The School in Germany provides effective immersion and supports guided student independence through direct enrollment at German-speaking host institutions and individualized student-centered support to help students reach their personal and academic learning goals abroad.

Options for Non-Middlebury Students (Early Birds)

The School in Germany is ready to accommodate Non-Middlebury students (‘Early Birds’) with 4 - 5 semesters of German. Our ‘Early Birds’ arrive about a month before the program starts to take a graded and credited intensive German language class we arrange and pay for at the site where they’ll be studying with us.

In Mainz, the course is adminstered by Sprachschule ProfiL. For Berlin and Potsdam students, the course takes place at GLS Berlin.

Their curriculum in the first semester would be comprised of

1. Intensive German Language Class at their individual level
2. Middlebury Core Course (Information below)
3. Mainstream Course at Host Institution
4. Mainstream Course at Host Institution

Should their language at the end of the head-start period allow, they can choose to take three mainstream courses and not count the Language Class for credit.

In their second semester, they’ll do four mainstream courses or may replace one of the courses by a graded and credited internship.

Overall Curriculum

While providing students with the opportunity to choose from the entire academic curriculum offered by our host institutions, the School in Germany requires every student to take one core course in their first semester: The course Culture and Composition: Intensive Writing for First Semester Undergraduate and Graduate Students focuses on academic writing for the German-speaking classroom at both the Bachelor and the Master university levels. Including analysis of historically and/or culturally relevant texts and providing support with each Hausarbeit students have to write for their mainstream courses, it likewise asks students to practice critical reflection and intercultural analysis of both their own and their host culture.

The course starts during the orientation period and is comprised of the following:

  • One-week intensive academic writing at Language Institute ProfiL at Mainz, three hours/day (program participants only)
  • Weekly individual Writing Workshops throughout the semester (90 min)
  • One individual topic-exploration workshop
  • Pre-semester Diagnostic/Post-semester Diagnostic (one page each)
  • Capstone Project on ‘Deutschland Gestern und Heute’ (two to three pages)
  • Capstone Project on ‘Deutschland und Ich’ (two to three pages)
  • Pre- and Post IDI (Intercultural Development Inventory)

Undergraduate Students take three courses at their host university in their first semester and four mainstream courses in their second semester, Graduate Students take four mainstream courses in their first and four in their second.

While non-credit-bearing in the second semester, the Writing Workshops remain available to second-semester students and are indeed paramount for maintaining and increasing your analytical writing skills in German.

  • Optional credit-bearing internship in your second semester can replace one university course, depending on availability and your eligibility.

Our unique combination of challenging coursework and individualized assistance offers a myriad of learning opportunities for increasing your language skills and your understanding of both your own and German culture.

Host Universities

Mainz: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität

Departments, Dining Halls, Dorms and More

Named after the inventor of printing with movable letters, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität enrolls 35,000 students. They can choose courses taught in 150 academic departments covering everything from natural to social sciences, languages and cultures, religions, histories, art, music, and physical education. [More]

View the course catalog.

Berlin: Freie Universität

Departments, Dining Halls, Dorms, and More

About 31,000 students study at FU’s institutes, departments and libraries that are spread all over Dahlem, one of Berlin’s most prestigious residential areas. Dorms and private student residences are located between 40 to 60 min away by local train. [More]

View the course catalog.

Potsdam: University of Potsdam

Departments, Dining Halls, Dorms and More

When studying at the University of Potsdam, students enroll in courses in any number of disciplines ranging from A as in Astrophysics to Z as in Zeitgeschichte. Students take their courses in historical buildings that have been named as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Founded in 1991, the University of Potsdam is Brandenburg’s largest university and the fourth largest in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan area. Known for its excellence in research, the UP contains five faculties (Law, Philosophy, Human Science, Economics and Social Sciences, and Mathematics and Science) on four campuses connected by public transportation.

At UP, about 20,000 students enjoy a quality of teaching that the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Business innovation agency for the German science system) rewarded with the ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Award in 2009. [More]

View the course catalog.

At All Locations

The program director provides academic advising and guidance, while local students, trained by Middlebury staff, work as Babel-Guides to help students develop their writing skills for research papers in individual writing workshops. The Babel-Guides also support integration into German student life. [More]

For Middlebury College Undergraduate Students Only

This course information database contains information on courses taken abroad (both at Middlebury Schools Abroad and externally sponsored programs) and their applicability to Middlebury majors and academic distributions. The database represents only a sampling of courses that have been approved to apply to each major to date. New courses are added regularly as they are approved.

Begin your search

Don’t see your course listed?
Use this form to apply for major/minor credit or academic distributions and cultures and civilizations requirements.

Note: To apply a preapproved academic distribution or cultures and civilizations attribute to your student record OR to apply a preapproved course toward your major, you must contact the Registrar’s Office.

Middlebury College Faculty

You may find it useful to consult the database when meeting with students to determine if a particular course has already been approved for major/minor credit or academic distributions.


Contact us.