Students explore new options for longer break

by Hannah Wang | 11/7/12 11:00pm

With the longer-than-usual winter break ahead, students and faculty are planning creative ways to spend their time away from Dartmouth. These plans include attending lecture tours across Europe, researching savings patterns, participating in the Dartmouth Birthright trip and visiting friends at other universities.

Several freshmen said they do not yet have definitive plans for break, but upperclassmen said they are planning to work or travel during their time away from campus.

"It's good that our break is so long because it coincides with the winter break of my old high school," Jeff Bass '16 said.

Some students are planning to use the time to catch up with old friends and visit friends at other universities where classes are still in session.

"Because our schedule here at Dartmouth is so different from other schools, I found that winter break is a good time to visit with friends who I haven't seen in a while," Franklin Dickinson '16 said. "I have a twin sister who goes to [the University of Pennsylvania], so I'm definitely going to go visit her."

Other students are taking advantage of the long break to participate in job shadows, find internships or begin working. John Burgoyne '15 said he plans to use Career Services' resources to find alumni to shadow and to look for internships over break.

"I think it's good to get real-world experience," he said. "Career Services made it quite easy and convenient to look for whatever internship I'm interested in so I just have to take the initiative."

Burgoyne said he believes that the break is a bit too long, but that it provides a broader range of options for students.

Bass and Daniel Santana '16 both said they plan to work throughout winter break. Bass said he has yet to apply to jobs but plans to work in retail and said it "shouldn't be too difficult" to find a job. Santana said he will be working at his father's office doing clerical work over winter break.

"I'm doing it more so because I would like to have money to pay for what I plan to do over winter break, not because I want to have a job," Santana said.

Upperclassmen have more definitive plans, with many returning to existing internships or doing research. Mary Scott Cain '14 said she is planning on doing a research internship over winter break that will continue into the Winter term. Cain will be working at an economic research center in Tennessee to investigate various aspects of mobile banking.

Cain said she is looking forward to research and likes that the break will be long enough to allow her to work and still have time for vacation.

Dartmouth Hillel is sponsoring a Birthright trip for students of Jewish descent during the break. Approximately 40 students will embark on a 10-day pilgrimage to Israel aimed at helping Jewish Americans get to know Israel and form a connection with Judaism, according to Gabby Josebachvili '15, a participant on the trip.

"We're going to have the Dartmouth rabbi going with us, and there are also guides in Israel to lead us," she said. "It's going be such a different experience, but I'm definitely excited, and it's cool to go with Dartmouth kids who I know I'll see around after this trip."

For exchange students like Ognjen Kovacevic, winter break marks the end of their term at Dartmouth. A native of Montenegro and a student at Bocconi University in Milan, Kovacevic said he has enjoyed Fall term here, but now the "rough times" start because he has three make-up exams at Bocconi.

"I had fun at Dartmouth, but I feel good because I'm going back to a system I know, and it's going to be much easier for me," he said.

Economics professor Jonathan Skinner said he will be delivering seminars on health economics in the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland over break. Skinner said he will present ongoing research and lecture about geographic variations in health economics.

Skinner said that the trip would not be possible without the longer break and that he is pleased with the new calendar because it makes it more convenient for students to travel home for the holidays.

"I will miss my students very much, but I will try to console myself with some Italian cooking," he said.

Because many students will remain on campus, some campus dining facilities will remain open for a portion of winter break to accommodate them, according to Dartmouth Dining Services Director David Newlove. He also said that so far, 56 non-athlete students have expressed interest in living on campus over winter break.

"Currently the numbers [of students staying on campus] seem to be on par with previous years," Director of Undergraduate Housing Rachael Class-Giguere said. "It is too early to give a number of residents at this point as late applications are still coming in at a steady rate."

Students said they are looking forward to taking a break from classes and participating in activities they do not normally have time for during the term. Fischer Yan '14 said she plans to study for the GRE and work while saving time for other activities.

"I'm hoping to work on things I really enjoy, like drawing, making collages and playing the piano," Yan said. "But six weeks is a long time if you don't have any other plans."