Memorable though difficult abroad experience November 12, 2022

By (Computer Science, Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/04/2022 to 05/25/2022 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My French drastically improved.

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.

The program is overly rigorous at the expense of student's mental health and time exploring France

* 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

GPA deflation. Grade equivalence was by no means equivalent to Midd's grading system. Many students' GPAs plumaged after the semester in Paris. Even for students who managed to maintain their GPA, the cost was their mental health and time exploring the city and the country. I sincerely hope the program could reevaluate the purpose of studying abroad and not create difficulty for students for the sake of a rigorous reputation. In addition, despite the fact that Middlebury students can all credit/non-credit one class, study-abroad students cannot, which means all grades will be reflected in our transcript. Furthermore, the 0.5 credit is a joke. My class that meets 5 hours a week was transferred as 0.5 credit, while a class taken at the Middlebury center that meets 2.5 hours a week was considered as 1 credit. A very unreasonable system.


* 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? $400


* 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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? B1+
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? Force oneself to only speak the language. The major point of studying abroad is to improve language competency.

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?
  • Living with a host family
  • Visiting museums and restaurants
* What could be improved?
  • Grading system
  • Grading system
  • Grading system
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The academic rigor of this program and the unnecessary stress added to students due to unreasonable academic policy (0.5 credit, no non-credit option) can be detrimental to mental health.

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:

Advanced French

Course Department:
Instructor: Guedon
Instruction Language: French
Comments: All sessions were conducted in the classroom. Class material is interesting but not as challenging. However, I do not find the instructor cultivated a very respectful or safe learning environment. Multiple students have expressed their concerns about feeling mistreated.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

A la tête de l'état

Course Department:
Instructor: Nicolas Roussellier
Instruction Language:
Comments: M. Roussellier is very knowledgeable and successfully inspired his students with his passion for the field. We took the class, concurring the presidential election, which was a great supplement to the class materials.
Credit Transfer Issues: