My informal survey earlier in the summer yielded quite a few blog topics, most of which relate to the application process and which I’ll be covering over time. But several survey responders were incoming students, and I’m going to cover their questions here. If you’re an incoming student with additional questions, please post them in the comments section below. Note that the questions below are fairly specific — I’m assuming that more general questions are easily answered through other sources.
Q: What opportunities are available in the fall for part-time jobs and internships?
There are a number of sources of information on campus jobs, including the Fletcher student email list, the Career Services intranet site, and the Tufts “JobX” site. There are a great number of jobs available, ranging from the most education-enhancing research to wallet-filling dining services work. Some positions will be reserved for “work study” students, but many are open to all students — grad or undergrad, U.S. or international. As for internships, this past blog post may be helpful. The bottom line — most students who wish to work during the academic year will find a position that suits them.
Q. How should I approach class “shopping day”?
That is a good question. Shopping Day can be both helpful and overwhelming. Helpful in providing a quick and easy forum for gathering information about a few classes you’re deciding among. Overwhelming if you want to test every class previewed during the day. This past post provides details, as well as a sample Shopping Day schedule. Another sample schedule can be found in this post. An important thing to note is that not all classes are represented during shopping day — the focus is on those that are newly developed or offered by new faculty members. Once the Shopping Day schedule for the coming semester is available, select a short list of classes to attend and don’t forget that other students may have information to supplement what you uncover on Shopping Day.
Q. Is there a club/campus organization day for club “shopping”?
Why yes, there is. The student organization fair usually takes place on either the first or second Friday of the semester. It’s a fun opportunity to learn about a bunch of organizations.
Q. What are the benefits of the broader Tufts campus, outside of the Fletcher buildings?
That is another great question. Although Fletcher’s three attached buildings (Cabot, Mugar, and Goddard Halls) offer all the basic academic services Fletcher students may need, including Ginn Library and a small café, students shouldn’t limit themselves to these interconnected walls. Just venture across Packard Avenue and the University offers a campus center, the bookstore, a larger library, two dining halls and several other eatery options, a newly refurbished and enlarged gym, and other basic student-life amenities. Plus, there’s a great program of music offerings at the Granoff Music Center, right near the Aidekman Arts Center and its interesting visual art exhibits. And, for snowy winters, there’s a great hill for sledding. The campus is relatively compact, but still provides the leafy setting that a New England university should — and this campus overlooks Boston, reminding us that we may not be in the city, but we’re never far away.
Q. What should I, as an international student, know before my first trip to the U.S.? What should I bring and not bring? How can I open a banking account?
Traveling to a new country, particularly to live there for at least a year, is daunting indeed. It may be helpful to remember that about 40% of Fletcher students come from outside the U.S., so there will be plenty of people who share your experience once you’re here. And the U.S. students (particularly those from the local area) love to share information about their home! But knowing you will be well taken care of when you get here doesn’t help when you’re trying to prepare. While Fletcher has its own International Student Advisor, you may also want to check the resources of the Tufts International Center, especially the webpage on settling in, which covers many of the basics. As for packing, that is surely a challenge. Depending on how you’re traveling, your luggage weight allowance, and how much you can have shipped, you may find that the decision is made for you: bring basic clothes and all the essentials (toothbrush, etc.) to get you through your first few weeks. The weather will be mild, so you can have winter clothes shipped to you, or you can purchase what you need. Once you’re settled here, you’ll have a better sense of what you might need to buy or have sent from home.
That covers the questions from incoming students, though I welcome additional questions you might want to post as a comment. I’ll be turning to the questions from future applicants in the coming weeks.