Wonderful experience! August 16, 2023

By (Internatioal Politics and Economics, Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/03/2023 to 05/20/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained independence in a city (I'm from a small town and this was my first city experience). My love for history and French culture was also strongly reinforced. I wish I could go back...

Review Photos

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris Photo Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris Photo

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.

The Middlebury School in Paris provided an excellent academic experience that was both challenging and that overall positively contributed to my academic goals. Taking 1 course in language at the Middlebury Center and 4 courses in the subjects that I study at Sciences Po was a great recipe for success.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the staff members at the Centre Madeleine were very helpful and kind. I liked that they encouraged independence.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family in the 12e and overall I had a great experience. I am still in touch with my host family and have seen my host sister multiple times since leaving Paris (she has since moved to the US).

* Food:

The food in Paris was amazing. I am a big fan of French food and going out to dinners on the weekends and for lunch during the week was one of the highlights of my abroad experience. My host mom was a good cook as well. Snacking culture is not very big in France and meals are a bit smaller than the US, but I adjusted quickly.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I overall felt very integrated with the local culture. I feel as if I took advantage of all of the cultural opportunities that Paris had to offer. I found it difficult to make french friends outside of my host sister and other international students studying at my host university.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

When I had a health issue abroad, the Middlebury Center was very helpful in directing me to where I needed to go. In terms of the French system, I did not find any issues accessing care. I think things were just a bit confusing as it was in a different language and a different doctor.

* Safety:

I lived in a very safe neighborhood which I was very thankful for. Overall, I feel as if Paris is a safe city. In terms of advice, make sure you are "with it" on the metro after a night out. The two times in Paris where I felt unsafe were instances where I was being followed. I simply went into a restaurant and waited things out.

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

I felt supported at the Middlebury School in Paris and I enjoyed that they also gave us a lot of independence. Being able to study at Sciences Po was such a great opportunity. I did find it difficult that the majority of Sciences Po students take courses in English.


* 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)

I honestly spent a lot of money while I was abroad. I had saved for several years to prep for this abroad experience and was thankful that my parents were also financially supporting large portions of my abroad experience.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? N/A
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy your flight tickets way in advance. Travel in France rather than to other countries. My travels in France were always my favorite and I would always compare travel to other European cities to Paris. Paris has so much to offer culturally and make sure you spend weekends in the city rather than going to other countries all of the time. It is also cheaper to stay in Paris. Take advantage of the reduced price tickets for the opera and other plays.


* 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

We were strongly encouraged to always speak French expect for emergencies and for communication with our parents.

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? French 230
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? Doing Language School solidified some of the foundations of the language. I always am watching French shows on netflix and listening to French podcasts which is very helpful.

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

  • 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?
  • Being able to live in Paris and get to know the city.
  • The many cultural components of the program (Middlebury sponsored and also Sciences Po).
  • The independence.
* What could be improved?
  • Perpigon and Carcassone trip could have probably been just one of the cities so that we weren't driving so much during that weekend.
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That Paris is expensive!

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Course Department:
Instructor: Sociology of Elites
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Overall interesting discussion in class. I think the structure of three exposes each week got very repetitive. The course was too theoretical.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Histoire des mondes contemporains

Course Department: Histoire
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I found the course challenging in that we had many readings and assignments each week. The teacher was very intelligent.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Economic Development MENA

Course Department: Economics
Instruction Language: French
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Grammaire Niveau intermediate

Course Department: French Grammar
Instruction Language: French
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of Political Trauma

Course Department: Politics
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I felt as if class time was wasted by watching parts of films...this could have been homework.
Credit Transfer Issues: