New Student News |

New Student News

Volume 8  |  Issue 2 |  July 26, 2016

As summer moves along, we come to you with the next edition of the New Student News, with more information to keep you up-to-date and informed.

Have you started the common reading? A copy of this year's common reading, Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Edwidge Danticat, was sent to all incoming students in June. During orientation, on Friday, September 2 from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., you will be joining your orientation group and a faculty member to discuss this text. The book discussion during orientation is a way to begin creating an intellectual community among your peers and bring new students into discussion around a topic of social, scientific, artistic or political significance.

Want to learn more about the text and related themes? Check out the common reading page on our website for a list of resources provided by Hampshire's research librarians. We look forward to some great discussions when you arrive!

Jessica Ortiz, director of new student programs; and Laura Melbin, associate dean of advising

Learning more about academic programs

Many students come to Hampshire because they want to explore their own interests and construct their own programs of study. But figuring out what it is you want to focus on after Division I can be daunting: How can you move beyond your own expectations and assumptions to explore topics in ways that you never thought of before?

Hampshire's Academic Programs are interdisciplinary and cross-school organizations that bring together faculty and students who are interested in exploring certain types of questions or topics in new and ground-breaking ways. They provide resources, such as research grants and help finding internships, as well as a community of students and faculty within the Five College consortium interested in a combination of topics. Population and Development (PopDev), Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, and Learning (CYL), and Culture, Brain, and Development (CBD) are just a few of the programs available to you.

Can you still design your own concentration if you are affiliated with a program? Of course. Academic programs are organizations that offer support and guidance to encourage you to do your own thing, and find out how the  program can inspire your own work within and beyond the College community.

Language study

Language study is important for anybody who plans on spending a semester or a year abroad; getting involved in any kind of ethnographic, political, economic, or cultural study that takes place in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, studying linguistics, or who wants to be reading Pushkin, Neruda, or Wittgenstein in the original.

Studying a language, however, requires time, so if you imagine that you’ll be doing any of the things listed above, register for a language course in your very first semester. You could enroll in one of the courses we offer here at Hampshire (Spanish, Chinese, ASL, and Arabic), or to register for a self-directed, mentored course in a "non-traditional" language. The world language center at Five College Inc. enables you to study Amharic, Swahili, Haitian Creole, Czech, Nepali and other less common languages at your own pace. There are over fifty languages offered within the five colleges; check for the options. If you are interested in a "non-traditional" world language, contact Amy Wordelman, who coordinates the study of world languages at

For more information, contact Jutta Sperling, dean of the school of critical social inquiry, at Jutta invites you to drop by for a chat in German or Italian (or English) when you have arrived.

What to know before you arrive

What should you bring? When it's cold, it's seriously cold. The same goes for the warmer months: When it's hot, it's hot. How should you prepare? Need to know what clothes to bring, or if you'll need extra lighting in your dorm room? You can also check out our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for information about shipping items before you arrive on campus, ID numbers, housing assignments, and more. Don't forget to check out the new student forms page to make sure that you're meeting all of the necessary deadlines.

New student housing

There are five housing areas on campus: Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott are made up of module housing, or “mods,” which are apartment-like buildings that can house up to ten people. Although they are open to first-years, as an incoming student you are most likely to be placed in either Dakin or Merrill houses, our dormitory buildings on campus. The dorms are made up of both single and double rooms. If you're curious about first-year dorm life, you can learn more by checking out the residence life and housing page to see photos of the residences, room dimensions, and information about the residence life staff and identity-based housing.


Calling All Transfer Students

During orientation there will be an important session about academics specifically for transfer students. This will take place on Friday, September 2. More information will be available in the orientation schedule when you arrive. You can also check out our transfer student life page in the meantime.

To get the most out of your first advisor meeting during orientation, be sure to send all transcripts that you want to have considered for transfer credit to the admissions office no later than August 1.

Check Your Hampshire Email

Have you checked your Hampshire email recently? The College uses your Hampshire email account to contact you throughout the summer, so don't forget to check regularly for important information and updates.

Have questions or ideas to submit?

"New Student News" is produced by the office of new student programs. Email us at For more information, view the new student website, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or check out our blog.


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