Welcome to the Middlebury School in Germany Handbook! Please use the Table of Contents below or the menu above to navigate to different sections of the Handbook.
This Handbook has been compiled to help you prepare for the program of study abroad with Middlebury College during the upcoming academic year. As the website of the School in Germany, This handbook is meant to be read and used in conjunction with the Schools Abroad General Handbook. Please make sure you have a good grasp of the information both handbooks provide. Failure to do so will waste valuable time and may jeopardize your participation in the program. A successful experience abroad depends in part upon how well you prepare yourself for it.
If you read all of this material carefully you will find the answers to many commonly asked and basic questions. However, our office always welcomes your e-mails, phone calls, and inquiries and hopes that you will continue to seek guidance and support as you prepare for your School Abroad experience. Likewise, our staff is always available to talk to your parents and family and answer any questions they may have regarding your time abroad.
Middlebury endeavors to present an accurate overview of the programs, facilities, and fees of the Schools Abroad in this publication. However, Middlebury reserves the right to alter any programs, facilities, fees, policies and/or procedures described in this publication without notice or obligation. This handbook is published on the Middlebury Schools Abroad website; any changes after initial publication will be made on the web and such changes shall supersede all prior versions of this handbook.
We strongly recommend that family members, parents, or guardians become familiar with the contents of this handbook.
We hope this information will be helpful and we wish you a productive and enjoyable year abroad.
Table of Contents
- Approximate Programs Costs & Expenses
- Student Visas
- Travel Authorization for Visitors to the EU
- Registering with the U.S. State Department
- International Students
- Travel to Germany
- Canvas Registration
- Planning your Arrival
- Temporary Accommodations
- Upon Arrival
- How to Get to Mainz from the Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
- How to Get to Potsdam from the Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL)
- How to Get to Berlin City from the Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL)
Academic & Administrative Matters
- Program Sites
- Program Philosophy, Mission Statement, & Learning Goals
- In-House Intensive Writing Course (Mandatory for first semester students)
- University Courses
- Course Listings
- Navigating the German Academic World
- Dance, Music & Studio Art Courses
- FAQs: Mainstream-Course Selection
- Academic Calendar
- FAQs: Class Work & Absences
- Drop Policies
- Research Papers
- Grade Conversion Scale
- Tardiness, Deadlines & Extensions
- Guidelines for BabelGuide Support and Individual Writing Workshops
- Language Pledge
Cultural Learning Inside & Outside the Classroom
- Program Sites
- Finding Your Own Housing in Germany
- Meeting Germans
- Working in Germany
- Local Resources
- Mental Health
- Health Insurance
- Global Rescue
- Sexual Harassment & Assault
- Staying Safe in Germany
I am a university student in Germany. I really wish I had read this handbook before I started, it is really accurate and useful. One excerpt from it I encourage all students to take to heart. First though, I will give my own example. The initial course I took for beginning graduates students always left my stomach churning. It appeared that everyone was fighting and criticizing each other. Even the professor took part and I had the expectation they would moderate or stop the competition and bickering. This type of behavior spilled over into everyday life, and I began to wonder how people could be so aggressive one minute and friends the next. Now I know it is a cultural thing. I am still not used to it after living here for five years. But if I had known about this cultural behavior before I started I would have reacted much differently. Below is the passage from the handbook that I think all students should memorize word for word:
In Germany, in-class discussion may encourage students to criticize each other or challenge the opinion expressed by the professor. Remember that discussions in German might strike you as much too direct and even impolite or outright aggressive. Keep in mind that politeness and respect and their expression are culturally specific. Therefore, your notion of what expresses “respect” might differ from the German notion, and your emotional reaction to what you think you just observed, namely people attacking each other ruthlessly, might not be completely based on what actually happened. We’d like to encourage you to not be irritated if people tell you that they do not agree with you. They are not being rude–they are being honest, and their statement is not meant to express their appreciation or depreciation of you as a person. You might observe how people “fight” over issues for an hour and then see them have lunch together as if nothing has happened. For them nothing has happened, because they only fought over the issue, not against each other. There is a German saying that illustrates this point: An Evening during Which Everybody Agreed on Everything is an Evening Lost.