Middlebury sent the following message on July 1 to students planning to study at the School in Japan this fall.

Dear Fall 2021 Japan students,

I am writing to inform you that, unfortunately, Middlebury has made the difficult decision to cancel the School in Japan for the fall 2021 semester.  The situation in Japan remains difficult, with entry restrictions still in place for international visitors. We had hoped that the upcoming Summer Olympics would be an indicator that the country was opening up again, but we now think they have extended the closure of Japan’s borders to keep international spectators out. As a result, there is too much uncertainty as to when the border will eventually re-open, when visas will be processed, and when our students will actually be able to arrive in country to begin their studies. Given this uncertainty, we believe it to be most prudent to cancel our program for fall 2021. 

I realize how disappointing this news will be, especially if this is not your first cancellation. If you are interested, you do have the option to move your application to spring 2022, or to wait and have your application reinstated for the 2022-2023 academic year once the new application cycle opens in November. 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.  Please let me know whether you wish to defer to a future term or withdraw. 

Middlebury students: Your Banner record will be updated today to a default status of actively enrolled on campus for fall 2021. If you have plans to take a leave of absence, please notify your student life dean who will work with the Registrar’s Office to make the necessary updates to your record. 

I sincerely regret that your study abroad plans have had to change, for many of you a second or even third time, and I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

With best wishes,

Susan Parsons
Assistant Director, International Programs