The world is evolving rapidly. The Middlebury Institute is too. Here’s what you need to know for the upcoming academic year, 2020–2021.

The Time Is Now

The urgency of a Middlebury Institute degree has never been greater. The world needs people like you who believe that now is the time to start making a difference. We are as committed to our ideals, our mission, and to your education, as we have ever been.
 

These past months have been challenging for all of us. A global pandemic, economic upheaval and a popular uprising, demanding real social change. The urgency of a Middlebury Institute Degree has never been greater. The world needs people like you. People who are globally literate, compassionate, and committed to making an impact for the greater good.

Here at the Institute, we are committed to a transformational educational experience, that will help you hit the ground running in your chosen career. The stakes are high as our nations and our communities turn inward and insular. Collaboration and imagination on a global scale matter now more than ever.

Let me highlight some unique features of the Middlebury Institute Education.

First, there is the practical approach to preparing you for a career of global action. Through relevant hands-on coursework, internships, research opportunities, and real world projects, with real clients, deadlines and deliverables you will be able to build your resume and network while earning your degree.

Second, we are a small institution with many world renowned experts on international development, conflict resolution, trade, environmental policy, non-proliferation, terrorism, language education, localization, international education, translation and interpretation. All of our experts are dedicated to our mission and they will be your mentors, your collaborators, who bring real life in the field experiences to the classroom.

Finally, I have to say a word about your classmates. People like you, from different backgrounds and all corners of the globe who understand the role of effective policies in creating lasting change, the importance of digging into and understanding complex issues to get to the heart of a problem, and how multilingualism can serve as a vehicle for multilateral action towards peace, human rights, sustainable development, security, and global understanding. People like you who believe that now is the time to start making a difference.

I know you have a lot of things to consider, and that these seem like particularly uncertain economic times. I am not going to pretend that this is an easy decision to make, but I can tell you this, we are as committed to our ideals, our mission, and to your education, as we have ever been.

Our faculty are dedicated to creating the best remote class experience possible. With support from our office of digital learning and inquiry, who’ve organized a summer camp online and instruction and curriculum design. Classes will be offered both asynchronously and synchronously. And all lectures will be available as recordings to help you experience benefit from all the hallmarks of a Middlebury Institute Education.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic. Our staff will be offering services that align with your time zones, your needs and your goals. And we’ll be working hard to create and maintain the sense of community we value so greatly.

In these extraordinary times, it is important to search for the common values that unite us as people to find a purpose in our shared humanity. We can’t wait to welcome you to our Middlebury Institute Community.

Now more than ever, as countries around the world face new and persistent challenges, your Middlebury Institute education can help you make a meaningful impact for the greater good.

What to Expect This Year

Remote Instruction, Uncompromised Quality

The 2020–2021 academic year at the Middlebury Institute will feature remote instruction throughout the year.

  • This fall, January term (J-term), and spring, all classes will be taught remotely. While the public health and immigration situations are constantly changing, we want to give you certainty now so that you can make concrete plans.
  • Our faculty have worked closely with our Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry (DLINQ) to redesign their curricula to make the most of the technology available, ensuring we deliver the highest-quality remote instruction.
  • We are leveraging feedback from our current students to continually improve the remote learning experience.

This academic year, as always, the hallmarks of a Middlebury Institute education endure:

  • Your career development and success are our focus from your first day of class.
  • Our immersive approach allows you to apply practical skills in your field of study before you graduate.
  • We prepare you to engage the world’s greatest challenges and needs.

Insights from alumni, students, faculty, and staff

During these uncertain times, we know there is much to consider. Middlebury Institute alumni, students, faculty, and staff share their experiences and respond to some of your most commonly asked questions.

Good morning everyone, Ewandro Magelhaes here and then to answer the question why MIIS? Well very simply put, because most likely your career is going to be divided into before and after MIIS if you can study here, I know mine was, I was already an interpreter when I came to MIS back in 2007 and I was in as an advanced entry MA student and again in my, on my mind I thought I was just going to coast for a year by the Pacific ocean and just you know, enjoy and have fun, not really learning much but boy was I wrong? Not only did I learn a lot but more importantly I was put in contact with the movers and shakers that make this profession what it is.

So basically why MIIS? Because the right people are here and if you want your career to progress like mind did coming from just being a conference interpreter in Brazil, to becoming an interpreter in the international scene then you know doing all the big summits and so when and eventually landing a job as the chief interpreter of a United Nations Agency and now back in the US as the co-founder of KUDO, a platform that is pushing the envelope on the Nason field of Remotes and Lieutenants Interpretation, you gotta come to this .

Hello, my name is Castelline Tilus, and I’m a 2017 graduate from the Middlebury Institute. I graduated from the IPD program, which is the International Policy and Development master’s program. It doesn’t feel like it’s been three years, but since I left the Institute, I went on to co-found a data lab in Haiti. We’re a data lab that’s endeavoring to do so much as an early-stage organization. We’re educating the next generation of data scientists and technologists in Haiti, we’re consulting for NGOs, and local government ministries, and we’re doing public research. So those are our three core pillars that we’re intervening in, in Haiti, and I have a great team that I’ve been working with, and I’ve been fortunate to work with some really incredible youth in some of our signature education programs.

So how does this tie to my education at MIIS? So, I had a concentration in data monitoring and evaluation within my program, and I chose to use the skills I acquired to go into the field of data science. And so, now, it’s something that I’ve been able to use in my entrepreneurial work in Haiti, and it’s integral to, again, having gone on to co-founding this organization. So, I’m really grateful for the two years that I had at MIIS, for the time I spent at the data lab, as a TA, for the incredible mentors I had, teaching me how to program, teaching me how to think, and how to ask great questions. These are the same types of skills that we’re working to increase in Haiti, data science, analytics. We’re trying to, also, inspire a new generation of technologists. So, the goal is, the students that graduate from our training and education programs will go on to build data products, provide services that will address problems that they identify, to address community challenges.

Hello everybody. My name is Min. I graduated from MIIS, from the translation and localization management program in 2017. My language combination was Chinese and English. Before I decided to go to MIIS, I was actually accepted by a few schools in the US and also in the UK, In programs such as education, communications and linguistic studies. I eventually picked MIIS because it has a very unique offerings of courses in translation studies, localization technologies and also business. I have a great passion in languages and also globalization. I also wanted to work in the tech industry.

So eventually I decided to go to MIIS. And at MIIS, I not only learn so many… knowledge from school but I also was able to engage with the localization industry. I remember driving to the Silicon Valley with my friends and also my classmates. We attended a few localization events and was able to network with the localization professionals in the industry. Right now I am a language manager at Google. I manage the simplified Chinese language for all our Google products. I’m very excited about the work that I’ve been doing now and I’m very grateful for the knowledge that I learned at MIIS.

Hi, everybody. My name is Nomsa Ndongwe, and I am a graduate research assistant at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, which for those in the business, we call CNS. I have been very fortunate to be working at the Center for a year and a half now, and it’s been an incredible experience.

I’m just here to let you know for those of you who are wondering about professional mentorship in the age of Corona, CNS seamlessly adapted to the new normal. And we are working remotely, we are communicating with our senior staff members remotely as well as within our circles as graduate research assistants, you know, via email, WhatsApp group chats, all of the things. I love the fact that our most senior executives, which would be Dr. Potter and Jessica Varnum, are still very much available via email, via text, via phone call. And they have been so great at just making the whole process as painless as possible. You are going to learn so much if you reach out to them.

Whether or not you’re working at CNS, or you’re interested in working at CNS, or you’re interested in pursuing something that you think CNS might be able to help you with, I would definitely suggest that you shoot them an email, and introduce yourself, and get that ball rolling.

The mentorship at MIIS, I would say, is very good. And one of the things I love most about the way they mentor you in a professional way is that all doors are open, there are no sacred cows. And I think you guys are going to have a great time and you’re going to learn so much. I know I have. I’ve learned so much in terms of the field I’m trying to professionalize in as well as just in general in terms of navigating the workspace or developing skills on how to communicate and get our message across in non-traditional or non-conventional ways. So I look forward to seeing you around, whether remotely or in-person, and good luck.

Hi, my name is Julius Moye. I’m a graduate student here at the Middlebury Institute. I’m a dual degree student in international trade and economic diplomacy as well as the nonproliferation and terrorism studies program with a financial crime management specialization.

I wanted to talk briefly about just navigating summer plans and internships in light of COVID-19, as the summer of COVID also happened to be my first summer here at the Institute. And soon I realized what one of the silver linings was in this whole switch to remote work. While my original plans did fall through, I was able thereafter to negotiate to have three internships over the summer, one in an investment firm, the other doing strategic trade controls and nonproliferation with the National Lab, and the third with an international trade consulting firm up in the Bay Area. And what was really great is that together, these cover all of my interest areas and degrees simultaneously. And I never would’ve been able to have that breadth of experience if we didn’t move to remote interning.

So indeed, even during all of this, I realized that while one door closed, several others came open. And that while things may seem uncertain and unstable during all of this, and that this indeed was a massive disruption in one respect, it’s also creating new paths for us here as Midd students and as aspiring professionals in our fields.

Hello, everyone. My name is Gabriel Guillen, and I’m a professor at the Middlebury Institute in the Language Studies Program. And the question that many of you have is, can you actually learn a language online? And the easy, immediate response from me is, yes, you can.

Of course, there are many variables that influence in your ability to learn or to maintain a target language, like time. Time is very important, the most important variable. Try to find time to spend, to work on your target language every day. One hour, two hours, three hours, four hours, five hours, but every day. Your motivation is very important.

Try to connect your hobbies and your profession with the target language. Try to see yourself engaging in a conversation in the target language in the immediate future. Try to see yourself, if you want to get the advanced level, try to see yourself working in the target language. And of course, what you do with the language is very important. Try to make it meaningful. Listening input is very important. Try to find adequate input for you.

Right now, I’m collaborating with a language learning app, Lupa, and what they do is amazing. They take Radio Ambulante in Spanish, and they adapt them for language learners at the intermediate and advanced level. So try to find listening input very important. And also I recommend you to find a language learning social network. One that I like right now, is Hello Talk, because it has 30, probably more than 30 million users so there you can engage in conversation native speakers and you can also do recordings and you can write and you can provide feedback in English if English is your first language. And very important, you can request feedback, you can ask your partners to give you feedback on your target language.

Hey there, I’m Alisyn with the Office of Student Services. And I wanted to share with you three specific ways that you’ll be able to make connections with students remotely.

The first way is through My Community, which hopefully you already know about, and you’re already a part of. My Community is a private social networking platform for the Institute. It’s open to all current students, incoming students, as well as staff and faculty. It is a wonderful space for you to connect with other incoming students around hobbies, interests, career goals, and it may be some specific items related to your degree program. So I hope you’re already in My Community and utilizing it regularly.

Secondly, your new student onboarding orientation process will begin a little bit earlier this year. We will have an online course available, optional for all new students to complete if you’re interested. And in the course, you’ll get to engage directly with faculty, with other students in your cohort, and you’ll also be placed in a small cross programmatic group of students that is representative of your incoming class called a cohort. So you’ll have your cohort, you’ll have this robust class of resources, information, and live sessions, you’ll get to see a lot of the same faces in these activities and events that are happening online. So that’ll be a great way that you can make early connections. Certainly through your degree program, you’ll be able to make a lot of connections. You’ll get to know the other people in your program very well, once the semester begins.

Finally, student council and student clubs make up your student organizations on campus. And those student organizations are active, they’re always planning events and activities online, and there’s a lot of opportunities to meet other students that way. So that’s just a taste. There’s more, there’s more to say, but I’ll leave it at that and hope that you’ll send me any questions you might have about this topic.

My name is Winnie Heh, and I am the career advisor for Translation, Interpretation and Localization Management. Why is this a good time to pursue a master’s degree in one of those areas? First, in the increasingly interconnected world, language is the last barrier to access information, goods, and services within countries and among countries. As a result, we have seen healthy growth in the language services industry, which is estimated to be $50 billion a year globally. I’ve always felt that it’s better to enter a small but growing industry rather than a big and declining industry. The good news is the language services industry is big and growing. Secondly, it has been said that translation is the second oldest profession in the world. To be clear, translators have always played a role in human history. It’s nothing new. But what is new is the integration of language and technology. The technological tools available to us now and into the future will enable us to meet the ever stronger push for speed, quality, and cost optimization in delivery of language services. Linguists of the future need to have impeccable linguistic and cultural skills. They also need to have the skills to continue to learn and adapt to new technology that’s bound to emerge. And finally, they need to have the business and communication skills to thrive in this new world. Pursuing rigorous academic training will allow you to pivot to your future career goals with the greatest efficiency. Thank you for watching, and I wish you the best of luck.

Hi, my name is Bryce Craft and I am the Director of Employer Relations at the Middlebury Institute. And a question that I hear from time-to-time, “Is it a good time to go to grad school?” Of course we all have our own personal and unique circumstances we must consider, but let me say this as it relates to answering that question. The opportunity to gain new skill sets and a degree that can separate you from the competition in a job search or assist with advancing your career, in my opinion, that’s a very good thing to consider when taking your next career step.

What’s better than gaining new skill sets and perfecting your craft in a way that will allow you to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact, an immediate difference? From the public sector to Fortune 500 companies to international development and international education, making a positive difference through immediate impact is key. Basically, the ability to hit the ground running. And that’s what we consistently hear from our employer partners and is exactly why they continue to recruit MIIS students and alumni.

In fact, we recently surveyed our employer partners and over 80% of them are still hiring. And we have been as busy as ever connecting with employers, posting opportunities, and setting up virtual recruiting sessions. And a big part of that is, not only are MIIS students well-educated, talented, and are able to hit the ground running, they are also incredibly passionate about wanting to make a difference and a positive impact on our world. And employers see that and they recognize those qualities, and it’s why they continue to recruit from MIIS. And now is as important as ever to make that difference.

Additionally, going to a grad school like MIIS will introduce you to so many opportunities that you may not be aware of. From different sectors to industries, organizations to companies, jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities. You don’t know what you don’t know and grad school can and should serve as a catalyst to both learning and exploring your next career step. So is it a good time to go to grad school? It’s an amazing time to go to grad school.

Career Benefits of Remote Learning

More and more often, we are hearing that employers are looking for job candidates who are able to work remotely and manage teams across time zones. It appears that no matter the field or discipline, remote work (and remote learning) are becoming increasingly relevant and may be the key to your success.

And while the pandemic has accelerated the changes in the way we work and learn, the world was already heading in this direction, following a trajectory in which virtual interaction was as likely as in-person communication.

We strongly believe that there is no better place than the Institute to help you develop the skills needed to successfully navigate a remote learning and working environment. As part of your graduate school experience, you will have access to support networks that will allow you to learn without fear of “failure”; we’re confident that you will discover a capacity to thrive in a remote space. You will join us back on campus when we can safely welcome you and you will emerge better positioned to compete and excel in whatever work environment you encounter.

An Inclusive Approach for International Students 

We are keeping the needs of our many students based outside of the U.S. in mind as we plan our courses. We are paying particular attention to time zones, technology platforms, and each class’s mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.

  • Many classes will have asynchronous content, giving you the flexibility of learning at a time that works for your time zone and schedule.
  • Any content that needs to be synchronous will be offered at a time that works for the majority of the students in the course. For example, synchronous activities in our Chinese translation and interpretation courses will be offered at an appropriate hour for students based in East Asia.
  • If you cannot attend a live class, you should alert your instructor as early as possible and work with them to make an alternate plan e.g. check if the class will be recorded for you to watch at a later time. 

International students, please note that if you are based outside of the U.S., you will not need a visa to study remotely. The F-1 (student) or J-1 (exchange visitor) visa is required only when a student is intending to enter the U.S. and engage in in-person courses. Our International Scholars and Student Services team will reach out to you as we prepare to return to campus to help you get your appropriate visas and documentation completed on time.

Incoming students who are currently in the U.S. and hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa status, please contact ISSS (isss@middlebury.edu) regarding your eligibility for the transfer of your SEVIS record or guidance regarding next steps.

Remote Learning at the Middlebury Institute

You will be able to learn more about our approach to remote learning at our virtual Preview Days (November 9–13). Invites for that event will be sent out soon.

Financial Support and Affordability

For students who cannot take classes full time this academic year but want to maintain progress toward their degree, we have reduced our per-credit cost from $2,030 per credit to $1,777 per credit for students who take 11 or fewer credits. Students taking 12 or more credits will be charged the comprehensive fee. Learn more about tuition costs.

Please note that if you move to part time, your scholarships and grants will be prorated. If you take fewer than six credits, you will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid.

This remote academic year may also offer you cost savings with respect to relocation and rent, depending on your situation. In addition, U.S. citizens and permanent residents may consider taking advantage of the lowest interest rates ever for federal loans. Irrespective of where you are based, you can use those loans to offset your living costs while you study.

A Planned and Gradual Return to Campus

We are implementing a return-to-campus protocol under which students can return to campus for in-person instruction when state and county guidelines, as well as our campus capacity, allow us to do so.

  • We are actively working on plans for phased reopening of our campus. For example, we have already started offering no-contact checkout and pickup of physical resources from the library, in addition to the wide range of electronic resources.

  • Access to on-campus services, facilities, and activities may become possible for students in 2021.

  • We will carry out this return in line with public health guidance and our own campus capacity to have students on campus. This includes provisions for social distancing, masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary measures, restrictions on public spaces on campus, and testing, tracing, isolation, and quarantine.

  • We will share regular updates on the possibilities for students’ return to campus as our plans take shape.

  • Whatever the situation, students’ presence on campus during the fall, J-term, and/or spring will not be required to begin or continue your degree progress.

Returning to the World

Getting you back to campus is only one part of our “return.” While a growing list of remote immersive experiences are available to you as an Institute student, we are working with our external partners and employers to get you back into the field, with in-person internships and immersive learning, fieldwork, and study abroad. The timing of these will vary by the partner or employer and the location of the opportunity.

The New Norm

We are excited to say that, even when this pandemic is over, we will not simply be returning to the way we used to operate. We have learned new ways to teach, learn, and work. The world and the challenges we train our students to address have changed. We will continue to adapt to prepare you to advance understanding, promote peace, and drive change in pursuit of a more just world.

Next Steps

Please review your next steps and contact your enrollment advisor if you have questions.

Questions?

Please review our updated Frequently Asked Questions, where you will also find contact information, should you have further questions: