows us to be fully immersive, a part of the program I enjoyed and drew from greatly, this impeded my ability to feel safe during orientation week. Even though I speak fluent French, knowing my peers and I were not receiving crucial safety information about our host city in our most familiar language was unnerving to me. That being said, I felt very safe in Paris throughout the semester and knew I could always come to the program for help. I just felt uneasy at the beginning, as if I might have missed important information.

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

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)

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? 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? Advanced French Literature courses
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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?
  • Academic Rigor
  • Great staff to student ratio
  • Great extra-curricular programming/cultural excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Can feel extreme/unnecessarily harsh at times
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That they make you take 5 classes (I only take 4 at my home university, in English!) - taking 5 was not something I was used to, much less while being in a foreign country.