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Middlebury takes on administration of study abroad programs in Chile

December 23, 2005

Agreement between SUNY-Plattsburgh
and Middlebury reached on Nov. 15

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Middlebury College and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh have officially agreed that Middlebury will assume responsibility for the operation and administration of Plattsburgh State's "Southern Cone" study-abroad programs in Chile. The transition will begin in July 2006 under the management of the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in Latin America.

This agreement follows a previous successful collaboration in 2002 when Middlebury assumed responsibility for the Plattsburgh State programs in Argentina and Uruguay. The basic structure and philosophy of the programs in Chile, which have been attracting about a dozen Middlebury students each year, will be retained under Middlebury's management.

"Our similarities in program philosophies are what initially brought us together in 2002, and this most recent evolution is a logical step for both of us," said David Macey, Middlebury College's director of off-campus study.

For more than 50 years, participants in the C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad have not just studied a language; they have lived it as well. The School in Latin American includes programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. In Chile, students have the option of directly enrolling in nine different universities in six cities while they live with a host family, engage in an internship, and participate in a cuaderno-an out-of-classroom intensive journal-writing course. They also maintain Middlebury's Language Pledge and speak only Spanish or Portuguese while in Latin America.

Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains and stretching 2,600 miles from the Peruvian border in the north to Cape Horn and the Strait of Magellan in the south, Chile encompasses every kind of environment from tropical to desert to sub-Antarctic. The long, thin country boasts a magnificent coastline, Andean peaks with more than 50 active volcanoes, the inhospitable Atacama Desert, and Chilean Patagonia. Since the end of military rule and the return of a stable democracy in 1990, Chile has been an attractive site for university-level study as its history covers all phases and models that students may have studied and wish to learn about first-hand.

"Certainly this expands our reach and presence in Latin America," Macey said of the agreement, reached on Nov. 15. "And we've already begun the process of reviewing applications for the 2006-07 academic year."

- Blair Kloman