Orientation leaders welcome new international students.

Congratulations on your acceptance to Middlebury!

International Student and Scholar Service’s Pre-orientation program (formerly Early Arrival) is intended for international students including the following:

  • Members of the Class of 2026 and 2026.5
  • Exchange students
  • U.S. students living abroad
  • International transfer students

During Pre-orientation, new international students meet people who are excited to assist them with their transition to the Middlebury College community. This group includes Program Arrival Leaders (PALs)—experienced students eager to share their knowledge and offer support, as well as the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) staff, who enjoy assisting students from around the world on their journey through Middlebury and beyond.

In addition to meeting other new students, participants learn more about key topics that affect international students—such as maintaining your U.S. visa status (if applicable) and understanding employment options, while also becoming familiar with campus resources and opportunities to get involved. International students find their Pre-orientation experience to be very beneficial!

To learn more about our Pre-orientation program for international students, see the overview below. As we develop our plans for the upcoming semester starts, we will update this site with details for our Pre-orientation programs.

Pre-Arrival Guide

This guide provides information about Pre-orientation for international students, the I-20 application process (for students who require visa support), International Students’ Organization (ISO) Welcome, the Friends of International Students (FIS) Host Program, FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions, Travel to Middlebury College, and Action Items.

September Pre-orientation

When offered as an in-person program, pre-orientation typically takes place in early September, a few days before MiddView (new student orientation) begins. While we may offer some virtual sessions prior to arrival on campus, we envision and hope that we will be able to hold our Pre-orientation program with some combination of in-person and virtual sessions. This will depend upon national, state, local, and institutional policies as well as the public health considerations at that time. We will update this site as soon as we have more information to share about the dates and whether the program will be delivered virtually and/or in person.

Feb Pre-orientation

The Feb 2022 Pre-orientation was a combination of in-person and virtual programming. Students had the opportunity to interact in-person for organized social activities and meals with each other and the Pre-orientation Team. Virtual sessions covered topics such as F-1/J-1 status maintenance and employment requirements, the U.S. classroom culture, and how the ISSS Office supports students, regardless of visa status.

We intend to use the lessons we’ve learned from the past programs to create even more effective future programs for our students who enter mid-year. 

Arriving on Campus

Fall 2022 Pre-orientation program

By mid-June, ISSS will email deposited students with details about our pre-orientation program and invite them to confirm their participation. We will provide specific information about program logistics when we have more to share.

Students arriving for on-campus instruction will be informed of particular health and safety protocols and related guidance before arrival. Students engaging in remote instruction (if offered fall semester 2022) will be alerted to specific resources available to them prior to the start of the semester.

  • Arrival Day: Thursday, September 1, 2022*
  • Program Dates: Friday, September 2 - 5, 2022*

*NOTE: Though we intend for these dates to hold, we must acknowledge the dates are subject to change based upon the current health and safety conditions closer to the time of arrival. It is our hope to offer an in-person program, with the potential for some virtual programming prior to your arrival to campus. Please use these dates for planning purposes.

It is always a best practice to make every effort to purchase flexible tickets. Keep in mind, for students arriving in F-1/J-1 status, your full participation in the Pre-orientation program is expected.

Spring 2023 Feb Pre-orientation program

More information for the Spring 2023 Feb Pre-orientation will be posted closer to the time of the event.

ISSS Pre-orientation Confirmation of Participation

The ISSS Pre-orientation program allows you, a new international student, the opportunity to arrive to campus early for several important reasons. Our program strives to welcome you to your new community, holding space to discover, explore, learn, and of course rest from your travels to arrive here safely. During this program, you will build connections with students, staff and faculty who will assist with your initial entry into the College and beyond. By participating in the ISSS Pre-orientation, you are granted more time to acclimate to your new home in Middlebury, Vermont. Our hope is that this program will help you launch successfully into the next phase of your transition to Middlebury.

ISSS Pre-orientation will cover specific topics such as resources on campus and your visa status and responsibilities. We will be sharing mandatory non-immigrant information and check-in to those students arriving in F-1 and J-1 Exchange status, creating opportunities for connection regardless of your citizenship or visa status, exploring the U.S. culture from the various lenses you bring to our community, and learning together about the U.S. higher education system at Middlebury College. Participants will also enjoy organized and informal social activities.

While program participation by students in F-1 and J-1 Exchange status at the college/university level for the first time is expected, it is optional for all other students. Most students who have lived or currently call home/local outside of the U.S. have elected to participate and found it to be a valuable and fun experience.

Please fill out the ISSS Pre-orientation Confirmation of Participation Form found on our Forms page (under the New International Students category) to indicate your intent to participate in ISSS Pre-orientation.

Updated on 4/28/2022

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