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.
Recognized as one of the world's best Russian language programs, the Davis School of Russian has been offering its unique blend of cultural and language immersion for 68 years. As a student in the School, you'll live the Russian language and culture for eight intensive weeks—from interpreting poetry to learning to play the balalaika, from discussing post-Soviet politics to mastering Russian etiquette. In the classroom, our faculty will guide you in discovering a language that is alive and ever-changing, helping you gain both the confidence and tools necessary to take your skills to the next level. Outside the classroom, you'll choose from co-curricular activities that explore the range of historical and contemporary Russian culture—from the slings and arrows of slang to the finer points of fine art, each activity designed to help you build new vocabulary while developing cultural fluency.
Each summer, the Russian School offers an 8-week session and a 6-week graduate session. The two programs differ in structure and focus. The 8-week session is primarily a language program, designed to improve Russian language proficiency as rapidly as possible. The graduate program aims to provide rigorous graduate instruction in certain content areas, with Russian as the language of instruction. 8-week students are assigned to level of study, based on their language proficiency; 6-week students take graduate content courses on topics in Russian culture and civilization, language and linguistics, and literature.
Choose a program based on your Russian language proficiency and goals of study. Each program is open to undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students at other institutions, and professionals. Although the graduate session does not requires a BA for admission, you must hold a BA or the equivalent in order to pursue an MA degree at the Language Schools. For more information about graduate program options and requirements, please visit Graduate Studies in Russian.
Note to Level 1 students: In order to help beginning students adapt to the intensive environment at Middlebury and be better prepared for the Language Pledge, Level 1 (Introductory) Russian will start online approximately three weeks before students arrive in Middlebury. For more information, please visit our Curriculum page.
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.