A great time in Paris January 25, 2024

By (Political Science and Government, Middlebury College) - 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?
Being abroad is such a great learning experience. You learn how to adjust to a foreign city and immerse yourself in a new culture. It can be tough at times, but I grew so much and explored cities all around France and Europe. I would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat if I could.

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.

Classes were interesting, but challenging. The staff at Middlebury were extremely helpful with connecting us to academic support when needed, though.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everybody was extremely kind and helpful!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family and had a great experience. My host mom was extremely welcoming and I felt my language skills improved the most during our nightly dinner conversations.

* Food:

Food was generally very good, and even eating out wasn't too expensive most of the time.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was somewhat challenging to feel completely integrated in the local culture, but it got easier to adjust over time. In general, the people I met were lovely and always made an effort to help me if I asked them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Thankfully I never needed to access healthcare while I was in Paris, but there seemed to be a lot of resources made available to us.

* Safety:

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

Although challenging at times, I enjoyed the program and the opportunities to explore the local culture that were associated with it.


* 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)

Paris is expensive, but there are ways to cut down on costs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Purchase a SNCF student discount train pass as soon as you arrive if you plan on traveling a lot. The one I bought was $50 and it paid for itself within 2 trips I took.


* 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 encouraged to follow the language pledge as much as possible.

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 316
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? Watch movies you already know well but switch the language to French. Working with French students in my classes at the Sorbonne also helped me improve my speaking skills a lot.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Trips/guided tours
  • Staff support
  • In-house classes
* What could be improved?
  • Pre-arrival/orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew about all the discounts you can get just by being a student. Doing activities throughout Paris doesn't have to be expensive- tons of museums and other places will let you in for free with your student ID card.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

France in Europe

Course Department: History
Instructor: Mme Gaillard
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I loved this class. We learned so much about French and European political history, and while it was challenging at times, it was such a good experience. Assessments weren't too bad (several quizzes, a paper, and a final) and we were graded very fairly.
Credit Transfer Issues: No