We understand that COVID-19 (coronavirus) is causing anxiety for students, their families, and the international educational community.  Read below our response to heightened risk levels and travel advisories related to COVID-19. 

Fall 2021

A

Currently, we are planning to run all the Middlebury Schools Abroad in fall 2021.  We will post official decision dates and program statuses here as they become available.

School Abroad

Decision Date/Status

School in Argentina

 

School in Brazil

 

School in Cameroon

 

School in Chile

 

School in China

 

School in France

 

School in Germany

 

School in India

 

School in Italy

 

School in Japan

 

School in Jordan

 

School in Morocco

 

School in Russia

 

School in Spain

 

School in the United Kingdom

 

School in Uruguay

 

A

Due to the uncertainty around COVID-19, the withdrawal fee for the Middlebury Schools Abroad is waived for the fall of 2021.  A decision has not yet been made about the withdrawal fee for spring 2022.

A

Due to the uncertainty around COVID-19, the standard two-week commitment window does not apply to the Middlebury Schools Abroad for the fall of 2021.  We ask that students do commit as soon as possible, however, bearing in mind that there will be no financial penalty for committing and then later withdrawing from a School Abroad for the fall 2021 semester.

Students may be asked to commit by a specified date if there is a waitlist for their program.

Spring 2021

A

Currently, we are planning to run all the Middlebury Schools Abroad in spring 2021.  We will announce any decisions not to run most programs by October 30; we will announce decisions about programs with later start dates by December 15 (Argentina, Chile, Germany, Japan, Russia, and Uruguay).

School Abroad

Decision Date/Status

School in Argentina

cancelled

School in Brazil

cancelled

School in Cameroon

cancelled

School in Chile

cancelled

School in China

cancelled

School in France

cancelled

School in Germany

cancelled

School in India

cancelled

School in Italy

cancelled

School in Japan

cancelled

School in Jordan

cancelled

School in Morocco

cancelled

School in Russia

cancelled

School in Spain

cancelled

School in the United Kingdom

cancelled

School in Uruguay

cancelled

A

We will make the decision about study abroad on externally sponsored programs by December 15. There is a very good chance that should Middlebury decide to cancel the remaining spring semester Schools Abroad, students will not be permitted to enroll in externally sponsored programs as well. If study abroad on externally sponsored programs is permitted, Middlebury will not approve study abroad in countries with a U.S. Department of State Level 4 Travel Advisory. Levels can change quickly, and if your country goes to Level 4, Middlebury will rescind approval (and it is likely your program will cancel anyway). You can check your host country’s Travel Advisory level on the Department of State web site

Since the virus is surging in many countries, there is a risk that your program could be canceled at any time. Given this risk, we strongly recommend that all study abroad students register for Middlebury courses in the event their spring program is cancelled or they are otherwise unable to go abroad. Under normal circumstances, pursuing plans for both study abroad and on-campus enrollment is not allowed; however, given the current situation, students intending to study abroad in the spring semester are being encouraged to plan for both scenarios. If your program is cancelled after the registration period and you have not already registered for on-campus courses, you will need to register during the add/drop period at the beginning of the spring semester. The Residence Life team is developing housing plans in case study abroad programs are canceled.  They have been working on options to increase capacity for student housing, and room assignments will be based on what is available at the time your program is cancelled.

If you plan to study abroad, you should be careful about any financial implications. We advise moving forward with visa application materials to secure your visa (where required) but holding off on purchasing flights. When you do buy your flight, make sure you fully understand the airline’s refund policy to avoid having to pay for a ticket you may not be able to use. Please be aware that Middlebury will not provide funding or reimbursements for the study abroad fee, travel costs, airfare changes, and/or housing or other maintenance funds if your program/university closes or suspends classes and/or if you are unable to travel due to border closures or other travel restrictions.

Many countries could experience surges of the virus while you are studying there. You could be required to quarantine at the time of entry, exit and/or during the program. You will not be able to travel from your program in the same way that was possible pre-pandemic. We strongly discourage you from traveling outside of your host country (and many programs will not allow it), as you may face sudden border closures and/or quarantine requirements. In addition, you could face academic challenges if your program/university closes and/or if you are ill or quarantined. Your program/university may or may not be equipped to move all courses online, and Middlebury cannot ensure the completion of your course work and your academic credit if you are unable to continue or complete your courses. Further, there are secondary challenges associated with logistics: you may face challenges in obtaining passports and visas on time, and it could be more challenging than usual to book flights.

A

No, students who have been approved to study abroad may travel abroad during spring 2021, as these students will not return directly to campus at the conclusion of their program.

A

Because of the uncertainty around COVID-19, the withdrawal fee is waived for the 2020-21 academic year. Students who withdraw after committing, may still be subject to non-recoverable expenses.

A

Students are responsible for all expenses related to quarantine (hotel, food delivery, taxis), testing, and unplanned departure.

A

International Programs at Middlebury constantly reviews safety conditions and risk levels around the world.  We rely on the Center for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of State, our on-site staff abroad, partner universities, and security advisors to inform our decisions. We take into account factors such as the following when considering whether a given School Abroad is to remain open:

  • U.S. Department of State advisory levels
  • CDC travel notice levels
  • Recommendations from the World Health Organization and local medical advice
  • Local government travel restrictions
  • Schools Abroad staff and faculty capacity
  • The number of confirmed cases in the host country, or especially host city
  • Status of university partners (are the campuses classrooms, residences, and services open)
  • Medical resources in host country, and especially host cities
  • Airlines limiting service to/from our host cities
  • Local transportation being reduced or limited 
A

Students considering study abroad who have pre-existing conditions should be sure to discuss any travel plans with their health care providers well before the semester of their travel, and should follow their advice. Students with particular health conditions might be at greater risk for more serious complications as a result of infection from COVID-19.  Anyone can be infected by the novel coronavirus, but early data indicates that people with compromised immune systems (pregnant women, children, the elderly, or people with autoimmune disorders) can be at a higher risk for developing complications related to COVID-19.

A

Middlebury students whose study abroad program overlaps (even by one day) with Jterm will be awarded the Jterm (fifth unit of) credit upon successful completion of their spring 2021 study abroad semester, assuming a full load of courses. Therefore, students enrolled in a study abroad program that overlaps Jterm may not enroll in a Jterm course.

Fall 2020

A

Because the situation in each country and the requirements for students to be able to study in each nation varies considerably, we will be making these decisions on a case by case basis.  Below you will find the last possible dates by which we expect to make our decision for each School Abroad.  (We will be completing this table in the coming weeks.)

School Abroad

Decision Date/Status

School in Argentina

Cancelled

School in Brazil

Cancelled

School in Cameroon

Cancelled

School in Chile

Cancelled

School in China

Cancelled

School in France

Cancelled

School in Germany

Cancelled

School in India

Cancelled

School in Italy

Cancelled

School in Japan

Cancelled

School in Jordan

Cancelled

School in Morocco

Cancelled

School in Russia

Cancelled

School in Spain

Cancelled

School in the United Kingdom

Cancelled

School in Uruguay

Cancelled

 

A

If you commit to your study abroad program and it is later cancelled, you will be able to enroll at Middlebury and will be included in a later room draw process in August.

A

Students may simultaneously register for Middlebury College courses and Schools Abroad courses in the event that their study abroad program is cancelled. 

A

Middlebury Schools Abroad normally charge a withdrawal fee (in lieu of a deposit) if a student commits to studying abroad, then changes their mind.  For students who are planning to attend a Middlebury School Abroad beginning in fall 2020, we will waive the withdrawal fee, as we understand everything is difficult to predict right now.  If you plan to be abroad in the fall, please do “commit” to your program and stay on track with visa requirements, university registration, and pre-departure materials.

Middlebury students planning to attend an externally sponsored program beginning in fall 2020 should contact your program provider to see if they might also be waiving fees (deposits/cancellation fees) for your chosen program.

A

We continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 around the world. Decisions about fall semester will be announced over the next few weeks for Middlebury Schools Abroad and externally sponsored programs. Decision dates for Middlebury Schools Abroad can be found in the FAQ above (“When will Middlebury decide…”). For externally sponsored programs, please consult your program/university directly.

Due to the rapidly changing global situation regarding COVID-19, as well as travel restrictions around the world, uncertainty remains about the status of fall study abroad programs.  Even if programs decide to proceed with the fall semester, conditions prior to the start of the semester could result in students not being able to travel.

The Department of State’s Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel, which advises US citizens to avoid all international travel due to COVID-19, is still in place. Consequently, Middlebury has made the decision that if the DOS Level 4 Advisory is not lifted by July 15, we will suspend all fall semester study abroad, regardless of prior decisions. This would include Middlebury Schools Abroad as well as externally sponsored study abroad programs that are still running.

A

Students considering study abroad who have pre-existing conditions should be sure to discuss any travel plans with their health care providers well before the semester of their travel, and should follow their advice. Students with particular health conditions might be at greater risk for more serious complications as a result of infection from COVID-19.  Anyone can be infected by the novel coronavirus, but early data indicates that people with compromised immune systems (pregnant women, children, the elderly, or people with autoimmune disorders) can be at a higher risk for developing complications related to COVID-19.

Spring 2020

A

Travel Reimbursements

As you return home, we want to send a clarification regarding what Middlebury is able to cover with regard to travel reimbursements for Middlebury Schools Abroad and exchange program students:

Students who originally had a roundtrip ticket/return ticket and whose airlines did not waive the ticket change fee.

Middlebury will cover the cost of the ticket change fee.*

Students who originally had a roundtrip ticket and needed to book an entirely new return ticket (i.e., travel agent or airline was not available, airline was no longer flying to destination, etc.).

Middlebury will cover the cost of the new ticket up to USD $300.

Students who did not originally have a roundtrip ticket and who purchased a return ticket.

Middlebury will cover the cost of the new ticket up to USD $300.

* “Ticket change fee” refers to direct change fees to an existing ticket only.  Changes in fare class or voluntary itinerary changes on an existing ticket are not eligible for reimbursement through Middlebury.  Please clarify which charge is the ticket change fee when you send your receipt.

We realize that for those of you who had to purchase a new ticket, a reimbursement of USD $300 will likely not cover the entire cost of the ticket.  Please know that we are helping as much as we can given the volume of requests for assistance that we have received.  We know that some institutions are reimbursing their students for ticket changes as well.  If you attend one of these institutions, please do not also submit a reimbursement request to Middlebury. 

Any requests for travel reimbursement must be submitted via email to the appropriate study abroad advisor in the International Programs office at Middlebury and must include a receipt showing the amount of the ticket change or newly purchased return ticket.  All requests must be submitted no later than March 31, 2020; requests submitted after March 31 will not be considered.

Please understand that it will take us several weeks to process the reimbursements.  We appreciate your patience.

 

A

Costs for accommodations are the responsibility of the students.  In some instances, a security deposit is required to secure a spot in a homestay, dormitory, or apartment.  In such instances, the security deposit may be retained by the host since they will be losing a significant amount of rent over the duration of the semester.  In cases where students pay rent month-to-month, students will save whatever rent they have not yet paid.  In rare cases, when housing fees are billed by Middlebury, and the program has not yet begun, it is possible that Middlebury would be able to issue a refund.

A

We will communicate with students, parents, and advisors as we have new information to share.  All official college communications about COVID-19 may be found here

A

Quarantines and/or health screenings are instituted at the discretion of individual countries and may be implemented or changed at any time.  Due to the evolving nature of the situation with COVID-19, it is not possible to predict what measures particular countries will take now or in the future.  Students are strongly advised to consult the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories webpage and the CDC’s Travel Health Notices webpage, as well as local resources, for their intended destinations before and during their travels for updated information regarding travel advisories, travel restrictions, and screening or quarantine requirements.  Students who choose to travel outside of their host countries and who are subject to entry restrictions, quarantine, or self-isolation requirements in any of their travel destinations, or upon returning to their host country, will assume any financial and academic consequences of this requirement. 

A

We have no reported or suspected cases of COVID-19 on our campus. As we move forward, we must consider the best possible practices for maintaining a healthy campus environment. For this reason, all individuals travelling from countries with a CDC Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice due to COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus.

If you’re making travel plans for spring break or any time during the semester, please check for travel updates regularly. Travel restrictions change as the virus continues to evolve rapidly. Government agencies and transportation authorities may enact additional restrictions with little or no advance notice. 

If you are currently studying abroad, you may be subject to medical screenings upon your return to the U.S., depending on where you travelled. Please consult the Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites on the day of your return flight to the U.S. to confirm what protocols or screenings may be in place.

A

Students currently studying at a Middlebury School Abroad are prohibited from independent travel to regions where authorities have imposed travel restrictions. While travel to regions outside the above is not prohibited, we would strongly discourage you from travelling to Europe in general, and various sources discourage people from travelling at all at this time. Travel or any time spent in highly trafficked areas (i.e. train terminals, bus stations, tourist attractions) can increase your risk of exposure to coronavirus. Also keep in mind that this situation is changing daily and travel plans you make for the future may require cancellation (and any fees associated with this cancellation may be forfeited). 

Students studying abroad who choose to travel outside of their host country undertake potential health, academic, and financial risks.  If authorities ban travel to a location where you have planned travel, you may forfeit plane tickets and hotel reservations.  If your host country begins limiting entry by people coming from a place you have just visited, you may not be able to re-enter or you may find yourself subject to quarantine.  You must assume these risks if you decide to travel away from your host country against our recommendation.   

Everyone’s risk tolerance varies and students and families will need to make individual decisions regarding their travel plans.  Those who do intend to travel are strongly advised to follow Middlebury’s recommendations, which may be found here.

A

SEVIS Guidance (issued on March 9, 2020) offered U.S. colleges and universities greater flexibility with regard to temporary adaptations to the delivery of courses and programs during this worldwide health crisis. Middlebury has determined that offering our courses through a distance learning method of delivery will be sufficient for making normal progress in a full course of study. Students in F-1 visa status will be able to maintain their F-1 status while enrolled in a full-time course load that is delivered remotely for the duration of the period that Middlebury deems necessary.  This applies to students participating in remote learning from within the U.S. or from abroad.  This is a temporary accommodation by the U.S. government in light of COVID-19.

To maintain status, international students are expected to be enrolled full-time (i.e. 3-5 Middlebury classes per semester or full-time as defined by their program abroad) in courses that require in-person presence (i.e. not online), with one exception. Under usual circumstances, international students in F-1 status are allowed to take one online/distance education course per session to count toward their full-time enrollment. However, during the designated period of temporary adaptation, international students will be allowed to participate in a full course load via an alternate course delivery method.

Due to the closing of residence halls on our Middlebury, Vermont campus (except for students who are granted permission to stay), students should plan to remain in the host country, return home, or travel to another country. International students may have difficulty attempting to enter the U.S. from abroad under these circumstances.  Please note that there are now U.S. State Department travel restrictions in place for individuals who travel to the U.S. from China, Iran, and the Schengen Area of Europe (as of 11:59 pm on Friday, March 13, 2020).

Please email ISSS at isss@middlebury.edu for personalized advising regarding your particular situation. If needed, ISSS will ask you to schedule an appointment with an advisor so you can discuss your options.

 

A

Middlebury students who waived the student insurance plan offered through the college for spring 2020 because they were enrolled through their study abroad program may now enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan through Gallagher.

• Go to www.gallagherstudent.com/Middlebury
• Click on ‘Petition to Add’
• Log in. Firs time users will log in with their Middlebury College email address the password will be their student ID number
• Complete the form and attach the qualifying event documentation (contact the study abroad advisor for a letter from the insurance company listing the last date of coverage)
• Submit the form

Will there be a break in coverage?
There will not be a break in coverage if the Petition to Add form and applicable documents are received within 31 days of the qualifying event. If the Petition to Add form and required documentation are not received within 31 days of the qualifying event the effective date will be the date the form and applicable documentation are received at Gallagher Student Health.

Will the premium be pro-rated?
Yes, the premium the student pays will be pro-rated and is determined by the date of the Qualifying Event.

Students from other colleges and universities interested in U.S. based health insurance coverage should contact their school and ask if something similar is available now that they have had a “qualifying event,” namely, “involuntary loss of coverage through returning from studying abroad.”

A

During the spring 2020 semester, students enrolled at a Middlebury School Abroad may request that any or all of your classes this semester be recorded as Credit/No Credit. This is available for courses taken directly at our centers as well as for host university classes.  This is also applicable to the alternative academic options presented to you following the suspension of the Schools Abroad. Be aware that Credit/No Credit grades do not affect your Middlebury GPA.

As the message from the provost mentioned, for the spring 2020 semester only, courses invoked with the Credit/No Credit grade mode:

•            Do carry academic distribution tags

•            Can be applied toward the major or minor

•            Do not count toward the non-standard grade maximum of 5

•            Do not count in the maximum 2 Pass/D/Fail course maximum otherwise available in your academic career

This Credit/No Credit option is also available to students from other colleges and universities enrolled in the Middlebury Schools Abroad, but you need to discuss this with your home institutions to determine if they will accept Credit/No Credit grades.  Please note that some institutions have different equivalencies for a course earning credit as opposed to not earning credit, so if you are not a Middlebury student and wish to invoke this option please be sure your home institution is aware of the Middlebury equivalencies (explained below), as this is what will be used when converting to Credit/No Credit grades on your Middlebury transcript. 

Faculty will still report letter grades for all students, and if a student requests Credit/No Credit, the grades will automatically be converted to a CR for grades of D or higher and recorded as a NCR for a grade of F if those are the grades that are submitted. Students will have until one week prior to the end of classes (not exams) in your Schools to invoke the Credit/No Credit grade. Students will then have until the end of exams to revoke the Credit/No Credit grade. The director of your School Abroad will confirm those dates for you. 

In addition, students planning to study abroad during 2020-21 who are expected to achieve or sustain a B average in the major, a B average in relevant language classes, and a B- overall may still avail themselves of the Credit/No Credit option during spring 2020.  We know that students understand the importance of having high language ability in order to succeed abroad in foreign language study and trust they will do all they can to prepare themselves.

A

Many institutions, including Middlebury, are being as flexible as possible in allowing students to complete course work online when programs are suspended due to COVID-19.  Non-Middlebury students at Middlebury Schools Abroad whose programs suspend in-country activity and move instruction online, should consult with their home institutions regarding the possibility of transfer credits from online courses. For Middlebury students who directly enroll in programs and universities which are not administered by Middlebury College, note that decisions about potential program suspension/cancellation and how academic credit is awarded are made by the host program/university, not by Middlebury College. Middlebury cannot guarantee completion of course work and awarding of full credit may not be possible in every situation, but it is our aim to do all that we reasonably can do toward this end.

A

You will need to consult with your academic advisor and department chair or program director to see what alternatives may be available to fulfill the requirements of your major.    

A

Middlebury International Programs works closely with experienced program providers and universities abroad. We are in direct communication with Middlebury students abroad and with the externally sponsored programs and partner universities our students are attending.  The programs Middlebury approves have experienced health and safety personnel and are prepared for emergencies.  

Our partner programs and universities operate within their own cultures, which may differ from U.S. norms. Middlebury relies on the programs and universities our students attend to advise students appropriately and to provide the most updated information. We instruct students to heed the advice of their host programs/universities and local authorities, and to seek on-site support as needed. When Middlebury students participate in programs and directly enroll in universities which are not administered by Middlebury College, decisions about potential program suspension/cancellation and academic credit awarded are made by the host program/university, not by Middlebury College.

If a Middlebury student is studying abroad on an externally sponsored program that is suspended after the semester is underway, Middlebury will work with the program and student to mitigate potential interference with the student’s academic progress whenever possible. Middlebury cannot guarantee completion of academic work and awarding of full credit in every situation, but it is our aim to do all that we reasonably can do toward this end. Students should always consult their academic advisor in any situation involving their academic progress and plans.  

All Middlebury students at both Middlebury Schools Abroad and on externally sponsored programs have access to the services provided by Global Rescue. Please see our web page for details on Global Rescue’s services and contact information.

A

The plans in each country may be different, depending on the program model, how far into the semester the program is, and the contingency plans of our host universities. Some excursions and other co-curricular events may need to be rescheduled or cancelled, depending on local conditions.  If necessary, and where possible, we hope to be able to offer remote instruction for coursework so students can complete their semester with as many credits as possible.  

A

International Programs at Middlebury constantly reviews safety conditions and risk levels around the world.  We rely on the Center for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of State, our on-site staff abroad, partner universities, and security advisors to inform our decisions. We take into account factors such as the following when considering whether a given School Abroad is to remain open:

  • CDC travel notice levels
  • U.S. Department of State advisory levels
  • Recommendations from the World Health Organization and local medical advice
  • Local government travel restrictions
  • Schools Abroad staff and faculty capacity
  • The number of confirmed cases in the host country, or especially host city
  • Status of university partners (are the campuses classrooms, residences, and services open)
  • Medical resources in host country, and especially host cities
  • Airlines limiting service to/from our host cities
  • Local transportation being reduced or limited 

Citations:
Middlebury is compiling information from many sources, and we would like to thank our colleagues who are also working thoughtfully to create policy and communicate with students and parents.  For this piece, we relied on The FORUM on Education Abroad, George Washington University’s Study Abroad FAQ, and on CIEE’s Health, Safety & Security Updates.

Last updated March 26, 2020.