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Students sitting outside and enjoying a winter day.

Middlebury is more than a place to earn a college degree. We’re a thriving residential community of intentional, diverse, and curious learners who are committed to inclusivity, ethics, and authenticity.

What might your first-year life at Middlebury be like? Here are some answers to some basic questions. 

Will classes be held in person in fall?

For the fall 2021 semester, we intend to return to as many in-person living and learning experiences as possible. This means we plan to offer the vast majority of classes in person, and to return to near-normal campus activities and operations as much as we can. We do not have all of the details set or know what COVID-related restrictions may still be in place, but we are encouraged by the news about vaccine availability in Vermont and the United States.

Where do first-years live?

As a first-year student, you’ll live in one of our four first-year residence halls: Stewart, Hepburn, Allen, or Battell.

You’ll be assigned to a dean who has an office in your residence hall cluster, and you’ll stay connected with that dean throughout your time at Middlebury. You’ll also take your first-year seminar with those you live with. That’s another way Middlebury helps build intentional community connections from classrooms to residence hall rooms.

How are roommates assigned—and when?

If you’re a first-year student arriving in the fall, you’ll most likely live with another first-year student in a double room. If you’re a Feb, you and your roommate will live within first-year or sophomore communities. (Singles can be assigned for medical reasons or ADA accommodations.) When you start at Middlebury, you are matched with a roommate so you don’t have to stress out about finding a roommate on your own! Since first-year students are housed based on their first-year seminar placement, roommate requests aren’t accepted.

In early summer, you’ll be sent a detailed questionnaire asking about your preferences, study habits, and lifestyle. From your answers, you’ll be paired with a roommate. Roommate assignments are typically announced in mid-August for a September start date and in late January for Febs. While we know it may be a little unnerving to think about living with a total stranger, we encourage you to keep an open mind as you meet your new roommate and embrace this as an opportunity to connect with someone new. You may become close friends with your roommate, or you may make deeper connections elsewhere. Everyone’s experience is different—and that’s okay! Either way, you will surely learn from each other and grow as you begin your Middlebury journey together.

How does the meal plan function?

Your comprehensive fee at Middlebury covers your residence and dining. Our dining plan allows for unlimited meals at our three campus dining halls, Proctor, Atwater, and Ross. You’ll also be able to use your meal plan to make purchases at our retail locations, including the Grille, with cook-to-order meals; Crossroads, the student-run café; the Wilson Café in the Davis Library (which serves Starbucks coffee); and MiddXPress.

How does registering for classes work?

In the weeks leading up to orientation, you will receive a first-year seminar registration booklet, from which you will select preferences for your first-year seminar (FYS). This is the first course into which you will be placed, and that registration process happens before you even arrive on campus. Your FYS instructor is also your first academic advisor. During orientation week, with them as your guide, you will then sketch out several possible options for the three other courses to take in your first semester. You will register, through our online registration system, for those three courses near the end of orientation.

What is orientation like?

Middlebury’s orientation is called MiddView, and our students often say it’s one of their favorite experiences at Middlebury.

While it’s too early to know yet exactly how this year’s MiddView programs and events may be impacted by the ongoing public health crisis, you can be confident that it will still be a memorable, meaningful, community-building experience.

In general, you’ll arrive at Middlebury in early September, a week before returning students begin classes—earlier if you’ve been invited to participate in First@Midd or in our international student programming. You’ll meet your new classmates and your MiddView leaders (current Middlebury students); you’ll be introduced to faculty and academics; you’ll begin to get oriented to Middlebury’s culture, community, and student expectations; and you’ll connect with support and resources.

In years past, MiddView has included trips—both day and overnight—that focus on community engagement, Vermont exploration, or outdoor adventure. If trips are possible, you’ll be able to make your trip choice when you arrive for orientation.

Feb orientation is the same—but it happens in February!

All orientation activities are included in the cost of attending Middlebury. There are no extra charges or fees to participate in MiddView.

When do we get time off during the academic year? Can I stay on campus over breaks?

While the 2021–22 academic calendar is still being finalized, in general Middlebury has a midterm recess in October, a Thanksgiving recess in late November, a three-week recess from mid-December through early January, a 10-day recess at the end of winter term (J-term), and a spring recess in March.

You can stay on campus during breaks, although campus services may be limited, and some facilities may be closed. If you choose to stay on campus during midterm, Thanksgiving, and spring recess, you need to register with the Office of Residential Life. You would need special approval to stay on campus over December recess.

How do I get around without a car? What if I have a car?

Almost everything in the town of Middlebury is within walking distance from campus; many students keep a bicycle on campus to get around quickly, and there are bikes to lend and rent through the Middlebury Bike Shop if you don’t have one.

You certainly don’t need to have a car. There’s good public transportation in town, to the Snow Bowl, and to Burlington—and you can ride for free with your student ID! Midd Rides provides safe evening transportation during the academic year when classes are in session. There are also three Zipcars on campus to rent. We also run shuttles to the airport during peak travel times as well as discount charter buses to Boston, NYC, and the Burlington Greyhound station.

If you have a car, you may bring it to campus as a first-year student, although you’re likely to be so busy getting immersed in your life that you probably won’t use it very often. You’ll have to register your car, pay for a parking permit, and understand the rules about where you can park on campus and in town.

What’s important to have for winters in Vermont?

It’s true that Vermont winters can be cold and long; they also can be beautiful and a lot of fun. So, what you really need is a sense of adventure, and a sense of humor for those times when your shower-wet hair freezes on the way to the library or you tumble into a pile of snow when you’re sledding down the hill in front of Mead Chapel. In addition, many students find that a warm coat that goes down to at least mid-thigh, a hat that covers the ears, a good pair of gloves, and waterproof, insulated boots go a long way toward making them comfortable no matter what the weather has in store. If you don’t have those items, don’t worry. We can help outfit you here.

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Confirm by May 7