ready, set, geo!

Adapted from a post written by former program assistant Kaylie Vezina 14F

GEOInterested in studying abroad while at Hampshire? Wondering how and when to start thinking about it? On Tuesday, November 3 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in FPH 101, Katie Irwin and Morgan Kapinos from the Global Education Office (GEO) set out to answer this question for a group of interested students. Wondering what you missed? Read on for great information!

What Happened:
After some brief introductions, Katie and Morgan introduced a Powerpoint to take students through the top ten steps in preparing for a semester away, which allowed students to ask questions and begin thinking about how a global experience might fit into their Division II or Division III goals. Participants were then introduced to the GEO website, including pages on how to prepare and great resources for finding exchange and field study opportunities. Katie and Morgan also made sure to highlight some short-term opportunities coming up in the coming year.

The Top Ten Steps in Preparing a Semester Away!

  • Step 1: Plan Early. Start Planning Now. The earlier you start planning the more options you will find, and the more time you’ll have to discuss your interests with your advisor/committee and have them help you with resources and ideas for your search. By planning early and communicating with your faculty, you’ll be better able  to incorporate study abroad into your academic program. What’s more — some programs and study abroad scholarships have deadlines a year in advance, so it’s smart to know what you want to do as far ahead of time as possible. If you don’t already have one or yours is soon to expire, this is also a great time to apply for or renew your passport!
  • Step 2: Know the “Why.” Ask yourself why you want to study abroad, and then ask yourself what your career goals are and how studying abroad will help you complete these goals. What do you want to do when you are abroad? Are you interested in language learning, having an internship, service learning/community engagement, taking classes, having an independent study, etc.? These guiding questions will help you to make important decisions about your global experience.
  • Step 3: Know the “What.” In what type of program would you like to enroll? There are many options to consider, like directly enrolling in a university abroad, going abroad through a field-based or classroom-based program provider, or designing your own independent project abroad. Some other factors to consider when knowing the “what” are living arrangements, level of cultural immersion, travel, and level of independence.
  • Step 4: Understand Hampshire’s Eligibility Requirements. In order to study abroad, a student must:
    • At least be filed for Division II (note: Division III students are only eligible to be away during their first semester of Division III)
    • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing
    • Meet with CASA
  • Step 5: Understand Your Options at Hampshire: GEO hosts Navigating Study Abroad sessions every Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Airport Lounge, which is a great way to get started. GEO also has Peer Advisors with whom you can meet to learn more. Both resources will help you to better understand the differences between Hampshire Exchange and Field Study.
  • Step 6: Understand the Finances: Contact the Financial Aid Office to learn more about how your financial aid might transfer for a semester abroad. Find and apply to Hampshire sources of funding and scholarships. Find and apply to outside sources of funding and scholarships. Go to Student Financial Services, and see what they can do to help.
  • Step 7: Research Your Options: Wondering where to start? Check out GEO’s website. Review the searchable databases they have available, and meet with a GEO Program Advisor to learn more. Don’t forget to check out scholarship options as well!
  • Step 8: Fulfull Pre-requisites: Educate yourself on the pre-requisites of the program you are interested in. If it requires learning a language—start learning now! Make plans to take the pre-requisite(s) needed for your program to ensure you have them completed before you depart.
  • Step 9: Get Others on Board: Preparing for study abroad without support from those around you can be overwhelming. Talk to your committee, CASA, GEO, and to your family and friends as you continue in your planning. Make sure they know what you want to do and why you want to do it, so that they can help you to achieve your goals.
  • Step 10: APPLY!: If you’re applying to Hampshire Exchange, you’ll need to submit your application to GEO. If you’re applying for a Field Study, you’ll apply directly to the program. Also, make sure you keep these deadlines in mind:
    • Hampshire Exchange – early October/early November for spring, early March/early April for fall.
    • Field Study – Varies by program, but do note the College’s Enrollment Notification Deadline for each semester.

Whether you’re just starting to consider the possibility of studying abroad or are already making plans, the Global Education Office (GEO) is your best resource. The GEO office is located on the ground floor of the Merrill Student Life Center, opposite the CLA, and staff and peer advisors are eager to help. Check out their website for more information, or contact them at

Happy planning!

financial health workshop

Don’t know what to do with (what little) money you have? Know that budgeting is something adults do…but aren’t sure how to actually do it? Overwhelmed by all the choices while grocery shopping? On Tuesday, September 22, Jordan Perry, director of wellness promotion, presented a super helpful workshop to an audience of students eager to get answers to these and other financial questions. Are you concerned about your financial health? Wondering what you missed? Read on for lots of great information!

What Happened:
At the start of the workshop, Jordan shared data that indicated that a significant percentage of Hampshire students reported experiencing difficulty in managing their finances in 2014, and that, in some cases, these challenges impacted their academics. Jordan went on to acknowledge that resources are often limited in college, but that budgeting can be a key tool to help students to prioritize their needs, wants, and to better plan for the future. In this interactive session, participants were actively engaged in the process of making a budget, identifying needs, and sharing tips about how to maximize resources when shopping for groceries.

The Activity:
As participants arrived for the workshop, they were each given a copy of this worksheet, which was used as a guideline for the creation of a group budget.

Sample BudgetThe group then walked through a sample budget, sharing examples of bills, needs, wants, and things to save for, in an effort to identify the remaining amount. The group’s first budget landed at -$150, so they opted to reduce the cost of items in their “wants” and “savings” categories, as these areas are more flexible than “bills” and “needs”. Even then, they still had to find other things to reduce, so they cut their phone plan and finally got out of the red. This process looks different for everyone, but group sharing allowed folks to hear what kinds of things others needed to budget for, and reminded them of costs that they might not have previously considered. After reviewing this initial budget, the group then created a budget to account for what it might be like to be out of college. Income was increased, but rent was added. Food and gas budgets were increased and entertainment costs went up. No surprise — they ended up losing money again. So they dropped their entertainment and food costs in order to be able to afford their new lifestyle. They also discussed how much money they’d need to make in order to live modestly after college.

Budgeting Tools:
Jordan used Google Spreadsheets to illustrate what budgeting can look like because it’s free and available to anyone with internet access (although there are lots of other budgeting tools out there). Using a spreadsheet or other budgeting tool allows you to make changes to your budget without having to re-create it each time something changes, like your cell phone bill goes up, you cut entertainment costs, or you get a raise, etc.

Additional Tips:
Jordan also led the group in a discussion about how to shop on a budget, and shared some helpful hints with the group. What did they learn? Check this out:

  • Buying things on sale or on clearance can be a good thing, but can also tempt you to buy things you don’t really need.
  • Buying simple ingredients and making meals from scratch can help you save a lot, as prepared food generally costs more to purchase.
  • Plan ahead and buy in bulk! Bulk shopping is much cheaper because the packaging cost per unit is much less.
  • Think name-brand food is always the best choice? Think again! Buying store or generic brands can save you a lot of money, and they often taste just as good!
  • Do your research! You can usually find store circulars online and can compare prices of particular items across stores. Store savings cards are generally free, and can help you to unlock these weekly deals. Stop by the service desk at your favorite grocery store and sign up to start saving.
  • Compare, compare, compare! Be sure to compare unit prices rather than labeled prices to ensure that you’re getting the best deal. Unit prices usually appear on the top left hand corner of the price listing, and will tell you allow you to compare the price per pound (or other unit) across lots of different brands, package sizes, etc.

Get in Touch:
Have questions about what was covered? Jordan Perry is happy to help, and can be reached at or in the Wellness Center (by the basketball court in Enfield).

Happy budgeting!

taming your reading dragons

Adapted from a post written by former program assistant Kaylie Vezina 14F

On Tuesday, October 6 from 3:30-4:30 p.m., presenter Asha Kinney gladly shared her reading expertise with a bunch of eager students. Asha works in IT, specifically with educational technology, and is often joined for this workshop by Alana Kumbier, a research librarian who works mostly with CSI classes. Alana couldn’t attend this session, but is also a great person to know. If you’re interested in getting an overview of what happened at this workshop and what resources were introduced, read on!

What Happened?

Participants were given a handout with a list of topics that were to be reviewed during the workshop. Asha began the workshop by asking participants if they had any specific questions or had any particular things they wanted to focus more closely on during their time together. They went on to provide participants with tons of useful information, beginning with low-tech options (reading and distraction-avoidance strategies) and finishing with more high-tech options like text-to-speech and dealing with PDFs.

What We Learned:

Low-Tech Tips:

  • The SQ3R reading method: SQ3R is here to help you build a framework to understand your reading assignment. It’s really helpful for retaining and digesting the information you are given. SQ3R is broken down into five steps:
    • Survey: Look over your reading, look at headings, general structure and content before you dive in. Ask yourself what you’re dealing with, and then find out.
    • Question: While surveying, ask yourself questions. Write them down. Turn the title, headings, and/or subheadings into questions. Ask yourself what the instructor said about the chapter or subject before it was assigned. Ask yourself what you already know about the subject.
    • Read: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Just go ahead and read—do it as you normally do, but consider structuring your understanding with your prior surveying/questioning. Note any vocabulary that you may not know or understand.
    • Recite: After reading a section, go back over the content and tell it back to yourself or another person.
    • Review: Step away from what you read, and then come back to it.
  • Don’t have time to complete all of these steps? Try looking at something for no more than twenty minutes, after this time is up, ask yourself if reading the article or chapter in full is worth your time.
  • Create an index for yourself. Keep notes of important concepts and save them for later.
  • The Pomodoro Method: This method is here for you if you need help staying on task. The Pomodoro Method allows you to break up your work into incremented amounts of time so that the task at hand seems less daunting. Give it a try:
    • Pick a task to accomplish.
    • Set a timer for 25 minutes, or what ever increment of time works best for you.
    • Work on the task without any diversion for 25 minutes, or until the timer rings. If anything else comes up, write it down and do it later.
    • When the timer rings, take a five minute break.
    • After this break, repeat!

High-Tech Tips: 

  • Making text in a PDF recognizable to your computer: If you want or need to be able to select blocks of text or use text-to-speech, your computer needs to recognize it as text. allows you to upload a PDF and change it into recognizable text; you can also pick what kind of file you want it to be converted into.
  • Text to speech: Hearing something as well as reading it can be helpful for truly understand what you’re learning about. You can do this through by having the PDF converted into a mp3 file. Mac users can select a block of text in TextEdit and convert it to an iTunes mp3. You can also download NaturalReader if you have an iPad/iPhone/Android.
  • Beeline Reader: Go to to have the color of your text change in a subtle gradation in a way that keeps your eye flowing. It may sound weird, but it’s super helpful.

A Final Note: 

Asha also noted the importance of having a backup method for documents. Hard drives die, and no matter how terrible that is, it would be even more terrible if they contained all of your work and other important files. There are several ways to backup your work such as or Google Drive.

Get In Touch:

If you’d like to reach Asha or Alana, here’s how to find them!

Can’t get enough of these great workshops? Be sure to check out our events calendar for updates on what else we have planned for the semester!

life management 101!

Life ManagementOn Tuesday, September 29 from 3:30-4:30PM in FPH 101, Aaron Ferguson, director of accessibility resources and services, presented a time management workshop for an audience of new and returning students. Did you miss it? Need more information? You’ve come to the right place! Read on for details on what happened, how to find support, and further time management resources.

What Happened:
While participants enjoyed some delicious snacks, Aaron presented a brief Powerpoint which addressed the many challenges that students face with regard to time management, and offered strategies to help students to plan ahead, make the most of the unstructured time between classes, and work more efficiently. Aaron then introduced a three tier system for organization, including a weekly master calendar, a larger semester calendar, and the how to manage the details. Through the use of a variety of different handouts related to these models, participants were encouraged to create a visual representation of their weekly and monthly schedules, and identify pockets of valuable time that they didn’t realize they had!

Hints and Handouts:

  • Wondering where to start? This overview of Time Management Principles provides a great overview of how to critically consider your relationship with time and maintain balance in your life. Check it out!
  • The Three Tiers of Time Management handout is a super helpful resource to help you get started, and offers a list of different options that you can use to better suit your needs. Take a look!
  • The Weekly Master Calendar allows you to create a visual representation of what a typical week looks like for you. Participants were encouraged to map out their regular schedule on a weekly calendar in an effort to identify blocks of time between fixed appointments, classes, and other obligations. What do folks generally notice? They have more time than they think they do, and you might too! Take these chunks of time and specify what you’d like to accomplish in each, and give some structure to the larger periods of free time (long weekends, etc.), making sure to vary the types of work you do each day. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish!
  • The Big Picture Semester Calendar is a useful tool for mapping an entire semester, and is available in hard copy in the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) each semester. Participants received an 11″x17″ academic calendar for this activity, but you can do it yourself with a planner or a regular calendar. At the start of the semester, gather your syllabi and mark down all of the important dates and deadlines for each course on your calendar. Once you have a full picture of what you’ll need to complete and when, you can identify key steps and work backwards to create small goals for yourself. This will help you to start things ahead of time, and avoid the confluence of too many deadlines all at once.
  • Let technology help! Aaron shared a number of different websites, apps, and other tech tools that can help students to better organize their day to day needs. By finding a daily planning system that works for you, you’re more likely to achieve your goals and find greater balance. One app or calendar that you look at every day is better than several that you don’t, so find something that is portable, visual, and allows to list the things you need to do, and keep it accessible throughout the day. Don’t overload yourself, but do keep your system as up to date as possible with class, work, and meeting times, as well as appointments, deadlines, and fun things.
  • The best system is the system that works for you, so feel free to try a few things as you work to get yourself organized. No system works 100% of the time — keep yourself open to new ideas and ways of planning. There are lots of different ways to get motivated!
  • Want to spend some of your precious time watching online videos and not feeling like you’re procrastinating? Here are two that Aaron recommends:
  • Interested in learning more about how habits are formed, and how to break them? Aaron spent some time discussing this with the group, and shared some great (and very thorough) resources — so thorough that they warrant another blog post! Stay tuned for more information about habit formation, and watch for future workshops on the topic.

Use These Resources:

  • Want hard copies of the workshop handouts? Interested in some personalized time management support? Get in touch with the workshop facilitator, Aaron Ferguson, by calling CASA at 413.559.5498 or stopping by the CASA office to make an appointment. He’s happy to help!

Questions? Let us know! Email us at for more information.

how to approach faculty

Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F

FacultyWelcome, new students! Now that the semester has already started, you’ve probably realized that one of the best things about Hampshire is the accessibility to faculty. You may have lots of questions, and there are so many potential sources to give you the answers. But do you ever feel intimidated, hesitant, or just plain shy in approaching faculty? During this time of transition to college life, social adjustment can feel tricky in and out of the classroom. Knowing how to approach faculty members is a necessary skill in advocating for yourself and maintaining a successful academic experience. Here are some tips to building these important relationships:

  • Keep in touch with your advisor! During your first meetings, be sure to talk about classes, review your strengths and weaknesses, and share your future goals. Remember, advisors are a tremendous resource at Hampshire—there are here for you.
  • If you’re ever feeling confused, lost, overwhelmed or concerned in the classroom or about certain course material, don’t wait—communicate with your professor! There are a few ways you can do this:
    • Plan your questions, and approach them after class to discuss them. In my experience, this is the best way to get quick questions answered!
    • Sign up for office hours! Some professors are busier than others, and are therefore a bit harder to reach. Signing up for their office hours (usually posted on your course syllabus, their office door, and/or their Hampedia page) ensures one-on-one time with them, and is especially helpful when you’re looking to have a thoughtful conversation.
    • You can also contact them through email and their course website to try and find a time to meet outside the classroom. Just remember: faculty inboxes can sometimes be filled the brim, so if you’re waiting for a reply, it may be best to actually follow up in person with your professor. Note: when writing an e-mail to faculty, make sure to include a greeting, provide a clear overview of what you’re writing about, and don’t forget to sign your name! The more information they have, the easier it will be for them to respond to you.
  • Teaching Assistants (or TAs) are continuing Division II or Division III students who help professors throughout the semester. They’re great conduits between you and faculty, so use them well!
  • The Deans of the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) are also available to help make connections. CASA’s expert tips helped to provide the framework for this blog post, and they have lots of great information to share. Don’t hesitate to visit their office, located in the Lemelson Building, or call them at 413.559.5498.
  • As with all campus communication, please make sure to check your Hampshire email regularly. Faculty, staff, community members, and other students will use this email address to reach you, and you are expected to follow up on email communication through this account throughout your time at Hampshire.

Faculty are always willing to help, but they can’t read minds, so it’s crucial for you to take the first step in approaching them. Introducing yourself and keeping in regular contact is a great way to start the year and to stay on top of your progress in class.

Best of luck with the start of the semester!

Questions or comments? Email us at We’d love to hear from you!

what’s the deal with work study?

What’s the deal with work study?

Great question. We’re glad you asked!

If you’re an incoming student with a work study award as part of your financial aid package, you’re probably wondering how (and when) to get started on the process of securing work study employment on or off campus. All work study-eligible students will meet with the Student Employment Coordinator, Janel R. Johnson on opening day and during orientation to review information about securing a work study position. But if you can’t wait to start thinking about employment opportunities, here are a few tips and FAQs to help you get started before you arrive!

Where can I view the available work study positions?
Available on and off campus work study positions are listed on the student employment intranet site, and will be updated more fully in mid-to-late August. These listings are as current as possible for this moment, but will certainly be updated as we move towards the semester. To get a sense of what’s available, you can browse the following sites. (Note: you will need your HampNet username and password to log on to the Intranet.)

On Campus Work Study Listings
Off Campus Work Study Listings

When can I begin contacting potential employers?
The student employment office generally recommends that students wait until mid-August to begin contacting campus offices. Many Hampshire offices are closed during the summer, while others operate with limited staffing, so you’re more likely to get in touch with offices once their full staffs have returned for the start of the fall semester (which generally happens around August 1). We’ve heard some stories about students contacting offices sooner than this and having success in doing so, but most offices don’t expect to hear from you until mid August.

How should I contact potential employers?
Once you’ve identified potential opportunities in which you’re interested, you can begin contacting these offices to express your interest, see if the position is still available, and schedule an interview for early in the semester. Email is preferred by most offices, as it is easier to keep track of communication, potential candidates, and interview scheduling. Some listings will indicate how best to contact the office, so feel free to use this as a guide. If you cannot find contact information on a listing, feel free to contact the student employment office for more information.

How many positions should I pursue?
The student employment office suggests that students pick seven positions of interest, you should apply to at least one off campus work study position too. Many students have a work study awards as part of their financial aid package, and the more opportunities you pursue, the more likely you are to secure a position.

Are there any forms that I need to fill out?
Once you have interviewed and acquired a job, you will need to fill out a work contract, I-9, W4 and M4 tax forms before you will be able to be paid for your work. You can obtain the work contract through either the employer or the student employment offices. All work study-eligible students are required to attend the student employment meeting, which takes place on Tuesday, September 8, at which point you’ll fill out your tax forms and learn more about policies and procedures for student employment. It is very important NOT to fill out the tax forms before you come to campus. These are date sensitive and can not be accepted if dated before the student employment meeting during orientation. More information about this meeting will be available in the new student orientation schedule. Please note that you’ll need to have two forms of identification with you in the form of 1) a current passport, a social security card, or a certified birth certificate, and 2) either your Hampshire ID or a driver’s license. Please keep this in mind when packing for Hampshire!

Where can I find more information?
Visit the student employment office page on the Intranet for lots of great links, including information on contracts and a list of FAQs. Janel Johnson, the student employment coordinator, will return to the office in mid-August, but you can certainly send her an email, and she will respond within the business week, You can also contact Financial Aid 413.559.5484 with any pressing questions. They’re happy to help.

Still have questions? Curious about anything new student related? Feel free to contact us at We’d love to hear from you!

the top ten things about div I — number ten!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the New Student Programs office are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. Keep your eyes peeled during the coming months as we go from #10 to #1!

#10: Deluxe Dorm Accommodations!

IMG_6488Some of the most important and meaningful conversations you can have take place outside of the classroom, and where better to be a part of these discussions than in your very own dorm? Both Dakin and Merrill have lounges on every hall, each with chalkboard walls for brainstorming and creating, a refrigerator, couches, and a TV. Some even have balconies on them depending on what floor they’re on! Your lounge is a great space for new ideas to blossom in as you hang out and chat with your friends at any time of day or night. When you’re ready to retire, you can head back to your room, complete with furniture that offers flexibility in how it’s arranged so you can truly make your space your own!

Some halls in Dakin have one double (some only have singles!), while each floor in Merrill has two (one on the long hall, one on the short). Approximately two thirds of the incoming class will end up in single rooms, but it’s important to clarify your preferences about your lifestyle and habits on your housing preference form (due by July 1) so if you are placed in a double we can make sure to find you the right roommate match. You can also indicate your preferences for noise level, substance-free housing or not, single vs. multi-gender halls, and, if you’re a transfer student, an international student, a video game enthusiast, queer friendly, study intensive, or a student of color, you can specify that you’d prefer to live on a hall with folks who share those preferences as well!

Another super exciting housing preference worth considering is whether or not you’d like to live in one of Hampshire’s Living & Learning Communities (LLC). To be apart of an LLC, you’ll have to indicate it on your housing preference form and fill out an application as well (also due July 1).  LLCs foster community engagement in a really unique way – you get a chance to live among folks who share a particular common interest or passion around all sorts of subjects. This coming year, there are six different LLCs:

  • Body, Brain, and Culture
  • Community Engagement for Social Change
  • Environmental Justice and Sustainability
  • Looking/Reading/Writing
  • Social Justice
  • Wellness

You can learn more about these communities at

No matter where you end up living your first year, it’s bound to be an adventure. Make sure to take advantage of all that Residence Life and Housing has to offer you!

Have questions? Need more information? Email us at We’re happy to help!

understanding the cel-1 requirement

CEL1If you’ve begun your advising questionnaire on TheHub, you’ve likely encountered a question about what types of campus service learning activities you’d be interested in during your first year at Hampshire. In addition to the seven courses you must complete in Division I, all first-year students are also asked to fulfill the Campus Engaged Learning requirement, affectionately referred to as CEL-1, in order to pass Division I and move on to Division II. You cannot sign up for CEL-1 activities until after you’ve arrived on campus, but for those of you who can’t wait to learn more, read on for lots of great information!

What is CEL-1?
CEL-1 is a Division I requirement that asks you to engage in 40 hours of collaborative work/projects/learning outside of the traditional classroom during your first year. CEL-1 activities thus take place on campus and/or enhance campus life. With an emphasis on mindful participation, documentation and reflection, CEL-1 activities provoke observations about the meaning of community and the relationship between your coursework and your other pursuits. The requirement allows you to weave together multiple experiences (i.e. you can complete more than one CEL-1 activity!) throughout the year that build a dynamic, comprehensive Division I experience.

How does it work?
CEL-1 activities are offered by the Hampshire community and take on several different forms. Each activity is sponsored by someone on campus. Sponsors include the array of community members on campus, including campus program staff, Hampshire faculty, Division II and III students and student group leaders.  You are welcome to craft your own CEL-1 activity, provided that it meets the guidelines and has a sponsor who is not a Division I student. You’ll be asked to document this work as you go so that you’re better equipped to write about it in your final Division I Portfolio and Retrospective Essay. Documentation can take many forms as well: journal entries, photography, collection of materials, video, artwork, etc.

What counts?
Past CEL-1 activities run the gamut of experiences, including various arts-based projects, design/build work, outdoor adventure and leadership, food/farm/sustainability initiatives, identity-based groups, student-run courses, social justice organizing, event planning, and so so much more! Membership in an recognized student group, completion of an Outdoors Program/Recreational Athletics (OPRA) course, and completion of an Experimental Program in Education & Community (EPEC) course can all count towards your CEL-1 hours, so there are countless ways for you to complete the requirement.

How should I begin?
Your tutorial advisor will help you discuss and decide on an appropriate CEL-1 activity, but  you are welcome to start brainstorming and getting involved in projects as soon as you arrive on campus and the semester begins! The CEL-1 website will guide you through completion of the CEL-1 process, and will provide an overview of the available activities once classes start. This website is where sponsors upload information about activities they are offering, and where Division I students can learn more details, browse opportunities, and register for activities. To browse available opportunities from last year (and get a sense of what you might be interested in), click ‘Old/Past’ in the Status toolbar on the Browse tab of the site.

When should I begin?
Because this is campus-based engagement, the expectation is for you to get here and familiarize yourself with the opportunities available to you. You will be updated about the CEL-1 process during and after orientation, and will be asked to sign up for activities after you’ve arrived on campus. You’ll be advised to begin this process early in your Division I, and will receive lots more information after classes begin.

Where can I find more information?
You’ll be receiving more information during orientation and after you arrive, but in the meantime, you can read more about the requirement on the CEL-1 website and the Center for Academic Support and Advising’s CEL-1 page. Have a burning question that can’t wait? E-mail for more information. They’re happy to help!

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us at with any questions about new student orientation, your arrival, or your first year at Hampshire. We’d love to hear from you.

welcome to the newtohamp blog!

photoOn behalf of the office of new student programs at Hampshire College, we’d like to welcome you to the newtohamp blog. Here you’ll find updates on academic requirements, events sponsored by the office of new student programs, tips from current students on navigating your first year at Hampshire, and posts by guest bloggers on all things new students. We don’t want you to miss a thing!

Can’t make it to one of our programs? Check back here for a post-event report with information on what you missed and how to get in touch with presenters. Looking for advice from current students? We’ll have current students posting their best pieces of wisdom from their first year experiences. Have questions, but don’t know who to ask? We’ll cover that too, by introducing the individuals that can help you to make the most of your first year at Hampshire.

Stay tuned!

what’s the deal with the housing lottery?

Adapted from a post from April 2014 by a former NSP program assistant!

IMG_5523The housing lottery is approaching, and we’ve heard lots of new students expressing confusion about the process. Since everyone wants to have some control over where and with whom they live next year, we spoke to the HOO to get a summary of what first-years should know about figuring out housing for next year. Feeling confused about the lottery? Have questions? Read on for more details!

Most people already know that the housing lottery functions based on points. Individual students get a point for every semester enrolled (so a minimum of 1 and maximum of 11). You’ll find out how many points you have from a letter in your mailbox, which will be distributed on April 20, 2 days before the lottery starts on April 22. Most first year students have 2 points. Students form groups, pooling their points and attempting to “buy” a mod. You can only try for a mod that’s the same size as your group — for instance, a group of four people can only go for a four-person mod (you can’t go for a bigger mod and hope to fill empty beds later). The housing lottery progresses from smallest to largest mods — one mod size goes up every day, from four-person, to five-person, to six-person, etc. The results of the lottery are announced the day groups submit applications, so if you don’t win the first time, your group can take the 24 hours to find a new person and re-enter. This means that strategically, it makes sense to start smaller and go bigger.

So how do these registration packets work? Everything’s done on paper in absentia, and groups get to rank their preferred mod selections. Even if you put it last, if you rank a particular mod space you are committing to living there, so if you don’t want to live somewhere, put a big X through it. Note that the most common reason that people don’t win mods is because they choose not to rank them. You win your highest rank mod that another group with more points hasn’t won. The packet of forms are due every day at 1 p.m. at the latest — anytime after is too late, so be sure to try and get your packets to the HOO as early as you can to avoid a stressful, last-minute rush. If you want to drop them off while the office is closed, you can use the mail slot located in the inner door.

There are also alternative ways to get housing for next year. Instead of participating in the housing lottery to try and get a mod, groups can try and get dorm halls. For dorm halls, you have to have a group of five, but no one is required to sign up for a double. You can also skip the lottery altogether and sign up for an individual dorm room; this method also gives you the option of putting yourself on the mod wait list to fill vacancies as they arise over the summer. Vacancies are very common, and in many years the HOO has gone through everyone on the mod waitlist, so this is a viable option. Also, the mod waitlist form allows you to narrow down the parameters of the room you’d want; for instance, you can say you only want to be placed in an Enfield single (but the stricter your parameters, the harder it’ll be to get in). There are also intentional housing communities and identity based mods, which have applications here (due Friday, April 3). There’s info about intentional housing communities here, and identity based mods here, with descriptions of all the spaces and their applications.

Still want more information? All of this info and lots more is already on the Hampshire website’s housing lottery page. All first-year students have also received a housing lottery informational packet under their doors (note: if you do not want these printed materials, please return them to your area office or the HOO so they can be recycled for other students’ use). The HOO does all of their communication with students through their Hampshire email accounts, both during the year and over the summer, so keep checking your email to stay in the loop. Students are also free to stop by the HOO, ask their RAs, or write to with questions. And if you found this process confusing even with all of these resources, the HOO is always looking for feedback about how the process went.

We hope that this is helpful! Still have questions? Email us at!