Frequently Asked Questions
Middlebury College aspires to be a model of what a 21st-century liberal arts institution truly should be–a 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.
This page is meant to be a useful "Quick Guide" to resources, policies, and procedures at the Language Schools. Please feel free to contact us at 802.443.5510 if your question is not answered below.
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.
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.
Do you offer programs for children and/or high school students?
The Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA) is a four-week language academy for students in grades 8–12, modeled after the Middlebury Language Schools. MMLA currently offer programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish. For more information please contact MMLA at 888.216.0135 or visit their website.
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.
Can my spouse 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 in the dorms.
I'm a returning student/ a student who applied to the Schools in the past. What materials do I need to submit in order to reactivate my application?
If you would like to reactivate a previous application, you'll need to start a new online application and provide all of the requested information. A personal statement is required but can be brief. If you are a returning student, the application fee is waived.
If you applied within the past two years but did not attend, you are required to pay the application fee. Your recommendations and transcripts are still valid and do not need to be resent (unless this is deemed necessary by the coordinator). However, updated transcripts will be requested if you have completed additional undergraduate- or graduate-level work since you last applied.
If more than two years have passed, you will need to send new recommendations. Contact the coordinator of the School to which you are applying in order to determine if you will need to send new transcripts.
If I am applying to more than one School, do I need to submit separate applications and letters of recommendation?
Yes; you must complete separate applications for all Schools to which you are applying.
Does my recommender have to use the recommendation form?
My recommender is abroad. How can she/he send the recommendation?
I have never studied this language before. Who fills out my recommendation form?
You can submit letters from recent instructors with whom you have studied other languages or disciplines; work supervisors from professional or volunteer work; or colleagues. Your recommendation should speak to your ability to adjust to and do well in an intensive immersion program.
Who is exempt from paying the application fee?
- A student providing a letter from their home institution stating that they receive 96-100% financial aid
- Active duty military
- FBI (sent through official channels)
- IIPP students
- Middlebury College undergraduate students
- Alumni of all Middlebury College programs
- Monterey Institute of International Studies - current students
- AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America
- Mills College - current students
- Alumni of the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy
I lost my login and password; where can I access that information?
Has all my paperwork been received?
Have I been accepted?
Once your application is complete (all supplemental materials are in) it may take 4-6 weeks for a decision to be made. We cannot give admission decisions over the phone. Applicants will receive a decision by email, followed by a decision letter by mail.
When do I apply for financial aid – after acceptance or while applying?
Apply for financial aid at the same time that you apply to the Language Schools. 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.
Kathryn Davis Fellowship, Kress, Premio, and HBCU/HSI/Tribal Colleges Scholarship: what extra materials are required and when is the deadline for applying for a fellowship?
When will I hear from the Financial Aid Office?
Will I earn credit for courses? What is the equivalent of one summer at the Language Schools?
Yes, but students should discuss credit transfer with their home institution. The 8-week session normally grants 4 units of credit (12 semester-hours) and the 6- and 7-week sessions normally grant 3 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.
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 the start of the program 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.
When do we have to arrive? When do we have to leave?
Once accepted, you will receive a link to our Accepted Students website which contains school specific arrival and departure information.
How do I get to campus?
May I have a car on campus?
Yes. On the Middlebury campus, registration will take place at the arrival center or at Public Safety, in Harnest House. 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?
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.
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.
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.