A busy semester January 02, 2024

By (Architecture, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/29/2022 to 12/16/2022 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I got to experience a new city, which was a good experience and not one I would have been able to have otherwise. Academically and professionally I did not gain much.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was in the architecture program and although I wouldn't say that I didn't learn anything it definitely wasn't for me. I felt that in terms of conceptual thinking I was way above the level of the program I was placed in and I wasn't necessarily a fan of how they taught and thought about architecture overall. It felt like a school for people who could afford it rather than a school for people passionate about design and creating good architecture and public space. There was no support in terms of resources and we had to spend a lot of money which was not told to us prior to the program and with the way the classes were structured there was not really any respect for our time and it felt like a lot of the actual students didn't respect the classes either. My class with Middlebury was good.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They all seemed like nice people who cared about their jobs and wanted to help us however they could. I didn't interact with them too much after orientation apart from saying hi when I would see them. I was frustrated with the person in charge of housing when I expressed my issues and she didn't seem to understand the issue because "that's just how it was".

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Apart from being really well located, I did not enjoy the living arrangements at all. There were already groups of friends formed around people who went to school together, or were all working, or were all from the same home country so although everyone was friendly I didn't really make any friends. On top of that, we were never allowed guests so it was really lonely. There was no laundry in the building which was difficult especially in the winter. The women who ran the foyer were extremely condescending and had no respect for our personal space. They would enter our rooms for "surprise checks" more than the monthly cleanliness check. I understand that it's in the rules but it becomes problematic when they walk in on girls sleeping, or changing, or doing interviews over Zoom, all of which did happen. There was also no WIFI which was appalling.

* Food:

I had to cook all my own food, which was fine, but I had very little fridge space and it was very difficult to cook when the kitchen got busy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Between classes at my host school, the Middlebury school and my internship I felt like I was split between three places but I was not spending enough time at any of them to really get to know the others and feel integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We had COVID precautions but other than that I didn't run into any health issues.

* Safety:

Obviously Paris is a big city with lots of tourists so things can happen at times but I never felt like it was particularly dangerous or unsafe.

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

Because of my host institution and my internship I had absolutely no free time while others in the same program were always traveling and exploring the city.


* 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)


* 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? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Restaurants
  • Being in Paris with friends
  • Walkable city
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
  • Transparency
  • Student support
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more details about the architecture school and internships.

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:


Course Department: Poli Sci/History
Instructor: Boniface Mongo
Instruction Language: French
Comments: Mr Mongo and his course was probably one of the best things about my time abroad. He is incredibly knowledgable and a compelling lecturer. I learned a lot.
Credit Transfer Issues: No