Middlebury School in France: Bordeaux

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The Middlebury program in Bordeaux offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curriculum and adherence to the Middlebury Language Pledge. By pledging to speak only the target language while abroad, students will have the best chance of acquiring fluency and actively engaging in the local environment. Participants take their courses directly in a local university, at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne (French literature, comparative literature, linguistics, history, theater, film, music, art history, archeology, geography, and philosophy) and/or at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques Bordeaux (political science, history, and economics). Special arrangements can be made to study at other branches of the Université de Bordeaux. All students are encouraged to get involved in the community through internships or interactions within the clubs and activities available.

  • All course work is conducted entirely in French
  • Students adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge
  • Direct enrollment at local universities
  • Courses in most liberal arts disciplines
  • Housing with French families

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 8.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
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Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Bordeaux

As a student who received a poor French education in high school, my language proficiency was pretty horrible when I started my first collegiate French course. Obviously, I improved over the next two years, but I still was unable to communicate effectively. With any language, there exists a specific lexicon for the classroom setting and a specific lexicon for navigating one's everyday life. Therefore, when I arrived in Bordeaux, I was quickly reminded that my level of French was mediocre at best. I took the Middlebury Program very seriously, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions that I ever made. I made leaps and bounds with regards to my language proficiency, and upon returning to the States, I discovered how much I had actually improved.

One of my most fulfilling memories occurred the week before I left France. After the fall semester ended, I stayed in Bordeaux through winter break. Consequently, I was in the city when the spring semester students arrived to begin their study abroad experience. I helped out during orientation, and during one such occasion, I recall addressing a group of students in one of the classrooms at Sciences Po. I talked briefly about my experience in Bordeaux for about a 5 minute interval, and then sat back down while the directors of the program took over. All of a sudden, I realized I had just talked without thinking about what I was saying. My mouth had simply opened and the words had come out.

The program is designed very well. The directors are amazing people and great leaders, and my host-family situation could not have been better. I had the best semester of my entire life.

What would you improve about this program?
Students who opt to take courses at l'université de Bordeaux should be made aware that the classes begin about two weeks before those at Sciences Po and l'université de Bordeaux Montaigne (at least during the fall semester). Orientation is unfortunately tailored to those who take courses exclusively at these two universities, so I missed two weeks of a biology course that was held at l'université de Bordeaux without even knowing it.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great Program

I loved my time abroad in Bordeaux with the Middlebury program. The only thing that I would change would be the housing situation. I would have much preferred to live with French students as roommates rather than living with a host family. I think the program could've integrated the host family element alongside a system of apartment living. Other than that, the program was absolutely amazing. I had fun!

What would you improve about this program?
Improve the housing set up.