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 designed to provide the answers to the most common questions you might have before departure or during your stay abroad. It 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. For your convenience, they’ll be online for easy future reference.

Needless to say, our offices welcome your inquiries and our staff is available to answer any questions you may have regarding your time abroad.

Table of Contents


Arrival & Orientation

Academic & Administrative Matters

Program Policies

Cultural Learning Inside & Outside the Classroom

Living in Germany

Health & Safety

On-Site Money Matters

Communication with Home & Friends

One comment

  • Janice

    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-class Discussion
    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.

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