| by Susan Parsons

Spring 2021, Students

Dear Japan Students,

I am writing to inform you that, unfortunately, Middlebury has made the difficult decision to cancel the spring 2021 program Japan.  We were more hopeful earlier this academic year that we could run the program this spring, but given the recent spike in cases and the presence of the new variant of the virus, as well as the current State of Emergency in Japan and the suspension of visa processing, we will not send students to Japan yet.  We don’t expect the situation to improve over the next few weeks, and considering the start date of the spring semester for our program participants on their home campus, we felt the need to make this decision now to allow students the chance to re-enroll at their home institution before it’s too late.

I know that this will be a disappointment to you, especially if this is not your first cancellation.  If you are interested, you do still have the option to move your application to Fall 2021 or Spring 2022.  I’ll reach out to ICU in Japan to verify whether they can also roll students’ acceptance to a later semester. It will be important that you discuss this option with both your academic advisor and, if you’re a student from a school other than Middlebury, the study abroad advisor at your home institution, to ensure that you have approval to study abroad in a future semester. Middlebury students who are considering studying abroad during one of their final two semesters at Middlebury must apply to the Administration Committee for a senior year in residency waiver. Please forward approvals to our office. Please let our office know by February 15 if you would like to push your application to a future semester. 

If you do not wish to roll your application forward, your application will simply be withdrawn.  Students will not incur any financial penalties for withdrawing. If this is your choice, kindly notify me as well as your academic advisor, and, if you’re a student from a school other than Middlebury, the study abroad office at your home institution. Students who paid an application fee and who choose to withdraw completely from the Schools Abroad will receive a refund of the fee. Any other payments that have been made thus far toward preparations to study abroad (applying for a passport, for example) are considered non-recoverable and will not be refunded by Middlebury.     

Middlebury Students: I will update your Banner records with a default status of actively enrolled on campus for the Spring 2021 semester.  If you have plans to study remotely or to take a leave of absence, please be sure to notify your Student Life Dean who will work with the Registrar’s office to make the necessary updates to your record.  If you will be enrolled at Middlebury this spring, there are opportunities to take courses remotely through the Schools Abroad.  We hope you will consider enrolling in one of these in order to benefit from Middlebury’s global network, even though your study abroad program has been cancelled. You will find these offerings in the course catalog and schedule.

I am very sorry that your study abroad plans have had to change, for many of you a second time.  I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time.  If there is anything I can do to be of assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Best wishes,


Susan Parsons

Assistant Director, Middlebury College International Programs