What About Breaks?
Academic Year Breaks
International students are welcome to remain in their own residence hall rooms over academic year breaks if they cannot get home or will not be traveling elsewhere. A few weeks before a break, an e-mail will be sent out by Residential Life that asks the students to register to remain on campus for the upcoming break. During the break between semesters (winter break), international students may remain in their rooms as long as they register with the Dean of Students Office. The exception to this policy is during the week that the College is closed and students are housed together in a space to be determined.
Reminders are sent out via e-mail approximately 2 weeks prior to break so that students are aware that they MUST be registered.
During shorter breaks, such as October break, the dining halls are open during very limited hours most days, but may be closed for a day or two. Lunch is normally from 11 until 1, and dinner from 5 until 6:30. Students may use their cards to eat in the dining hall when it is open. If the dining hall will be closed, we will offer some rides to the grocery store so students can prepare their own meals.
Over longer breaks, the dining hall is closed until a few days prior to the start of classes. During this time, students may cook for themselves; cooking facilities are available in all dorms. Since the college jitney does not run during breaks, students should attempt to take the jitney to the village for food shopping a couple of times prior to the start of break. It is possible to walk to the village, however over winter break the walk can be rigorous given the snow and cold. Normally, the Coordinator of International Student Services will offer a few rides to the village over break as well. Students should be careful to check their e-mail, as this is how the trips are arranged and announced.
Eating out over breaks is also a possibility, however again transportation must be carefully planned. The Utica bus continues to run up to campus over break, and this bus goes to New Hartford shopping areas where there are many restaurants.
As mentioned, the jitney does not run during breaks. Students may use the Utica bus or keep an eye out for e-mails from the Coordinator of International Student Services announcing occasional shopping trips. In some situations, students may wish to use a taxi service. If several people chip in, this can be a manageable expense and may be useful if planning a trip to the movies, bowling or other activities in the area. Because taxis are not plentiful in this area, students should call the service ahead of time requesting a pick-up time for both departing to and returning to the college.
Health Center is closed over breaks. Should students need medical care, they will need to go to an urgent care facility. During the day, you may contact the Coordinator of International Student Services for assistance in getting transportation. After 4 PM, students can call Campus Safety for assistance.
During Fall, Thanksgiving, and Spring breaks, the Counseling Center staff is available for emergency services by contacting the campus emergency number (x4000). The office is closed between semesters.
Library and Athletic Center
The Library and Athletic Center are open over breaks, however hours are limited. Students should check e-mail prior to break, when hours are announced.
All campus programming is suspended over breaks, which can make the campus seem rather quiet to international students who must remain. The Coordinator of International Student Services, in conjunction with the Office of Residential Life, will normally plan a few activities such as a get-together with Colgate international students, a trip to the movies, and the like. In addition, students who have International Friendship Families should let them know that they will be on campus for break and possibly looking for something to do. If this is a relationship that has blossomed, the IFP family will be a good resource for the student remaining on campus over break.
Over winter and spring breaks, there are volunteer opportunities available via the Community Outreach and Opportunity Project (COOP) and Alternative Spring Break. Information about these programs is sent via e-mail several weeks before the beginning of break.
Many international students enjoy spending time with each other over breaks cooking, watching movies and relaxing. Students who remain will find that the community here, although small, is welcoming and supportive.
Some students choose to remain on campus and work over the summer vacation. There are a variety of opportunities available, such as performing summer research for a professor, working in the computer lab, and other campus jobs. Students who work full time (40 hours per week) may live in one of the two residence halls designated for summer residents. Students are charged for their room over the summer. Summer 2016 rates were $49 per week for a single, and $35 per week for a double.
Services over Summer Break
Library and Athletic Center are both open but with limited hours, as above. The Health Center, as in other breaks is closed; the same rules for seeking medical attention apply. The jitney does not run, however the Utica bus continues to come up to campus.
Dining halls are closed. Summer residents will need to shop and cook their own meals. Getting to the village isn't as much of a chore in the summer since the weather is fine for walking. In addition, by this time many international students on campus will know other students here for the summer who can drive. Again, the Coordinator of International Student Services will also take occasional trips. Students generally do not find it a problem to get around using these resources.
There are some activities arranged for students on campus during the summer, such as trips to outside attractions, volunteer opportunities and dinners. Students should keep an eye on their e-mail so that they can keep abreast of the offerings.
A general note about summer break: there are no accommodations for students wishing to come back early. Please be aware of the return date that is set by Residential Life and do not plan to come back any earlier than that unless you are a Resident Advisor (RA) or an Orientation Leader (OL). We always try out best to assist our international students, however summer is a busy time on the Hamilton campus and often the residence halls are simply not ready for occupation. If you do need to return early for personal reasons, you may want to ask your IFP family to host you for a few days, or try and find a friend in the area with whom you might stay.