An Experience of Growth August 01, 2023

By (History, Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/02/2023 to 05/30/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Though I struggled to adjust to the academic pace of the Sorbonne, I feel that by having this experience I was able to show myself I can adjust to new and unfamiliar environments and find ways to really enjoy them. I definitely would say that my time in Paris was worthwhile and I can't wait to go back.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Though we were equipped with tutors to help us with assignments for class, I felt as though there was very little explanation as to how I could improve or get acclimated to the rhythm of coursework at Sorbonne. Often I was told to make revisions simply to do them in order to boost my grade, rather than receive an explanation as to why I was making such revisions, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff on site was incredibly responsive and supportive of my needs throughout the program. I do wish that during orientation at the beginning of our program there could have been more discussion of how school at the Sorbonne would be different from our home institutions.

* 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:

I felt safe navigating the city throughout my time during my program, and really enjoyed integrating and feeling as though I was living as a local.

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

Though I feel like I grew a lot from my experience as a local student at the Sorbonne, there was a lot of uncertainty throughout the semester while adjusting to life as a local and I feel as though my mental health could have been better supported if I found a program with academic norms more similar to my institution of origin.


* 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? 100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try and eat in as much as you can and reward yourself with dinner out once or twice a week!


* 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

I took a pledge to engage in French entirely throughout the duration of my program.

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? RCLANG 320 -- Readings in French Seminar
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? Have a good mindset and dive right in! Don't worry too much about what you can do beforehand, the best way to improve is to immerse yourself once your program starts!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Exploring Museums
  • Walking around the city
  • Meeting other students at Sorbonne
* What could be improved?
  • Orientation and Prep
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That things work out and to be in the moment!

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:

Histoire du XVIe siècle : Le royaume de France dans les guerres de Religion (1559 – 1598) - Ligueurs contre Politiques

Course Department: Histoire
Instruction Language: French
Comments: The instructor was incredibly supportive throughout the semester and at the very beginning of the semester talked to me at length to assuage my worries as an international student. She would lead each TD reviewing a text and taking the time to explain it in depth, while asking students to engage with the material. When I needed help with my exposé she agreed to look at it and give me feedback before submitting it, which was really helpful.
Credit Transfer Issues: