At Middlebury, we believe that the study of language in its cultural context belongs in the mainstream of any curriculum as one of the most enlightening and humanizing activities in which one can engage. We provide these students with consistent and dependable access to languages in an interactive, intensive-immersion environment. The Language Schools integrate excellent and innovative instruction in language with a curriculum that incorporates linguistics, literature, culture, and area studies, offering students opportunities to use the target language with native and near-native language professionals and with each other. The curriculum is supported by an extensive co-curricular program designed to reinforce classroom learning through a task-based approach. We are dedicated to the premise that without real competency in language there can be no true cultural understanding, and, that to be truly effective, language speaking must provide meaningful access to other cultures.
While each School's daily schedule is unique, it's still possible to sketch a general idea of how your typical day might flow. The first half is spent in anywhere from three to five classroom hours, followed by lunch with your professors and peers. In the afternoons, you put your newly learned language skills to work, participating in co-curricular activities ranging from cooking and calligraphy to music and dance. During the evening you might attend a lecture by a visiting scholar or commentator, watch a film, or participate in a cultural celebration relevant to your language and culture of study.
The Italian School offers a teacher-to-student ratio that is one of the lowest in academia, presenting you with a unique opportunity to acquire and expand your skills under the constant guidance of some of the world’s most experienced and dedicated instructors. Daily contact with your teachers extends beyond the classroom to include drop-in office hours, discussion groups, and lectures. Between times, you'll join them in organized co-curricular activities—including Italian dance, games, cooking, and bocce—each designed to help you build new vocabulary while developing cultural fluency. Summer after summer, the Italian School continues to deliver on its reputation for combining rigorous expectations with unmatched support. That’s why many of our students—from researchers and scholars to teachers and travelers—return to the School again and again.
Letter Excerpt from Antonio Carlo Vitti, Faculty Director
Benvenuti e bentornati alla Scuola Italiana!
The 2018 session of the Scuola Italiana will be held at Mills College in California. To maintain our commitment to high academic standards a wide range of challenging courses are offered, with performances, new trips, workshops and the unique opportunity to meet distinguished artists and writers. We will offer concerts by Cosimo Colazzo, two recitals by soprano Patrizia Zanardi, and a theatrical workshop open to both students and faculty, conducted by renowned actress and playwright Isabella Carloni who will also teach a course on Italian theater from a gender perspective. Oonagh Stransky, writer and translator will be one of our visiting artists and will teach a course on translation. Besides the conversation sessions, there will be a six-week diction workshop for all of the language classes. The program will also offer evening workshops to develop an appreciation of the language and its culture. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the biweekly club meetings.
What makes the Middlebury experience so unique is its long-standing observance of the Language Pledge, a written commitment made by each student to exclusively use the Italian language for the duration of the summer session. In spite of the considerable demand this formal pledge places on all, generations of students consider it a most valid and effective learning tool. Adherence to this rule is, therefore, strictly enforced at all times.
To conclude I would like to emphasize that the success of the summer session is largely due to the fact that students and faculty live under the same roof and take part in all of the cultural and social activities sponsored by the School: film screenings, lectures, concerts, plays, dinners, parties, club meetings and workshops. All of this contributes to creating a cordial and collegial atmosphere that promotes language acquisition and academic success and is unlikely to be duplicated elsewhere.
When studying in our program you’ll get the support you need during the summer from our dedicated staff and faculty. Have confidence in yourself going into a full immersion program.
Franklin & Marshall Academic Policy
F&M requires all students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution or off-campus study program. You can typically find this information on the program partner's website. In many cases, this will be four or five courses for a semester. Many programs grant course credit in U.S. semester credit hours. Franklin & Marshall will award four F&M course credits for a total of 15 or 16 U.S. semester credit hours. If the total number of credits for your program is more than 16 or less than 15, divide the total number by four to find out how many course credits you will receive (this includes summer study).
Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/no pass basis. Grades from off-campus study program courses will appear on your Franklin & Marshall transcript, but they will not be calculated into your cumulative GPA.
Courses taken off-campus may be able to satisfy major, minor, language or distribution requirements (Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Non-Western Cultures or Natural Science Lab) in addition to general elective credit. Courses may fulfill more than one requirement. Please note that Franklin & Marshall cannot issue transfer credit for a course taken in a department that is not represented at the College. If a course does not clearly fall under a department, the off-campus study advising staff can help you determine whether or not it can be accepted for credit.
Franklin & Marshall Housing Policy
Housing options during your off-campus study program will vary by program. Some programs may allow students to choose their housing option; other programs require all students to live in a certain type of housing. Typical housing arrangements may include apartments, homestays, or on-campus housing at a local university. Please visit the program homepage to determine your program's housing options or requirements.
Please note that some programs may offer students the option to pursue independent housing (outside of the regular housing options provided by the program). F&M does not allow students to choose independent housing unless there is a significant academic or cultural reason (such as wanting to live in a homestay when only apartment housing is provided). Independent housing carries many risks and F&M and the program provider cannot provide any support to students who pursue independent housing. Students who are interested in pursuing independent housing will need to contact their off-campus study adviser to petition for approval to pursue this option.
Financial Policy, Financial Aid and Scholarships
During the academic year, students will continue to be eligible for financial aid during a term of off-campus study. This includes federal and state loans and Franklin & Marshall merit scholarships and need-based grants. In general, eligibility for financial aid is based on Franklin & Marshall tuition, cost of housing and meals from the off-campus study program, and an allowance for books and personal expenses. Your annual estimated family contribution as generated by your FAFSA will remain the same regardless of program costs. Students who receive Grant-in-Aid benefits will continue to access these benefits for the semester off-campus. This benefit is only available to students of eligible full-time F&M faculty and staff.
Students may be eligible for additional scholarships outside of F&M, please review the Scholarships section of the website for more information.