General Information about the Language Academy

How long has the Academy been running?

The four-week summer program opened its first session in the summer of 2008, building on Middlebury College’s Language Schools’ 100 years of experience in foreign language education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

What languages are taught at the Academy?

Students can learn Spanish, French, Chinese, German or Arabic at the Academy.

Where is the Academy held?

The language program is held at two sites in the U.S. and three locations abroad. The U.S. sites include Green Mountain College (Poultney, Vermont) and St. Michael’s College (Colchester, Vermont). Students can also travel abroad to Granada, Spain, Beijing, China and Quebec City, Canada.

When is the application deadline?

The Academy has a rolling admissions process starting in July 2014. We encourage students to apply early because there are limited number of seats in each location.

Complete applications include the application, student essay, recent grade report and a $395 deposit. Applications are typically reviewed within three business days. Notification of admission status will be sent to your primary contact email. Please consider checking your spam folder if you haven't received your admissions decision. Additionally, you can log into your online admissions portal as well to access your admissions decision. 

Enrollment must be completed no later than May 15, 2015 (Health forms, Residential Life form, Travel Information form).

Who are the teachers at the Academy?

The Academy hires highly qualified middle and high school language teachers. Our teachers have varied international backgrounds and introduce students to distinct dialects, vocabulary and cultural nuances. Our teachers make language learning inside and outside the classroom fun and also have experience supervising students in a residential-life setting.

Can beginners attend the Academy?

Yes! All language levels are welcome and encouraged to apply, including absolute beginning students who have never studied the target language or a world language at all. Beginners come to the Academy wanting a head-start on a new language before their classes begin in the fall, and also to pick up study skills on how to approach learning a world language as an academic subject in school. Our curriculum is designed to accommodate students of a wide range of language proficiency, from zero beginners to heritage-speakers.

How much can students expect to accelerate their language learning?

This past summer, 91% of beginning students gained a full language level on the American Council of Teaching of Foreign Language’s proficiency scale. Over the years, we have seen up to 88% of all students across language levels gain at least one full level and roughly 45% of students gain two or more levels.

How much does the Academy cost?

The cost of the Academy ranges from $5,495 to $7,495, depending on location. Tuition covers the full cost of instruction, required textbooks, activities, shuttle service to and from local airports and field trips. For more information on the fees for specific locations, click here.

Financial Aid

Does the Academy offer financial aid?

The Academy offers limited, need-based financial aid to deserving students at our U.S.-based Academy locations at Green Mountain College and St. Michael’s College. Financial aid funds are awarded to families making less than $150,000 gross per year.  Need-based aid can cover up to 75% of the total Academy cost and is distributed on a sliding scale of need.

We encourage families seeking financial aid to apply early, as our awards are given on a first-come, first-served basis starting in October. Since financial aid awards are distributed on a rolling basis, there is no guarantee financial aid funds will remain through to the end of our open enrollment period. Families seeking assistance should contact Financial Services at 802.458.9252 or mmla.financialservices@middil.com with any questions.

Does an application for financial aid affect my chances of being admitted to the Academy?

The Academy’s admission process is “need-blind.” The Admissions team does not know of your family’s finances when your application is being assessed. Available funding is limited with the purpose of helping as many families as possible who demonstrate need. We encourage those interested in receiving aid to apply as soon as possible, starting in October.

When will I know if I qualify for financial aid? 

After the completed financial aid application has been submitted and you are accepted to the program, a financial decision will be sent to you in less than two weeks.

How do I apply for financial aid?

To be considered for financial assistance, you must: 1) Submit a complete application to a U.S. Academy and be accepted, 2) have completed and submitted our required financial aid application. Families seeking assistance should contact Financial Services at 802.458.9252 or mmla.financialservices@middil.com with any questions about the process or awards.

Do you offer payment plans?

We can work with families applying for financial aid on arranging a payment plan. To lock in a specific price on our tiered fee schedule, we must receive your completed enrollment application and financial aid application by the last day of that pricing tier.

For Parents

How can I keep in contact with my child while during the Academy?

Students will have the opportunity to write and receive letters. The Academy also maintains a blog that updates parents on the day-to-day activities at each Academy. To ensure that a student realizes the maximum benefit of the Academy’s language immersion, we encourage students to minimize communication with individuals outside of the Academy. Students will not have regular access to email but we do offer weekly call-times for you to have a conversation with your son or daughter.

During a family emergency, parents should call the site office and Academy staff will put you in touch with your child as quickly as possible.
Parents may also call the Director of Residential Life of their student’s respective site. This Director is a strong presence on each campus and supervises the Residential Advisers who remain in constant contact with their charges. We value parent communication and try to return all messages within twenty four hours.

I will be in the area during the Academy. May I take my child off-campus for a meal or another activity?

We understand that you may want to visit your child while the Academy is in session. We ask that you not do this during the first week of the session. After the first week, you may briefly take your child off-campus; however, we discourage frequent excursions, as this undermines language immersion and makes a student’s transition into campus life more difficult.

Can my child leave campus for an early-morning coaching session or another activity?           

While we recognize that many of our students are talented in areas beyond enthusiasm for language acquisition, for reasons of program integrity and safety the Academy has adopted the following policy:

The immersion environment Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy creates each summer is a unique and transformative experience for students, requiring the full participation of all for success.  Removing a student from our active programming schedule for individual athletic coaching, music lessons, or other non-MMLA related activities directly impacts the student’s immersion experience as well as the experience of others in the program. For this reason, the Academy does not permit non-MMLA employees to coach/teach our students on campus and students are not allowed to leave campus for individual coaching or practice.  Students may pursue their individual activities and interests during scheduled free time provided they maintain the rules and policies of the Academy including the Language Pledge, behavioral, and whereabouts guidelines.

Is there an airport pick-up/drop-off service for students from out of town?

Yes. An Academy staff person and a shuttle bus will pick up students at the Albany, New York, airport (for Green Mountain College students), the Burlington, Vermont, airport (for St. Michael’s students) throughout the day. We ask that when making travel arrangements, students try to schedule flights between the hours of 12pm and 5:00pm.

Please note that students flying into an airport other than the Albany, New York, or Burlington, Vermont, will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from campus.

For Students

I’ve never studied this language before. Does the Academy accept beginners?

Yes, beginners are welcome! We adapt our program so that beginners are especially supported in their commitment to learn the target language.

Are cell phones allowed at the Academy?

As part of the language immersion, the Academy asks students to leave cell phones and other communication devices with our on-site staff. A designated time during the day allows students to use these devices.

When can I call home?

Our goal at the Academy is to maintain a 24/7 immersion environment. To this end, we offer specific calling home times during the week for all students.

May I leave campus on weekends?

The summer program is a 24/7 four-week language immersion, with weekend learning being equally as valuable as learning during the weekdays.

May I attend religious services?

Given the diversity of our students’ religious beliefs, we do not provide access to specific religious services. If you would like to attend services, you will be responsible for making the necessary arrangements, including securing transportation, filling out the necessary permission forms and ensuring that there is adequate supervision.

I have food allergies. Can I still attend the Academy?

The program’s dietary service is well equipped to deal with allergies. Please let us know about any allergies as early in the application process as possible.

How are roommates chosen?

Roommates are chosen based on a variety of factors including gender, age, and language. During the enrollment process students will fill out a Getting to Know You form as well as a pre-placement language exam, which assists us in placing students with roommates they will be able to get along with and communicate with in the language.

Our philosophy is for students to learn from each other and also learn to live with people who are different from them. To that end, we do not allow roommate switches. However, if someone you know is attending MMLA this summer for the same language, we will do everything we can to accommodate mutual roommate requests. Please keep in mind that your child is attending the Academy in order to make significant progress in his or her target language. So as to not hinder this progress, we expect the target language to be maintained at all times, including in the dorms.

What kinds of on-campus facilities are available for use by students? When can I use them?

Most facilities are available to our students, including soccer fields, a pool, volleyball and basketball courts, and hiking trails. Students will have scheduled and free-time opportunities to use the facilities as part of the language-learning program. If you have questions regarding access to specific facilities, please contact us.

How do I do laundry?

Laundry facilities are located in the dorms. Detergent is available for sale on campus. For more information on laundry facilities, visit the Student Information page and select the campus where you will be studying.

Is there a defined topic for my student essay?

Yes, we ask all students to address this question: What are your top three reasons for attending the summer language Academy? For returning students, please describe how your Academy experienced helped you achieve your language learning goals. The essay should be 250 words or less.

There is an additional essay requirement for applicants for our study abroad programs. The questions to consider are: In what ways would you contribute to the success of the Academy in Canada, Spain or China? Please describe your academic, personal and social strengths. Additionally, what do you anticipate might be especially challenging for you during the Academy experience? The essay should be 250 words or less.

The Language Pledge

Why are students required to take the Pledge?

The Pledge helps students focus their time and energy on learning and practicing the language they study. The Pledge represents students’ commitment to language immersion and plays an essential role in the learning process. It makes language skills practical as soon as students leave the classroom. It motivates students to use and learn new vocabulary in their residence halls, in the dining halls, and on the soccer field.

Do beginning students have to take the Pledge?

Beginning language students take a modified Pledge that becomes progressively more rigorous. We provide academic support, residential guidance, and individual attention to encourage students to embrace this commitment and make language breakthroughs.

Can I use English for phone conversations with parents and family? What about emergencies?

The program excuses students from the Language Pledge during emergencies, as well as for periodic telephone conversations with family members and other persons outside the program. We ask that students leave their cell phones in our program office so that conversations in English do not disrupt the in-language conversations around the rest of the campus. The Academy also encourages students to minimize English-speaking contact with family members to promote an immersion environment.

More Videos ›

Watch Testimonial