Five students walking together on campus.

Orientation is the official start of your program and an important opportunity to meet and network with your classmates.

Orientation Components

New student orientation is made up of two components:

  1. Getting Started at MIIS course
  2. Welcome Week
    • Required for in-person program students
    • Optional for online, asynchronous program students
    • Optional for nondegree students who are taking one course

You are encouraged to participate as much as possible in relevant content. Orientation is the perfect time to begin building relationships with the people who will be part of your lifelong personal and professional network. We will guide and support you in the following:

  • Increasing your career-readiness
  • Understanding expectations for the community and work culture
  • Mapping out your course registration plans
  • Engaging with your community

Getting Started at MIIS

At least one month prior to the start of the semester, new students will be invited to enroll in the Getting Started at MIIS course. This course is the first part of a three-part new student orientation. It is self-paced, asynchronous, and 100% online—all of the content will remain available after the course concludes. Please note that some assignments are required in order to register for classes.

Please note that there are different versions of GSAM and you will be invited to the appropriate one depending on if you are enrolling in an in-person program or online, asynchronous program.

International Student Pre-Orientation

The International Student Pre-Orientation is specifically designed for international students who will be studying in person. Featuring videos, quizzes, international-student-only live sessions, and more, this course will help you become familiar with being a student in the U.S. and at the Middlebury Institute. This is complementary to Getting Started at MIIS but is not a replacement for that content.

Welcome Week

Welcome Week is the second part of orientation and a great opportunity to meet your new classmates. You will focus on your career readiness and learn how to maximize your time at the Institute to achieve your professional goals.

Students studying in person in their first semester should be on campus for Welcome Week.

Welcome week is required for in-person program students, optional for online program students, and optional for nondegree students taking one course.

Online, Asynchronous Students

As an asynchronous student, you are not required to attend scheduled events but you may find certain sessions beneficial and we will make sure to highlight those and share recordings.

Nondegree Students

If you are taking one course in a nondegree program, you will have more flexibility in which sessions are required vs. optional. Look out for emails guiding you to the appropriate content.

If you are taking multiple courses (e.g. certificate, Study Away, or exchange programs), you should participate in all of the orientation content that is required for degree-seeking students.

Late arrival policy

The Institute expects students enrolled in in-person programs to be present and attending classes from the first day of the semester. Students who must arrive later than the first day of the semester should notify the Enrollment department ( and the Associate Dean of Academic Operations ( In exceptional circumstances, late arrivals may be considered. In general, the last day to arrive for in-person classes is the first day of the second week of the semester.

Visit the Academic Calendar for specific term dates and information.