Learning to love independence! January 31, 2024

By (International and Global Studies, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/28/2023 to 12/23/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Paris

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I fell in love with Paris and with exploring (and learning, choosing my own days...) on my own. I also saw more of the world, learned a lot academically, and of the language.

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.

I loved my direct enrollment classes and felt that the Middlebury School provided the perfect level of support network. I wished my French class had been more academically rigorous, and I wished that other students had been more committed to language learning.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The team working on-site was wonderful! I felt very welcomed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my homestay!

* 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 throughout the program and had no issues.

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

I would likely pick the same program, although I would hope that the other people that pick it are far more motivated to speak the language. This is because it felt like a good balance of familiarity (a physical school with people who understood my background) and a completely new environment (direct enrollment).


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? B1+
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? Speak it all the time! Read in it! Do everything in it!

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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Homestay
  • Paris
  • Direct enrollment classes
* What could be improved?
  • Language pledge adherence
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That students do not adhere to the language pledge!

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:

Intermediate Advanced French

Course Department: French
Instructor: Patrick Guedon
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I overall felt disappointed with this class. My primary motivation for studying abroad was to learn and be immersed in French culture, and while I felt that many other parts of my study abroad experience provided me with this, my French class did the least. I wish that we had had more hours of in-class discussion and had spent more time reviewing all that we had learned. I often found that coming to class prepared (having done the homework) did not matter as we would not review or build upon what we had looked at; in this way I clearly did not get out of the class what I put in. I did find many of the assessments valuable, and the professor provided us helpful corrections and feedback on everything that we wrote. I only wish we had used in-class time more productively.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Boniface Mongo
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This is one of my favorite classes I have taken throughout college. The professor was incredibly engaging, passionate, and knowledgable about all that we talked about. I really liked the small class size and the learning environment (combination of lecture, all-class discussion, and student presentations). All assignments were valuable and interesting. I would recommend this class to everyone!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Organisation de l'Etat et action publique

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Jerome Valluy
Instruction Language: French
Comments: This class was very challenging for me in that it was a 3-hour lecture where the professor utilized no visual aids (no notes or slideshow) and read his materials very quickly. It was unlike any education environment I had been in in the US; in this sense it was a very valuable learning experience. While I did not feel that the assessment (one final exam) was representative (in any way) of the class, I am ultimately glad that I took it and do feel that I learned a lot (both material-wise and experience-wise).
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Histoire de la Russie contemporaine

Course Department: History
Instructor: François-Xavier Nerard
Instruction Language: French
Comments: I learned so much in this class! The professors were extremely knowledgable about the subject and expected a lot of their students; I felt that this motivated me to learn more than I ever predicted. A very challenging class and also very rewarding.
Credit Transfer Issues: