Been there, done that…

by Sarah Butler

What is May Term? A mystery to freshman and a slack-off time forseniors, it is a month of long classes, trips out of the country,internships and nights at out with friends.

May Term offers opportunities that a traditional semester doesnot. Affordable trips abroad, intensive classes without otherdistractions and a chance to get an internship without ruining yourwhole summer.

“I’ve heard May Term is a very relaxed environment on campus, “said Meghan Disburg, a freshman who is about to experience herfirst May Term on a trip to Europe with the Department ofCommunication Studies.

Disburg has some questions that other freshman may be wonderingas well. These questions may include whether or not there arefinals during May Term, if classes will meet every day, and howmuch homework will be assigned, if any at all.

May Term on campus does involve taking a class that meets everyday for three hours. Classes don’t always have final tests, butthey often have papers or projects and homework varies with theclass you choose.

“I would not advise taking a course you find boring,” said KennaStouwie, a sophomore who took the music recording course last MayTerm. “Take something you can learn a lot from and take somethingrelevant to your major. I signed up for the music recording classbecause a friend of mine wanted to. She didn’t get into the classand I was an international marketing student in a class full ofmusic majors.

If a three-hour long class does not sound like much fun, thereare internship and job shadowing opportunities. The Career andCounseling Services Department is a good campus resource to use forhelp finding internship opportunities.

May Term provides a good opportunity to experience an internshipwithout a long-term obligation to a certain company. Multipleinternships can be a good idea for students who may want to workfor both a big name company where they will be doing grunt work,and a smaller company where you may have more responsibilities.

“Never wait to try and get an internship,” advises Stouwie. “Youcan have more than one and make sure you know what you’re gettinginto.”

For some students the travel opportunities offered during MayTerm are too good to pass up. Since it’s not a full semester, theprice is smaller than studying abroad during a fall or springsemester.

This May Term, Assistant Professor of Economics Jim Palmieriwill be leading a trip to Greece, Sicily and Southern Italy.

“Remember your passport, pack as light as possible, and use thisexperience to expand your understanding of a fascinatingcivilization,” said Palmieri.

Students should also try to prepare for culturaldifferences.

“The biggest mistake I’ve seen is when someone quickly decidesthe food, clothes, music are inferior to what exists in America,”said Palmieri.