Middlebury School in France

Video and Photos

Patisserie
Patisserie
Students at the Louvre
Students at the Louvre
Poitiers city center
Poitiers city center
A building with flowers blooming outside
A building with flowers blooming outside
A Poitiers street at night
A Poitiers street at night
Metro sign at night, with lights all around
Metro sign at night, with lights all around
Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux
Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux
The Louvre pyramid
The Louvre pyramid

About

The Middlebury School in France 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. The School in France headquarters is in Paris, and students in Paris, Bordeaux, and Poitiers can take some or all of their courses at a host university. All students are encouraged to get involved in the community through internships or interactions within the clubs and activities available.

Highlights
  • All course work is conducted entirely in French
  • Students adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge
  • Direct enrollment at local universities
  • Housing with French families or students
  • Academic internships and volunteer work

Popular Programs

Bordeaux, the stunning capital of the Aquitaine region, was referred to as Little Rome in ancient times and is considered by many to be France’s most beautiful city. Although usually associated with France’s famous wine industry, Bordeaux also offers a vibrant cultural life and a rich historical tradition that is well preserved in the city’s architecture. Live the language with the Middlebury Schools Abroad!

Paris, the City of Light famous for its extraordinary museums, bridges, churches, and colorful gardens inspires all who walk her streets. The offices of le Centre Madeleine, Middlebury’s center in Paris, are located by the Madeleine Church in the 8th arrondissement, near la Concorde and les Champs-Élysees. Here students have an outstanding opportunity for immersion into Parisian culture.

Poitiers, a city of 85,000 people, located in the Poitou-Charentes region, is an hour and a half by TGV from Paris and close to the major tourist attractions of the Loire Valley. Home to both medieval quartiers and the modern Futuroscope theme park, Poitiers is a blend of ancient and contemporary France. Middlebury offers a special STEM track in Poitiers as well as courses in a wide array of disciplines.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 7 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
Default avatar
Grete
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A life-changing semester in Paris

I absolutely loved my semester in Paris. Middlebury provides you with great courses by inspiring Science Po professors in a small classroom environment whereas you also take courses at local universities, thereby getting a double dose of experiences. There is also a wide variety of trips to visit the rest of France, I personally had a fun time in Normandy. I would highlight the supportive team that Middlebury Paris has - they helped me through all kinds of questions and struggles I had in the beginning. I would highly recommend the program to anyone who cares about amazing food, rich cultural life and great flight connections that Paris offers! Coming back with a fluent French is also a great asset.

The only negative aspect was leaving the program - one semester was clearly not enough for me.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pick up a new hobby. Something like social dancing or that includes mingling with locals - it is incredible how many people you can meet this way. Find Facebook groups for salsa/bachata/tango/rock and go to events. They are fun and not at all expensive!
Default avatar
Dan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Great Year!

I was lucky enough to spend an entire school year abroad with the Middlebury School in France, and I had the time of my life. The Middlebury program is the most academically rigorous than other student abroad programs in Paris. But, if you really want to improve your French dramatically and immerse yourself in French culture, this program is the way to go. I loved my classes at the Middlebury Center, had a great host family experience (they're coming to visit me in NYC this summer!), and I improved my French immensely. Going abroad for an entire year was really such a great experience for me, and I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to have a fun yet fulfilling year abroad.

Default avatar
Ben
10/10
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.
Default avatar
Stephanie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Great Experience

I chose to go to Paris with the goal of improving my French; I got that and so much more! The host family program was fabulous- living with a French family gave me insights into the culture, and a change to practice a different type of French that what I learned in the classroom. The art and music in Paris is incredible also, and worth taking time to enjoy- there are incredible things to see and enjoy on basically every street. Spending months in the city helped me learn the different cultures of different areas.

What would you improve about this program?
If at all possible, being able to register for classes before getting to Paris would be so helpful for credit transfer and financial aid paperwork.
Default avatar
Chase
9/10
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.
Default avatar
Georgia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you want to learn French, no better program

There are a lot of study abroad programs in Paris, but if you're going with the intention of linguistic and cultural integration, this is for you. I met a lot of other students studying abroad and Middlebury's was, based on my observations, by far the best. I advanced a great deal in terms of language, and they planned a lot of fun activities to learn more about Paris and France. They do a great job facilitating with the French universities and I always felt comfortable approaching the administrators whenever I had a problem. A really invaluable experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a truly enriching study abroad experience!

Default avatar
Alison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved it

I loved my time in Paris with the Middlebury Program. The staff is very supportive and knowledgable and the courses are thorough. Amy Tondu is the absolute best. You have the opportunity to enroll directly in a Parisian university and simultaneously take 1-2 courses with other Middlebury abroad students at the Middlebury center. In my opinion, this is the best of both worlds: support yet immersion into this fabulous city. Although the language pledge is difficult to uphold, it really does make a difference in your language acquisition. Learning a language is partly physical. Your muscles need to be trained to move in ways that you are not used to and so by staying in the pledge you build up these muscles and fluency becomes much easier to attain! I stayed with a host family who I became very close with. When I was sick my host mom even made me special balms and syrups to help me get better. Paris is an incredible and vibrant city, but if you are not ready to live in a bustling metropolitan where you will likely need to commute daily via metro, then it might not be the program for you.