Past Student Evaluations

Read evaluations from past study abroad students who participated in externally sponsored programs from fall 2011 onward on Abroad101.

Helpful Pre-Departure Links

Sustainable Study Abroad

Sustainable practices are central to Middlebury’s mission across all its schools and programs. Grants of up to $500 are available to students studying abroad through Middlebury, including all undergraduates at the Schools Abroad as well as Middlebury students studying abroad on externally sponsored programs. Find out more about sustainability scholarships and funding opportunities.

For Spanish-Language Students

Students who are studying Spanish have many options for study abroad in Spain and Latin America. This guide highlights the different types of programs abroad, questions to ask yourself in considering your study abroad options, and resources for further information.

University Study/Direct Enrollment

This option allows you to take your courses enrolled in the local university alongside students from the host country. Usually this means you have access to the full range of curriculum that the university offers, and you are expected to perform at the same level as local students. Typically Middlebury does not permit students to take courses designed for Spanish-language learners; rather, students must take regular university courses. Note that the calendar for direct enrollment options is different from Middlebury’s. In Latin America, fall semester is usually July through December, and spring semester is February/March through July; in Spain the fall semester includes J-term, and spring semester goes into late June.

Field-Based Programs

Field-based options utilize theories of experiential education to offer a non-traditional classroom approach. Typically a distinguishing feature of these types of programs is independent research opportunities and training in field work methodology and culturally appropriate research skills and ethics. Field-based programs do have lectures, homework, papers, exams, and other “traditional” components of academia, and students do receive grades for course work.

Service Learning Programs

This type of program usually includes regular university course work, in addition to a significant service learning component. These programs are based on the pedagogy that service learning unites and links academic study with community service. Credit and grades are granted for the course work, not the service learning component.


Internships allow you to gain professional experience in your field of interest, use your language skills, and meet people in your host country outside of the university environment. Middlebury students can participate in internships in addition to taking regular university courses. Typically the internship component is only 25% or less of your credit load and is a graded academic component.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Knowing the answers to these questions and which factors are most important to you will help you rule out programs and narrow your focus along the way.

  • Are there any academic requirements I must fulfill abroad (major/minor/distribution)?
    • If so, choose a program or university that offers courses in those disciplines.
  • What size city do I want to be in?
  • What size program do I want to be on?
  • Do I want to be in a university-based program?
    • If so, narrow your focus to a Middlebury School Abroad, or to a direct enroll program in a country where Middlebury does not already have a program (so, not Argentina, Chile, Spain or Uruguay).
  • Do I want to be in a field-based program?
    • If so, focus on those types of programs (examples include SIT Study Abroad programs and the Organization for Tropical Studies program). Again, you may not do a field-based program in a country where Middlebury has its own program (so, not Argentina, Chile, Spain or Uruguay).
  • Do I want an internship as a part of my academic program?
  • Do I want volunteer- or service-based opportunities?
  • Do I want a grammar/language class as a component of my program?
  • Do I want language immersion to be a primary focus of my program?
    • Even though Middlebury students are required to have completed at least one 300-level course in Spanish before going to any Spanish-speaking country, not all programs require the same level of proficiency. Some programs will have students with a wide range of Spanish ability, which may make complete linguistic immersion difficult.
  • Do I need to select a program eligible for Middlebury grant financial aid?
  • Is it important to me to be on a program where there is an on-site or in-country director?
  • Do I want to have a homestay or do I want an apartment or residencia-style living environment?
    • A homestay is where you live in a local home, though the make-up of the family and the involvement with the family may vary by situation.
    • A residencia or apartment can be a more independent option and may include roommates from other areas of the world (and not just from the host culture).

Choosing a Program

Study Abroad
Sunderland Language Center, First Floor
356 College Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-5745