Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
92% Rating
(43 Reviews)

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad

The Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad feature 38 sites in 17 countries and are characterized by a focus on integration with the host culture, both linguistically and socially. In addition to taking academically rigorous courses, students are able to participate in internships, volunteer work or campus activities with local students, and at most of our sites students live with local families or peers. With the exception of our programs in Oxford, England and Delhi, India, all communication is in the target language under the Middlebury Language Pledge. By pledging to speak only the target language while abroad, students have the best chance of acquiring fluency and actively engaging in the local environment.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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David
Male
22 years old
Houston, Texas
Pomona College

Free but Supported

10/10

With the right attitude and a decent level of Spanish, you have a very good chance of having a very good time. Argentina is amazing and the Middlebury staff and directors in Buenos Aires work very hard to make sure your experience there is safe, informative, and authentic. The option to enroll directly in public universities and complete an internship means you can tailor a porteño experience to what you want to do, and the traveling with and without the program can't be beat.

On a trip in Minas Gerais, Brazil
Olivia
Female
Tufts University

Independent but rewarding program

10/10

I loved my semester in Belo Horizonte, affectionately referred to as "BH" by its residents. Though not located on the seaside, it has a unique accent, culture, and culinary tradition that are definitely worth getting to know as a study abroad student. The people in BH are especially welcoming, which I discovered in my day-to-day interactions with others and my fantastic host family. And as the third largest city in Brazil located in a beautiful state with lots of day/weekend-trip worthy sites, you will never run out of things to do.
This study abroad program is very independent, which can be positive or negative depending on what type of experience you're looking for. I studied in Spain for one semester with a much more highly structured program, and though they offered far more in terms of cultural adaptation support I felt as though I only superficially engaged with the culture. With Middlebury, there are very few students at each program location which forces you to make friends with Brazilians. I loved the freedom and managed to create a life for myself in BH, with routines and relationships with local people and places. If you're looking for a self-driven program that offers an authentic experience in Brazil, this is the program for you.
A note on language skills: I went into this program with a moderate/high language ability in Portuguese, and this enabled me to quickly adapt to the new cultural environment. Part of the reason I loved BH was that there is not a large English-speaking population, which allowed me to practice Portuguese all the time. That being said, I've heard from other students with lower language abilities upon arrival who had a very difficult first few months due to the low level of support from the program.

How can this program be improved?

Logistics in Brazil can be different, and plans are often much more fluid than in the U.S. That being said, I think the program needs to improve on basic organization and communication when planning group events and excursions.

Kristen
Female

Great Program for Independent Students in an Amazing City

9/10

First of all, anyone interested in studying abroad in Brazil should ABSOLUTELY look in to going to Belo Horizonte. This was the perfect place to study abroad, as the city is large (2.5 million people) with plenty to do, but it's also known for its warm and welcoming residents- something I can attest to. For me, it was absolutely the best of both worlds. I had friends visit me who were studying abroad in other cities in Brazil at the time, and they said the same thing- the genuine warmth of BH's residents just doesn't compare.

The program itself is great for students looking for a really independent experience. You're really able to make the semester what you want, with the downside (for some people) being that the staff, while supportive and present throughout the semester, do not hold your hand through it all. In my experience though, they were there when I wanted them to be and that was all I needed. Another strength of this program is the degree of immersion you get into local language and culture-- from what I understand, all Middlebury programs are like this, but I would say that this is especially true in Belo Horizonte as it is relatively easy to make local friends and to get involved in local life. This program also offers the opportunity to participate in an internship, something I highly recommend as this really deepened my involvement in the city and allowed me to be a part of an entirely different community. The program is imperfect as are all, but if I could do it all again, I would easily still choose Middlebury's program in Belo Horizonte as my study abroad program.

How can this program be improved?

A more comprehensive orientation (we received information on the basics and went on some nice cultural excursions, but it could have been a bit more detailed in certain areas that were only cleared up later), and a bit more organization in general.

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Sam
Male
21 years old
Simsbury, CT
Bowdoin College

My Time Abroad at MIC: Kunming

9/10

I attended MIC Kunming in the fall of 2016 during my junior year of college. Overall, this program/experience was extremely transformative for me. It was my first time in China, and while culture shock was indeed a real thing for me, I quickly got over it and found myself calling Kunming home within no time. The program is very well-organized, and is truly designed to help you improve your Chinese. The language pledge, which seemed daunting at first, is designed to facilitate this, as well as having a Chinese roommate. In addition, the teachers are all extremely passionate and really want to see you do well. Kunming is a beautiful city, with SO much to do, from hiking, biking, and badminton, to museums, temples, and concerts. The cafeteria food at the university is decent, but the surrounding area has tons of great restaurants. It is worth noting, however, that the program is VERY academically rigorous. Having all four classes in a semester be entirely in Chinese is no doubt a big change from what most college students are used to for a normal course-load, and definitely takes some adjusting to at first. Be prepared to memorize lots of characters each week. With that said, simply being so immersed in Chinese 24/7 for a semester will have an incredible impact on your language skills, and you'll see improvement in no time

How can this program be improved?

At times, I felt a little too bogged down with work, and felt I couldn't go out and do things on the weekend. My exploration of Kunming and all it has to offer was limited by the work-load. Luckily, I was able to spend some time on my own in the city after the program ended, and got some good sight-seeing in.

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Krissy
Female
22 years old
Los Angeles
Middlebury College

The most special and memorable experience

10/10

I studied abroad at Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi with Middlebury's program in Spring 2017. I studied economics at LSR and Hindi at Zabaan. I lived in Kailash Colony, located in South Delhi and very close to LSR. I felt very safe while I was studying in Delhi, although that was a huge concern for me prior to arriving in India. I had a lot of time to travel throughout India; I visited Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, and the Sundarbans. I also did a lot of exploring in Delhi after my semester at LSR ended. My study abroad experience was absolutely amazing. I learned about Indian culture, economy in a developing country, and a new global outlook. I learned a lot about India by traveling throughout the country and becoming friends with locals. I loved my study abroad experience and am definitely considering on returning in the future to work in Delhi. I highly recommend students study abroad in India. They will have a unique and enriching experience and step out of their comfort zones.

How can this program be improved?

I think exchange students should know how testing styles work prior to starting classes in the college. The testing style in India is vastly different from the style in the US. I was not informed about the testing style after I took my first exam. This ended up hurting my grade for my class, therefore students must be informed about the testing styles. I think exchange program interns should inform the exchange students about the testing styles because they are more familiar with the exams since they are students at the college.

Program Listings

Argentina

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
The Middlebury program in Buenos Aires offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curriculum and adherence t...

Cameroon

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
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Italy

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
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India

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
The School in India is located in Delhi and based at St. Stephen's College and Lady Shri Ram College for Women, both of which...

England

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France

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
The Middlebury program in Paris offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curriculum and adherence to the M...

China

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
The Middlebury program in Kunming, run in conjunction with CET Academic Programs, offers cultural and linguistic immersion th...

China

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
The Middlebury program in Hangzhou, run in conjunction with CET Academic Programs, offers cultural and linguistic immersion t...

China

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
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Spain

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Jordan

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The Middlebury School in the Middle East offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curriculum and adherence...

France

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
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Spain

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
The Middlebury program in Getafe offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curriculum and adherence to the...

Brazil

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
The Middlebury program in Belo Horizonte offers cultural and linguistic immersion through a rigorous curriculum and adherence...

Russia

Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad
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