International Programs and Off-Campus Study held two informational meetings in Wright Theater today for sophomores hoping to study abroad their junior year. For those of you who either a) didn’t make it to the meeting or b) are freshmen looking ahead to next year, here’s a brief summary.
Essentially, current sophomores have to declare their majors (and thus, their academic advisers) this semester, since application deadlines are as follows:
January 8: All application materials submitted to academic adviser(s).
February 1: All application materials submitted to International Programs and Off-Campus Study.
Grade requirements include a minimum overall GPA of B- and an average of B or better in your major and language. Granted, a sophomore near the bubble at the time applications are submitted usually has his/her spring semester taken into consideration.
Studying a language? Great- generally speaking, Middlebury will have a program for you, and financial aid will probably be available.
Only speak English? Well, there are a few exchange programs in the U.K. that might strike your fancy; otherwise, you will have to choose a different university in the U.K. or Australia, get in, and pay for it yourself. If you’re considering this route and about to fly solo, federal financial aid (Pell Grants, etc.) will (usually) kick in to help you out with the cost. Middlebury still has to approve the program that you’re applying to if it is not an exchange or not a C.V.-Starr school abroad (i.e., one of the Middlebury schools abroad).
The Dean of International Programs, Professor Jeffrey Cason, urged students to study abroad for an entire year. He cited that past participants in Middlebury’s study abroad program have reported that staying abroad for two full terms is the best way to fully immerse oneself in a different culture.
Undoubtedly, Old Chapel pushes for students to stay abroad as long as possible in order to curb costs and free up housing. (Indeed, Cason admitted that students looking to study abroad for only a semester should do so in the fall, given that housing is particularly limited during this time.)
The Study Abroad Fair will be held on Thursday, September 24 in Bicentennial Hall from 12:00-4:00pm. Here, students will have an opportunity to peruse their options. Special meetings broken down by geographic region will also be taking place during the rest of September and into October.
MiddBlog wants to know: What is your advice for students considering a semester or more abroad?