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Language and Culture Department

Language and Culture Department

StudentsSIT's Language and Culture Department furthers SIT's commitment to creating an environment rich in the diversity of people and points of view. The department's goals are to build and maintain a diverse campus community and to provide courses and programs in language and culture designed to meet the needs of SIT students. To achieve these goals, the department develops and refines initiatives that encourage and support students and others as they explore, understand, and utilize the many facets of diversity and interconnectedness.

The department's language mission is focused on providing high-quality, flexible language learning opportunities to:

  • SIT students, faculty, and staff
  • Local community members
  • Foreign language teachers

The department faculty's years of experience as teachers of language and culture helps to ensure the best possible learning environment for students. Faculty and staff are committed to maximizing each language learner's ability to define and work toward his or her individual goals through three programs:

  • Semester courses in Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Spanish (Classes may vary by semester.)
  • Guided Self Instruction (GSI) in less commonly taught languages, as requested
  • Field Guided Self Instruction (FGSI) for selected students to pursue language and culture study projects off campus

The department also provides English language instruction for international students through two programs:

  • A two-week intensive academic preparation course in early August provides students with practice in writing academic papers and in developing classroom presentation skills.
  • Semester courses in advanced English provide instruction in oral and written English.

To support all SIT students, the Language and Culture Department offers the services of peer writing tutors during the academic year. Writing tutors work with students individually to improve their writing skills.

Additionally throughout the year, the department offers specialized language programs and intercultural programs designed to promote interconnectedness and mutual understanding both within the SIT community and the larger surrounding community.

The Language and Culture Department at SIT Graduate Institute offers two semester-long sessions of language classes and also a January intensive session on the Brattleboro campus. Beginning-level classes are offered during the fall semester and in January. Language courses may be added based on student interest and instructor availability. Offerings vary from year to year.

Fall and Spring Semester Classes (2014–2015)

  • Spring semester: March 3–May 14, 2015

Fall and Spring Semester Classes (2015-2016)

  • Fall semester: September 22–December 10, 2015
  • Spring semester: March 1–May 12, 2016

Language classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30–5:15 PM or from 6:30–8:15 PM. Classes that meet twice a week carry two undergraduate credits.

Language class schedules are subject to change, and classes may be modified or canceled depending on enrollment.

Important Notice for the First Day of Language Class
On the first day of class, students should go to Rotch 108/109 at 3:30 PM for afternoon classes and 6:30 PM for evening classes, for a brief orientation meeting. After orientation, classes will go to their assigned classrooms for the remainder of class time.

Fall 2014 Courses (Fall 2015 courses to be confirmed in the summer)

ENGL 3000-F2 Advanced English 3:30–5:15 PM
ARABIC 1000-F2 Beginning Arabic 3:30–5:15 PM
ARABIC 2000-F2 Intermediate Arabic 6:30–8:15 PM
FREN 1000-F2 Beginner French 3:30–5:15 PM
FREN 1500-F2 Upper Beginning French 6:30–8:15 PM
FREN 2000-F2 Intermediate French 6:30–8:15 PM
PORT 1000-F2 Beginning Portuguese 3:30–5:15 PM
PORT 2000-F2 Intermediate Portuguese 6:30–8:15 PM
SPAN 1000-F2 Beginning Spanish 3:30–5:15 PM
SPAN 1500-F2 Upper Beginner Spanish 6:30–8:15 PM
SPAN 2000-F2 Intermediate Spanish 6:30–8:15 PM


Fall and Spring Semester Tuition
For classes that meet twice a week, credit tuition is $1,400 for two undergraduate credits; non-credit tuition is $700. Non-credit tuition for seniors 62 and older is $501 for a class that meets twice a week.

Non-credit courses in Arabic and Portuguese are offered tuition-free for the 2014–2015 academic year. Select non-credit courses may be available tuition-free in the fall of 2015; contact for more details.

January Intensives   
SIT Graduate Institute offers one- to two-week intensive classes in January. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Students may register for one week only; however, complete beginners must register for at least the first week. Other levels can be taken during week two. Please contact the Language and Culture Department for more information.

January Intensive Tuition
Credit tuition is $700 for a one-week intensive class and $1,400 for the two-week option. Non-credit tuition is $334 per week.

For seniors 62 and older, non-credit tuition is $250.50 per week.

Non-credit courses in Arabic and Portuguese are offered tuition-free for the 2014–2015 academic year. Select non-credit courses may be available tuition-free in the fall of 2015; contact for more details.

Registration for Non-SIT Students
Community members may enroll in Language and Culture Department courses on a space-available basis. You must be at least 17 years old to enroll.


  • If you have no previous experience with the language, please register for a Beginning course (1000).
  • If you have one semester of previous study in the language, please register for a High Beginning course (1500).
  • If you have one to two semesters of previous study, register for Intermediate I (2000).
  • If you have two or more semesters, register for Intermediate II (2500).
  • If you have advanced proficiency in the language, register for Advanced (3000).

Please contact the Language and Culture Department at if you have questions about language classes or levels. 

To Apply

Please complete and return the Language Class Application to register.

Prior to the start of the fall semester, incoming international students can enroll in an intensive academic preparation course. The course is designed specifically for international students who wish to improve their English language and study skills before beginning the residency phase of an SIT graduate program.

The course includes but is not limited to:

  • Discussion skills
  • Presentation skills (formal and informal)
  • Writing skills
  • Intercultural communication and cultural adjustment
  • US culture
  • Pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar skills (addressed as needed)

Special attention is placed on grammar, academic reading and writing, note-taking strategies, class discussions, and presentations. Additionally, the course is a great opportunity to meet other international students.

Course title: Intensive Academic English Preparation

Course dates: August 17–August 28, 2015 (Arrival day is August 16)

Course length: The course runs Monday through Friday for the two weeks prior to orientation, with 30 hours of language instruction per week. Class hours are 9:00 AM–Noon and 1:30–4:30 PM.

Cost: $700

Housing: On-campus accommodation is available in two-person dormitory rooms. The cost for housing is $47 per day. Meals (available in the school cafeteria) are included in this price.

Registration deadline: July 1, 2015
Applications will not be accepted after this date. This course requires a minimum of five participants.

How to apply
Fill out the registration form and mail it to the SIT Language and Culture Department, World Learning, PO Box 676, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

The Intensive Academic English Preparation course is available to all international students who will be entering an SIT graduate program in the fall.

Additional resources available during the academic year

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) is offered at an advanced level during the academic year for students for whom English is not a first language.
  • SIT’s Language and Culture Department has writing tutors who offer support for students in need of assistance with their written work.

For More Information
Tel: 802 258-3344 
SIT Language and Culture Department
World Learning
Kipling Road, PO Box 676
Brattleboro, VT 05302

SIT/World Learning, Inc. | 1 Kipling Road, Brattleboro, VT 05302-0676 | 1015 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
802 257-7751 | 800 257-7751 (toll-free in the US)

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