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Summer Language School students enjoy the beautiful view while catching up on their studying.

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Students Bring Wide Variety of Experience to Middlebury Language Schools as Summer Nears

June 12, 2019


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — June marks the beginning of the Middlebury Language Schools, known internationally for their full immersion approach to language teaching. This summer the Language Schools will welcome over 1,400 students and 300 faculty to both the Middlebury College campus and Mills College campus in California to study Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The students will represent 47 states and 78 countries, with Middlebury undergraduates representing 4 percent of the student body. The School of Japanese will also celebrate its 50
th Anniversary.

This summer will be the last that Middlebury operates some of its Language Schools at Mills College, an arrangement that began in 2009. In March, Middlebury announced an agreement with Bennington College in Bennington, Vt., which will host several of the 11 Middlebury Language Schools starting next year. For the first time in more than a decade, all 11 schools will be located in Vermont.

After they arrive this month, students will live, learn, and interact in the language they have come to study, and all sign the Language Pledge, a formal commitment designed by Middlebury to speak the language of study for the entire summer session. The Language Schools will also host cultural events that are often open to the public.

Students will bring a wide range of experiences with them this summer. A student from Maine is a journalist based in Mexico who wants to return to Russia to work after biking 10,000 miles across Russia to Portugal. One student is the commissioner general of Colombia and wants to learn Arabic since he will be relocating to Dubai. A mother and her son from Florida have enrolled in the Portuguese School. A student from Iowa is learning Japanese to advance his career in finance. One student wants to improve her Korean for her work with food media.

Universities with the highest representation of students include Columbia University, Harvard College, the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Texas, and Yale University.

Since 1915, more than 50,000 students from all walks of life—including more than 12,000 advanced degree holders—have attended one or more of the Language Schools.

The late philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis funded the Davis Fellows for Peace, which continues to grant 100 scholarships to cover tuition, room, and board in the 11 Language Schools. The initiative, which began in 2007, is intended to challenge Middlebury to use its expertise in language acquisition and policy studies to recruit and train future potential peacemakers.

More information about the Middlebury Language Schools can be found online or by contacting the Language Schools at 802-443-5510. For a list of main events open to the public this summer, please see the event list.