Bags of colored powder

What makes Middlebury different?

With our support, you’ll experience total immersion in the language and culture of your country. You’ll have an authentic learning experience at a local academic institution. You’ll have the guided independence to engage with your community, take on an internship, and make personal discoveries that you’ll always remember.


Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad: An Overview

In the Schools Abroad we have established these incredible partnerships with universities throughout the world and our students go to these universities and immerse themselves in the local culture and the local ways of doing things.

Students enrolled in the School in China take all their courses in Chinese.

By living with host families, by taking classes with local students, the students embrace a new culture and improve their French language skills through daily practice.

And on all our language programs, they take the Middlebury Language Pledge, a formal commitment to speak exclusively the language they’re studying.

We’re very serious about the Language Pledge because we believe the Language Pledge can support the creation of a solid foundation in linguistic proficiency.

Students know that our team is ready for support at any instance, which makes them confident to develop and search for opportunities for immersion in multiple instances inside and outside of the classroom.

We challenge our students to reflect upon their own cultural norms and expectations and we invite them to study abroad within the  linguistic and educational context of the communities in which they study.

In Their Own Words

In addition to taking all of the photos on the site, students take personal videos of their everyday experiences. Through the Middlebury C. V. Starr Schools Abroad, you have the support and confidence to learn the language by living the culture.
Find more Student Perspective videos on our YouTube channel.

Marykate Melanson

Niterói, Brazil

My name is Marykate Melanson and I studied abroad in Niterói in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio is huge. It’s enormous. There’s just so many different neighborhoods in the way that it’s set up geographically is really interesting In part of the city there are these areas that are, you know, really old facades. There are ones that have been restored and ones that are haven’t and so there’s sort of this like really interesting juxtaposition between old and new.

I was studying at the Universidade Federal Fluminense, which is a federal university, and found an apartment with a couple of Brazilian grad students and that added so much to my experience. I was with these girls all day. It was the first time I lived in an apartment and so like we had to sort of navigate that relationship in Portuguese. That’s the part that I think I needed to develop more because I had already done Portuguese in an academic sense. I had written papers and things like that whereas I really needed to understand how to speak like people there and I think that I did because of where I chose to live.

Rio has a particular ethos because they have the beaches, it’s warm, it’s beautiful. Life is just a lot slower and so I think that there is like a very particular culture that I became accustomed to and it was a very like warm and welcoming one.

I really wanted to be challenged and I really wanted to be in a place that I would learn a lot from and so immersing myself in the Middlebury program helped connect us to things I’m very interested in. There was no way I would have felt comfortable leaving there if I felt that I had been a tourist the whole time. It’s just whether or not you take that step one extra step to immerse yourself.

Wherever you go abroad I think that you learn so much about yourself and it’s so important I think for everybody to gain a little bit of perspective.

Emma Boyd

Florence, Italy

My name is Emma Boyd and I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, this past fall. 

Florence is a perfect Medieval/Renaissance hub. You really are transported to another time and your studies are immersive in the language but also in the fact that you are essentially living in a perfectly preserved period piece almost.

There’s so many hidden treasures. You’ll be walking in one of the busiest piazzas in Italy and see like a tiny little drawing that Michelangelo has done like into the side of a building.

The style of life is a little more slowed down. You sit down for lunch, and it could be two to three hours. You might see your waiter once within a two-hour period, even, but it’s about kind of letting things happen and be and try to live the authentic Italian life rather than the rapid, high-stress, moving quickly from place to place American life.

I think the Language Pledge characterizes your experience abroad. You go abroad in another language because you want that immersive experience and the other people who are doing it want that same experience as well. And I think it’s really easy to find a connection with someone who has made this their priority.

I think everyone should study abroad in Italy but I’m definitely biased, but I would say do it through the language. Have an authentic Italian experience. Meet the locals, learn how to do things in the language because you can’t fully immerse yourself, you can’t fully have that experience, if you don’t challenge yourself.

I cannot wait to go back to Florence. It will have a place in my heart for the rest of my life.

Lillypads in a pond in Oxford England

Other Programs

Middlebury offers several other study away opportunities for students:

  • Semester or year-long programs at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College. Gain professional skills and get a jump start on a master’s degree with our Study Away at Monterey options in Monterey, California.
  • Field-based and experiential learning summer programs that are taught entirely in English.


Health and Safety

It is our experience that our host cities are no more dangerous than large cities in the U.S. We provide support and access to health and safety resources prior to departure, while abroad, and upon return.

Our dedicated on-site staff are locally connected, abreast of the latest news, and prepared with contingency plans in the event of an emergency. Middlebury also partners with Global Rescue for medical and security advisories as well as evacuation services for all students.

Read More

Students looking at a mural

Identity and Inclusion Abroad

Students who study abroad are as diverse as the destinations and languages they choose. No matter who you are or how you identify, we have the resources and support to make your experience the best it can be.

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