Speaking with a student ambassador is a great way to get a previous student’s perspective on the Language Schools experience.

If you would like to connect with a student ambassador to ask questions, please contact the School of Hebrew at hebrew-ls@middlebury.edu.

Hebrew student Marnina Cowan

Marnina Cowan

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Program: Master's
Current: Hebrew Teacher, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

What surprised you about your experience at the Middlebury Language Schools?

I didn't realize what an incredible language experience I would have at Middlebury. Spending a summer at Middlebury is like being in a language laboratory. What better place to learn how to teach Hebrew than to witness it being taught and learned by a community of enthusiastic students!

Why did you choose to study at the Middlebury Language Schools?

First, Middlebury has the only MA in Teaching Hebrew as a foreign language in the US (I think even in the world). I chose to study at Middlebury because I wanted to do something for myself, to help myself become the best Hebrew language teacher possible. And second, Vermont is beautiful! Yes, I was enrolled in the Master's program and I was working (or in class) almost all of the time, but there is something magical about the city. Vermont is beautiful and does good for the soul.

Please describe how your language skills improved due to your studies at Middlebury.

I lived, eat, breathed and slept Hebrew while I was on campus. Being at Middlebury was like being in a mini-Israel without being in the country. I wrote papers in Hebrew and participated in academic classes entirely in Hebrew. Even though I came to Middlebury already speaking Hebrew (I am a Hebrew teacher), I felt like Middlebury brought my Hebrew to a new level. I continue to use the language every day at work as I teach Hebrew to middle school students.

Hebrew student Refael Fadlon

Refael Fadlon

Hometown: Waltham, Massachusetts
Program: Master's
Current: Interim Middle/Upper School Associate Principal, Hebrew Department Head, Maimonides School

What surprised you about your experience at the Middlebury Language Schools?

There is something almost magical that happens when you are in a relatively isolated, beautiful place, like Middlebury (with very friendly local people), and where all your material needs (accommodation, food) are provided. The academic expectations and demands are high, but there is support from the professional staff; there is direct access to the teachers, who eat in the same cafeteria as the students do everyday, and are always there to help. The atmosphere in the School of Hebrew is professional, but supportive at the same time.

Why did you choose to study at the Middlebury Language Schools?

(No particular order) 1. The college's reputation. 2. The director, Vardit Ringvald, and her professionalism and commitment to Hebrew. 3. The Master's program - it is exactly the program I wanted to deepen my professional knowledge as a teacher and coordinator of Hebrew.

Please describe how your language skills improved due to your studies at Middlebury.

The classes are enjoyable and intensive; they completely changed the way that I teach and the way I speak to students and with other teachers. The professional terminology that I have acquired, the theories which I am now aware of and the way I do student assessments have completely changed. I find myself rewriting a great deal of my old lessons with new strategies that I just learned.

What advice would you give someone wanting to attend the School of Hebrew?

The coursework gives you knowledge, the last word in academic research in the field and terminology and practice in the field of Hebrew language studies. It is not about what curriculum you teach in your school, but how to implement the school curriculum in the best and most professional way. You are surrounded by classmates, teachers and above all - Vardit and Sara - who do everything (and beyond) to make you feel comfortable.