Life in Monterey
Monterey is a wonderful place to live and study. Once you have settled into your new home, we encourage you to experience all the area has to offer.
The Monterey Peninsula
Famous for its ocean views, the Monterey Peninsula is home to the coastal communities of Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and Seaside. With a combined population of approximately 90,000, the Peninsula offers the amenities of a larger city, while being on the doorstep of some of California’s most striking natural landscapes.
With the Pacific Ocean so near, kayaking, scuba diving, and surfing are popular pastimes on the Peninsula. The Middlebury Institute is a 10-minute walk from the ocean, go watch otters play in the marina or take a walk on the beach in between classes. Grab coffee and a pastry with friends at one of the many local coffee shops located in downtown Monterey and stroll through the weekly farmers market.
Weekends may include a hike through Big Sur or Carmel Valley, or a visit to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Or take a weekend trip to Santa Cruz (45 minutes), San Francisco (2 hours), Yosemite (3 hours), or Los Angeles (5 hours). Take a drive along scenic 17-Mile Drive or play a round of golf at Pebble Beach.
Monterey is considered the language capital of the world, with the Middlebury Institute, Defense Language Institute, and Naval Postgraduate School all contributing to the diverse international community. It is not uncommon to hear Spanish, Arabic, or Mandarin being spoken in local shops and restaurants. Monterey is a safe city, with a low crime rate and a welcoming atmosphere.
The Middlebury Institute is conveniently located in downtown Monterey, providing easy access to countless restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and grocery stores, all within a 5 minute walk from campus. On Tuesday evenings, the Old Monterey Farmers Market is a block from campus, with local produce and handmade crafts. The Monterey Bay, Del Monte Beach, and the famed Monterey Coastal Recreation Trail are all within walking distance.
The campus is pedestrian friendly, with plenty of indoor and outdoor common spaces available for studying or spending time with friends. The Holland Center has a kitchen, a ping pong table, sitting areas, and a conference table and TV, perfect for club meetings, hanging out with friends, or coordinating a group project. The institute even has an adobe formerly lived in by John Steinbeck, the famed novelist.
Housing Information and Resources
The Middlebury Institute has campus housing for a limited number of students so most students live off-campus. We provide a range of housing information and resources that can assist you in the process of securing housing. Planning ahead will help!
We also have a Housing Group on MIcommunity, an online community for admitted and current students, where students and landlords post houses and rooms that are available. There are also a variety of property management companies and apartment complexes in Monterey, as well as Pacific Grove, Seaside, and Marina. The MIIS Marketplace is also on MIcommunity, where students sell gently-used furniture at discounted prices. Goodwill and consignment stores are also convenient places to find reasonably-priced furniture.
Things to Do
There are lots of interesting things to do in Monterey and in the surrounding communities—from great restaurants to local attractions to outdoor fun.
On campus, student clubs are a major part of student life, offering recreational, professional and academic networking activities, as well as opportunities to build connection and belonging across degree programs. Clubs are a great way to meet your fellow students and see everything that Monterey has to offer!
From transportation to banking to places of worship, these local resources can help make your transition to Monterey easier.