Learning Outside the Classroom
Middlebury encourages students to take full advantage of their experience abroad by participating in learning experiences outside the classroom. Internships, volunteer work, and cultural activities provide students with opportunities to deepen their social immersion in the host culture, enhance their language skills, and gain a better understanding of their host country.
Middlebury students may earn up to one course unit depending on the school. This credit will be assessed as a letter grade, except in Hangzhou (P/F). Students from other institutions are eligible to take credit-bearing internships if their home school’s policies allow, or if they do not need that credit to transfer. Volunteer opportunities are available for students who do not wish to pursue credit-bearing internships, but who do wish to gain work experience abroad.
Internships are not guaranteed for any participant. They are granted on a competitive basis and subject to the agreement of the School Abroad and the prospective employer. Placements are dependent on availability and the previous experience, qualifications, and language ability of each student. Interns need to dress appropriately for their work environment, thus those working in offices will need to pack dress clothes.
Students who pursue internships are expected to follow through with their commitment until the end of the semester. Students who withdraw from the internship after the on-site registration period will earn an “F” and will be ineligible to enroll in another course.
Students wishing to contribute their time and service to the community may choose to work as volunteers with organizations in the non-profit sector. The School Abroad office in-country will advise students on volunteer opportunities.
Other options that facilitate student immersion include sporting, cultural, and outdoor activities. The staff abroad is available to advise students on the wide range of possibilities your host city has to offer.
In addition to limited, program-sponsored excursions, students are encouraged to take advantage of vacation periods to explore their host country.
Students may be able to join organized sports teams through the university and/or city. The on-site staff can advise you as to the possibilities.