Frequently Asked Questions

Middlebury aspires to be a model of what a 21st-century liberal arts institution truly should bea welcoming, diverse, and inclusive learning community. We work to build and maintain an environment that offers broad educational opportunities and operates within a framework of mutual respect. Please feel free to contact us at 802.443.5510 if your question is not answered below.

General Information

I would like to attend, but my home institution doesn’t end before the Language Schools start. May I start the program late? May I leave early?

Please speak with the director of the School to which you are applying. Permission is granted only in very rare cases.

Can my partner live with me while I attend?

No; the Language Schools do not have facilities to accommodate spouses or dependents. Dorms are not set up to accommodate families, and due to the Language Pledge, non-language speakers are not allowed to live or visit overnight.

Eligibility

I will be graduating from high school this year. May I apply?

While previous college attendance is not required for enrollment in the Middlebury Language Schools, we encourage students who attend immediately following their final year of high school to thoughtfully consider the independence required of a Language Schools student.  While at the Language Schools, you will navigate a new campus, live with a college-aged roommate, eat in a dining hall, and attend classes with students of all ages and levels of experience. Our faculty and staff strive to create an environment that is comfortable, welcoming, and supportive, and we have counseling services and a health center available to all students. Unlike typical undergraduate programs, the Language Schools are not able to provide an orientation to college life, and we do not have residential life staff in the residence halls, although Language Schools faculty and bilingual assistants do reside with students.

Financial Aid

Please contact the office of Student Financial Services directly at sfs@middlebury.edu or 802.443.5158. Specific questions are also answered on our Financial Aid page.

When do I apply for financial aid – after acceptance or while applying?

First, you must submit a complete Middlebury Language School application. After you have submitted your Language School application, you will then receive an email with a link to the financial aid application.

In order for your financial aid application to be considered, you must have a completed Language Schools application on file. Because our funds are limited and do run out, it is important that you get your complete financial aid application to us as soon as possible. Apply for financial aid.

When will I hear from the Financial Aid Office?

Financial aid decisions will be sent starting in January. Check the bottom of this page for financial aid awarding status.

Is there any way of increasing my financial aid award?

Awards are strictly need-based. Please address questions to the Student Financial Services Office.

I wasn't awarded any financial aid. Is there any other source of funding/scholarships to close the gap between my award and the cost of the program?

Please see more information about our Fellowships and Scholarships.

Fellowship & Scholarships

What extra materials are required for the scholarships and fellowships, and when are the deadlines?

Please see this page for details concerning fellowship deadlines at the Language Schools.

Graduate Programs

What is the difference between your undergraduate and graduate programs? I already have a BA degree. Should I be in the graduate program?

The 7- and 8-week programs are designed for students of all backgrounds, regardless of whether or not you hold already hold a Bachelor's degree. They are referred to as undergraduate programs because students can transfer credits to their home institution (after consulting with the registrar). These programs accept students whose proficiency level in the target language ranges from the "pure-beginner" to the equivalent of fourth-year college.

As a prerequisite for the 6-week program, we require receipt of the BA degree or the equivalent, from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must have completed coursework equivalent to a major in the target language and be able to demonstrate the equivalent level of linguistic proficiency.

Academic

Will I earn credit? What is the equivalent of one summer at the Language Schools?

All credit awarded by the Language Schools is defined in terms of units. One unit is typically equal to 3 semester hours of credit at other universities. The 8-week session normally grants 4 Middlebury units (12 semester-hours). The 6- and 7-week sessions normally grant 3 Middlebury units (9 semester-hours). A summer language session is equivalent to roughly one academic year of language study. A summer at the graduate level is equivalent to roughly one semester of graduate study.  

Students should discuss credit transfer with their home institution. For example, many universities will not grant additional course credit if you have already taken the same an equivalent level. Since students may shift levels once they arrive at Middlebury, they will may not know how much credit they will receive until they complete their courses.

How many hours of class will I have per day/week?

The Language Schools are a 24/7 immersion program. Classes take place all morning, Monday through Friday, and in some schools for part of the afternoon, as well.

If my proficiency improves between now and program start can I change levels?

Yes, the director of the School you are attending will make sure that you are correctly placed once you arrive. Levels are often shifted after arrival.

Where do we live?

Students, faculty, and staff live in dormitories and have meals together in the dining hall. Residency on campus is required, as a condition of creating a high-quality immersion experience for all. Unfortunately, the Language Schools are not able to offer family housing for students with a partner/spouse or children.

When do we have to arrive? When do we have to leave?

Once accepted, you will receive a link to our Enrolled Students website which contains school specific arrival and departure information.

How do I get to campus?
May I have a car on campus?

Students on the Middlebury campus register their vehicles online prior to arrival and pick up their parking passes at the Arrival Center. On the Mills campus, registration will take place at the arrival center. Please bring your driver's license and car registration at this time. 

May I leave campus for a few hours periodically?

Yes.

May I leave campus for a few days during the program (to attend a wedding, a family event, or something related to a job)?

Rarely, and only with the express permission of the director of your School.

Can I get special meals during my time at Middlebury?

Dining facilities at Middlebury and Mills are designed to accommodate the average tastes and needs of students. Alternatives to meat are provided at every meal for vegetarians. The Special Dietary Request Form is available to enrolled students who have special dietary needs, would like to request kosher meals or will be observing Ramadan.

Language Pledge

More questions about the Language Pledge are answered here.

May I have friends/family who speak the target language visit me during the program?

Yes, if they speak the language you are studying; otherwise, you will be violating the Language Pledge.  Overnight visitors are not permitted on campus, however the town of Middlebury offers a range of inns and hotels.

Do I really have to avoid calling/e-mailing my friends/family/boss in English during the program?

In order to maximize language learning, we ask that you discuss only urgent personal business in English or your primary language, and if you must, please do so discreetly (out of earshot of other students).

We know that it's important for students to maintain contact with their families, but we ask that you keep non-target-language contacts to the absolute minimum.

Alumni

How do I request my final transcript?

Students have two options when requesting an official transcript: online or by mail. To request a transcript online, click the "request a transcript" link in BannerWeb and follow the step-by-step ordering instructions. To request a transcript by mail, print the Transcript Request form (also available at the Registrar's Office in Forest Hall) and mail to the following address:

Registrar's Office
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

Click here for more details and to order an official transcript.

How do I transfer my Language School credit to my home insitution?

Each university is different in calculating and granting transfer credit.  You typically will need to provide your home institution with the Middlebury course number, number of credits, and syllabi as well as an official transcript.  Please refer to the course catalog listed under the curriculum section for your specific language and contact the school’s coordinator if you have any questions.