I had a lot of freedom, and I survived January 24, 2024

By (Psychology, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor) - abroad from 08/30/2023 to 12/22/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. While it is true that I learned about Parisian culture and life, I feel that the biggest thing that I learned was how to live with very little structure--I had almost complete freedom to do whatever I wanted.

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

I am not sure if this is specifically for Middlebury or the university that I was at, but the Middlebury administration is incredibly helpful. The French university administration is good, but they take quite a bit of time to respond to emails.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There were some problems with the rooms at The Social Hub, but it was largely fine

* Food:

Paris cuisine is top notch

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I will say that I had a hard time being open with others, especially other French people, due to anxiety around my language proficiency. I did make friends, but my anxiety did prevent me from being more integrated

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I received therapy while I was in Paris, and I had a good experience

* Safety:

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

I want to specify that the program itself was great, but I feel that I was my own worst enemy. I could have put myself out there more to expose myself to the people there, and if I did that, I would have enjoyed my experience a lot more. I also feel that it would have been better if I improved my French before going, in particular, my oral comprehension.


* 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? 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? 300-level
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? You really need to expose yourself to the language as much as you can. Listen and watch as much French language media as you can

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?
  • The support from Middlebury staff
  • Paris itself
  • The freedom that the program gives
* What could be improved?
  • Perhaps some more help/resources on how to interact and integrate into Parisian culture and life with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Where my French level was at. I had a decent idea, but it was definitely a shock seeing the discrepancy in my language skills with what I thought it was

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:

Masques et vérité

Course Department: Philosophie
Instructor: Pierre Manimont
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This was a course at Sorbonne Université. I want to say that Monsieur Manimont is very knowledgeable, but he can be a little disorganized, so it is absolutely necessary to make sure you know when exams and work is scheduled and due. The course itself was also incredibly focused on Hegel with some Marx in the end, but this was somewhat frustrating as the class was advertised as covering a wider range of thinkers.
Credit Transfer Issues: