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For Students Remaining on Campus, a Break From the Bustle Can Be Refreshing

Dec 14, 2012   |   by Keith Chapman   |   Dartmouth Now

Yellow tape marks off work zones in the library, sidewalks around campus are being repaired, and many of the people in Collis Center wear hard hats: With most students gone for winter break, the holiday season is also construction season at Dartmouth.

But for those students who remain on campus, the more than six-week period between terms represents a break in name only. Whether they conduct research, work at jobs for Dartmouth, or play for athletic teams, the students keep busy and enjoy experiencing Dartmouth without the usual juggling of classes, papers, and extracurricular commitments. Thanks to a scheduling change that took effect this year, students have a continuous break from Thanksgiving through the New Year.

It is often too expensive or time consuming to travel home, requiring many international students to stay on campus during the winter interim. Dartmouth’s Office of Pluralism and Leadership helps organize activities for those who remain in Hanover...

...Thabo Matse ’14, who is from Swaziland, says he travels home to Africa only for summer break. Currently, Matse, an engineering and economics major, works about five hours a day in the machine shop at the Thayer School of Engineering. He says it is nice to have some “breathing time.”

“I think, for now it’s great,” he says. “The campus is nice and quiet, and I appreciate that.”

At the beginning of break, Matse participated in the weeklong Global Youth Summit 2012 in London, which he says he wouldn’t have been able to attend during classes. For the holidays, he may visit friends in the area or get together with his host family. About 75 Upper Valley families participate in the International Friendship Family Program, which connects area families with international students.

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