“So… what are you doing this summer?” — maybe the worst question since that dreaded “Where are you heading next year?” you might have gotten from relatives, your dentist, or strangers your senior year of high school.
Have no idea where to start your search? Have no idea people did things over the summer? Blog has you covered with an overview of some different options, especially for you precocious but overwhelmed first-years.
Some students stay at Brown to take classes over the summer. It’s a great opportunity to take a class you might not have time for in your normal schedule during the year, or to get a concentration requirement out of the way. Despite the shorter term, each class counts as a full course credit because they meet more frequently. You can take up to two courses a summer, and up to four summer classes can count towards your degree. Classes are paid à la carte. Here’s the current course catalogue for Summer 2016. Pre registration for summer courses runs from April 1 – 21.
You can also take classes at another university and petition for transfer credit. This needs to be arranged through the Dean of the College, because Brown’s course hours might not match up with the other school. If you’d like to get credit counted towards your concentration, you should double check with the department, because often departments are strict on what courses can fulfill a Brown equivalent.
RISD classes are also offered during the summer. Note that while RISD classes are included in Brown tuition for the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms, Summer classes are not included. More information here. Up to four RISD classes can count towards your Brown degree.
If you’re sticking around Brown for the summer, whether for classes, research, an internship, or something else, you can pay for Brown summer housing, or get a sublet in the neighborhood (there are always many options available, as juniors and seniors who live off campus desperately want to find subletters). You can also apply to be a Summer@Brown residential assistant (for high school students) and live in dorms over the summer for free. Many students enjoy spending the summer in Providence, for the free concerts and events, the warm weather, or for the change in pace and community from during the year.
For many Brown students, going abroad is a defining characteristic of junior year, and the majority of these adventure-seekers do so for the fall semester. However, there are a number of us who, for whatever reason, decide to go abroad in the spring. Perhaps it’s a desire to do something after it’s considered “cool” (definitely not) or because of a concentration requirement (probably), but these students are out there. We are two of them.
While the thought of returning to Brown after a semester and a summer is unbelievably exciting, there are a bunch of things that we’ll have to anticipate upon our return. Here are a few of them:
1. Explaining to everyone that you were actually gone last semester and not simply a hermit in Providence.
You know those people who you met during your first week at Brown or during freshman year that you don’t really know, but still feel obligated to say hi to regardless? Well, those people probably have no idea that you were gone last spring — in fact, they might even think you’ve been avoiding their eye contact around campus. This results in a burning need to tell these folks that you were abroad, followed by the clear understanding that they don’t really care. This makes the return to campus social life a little more awkward than anticipated, because after you say you were abroad and they say their semester went well, there isn’t much more to discuss. But at least they don’t think you were a hermit.
Three months from now, many of my classmates and I will be jet-setting to foreign lands in search of adventure, out-of-the box education, invaluable experiences, and the perfect foodstagrams. Going abroad sits somewhere between exciting and strange. Everyone I’ve spoken to, who is leaving Brown for the fall semester, has agreed that it doesn’t yet feel like we’re actually leaving, or like we aren’t going to be back here for a whopping eight months.
You know what they say–count your blessin’s. Though the sophomore slump hit us pretty effing hard, we shouldn’t forget what we’ll miss about Brown while we’re gone. I know — the slump makes it easy to forget. Don’t worry — I’m here to remind you what’s so special about Brunonia.
1. The Ratty. Some study abroad programs don’t offer meal plans for their students. Plus, how could those that do compete with the Ratty? The Ratty, in my opinion, is one of the most amazing things about Brown. Those going abroad won’t find all-you-can eat, pre-paid meals everywhere in the world — or daily access to grilled chicken.
2. The Brown bubble. The Brown bubble is safer than any foreign city; there’s no doubt about that. It’s also a one-stop shop — the Brown bubble has everything you could ever need in a square mile and a half. Food, good places to work, a CVS, bars, and, most importantly, Health Services! What do I do if my appendix explodes while I’m abroad? How do I find antibiotics in the Czech Republic?
3. The familiar faces, which lies in the same vein as the Brown bubble. It sounds like a college cliché, but it’s true — you really can’t go more than two minutes without running into someone you know or without someone saying hi to you. When you’re having a shitty day and are forced to smile to someone you know, your day actually becomes that much better. I’m not so sure you can feel so loved in a city of millions of strangers. (Wow, that sounds super depressing.)
About 600 Brown students go abroad every year. Between researching, applying, and preparing, the process can be daunting. In order to help combat some of the confusion and give students a realistic look into the study abroad experience, an info session called “What I Wish I Knew: Students Perspectives on Studying Abroad” was held last week.
The program started with upperclassmen saying where they went abroad, what they wished the OIP helped more with, and what piece of advice they could give. Keep reading to find some pieces of advice that kept coming up, for any stage of the process you’re in.
Figuring out where you want to go:
No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, you have options. Maybe too many options. There are so many programs to choose from (or petition for) that you’re going to have to do some digging to find the one that fits right. One suggestion for narrowing it down is setting two goals that you want out of your abroad experience. Weigh all the programs based on those two basic criteria to start. So you want to learn a language? So you want to be fully immersed in a place without other American students? So you want to get a better understanding of foreign political systems first hand? Figure out where best you can do just that.
If this looks familiar, it’s because it was your lounge last semester -Vartian Gregorian B 352
A little before 5 p.m. EST on January 13th, the majority of students returning from semesters abroad were assigned rooms via ResLife. They received everything from singles in Grad Center to doubles, triples, and quads in various buildings with
randos roommates they were not previously acquainted with. A select number of students were assigned to *triples* in Vartan Gregorian Quad (New Dorm A and B): rooms that were previously lounges.
The unfortunate souls placed in these *triples* were told by ResLife that the situation is “temporary.” However, the email relaying that information read:
“Please note this space is a temporary room, as permanent space becomes available over the remaining weeks of August the office of Residential Life will work with you to relocate.”
August? It seems like that was copy + pasted from previous summer assignment emails.
New Dorm B 352:
In contrast to buildings like Wayland and Hope College (which frequently have their lounges occupied), in New Dorm, each floor’s lounge also doubles as the floor’s kitchen. As of now, only the fourth floor kitchens in buildings A and B remain unoccupied, and available for cooking. Sans meal plan residents are naturally concerned about preparing food next semester.
New Dorm A 355: