A number of international students will have an opportunity to explore life away from campus during the week-long Thanksgiving break in the Boston area. For the first time, the students who would not be able to go home during the break will spend the week on the Mount Ida campus of UMass Amherst.
UMass Amherst has 900 undergraduate international students, 300 of which are living in break-housing, eight residence halls that remain open during Thanksgiving, winter-session and spring breaks. Campus staff communicated with the remaining 600 students living in non-break housing to ensure each student had a safe place to stay during the holiday. Many are travelling or visiting friends and family, but 52 students will be driven from Amherst to the Mount Ida Campus in Newton.
“This change is a bonus for them. They will be able to experience a new holiday, new culture and have a chance to meet new students,” says Pamela Dutta, associate director for international student and scholar success. “This opportunity allows the students to branch out and explore beyond Amherst. In the past, students have been housed in residence hall common rooms or empty double rooms, but with the recent increase of students living on campus that is not an option anymore.”
Some of the benefits of this change include convenient access to explore Boston, as well as the opportunity to meet new people. The students are scheduled to live in the New Hall residence hall, allowing them to get to know each other through social events, including an arrival meet-and-greet and in-hall programming during the week. New Hall’s assistant director for student life and resident assistants will greet the students upon arrival and serve as the students’ resource during their stay.
This trip includes many new bonuses that were not previously offered over break including continental breakfasts, lunches and a Thanksgiving dinner served by the University Club. Students also have opportunities to explore the surrounding area and are provided with access to several activities in Boston along with round trip Uber rides to the Green Line station each day.
Students return to campus from the Thanksgiving holiday on Sunday, Dec. 1.