Study abroad in the Mediterranean can enrich our majors' experience of the ancient world, because it affords them the opportunity to see the places that they have been learning about in the classroom. Students also find it stimulating to be surrounded by people with similar interests from other institutions. Thus, while our curriculum does not in any way necessitate study abroad, the faculty encourages students who wish to pursue it as part of their Middlebury degree in classics or classical studies.
For those students who want to go abroad, we strongly recommend a semester rather than a year. The three programs we endorse are the ICCS (the Inter-Collegiate Consortium for Classical Studies in Rome), CYA (College Year in Athens), and Arcadia (also in Athens), all of which offer semester-long programs. Admission to the ICCS in particular, however, is highly competitive, and students may have a compelling academic rationale for studying elsewhere. Accordingly, we have also approved students who wished to study for a semester at foreign universities with strong classics departments. These have included Trinity College Dublin, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Vienna.
For some students, a rewarding alternative to study abroad during the academic year has been participation in a summertime archaeological excavation. We discourage students from going abroad before they have had at least three semesters of whichever ancient language(s) they are learning. As part of their program of study abroad, students normally take at least one course in each ancient language of study, and select additional courses that are appropriate substitutes for courses in the major. In order to be fully prepared for senior work, however, students will need to have completed a significant portion of the courses required for the major, in particular CLAS 0150, before going abroad. Generally speaking, we are as flexible as we can be in helping majors to identify courses in programs abroad that allow them to stay in step with their cohort in Middlebury and to be prepared for senior work. Unless we are familiar with the institution, the instruction, and the content of the courses, we rarely grant credit to non-majors for classics courses taken away from Middlebury. In all cases (majors, non-majors, potential majors, and minors), students must consult with a member of the classics department before leaving Middlebury to plan and receive approval for work done at other institutions.
Please contact the department coordinator for the names of students who have recently participated and can speak to you about the experience.