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Summer in Williamstown
So you're thinking about summering in Williamstown
It seems that many scoff at the idea of spending any more time in this rural haven than is absolutely necessary, but summers in Williamstown can be quite enjoyable. The school itself offers a variety of lucrative employment positions and there is plenty to do in the surrounding area as well.
Jobs at Williams
A large percentage of the students who stay in williams for the summer are employed through various academic departments doing research for their theses, although working on campus doesn't exactly require a such a project. Many departments will provide housing but no meal plan or perhaps the other way around, housing is generally around $35 per week and meals in packages of 5, 10, 14, and 21. Inquire to the department of your major for summer job opportunities, usually to get the job you must stay here for most of the summer.
Apart from research, there are plenty of other jobs on campus:
- The environmental studies department provides positions for Caretakers in Hopkin's Forest, Librarians in the CES library, and occasionally a gardner for the grounds around Kellog house.
- Both Sawyer and Schow have student positions, although obviously fewer than during the school year. Library work is tedious and pay is decent, but at least it's all air conditioned.
- OIT conducts the summer Williams Instructional Technology program
- Facilities (B+G) has some jobs, mostly what you would expect: Lots of hard work clearing brush or trash or whatever.
Non-Williams jobs in the surrounding area
Mass MoCA, various non-profits in North Adams and Williamstown, Tanglewood, Peace Valley Farm, the Clark Art Institute, and Overland Adventures all provide summer employment or internships. For many of these you'll need a bus pass or a car, the bus is reasonable and quick for North Adams. This is by no means an exhaustive list, the OCC probably has much more information. Many people who work in the surrounding area get alumni sponsored grants.
Summer on campus housing starts with a smaller scale room draw late in spring semester. Usually there will be only 2 or 3 dorms availiable. In past years, these have included Sage Hall, Morgan Hall, the Greylock dorms, Mission Park, and East. As mentioned earlier, past summers it's cost $35 per week, so if you want to stay away from home it's budget friendly.
Off campus housing can be found on Meadow street, above Goff's and elsewhere on spring street, Hoxsey, and where ever else people with yearlong leases will be trying to fill up summer space.
Often students living in summer housing will have to purchase a meal plan; 5 is the smallest. Meal plans cost $5 per meal; i.e. the 5-meal plan is $50 per two week pay period (the cost is automatically deducted from your paycheck). Every summer there is some upset about the lack of kitchen facilities; people who want to cook for themselves can us the CES kitchen in Kellog, the kitchen in Rice, and if they are in use the kitchen in whichever Greylock dorm.
One dining hall is open for student use over the summer, and Grab-and-Go provides their usual lunch options during the week. Dining halls are shared with WTF staff as well as summer sports students. Dining services has been known to try out new menu options over the summer.
Other people on campus
Anyone content enough to stay here will find that beside other college students there are plenty of other youths around, some from the Williamstown Theater Festival and some from various sports camps. You'll know the latter have shown up when you see loads of blinging mercs and lexuses cruising around piloted by trophy mothers.
What to do
Surprisingly, the Berkshire region offers a fair amount of things to do during the summer. The most popular activities include:
- Williamstown Theater Festival (Free tickets for ushering)
- Concerts at Tanglewood
- Steeple Cats games and other summer fun in North Adams
- Fourth of July! (the fireworks in North Adams are awesome)
- River kayaking or tubing (for example, at Zoar Outdoor on Rt. 2)
- Green River swimming
- WUFO maintains a summer pick-up listserv (last year: vindiesel@wso)
- Eat every flavor of ice cream at Lickety Split at least once.
- Watch every movie that comes to Images
- Lots of beer drinking outdoors, during the most beautiful time of the year