Speaking with a student ambassador is a great way to get a previous student’s perspective on the Language Schools experience.

If you would like to connect with a student ambassador to ask questions, please contact Sheila Schwaneflugel, School of French Assistant Director, at sschwaneflugel@middlebury.edu.

French student Laurent Asiama

Laurent Asiama

Hometown: Kumasi, Ghana
Program: 7-week Immersion
Current: Middlebury College, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

What surprised you about your experience at the Middlebury Language Schools?

It surprised me that I was living in the same environment as my professors and their families.

Why did you choose to study at the Middlebury Language Schools?

I chose to study at the Middlebury Language Schools because I wanted to learn more about the French diaspora and also improve my proficiency in the French language.

Please describe how your language skills improved due to your studies at Middlebury.

I improved by constantly interacting with students and faculty. I also improved by indulging in a lot of extra-curricular activities. I plan to study abroad in the upcoming spring semester.

French student Marisa Berwald

Marisa Berwald

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Program: 7-week Immersion
Current: UCLA, Anthropology

What surprised you about your experience at the Middlebury Language Schools?

I was surprised at the intensity of having to speak, listen and study French all of the time.

Why did you choose to study at the Middlebury Language Schools?

I needed to learn French in order to do my ethnographic research in Quebec City, Canada.

Please describe how your language skills improved due to your studies at Middlebury.

My ability to have a conversation in French improved 100%. Before coming to Middlebury, I had been studying French over two years. However, I was not able to engage in a spontaneous conversation with a French speaking person. Middlebury provided me the opportunity to practice speaking all of the time in a non-judgemental setting. Though it was difficult, it provided me with a bridge on the other side of which I can continue to acquire language on my own.

What advice would you give someone wanting to attend the School of French?

This program provides a total immersion experience, but it is also an academically rigorous way to study French. 

French student Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson

Hometown: Ashland, Massachusetts
Program: 7-week Immersion
Current: Product Specialist, Apple, Inc.

What surprised you about your experience at the Middlebury Language Schools?

What surprised me about my experience at the Middlebury Language Schools was how much I could feel myself progressing throughout the program. I was also surprised by how much I was able to understand and communicate in French by the end of the seven weeks. I was surprised by the number of opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. I truly loved all of my classes and my professors, but being able to participate in activities (in French!) was amazing as well.

Why did you choose to study at the Middlebury Language Schools?

I chose to study at the Middlebury Language Schools because I wanted to learn French in an immersive, exciting environment. When I was researching the Language Schools, I could tell how intense and focused it was, and I knew it would be a learning environment where I could thrive.

Please describe how your language skills improved due to your studies at Middlebury.

My language skills improved dramatically. I began knowing barely any French and now I can understand and communicate in the language effectively. With a lot of hard work and the wonderful resources available at the Middlebury Language Schools, I was able to make tremendous progress. I am going to take a course this fall at the French Cultural Center in Boston which will allow me to continue where I left off at Middlebury. I continue to study the language every day, by studying grammar, reading books, and writing in French. I also work in a store where I will be able to use the language. I hope to one day live and work in a French-speaking country.

What advice would you give someone wanting to attend the School of French?

The Middlebury Language School was the best place I could have gone to study French. The excitement of living in another language, combined with the wonderful professors and comprehensive coursework made for an amazing seven weeks. If you are ready to work hard, be open to new experiences, and completely commit to the language pledge, you will make amazing progress and have a wonderful time!

French student Masha Makuronina

Masha Makuronina

Hometown: Odesa, Ukraine
Program: 7-week Immersion
Current: Middlebury College, Undeclared

What surprised you about your experience at the Middlebury Language Schools?

How immersive the program is! Wherever I went on campus, French followed me: to the dining hall, to my dormitory, even to the library! It was incredible to see the Middlebury campus through a francophone lens.

Why did you choose to study at the Middlebury Language Schools?

It was recommended to me by a good friend, and I was never disappointed.

Please describe how your language skills improved due to your studies at Middlebury.

My language skills have improved immensely, especially my communication as I had to speak French all of the time, in different social circumstances, and because of this, my vocabulary expanded at an incredible rate. However, more importantly - my cultural understanding of French has become much better. It gave me an opportunity to live the language and plunge into its culture, which was the reason why I began studying French in the first place - to meet and talk to francophone people!

What advice would you give someone wanting to attend the School of French?

The Language Pledge is the most powerful tool in learning the language and that is why Middlebury is so proud to be owning it. The reason why it was so successful for me is the fact that you have to apply all the knowledge you get during the classes immediately after - in the real world. Your memory is being tested and exercised every day and it is only in this way that you learn another language. Bravo, Middlebury!