The Language Pledge

The unifying feature of the “Middlebury Method” has always been the Language Pledge: a firm commitment by each student to use only the language of the School during the entire session, wherever he or she may be. What distinguishes Middlebury’s language programs from other programs is the opportunity to learn the language by using it on a daily basis with your fellow students and with the faculty and staff. This practice has contributed significantly to the success of the Language Schools, and willingness to maintain the tradition is a measure of each student’s motivation. All students and faculty members live in their language-specific dormitories, and take their meals together with their Language School in the dining hall.

The administration of the School takes the Pledge very seriously, but attempts to be reasonable and evenhanded in its application. On occasion, when a student must use English to communicate with shop clerks, non-language speaking staff of the College, etc., special permission need not be requested, but on each such occasion there must be a legitimate and demonstrable need. We ask only that the interaction be kept as short as possible. Students who may already know people in the college community or the Town of Middlebury who do not speak the target language should avoid their company during the session except for legitimate business reasons. The Director reserves the right to dismiss without credit any student who proves unwilling to abide by the Pledge.

Please notify friends of the Language Pledge, which you will take for the duration of your studies in the Language Schools. You may want to request that they limit their telephone calls, e-mail and other contacts, as appropriate. We do understand the need to communicate with family or work, but we ask that you keep that to a minimum, and in the privacy of your own room. Family and friends that do not speak the target language should not be brought into the dormitories. You may send and receive essential correspondence in English; however, newspapers, magazines, music, and recordings in English are NOT allowed on campus. Language newspapers will be available in the dormitory, as well satellite TV programming in language.

Language Pledge FAQs

Academic expectations & culture

The Language Schools are intensive and may require that you work harder than you ever have before in an academic setting. In one summer session, you will have completed the equivalent of a full academic year of language study. You will spend full weekday mornings in class, with many additional hours of preparation, homework, and in-language cocurricular activities. When relaxing, you will still be in the company of students, teachers, and staff, where the required means of communication is your language of study.

Language Schools’ students come from a wide variety of institutions and backgrounds both in the United States and abroad, representing a spectrum of ages, interests, and backgrounds as well as varying levels of language proficiency. Middlebury requires all members of the summer community – students, faculty, and staff, whatever their ‘home culture’ –  to demonstrate mutual respect and tolerance for each other regardless of origin or background. This is essential to creating a community of inclusion with bonds of trust in a supportive context both in and out of the classroom, particularly under the stressful envelope of learning and living another language and culture.

Tolerance and mutual respect can help tremendously to establish a sense of community within each individual School and across campus. Middlebury encourages, and even demands, cooperation. Learning represents a communal ef­fort; you should expect to employ your talents to the benefit of fellow students, just as you will benefit from their talents. Middlebury is unique in the opportunity it offers to learn language by speaking it on a daily basis with fellow students and the faculty in a variety of formal and informal contexts.

Vermont is lovely in the summer, and there are many attractions in and around Middlebury, but please keep in mind that the Language Schools is not a place for vacationing. Keeping up with the pace requires considerable physical, intellectual, and psychological stamina.

Upon arrival, students sign the Language Pledge, promising to speak exclusively in the target language. By adhering to the Pledge, your grasp of both written and spoken language will develop efficiently and effectively. For this reason, the Pledge is strictly enforced. Any student who consistently and will­fully violates it may be asked to withdraw, forfeiting both course credit and tuition refund.

The Language Schools are dedicated to the creation of a serious program for the serious student. Within that framework, we offer myriad opportunities to socialize, interact, and create long-lasting connections and friendships. We look forward to welcoming you this summer!

Arrival procedures

The Arrival Center is located at the Axinn Center, 15 Old Chapel Road, Middlebury VT 05753 (campus maps are available here.). Please plan to arrive during the full-service hours for your program:

  • Friday, June 22, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., 8-week programs for Chinese, Japanese and Russian
  • Friday, June 22, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., 7-week Portuguese
  • Friday, June 29, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., 7-week programs for French, German and Spanish
  • Friday, June 29, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., all Hebrew programs except Classical Hebrew
  • Tuesday, July 3, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., 6-week graduate programs for Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish

At the Arrival Center, you will check in with your School staff, and receive your ID card and room access (key or touchpad code). Department of Public Safety and Information Technology Services staff will also be available to assist you, as needed.

Language Schools’ staff will remain in Axinn Center after full-service hours to provide ID cards and room access until all expected arrivals have been accounted for. To help us plan, please provide your arrival information using this form. After completing the form, you will receive a copy of your responses via email. Please use the “edit” link in this email to notify us if your arrival is delayed due to weather, flight cancellations, etc. on your scheduled arrival date. You may also call 802-443-2811 to contact our staff at the arrival centers.

Transportation to your dormitory from the Axinn Center will be available from 11 a.m. until all expected arrivals have been accounted for.

Please contact the Coordinator of your School if you need to arrive later than the scheduled arrival date for your program. Permission to arrive late must be requested in writing and is granted by the School Director.

If you need to arrive on campus before the scheduled arrival date for your program, you MUST make arrangements to stay off-campus until your School’s arrival date.

Information on local lodging is available at: http://www.middlebury.edu/admissions/visit/lodging.

In case of emergency or lockout on the Middlebury campus, call Middlebury College Public Safety at (802) 443-5911. Please save this number as a contact on your cell phone.

Plan your travel

See “Prepare for your Language School” for departure dates and times specific to your program.

Please click here for a comprehensive list of available public and private transportation options to help in planning your arrival on campus.

If you are flying in and out of the Burlington, VT airport (BTV), you may wish to reserve a seat on the shuttle between the airport and the Middlebury campus. The Arrival Shuttle to Middlebury College is available ONLY on June 22nd, 29th, and July 3rd. The Departure Shuttle will be available on August 17th and 18th.

Driving directions are available here. The GPS address for Public Safety is: 125 S. Main Street, Middlebury, VT 05753.

Campus maps are available here.

If you’re interested in potential rideshares, you should also check Zimride or Community CarShare or the Language Schools Facebook Page.

Housing

As housing assignments are made just before students arrive, we are unable to tell you of your specific rooming assignment before you arrive on campus. This information will be available at 9 a.m. on your scheduled arrival date, at which time you may log in to BannerWeb > Personal Information > Housing Information to obtain your room assignment and a door code if you are housed in a location with touchpad door locks.

All students live in the assigned residence hall for their School and take their meals exclusively with members of their School. We strive to assign roommates of compatible language ability, age, and personal habits. There is no guarantee that students’ special housing requests can be met, although we will make every effort to accommodate your needs as identified on the rooming form.

Most faculty and staff also live in the dorms and all of them dine regularly with students. They are a dedicated team and they are available and eager to be of assistance to you both in and out of class, at work and at play.  At the same time, it would be unfair for any one student to make unreasonable demands of their time. Consequently, the Language Schools cannot accommodate requests for special tutoring or individual instruction in work outside the regular curriculum.

As you will be living in relatively close quarters, noise can easily become a problem. We ask that you be respectful of your neighbors’ study and sleep habits.  If you know that you are a particularly sensitive sleeper, please bring appropriate items (such as earplugs and/or white noise machines) to help with your adjustment to living in the dorms.

The College cannot provide housing for members of a student’s family nor may guests be housed on campus.

What to bring to campus

Check here for a list of things you need to bring with you and items that are not permitted.

The weather in Vermont during the summer is usually warm and pleasant during the day and cooler in the evening, but we are likely to experience a week or two of temperatures in the nineties accompanied by very high humidity and rain showers. Attire at Middlebury tends to be casual, but you may wish to be prepared for a small number of special events requiring nicer clothing. (banquets, special events).  A few items you may consider bringing with you to campus are: tennis racquet, yoga mat, soccer cleats and other sporting equipment.

See “Prepare for your Language School” for additional suggested items for your School.

Laundry facilities

Campus Laundry Facilities

Desabrais Laundry & Dry-cleaning (802.388.3458) at 1232 Exchange St. has 29 coin-operated washers for public use and offers wash and fold service, and tailor services.

Dining

The summer dining schedule and information on dining procedures and policies are here.

Textbooks

Textbooks will be available for purchase at the College Bookstore. Students should wait until they have received their official placement before purchasing textbooks. Official placements for 8 and 7-week sessions are generally posted Sunday morning of arrival weekend for your program. Graduate students in some programs will register for their courses prior to arrival. Your graduate school coordinator will inform you of course registration procedures.

Bookstore hours for student arrival dates:

Friday, June 22                  8:30-5
Saturday, June 23             Closed
Sunday, June 24                9-5

Friday, June 29                  8:30-5
Saturday, June 30             Closed
Sunday, July 1                    9-5

Tuesday, July 3                  8:30-5
Wednesday, July 4           11-3

Mail

Language Schools’ students who are not Middlebury College undergraduates do not have assigned mailboxes. Middlebury College undergraduates attending Language Schools use the same address you use during the academic year and receive your mail in your assigned mailbox at the Mail Center.

The mailing address for all students who are not Middlebury College undergraduates is:

Your Name (i.e. Jane Smith)
LS Student
14 Old Chapel Rd
Middlebury, VT 05753

Your student mailing address is valid for the United States Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS), Federal Express, and DHL.

All mail and packages, including USPS, UPS, Federal Express, and DHL, are delivered to the Mail Center. The Mail Center recommends using UPS if a signature is required to track or insure the contents of a package. If you receive a package, you will receive an email to your Middlebury College email address after it has been processed. You will not be notified if you receive letter mail. Both packages and letter mail may be picked up at the Student Mail Center in the McCullough Student Center. The window hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. You will be required to show your Middlebury ID card.

Refund checks from Student Financial Services will be sent to the Mail Center. You will need to check your student account in BannerWeb to see when your refund has been issued. You will not be notified either by Student Financial Services or the Mail Center that you have a refund check to pick up.

Please note: The College cannot accept packages that arrive before the beginning of the session. Only first class mail and packages will be forwarded after your departure from Middlebury for up to a year. Newspapers, magazines, and junk mail will be recycled.

Outgoing Mail

You may purchase stamps at the College Bookstore or at the MiddExpress Store. The Bookstore also sells books of postcard stamps. If you need a package weighed before you apply postage, bring it to the Mail Center window (open Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Per federal postal regulations, no stamps may be applied to a package weighing over 13 oz. You will need to mail the package from the Middlebury U.S. Post Office (10 Main Street, 802.388.2681) or use the UPS service located in Freeman International Center. Insured, registered, and certified mail must be mailed from the U.S. Post Office between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Campus Mail

Place inter-campus mail directed to students, faculty, College offices, etc., in the campus mail slot in the McCullough Mail Center. This mail will be delivered free of charge.

The Mailing Services office in the Freeman International Center (FIC) is the central shipping point for UPS. Students, faculty, and staff may ship personal packages from this office Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You must have a credit card with you in order to process any type of shipment. Cash and checks are not accepted. The Mailing Service office will not accept any packages one week prior to or any time after the designated final shipping date.

Phones

Information on phones in student housing is available here.

Campus Telephone Services (Extension 5700)

 

Vehicle registration & parking
If you are planning to bring a vehicle to the Middlebury College campus this summer, you must register your vehicle with the Department of Public Safety and have a valid permit to be parked on campus.

Student parking map

If you do not register and purchase your permit by June 15, there will be a delay of at least five days in the issuance of a parking permit.  During this period you will be subject to parking enforcement if parked in any area other than the Track Lot at the corner of Porter Field Road and South Street.

If you have problems with the registration form or with the permit payment form, please contact Fawn Torrey at ftorrey@middlebury.edu or 802.443.5201.

You can find information regarding ADA placards and Medical Permits here.

Language Schools Commencement

Information on Language Schools Commencement, including ordering regalia, for students who will be receiving degrees in summer 2018.

View campus and community resources

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