Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Middlebury Institute students can participate in a wide range of international and domestic immersive learning opportunities during the January term and spring break.


DPMI Rwanda:
Certificate in International Development and Social Change


Rwanda: January 13-22, 2016

Rwanda: January 8-12, 2016
(optional cultural immersion)

What: Training covers project planning, facilitation, and partnerships along with social marketing. There will be seven days of intensive classroom instruction and 2-3 days devoted to a “real-life” client project for Partners in Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health. Participants have the option of arriving one week early and visiting Rwandan government and NGO offices in Kigali on January 9, 2016.

Open to: MIIS students, local Rwandan development professionals, and other qualified applicants interested in a career in international development or social change.

Academic Credit: No credit option, 1 unit optional cultural immersion, and/or 4 units for training

Application Deadline: October 31, 2015

Contact: DPMI Rwanda or email dpmi@miis.edu. Learn more by visiting the DPMI Rwanda blog.

Transitional Injustice and Chile's Vulnerable Populations

Chile: January 8-20, 2016

What: This seminar practicum focuses on Chile’s history of democracy and dictatorship, human rights abuse, and transitional justice. Course is offered by Dr. Jan Black in collaboration with Judge Juan Guzman, best known as Chile’s prosecutor of General Pinochet and MIIS-based, Global Majority. Through visits to Mapuche villages, participants will focus on the protection of indigenous rights.

Academic Credit: 2 or 4 units (Audit or no credit option may be requested)

Open to: All MIIS Students, no prerequisites required, but familiarity with Spanish is encouraged but not required. We hope to benefit from collaboration with MIIS faculty and students in translation and interpretation.

Application Deadline: October 31, 2015

Professor Jan Black: jblack@miis.edu and cc
Stephanie Nelson: sinelson@miis.edu
Learn more: sites.miis.edu/chilejterm

Onsite Perspectives: Education Abroad Management in Spain

Spain: January 7 - 22, 2016

What: Participants will explore onsite management of international education programs in Madrid, Spain. Middlebury’s Madrid School Abroad, Sede Prim, will serve as the primary case study for the course. MIIS students will engage with Middlebury staff and undergraduate students to better understand the onsite perspectives of managing education abroad for U.S. college students. Participants will also explore a variety of international education models through visits and project work with program providers and Spanish universities hosting U.S. education abroad programs in Madrid.

Academic credit: 2 units

Application Deadline: Closed

Professor Paige Butler: pbutler@miis.edu

The Challenge of Change in Traditional Societies: Bhutan

Bhutan: March 19-27, 2016 (Spring Break)

What: This new onsite 2 or 4-unit course is offered by Dr. Jan Black in collaboration with Bhutan’s Royal Thimphu College. It looks at the pursuit of an adaptable model of autonomy for indigenous peoples. Visiting communities around the country, students will seek elements of such a model through expressions of Bhutan’s development philosophy of "Gross National Happiness.”

Academic credit: 2 or 4 units (Audit or no credit option may be requested)

Application Deadline: December 1, 2015

Contact/More info:
Professor Jan Black
Stephanie Nelson

Check out the Bhutan Blog for more info.

Team Nepal: Disaster Relief and Development

Nepal: January 4-21, 2016

What: This program seeks to analyze the effectiveness of different mechanisms for disaster response – Government, International Relief, local NGOs, local volunteer efforts, independent foreign efforts and the Nepali Diaspora – seeking to answer the question: in rural Nepal, which mechanisms for disaster relief after the April 25 Earthquake have been most effective?

Academic Credit: You may petition for directed study credit.

Application deadline: November 6, 2015

Field Manager, Molly McKeon

Field Manager, Amanda Bensel

Check out the Team Nepal Blog for more info.

Team El Salvador

El Salvador: January 2-24, 2016

Team El Salvador Practica

What: The Team El Salvador Practicum provides a professional, international opportunity for MIIS students from all programs to enhance their development skills, language proficiency, and multicultural competency. Students will work on projects within communities to promote sustainable agriculture, micro-business models, natural resource protection, youth empowerment, organizational capacity building and more.

Academic Credit: 2 or 4 units (Audit or no credit option may be requested)

Contact/More info:
Professor Adele Negro: anegro@miis.edu
Dash Hillgartner: dhillgartner@miis.edu

Check out Team El Salvador blog to learn more.

Team Peru

Peru: January 5-26, 2016

team peru practica

What: Team Peru is an all-encompassing experience that allows for students to apply their education and make the most out of their time at MIIS. Starting in the fall semester students will partner with the MIIS alumni-founded organization the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD) to design a research initiative around a theme that is currently relevant for the AASD in Peru. Afterwards, students will travel to Peru and implement their research over J-term. The in-country practicum is structured as a multi-dimensional learning experience that will be educational, impactful and rewarding. Additionally, the AASD offers a wide range of opportunities for students to remain involved with the program and continue using the AASD as a live case study in their courses. Leadership opportunities are also available for returning students.

Academic Credit: 2 or 4 units (Audit or no credit option may be requested)

Deposit Deadline: November 6, 2015

Contact/More Info:
Prof. Phil Murphy (Academics): pmurphy@miis.edu
Adam Steiglitz (Logistics): adamcstieglitz@gmail.com

Check out the Team Peru blog to follow their experience.
View information on the 2015 program.

Make Your Own!

What: Want to create your own international program? Do you have an idea for a sustainable international project for you and your peers to tackle? You can apply for MIIS immersive learning and make it happen! Immersive Learning can support up to $2,500 per student. Students can apply for funding as an individual or as a group.



MIIS sponsors or promotes a number of summer opportunities in the US and abroad. Learn more.


Dates: June 7-July 5th, 2016

What: In this proposed off-campus course, we will conduct academic research to explore the topics of trade, diplomacy and development in China. Students will work with the professors to develop projects before the program, including designing appropriate research methodology such as interviews, surveys, statistical analysis, and other methodologies. Next, we will travel to Beijing, where top scholars will workshop our research ideas, and then travel to 2 research sites (Beijing and Kunming) in teams consisting of at least one professor and a team of MIIS and Middlebury students. At each site, the team will conduct fieldwork using the methodologies developed on campus...Students will have the option of incorporating their original research into an independent study project, senior thesis, or Masters thesis upon their return to campus next Fall.

No language requirement, although some Mandarin would be helpful
Spring 2016: enroll in a one-hour/week independent study section with Professor Lewis
Spring 2016: register for PSCI0221 The Politics of China (Middlebury) or DPPG/ITED 8579 China: Trade, Diplomacy and Development (MIIS), or have taken an equivalent class on modern China

How to Apply:
Our hope is that students will select an area of interest that will become the focus of a final project continued into the next year as a senior thesis or independent study. All publications from this fieldwork will list student names as either coauthors or research assistants. Interested students should submit an unofficial transcript, a statement that includes major, minor(s), year abroad experiences (past or planned), and a two-page essay explaining why you would like to take the course, your goals for the experience, and the particular strengths, interests, and experiences you would bring to the course. Please submit the application materials to Professor Lewis (olewis@middlebury.edu) by January 15, 2016.

For additional information, please contact Professor Lewis (olewis@middlebury.edu) or Professor Liang (wliang@miis.edu).

DPMI Kenya
(International Development and Social Change)

Kenya: Moved to January 2017

What: The focus of this course is to profoundly explore a project of your choice through a variety of design and management approaches including design thinking, results framework, and systems thinking. You will engage in political economy analysis and discuss how to effectively engage with government and other actors. Through an introduction to the collective impact model, as well as the basic framework of “disruptive innovation,” you will draw upon the Minto Pyramid and other techniques to learn how to communicate ideas in a compelling way to potential funders. You will also learn to apply a series of lenses that include integration, local solution, and systems to the design and management process. Hosted jointly by Locus: The Point of International Development, a partnership of international and local NGOs focused on local solutions and integrating development approaches.

Early Review Deadline: September 1, 2016 

General Application Deadline: October 31, 2016

Contact/More Info:



International volunteer placements (1-12 months) with Omprakash are now available!

Center for Career and Academic Advising Services


Past practica include peacebuilding courses in Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia with Dr. Pushpa Iyer. Rotating practica include a J-Term Cuba course and a spring break course to the Middle East led by Dr. Jan Black.