Students at the Middlebury Language Schools gather for commencement, with colorful banners representing each school and language.

Middlebury enjoys a reputation for excellence in language teaching at its undergraduate college, immersive summer programs, and schools abroad. 

Middlebury’s first summer language school—the German School—was founded in 1915, followed by the French and Spanish schools in 1916 and 1917, respectively. The Italian School was added in 1932, Russian in 1945, Chinese in 1966, and Japanese in 1970. The Arabic School opened in 1982, the Portuguese School in 2003, and the School of Hebrew was launched in 2008. The School of Korean was added in 2015. The Middlebury Schools Abroad opened in 1949, with the first session of the French School in Paris in cooperation with the University of Paris. In 2010, Middlebury acquired the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

During the summer, courses are offered from beginning to graduate level in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, and Spanish; study is also offered in Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. In 2019, Middlebury announced a partnership with Bennington College. Starting in the summer of 2020, Arabic, Italian and Portuguese will be taught in Bennington, Vermont. The baccalaureate curriculum offers particularly intense and varied programs in all of the languages taught at the Language Schools.

Language Schools students come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 75 foreign countries. Nearly 49,000 students have attended the Language Schools, including well over 11,000 advanced degree recipients (Master of Arts, Master of Applied Languages, and Doctor of Modern Languages). Middlebury is a leading global liberal arts college and an international graduate school, with faculty and directors from prestigious universities here and abroad. At Middlebury, we believe that the study of language in its cultural context belongs in the mainstream of any curriculum as one of the most enlightening and humanizing activities in which one can engage.

A black and white picture shows the early days of the Language Schools.

Mission Statement

The Middlebury Language Schools welcome students from all walks of life and all parts of the global community. We provide expert education in languages and cultures through innovative, immersive instruction and the demonstrated effectiveness of the Language Pledge to enhance linguistic excellence and intercultural understanding.