A student’s workload must be approved by the director of the School Abroad. The director can deny a student’s enrollment in particular courses based on the student’s language ability and academic background.
All students are expected to take a “normal full load” of courses and are encouraged to take all of their courses in one faculty (i.e., school within the larger university, such as the “Faculty of Social Sciences”). No students are permitted to take lighter loads; single-semester students may not take heavier loads. Students in their second semester abroad in the same country may petition the director of the School Abroad if they wish to take one additional course. The petition should address how the student plans to balance the heavier load with the cultural opportunities available on-site. The request for a heavier load must also be approved by the student’s academic advisor (Middlebury students) or by the study abroad advisor (students from other colleges and universities). Any student who enrolls in an extra course without adhering to these guidelines will have the course treated as an unofficial audit and neither the title nor the grade will appear on the student’s Middlebury transcript. Students should consult their advisor or department chair if they wish to count courses toward major, minor, distribution, or other requirements.
The number of courses a student enrolls in varies by School Abroad. Middlebury students carrying a “normal full load,” as defined by their School Abroad, receive nine units of credit for the academic year, four units of credit for fall or spring semesters, and five units of credit for the fall/winter or winter/spring semesters.
Middlebury students who are enrolled in a fall/winter program whose fall semester exams all fall in December according to the official university exam period will receive four units of credit and will be permitted to return to Middlebury for J-term. Where J-term equivalency credit is awarded, reduced course loads result in the loss of this credit as well. If a student participates in two different programs during one academic year and neither covers J-term, provided the student carries a “normal full load” during each semester, they will receive a winter term equivalency credit, or WTEQ.
Students who are receiving the WTEQ because their program overlaps with J-term may not be on campus to earn a credit. Students whose fall program ends even just a few days into J-term may not return to campus and enroll in a course for J-term. Similarly, students whose spring program begins the last week of J-term may not be enrolled in a J-term course on campus and leave campus early to study abroad.
Students from other Colleges and Universities
Middlebury considers a semester and an academic year abroad equivalent to a semester and an academic year in the U.S. The academic year at the Middlebury Schools Abroad is divided into two semesters. Start and end dates vary significantly but are usually tied to the academic calendar of the local universities where students take their mainstream courses.