The German Academy

Summer Language Immersion Program 2018

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German Academy

The German Language Academy is open to rising 8th-12th grade students, from beginners to advanced German speakers. No matter your background or prior German studies, if you are committed to learning the German language and speaking German 24/7, you will dramatically improve your language skills at the Academy.

For summer 2018, join us at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont for a U.S. based immersion program in German. During the four–week program, students take part in small classes, creative projects, sports and live performances—all in German. From morning assembly until lights out, you’ll be immersed in language with a group of peers at the same competency level as you. The curriculum of the German Academy is organized by themes that help you navigate life in this new environment and is based on the longstanding tradition of immersion education at Middlebury College's Language Schools.

Why Learn German?

Aside from being a world leader in science, technology and engineering, Germany is the second largest exporter in the world with the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest economy worldwide. German is one of the 10 most spoken languages in the world, and is the primary official language in six economically powerful nations. Germany is also home to many important international corporations, making German a useful language to learn when considering entering a profession filled with global career opportunities. If you love soccer, music (from classical to metal), cars and gummy bears, studying German is for you!

Experience German Culture

At the German Academy, you'll spend the summer with other students, gaining an appreciation for German language and culture through cuisine, art, history, dress, dance, and politics. For German language students, cultural exploration may include:

German Academy
  • Discovering German cinema, comic book culture and crafts.
  • Cooking German cuisine and creating specialties like Gingerbread and pastries.
  • Exploring the history of the Berlin Wall.
  • Playing popular games, such as Mau Mau, Kubb or soccer.
  • Learning traditional German dance.
  • Visiting Middlebury College's German Language School, where you might act or sing in German at a master class, peek behind the scenes at the school’s radio station or attend a world-class performance hosted by the German School.

When cultural opportunities are available nearby, we find a way to engage with the local community, as well as bring that community to you.

Saint Michael's College—Colchester, Vermont

June 24—July 20, 2018

Home to our German Academy for summer 2018, Saint Michael’s College is located just off the shores of Lake Champlain, near Burlington, Vermont. Campus housing, classrooms and facilities are all within a short walking distance of each other. At the center of campus is a beautiful green, where you'll often see Academy students playing frisbee or soccer, practicing tai chi, sitting in class outdoors on a sunny day or just relaxing with friends during free time.

Downtown Burlington is a quick bus ride away. Named by Travel & Leisure as the top college town in America in 2014, Burlington is the perfect area for students to gain a pre-college experience, all while enjoying a safe, fun and engaging summer in Vermont.

Our German, Spanish, and Arabic programs at St. Michael’s College are open to rising 8th–12th grade students from beginners to advanced students.

Visiting Burlington, Vermont

German Academy

Burlington, located on the shores of Lake Champlain, is Vermont's largest city with a population of roughly 42,000 people. Burlington is home to a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Vermont, Burlington College and Champlain College, as well as St. Michael's College in the neighboring town of Colchester where the German, Chinese, and Arabic Academies are held.

Burlington is a vibrant city full of art, diverse restaurants from Vietnamese to Middle Eastern, locally owned shops with Vermont–made products and, of course, Ben & Jerry's for a quintessential Vermont experience. Church Street in Burlington—complete with street performers, shops and live music—is a must-see for visitors. Most students at the Academy will visit Church Street during off-campus excursions, and some language Academies will explore Lake Champlain by boat!

St. Michael's College Faculty & Staff

Meet the faculty and staff of our Spanish Academy at Saint Michael's College.

Catherine Jennings, Site Manager

Catherine resides in New York City, where she teaches biology at an independent school in Brooklyn. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Education from the University of Tennessee and has over a decade of experience teaching middle school science in public and private schools. She has led numerous professional development programs for teachers and served as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Catherine has a passion for travel and world cultures; her solo travels through Central and South America have helped her appreciate both the challenges and rewards of an immersion language experience. Catherine returns for a third summer at St. Michael's College, where she previously served as the Office Manager. She looks forward to supporting the faculty and students as the Summer Site Manager for the Arabic and Spanish Academies.

Sarah Kelley, Director of Residential Life

Sarah Kelley has been in the field of education for most of her career, first as a Spanish teacher and then as a school counselor. She has worked with students in both private and public schools and has experience with students of all ages and ability levels. Sarah received her B.A. in Spanish from Macalester College and her M.A. in School and Community Counseling from Lesley University. She currently works as a school social worker on the North Shore of Massachusetts, and lives in southern New Hampshire. This will be her fifth year working as the Director of Residential Life at the Summer Academy.

Britta Roper, German Language Director

German Academy

As a graduate of Middlebury College in Political Science with minors in German and Spanish, Britta is very excited to be returning to Vermont as the German Academy Language Director.

A native German, Britta came to the US just before high school. After completing her undergraduate studies, she held various positions in the private sector until taking time off to raise her three children. Britta volunteered to teach languages at her children’s elementary and middle schools in State College, Pennsylvania, and was subsequently asked to develop a full K-8 language program for the school.

Upon her move to Massachusetts in 2007, Britta earned her teacher’s certification and began teaching German at Billerica High School in Massachusetts In 2015, Britta was recognized as the Massachusetts German Educator of the Year, both for her work in the classroom and her engagement in German education across the state. She is currently pursuing an Ed. M in Curriculum Design and Teaching at Fitchburg State University.

Saint Michael’s College Housing & Facilities

Saint Michael’s campus features a beautiful green, a new student center with on-site coffee shop, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, athletic fields and sports facilities. Academy students will live in dorms on the Saint Michael’s campus, where they will also take classes, participate in cultural exploration activities and enjoy free time. Students will live in Lyons Hall and Joyce Hall and will enjoy meals together in language at the Alliott Student Center.



Group excursions make take you to Burlington’s Church Street, a pedestrian open air mall with shops, restaurants and foods carts, street entertainers and musical performers and a sprawling farmers’ market each Saturday morning. Just down the hill at Waterfront Park, you’ll find picnic areas, a boat marina, sailing center, skate park and an eight-mile bike path beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Tour Saint Michael’s College’s campus virtually now!

Saint Michael's College Dates & Tuition

June 24—July 20, 2018

Tuition covers the full cost of instruction, activities, field trips, food, lodging and shuttle service to and from local airports. Tuition must be paid in full by the dates listed in order to obtain the savings as outlined here.

December 15, 2017

December 16, 2017—
April 30, 2018

March 1, 2018—
May 31, 2018


2017 German Academy Blog and Resources




“It's so much easier to learn German in an immersion environment where you can begin to think and dream in the language. After awhile, it's not a translating process anymore. It just becomes natural.”

Kalista, German Academy Student