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Friday, Dec 1, 2023

Middlebury suspends School Abroad in India until at least 2024

Middlebury temporarily suspended the School in India for the 2022–23 academic year, citing challenges with running the program and the lack of a school able to accept male students.

Previously, the college ran the School in India through partnerships with St. Stephen’s College, Indraprastha College for Women, and Lady Shri Ram College for Women, which are part of the University of Delhi education system. St. Stephen’s — the only college partner that accepts men — informed Middlebury in February that it would not accept any students from the college for the 2022–23 academic year, prompting the program-wide suspension. 

During the pandemic, many courses at the University of Delhi have been online and several colleges have not accepted international students.

“With no place for male students in India, for a third year, this is an appropriate time to take stock of our current program model and location,” Bill Mayers, assistant director of international programs, said in a press release sent to The Campus. “So we are taking this time to explore other venues and reimagine how we can introduce students to the richness and complexity that India has to offer.”

Mayers said St. Stephens’s decision to refuse admission to any Middlebury students forced the college to make a rapid decision. While Middlebury has historically sent more women than men to India, the only students who had applied to study abroad for the 2022-23 academic year when Middlebury received the news were men. 

“We had to act on this news quickly, since we received it after the application deadline had technically passed for Middlebury students to apply for study abroad next year,” Mayers said in an email to The Campus. “We wanted to be sure that students who’d applied to India were informed in time to apply to alternative programs.”

According to Middlebury’s study abroad page for the School in India, students studying in Delhi have classes in English and take a course in Hindi. Academic disciplines available at the colleges include STEM, humanities, social science and arts. Women were able to study at any of the three colleges.

While the college is reevaluating its current program in India, the program has not yet been permanently canceled. In the past, several Middlebury students have returned to India as Fulbright scholars after studying abroad in Delhi as undergraduates. 

“It is our hope that we will welcome students back to the School in India in 2024,” Mayers said. 

Tony Sjodin

Tony Sjodin ’23 is a managing editor. 

He previously served as community council correspondent, senior writer, news editor and senior news editor.  

Sjodin is majoring in political science with a focus on international and comparative politics. He previously held internships with the Appalachian Mountain Club's Outdoor Magazine, political campaigns in Massachusetts and Vermont, and the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica's Environmental Hub. Outside of class, he leads kayaking and hiking trips with the Middlebury Mountain Club.