Sophomore Summer As An International Student
Sophomore summer is one of Dartmouth's most popular and beloved traditions. During this unique summer term after one's second year at Dartmouth, students are required to stay on campus and take classes in Hanover. Aside from the amazing intellectual experience that any Dartmouth term offers, sophomore summer also offers unique opportunities to bond with other members of your class, experience Hanover in the summer, and explore new extracurricular activities.
However, because of certain US immigration rules, taking classes during sophomore summer is a bit trickier (but definitely not impossible!) as an international student. There are several ways that international students are able to be on campus for sophomore summer. Some students craft their D-Plans (Dartmouth's unique quarter system) more carefully and intentionally to enable them to stay in the US during the summer term. Other international students use their off term to conduct research and/or work on-campus jobs. This term, I am doing research with a professor at Dartmouth's economics department, as part of the Dartmouth Economic Research Scholars program as well as the Presidential Scholars program.
One of the best parts of sophomore summer is being able to connect with members of your class. Although the D-Plan allows students to study abroad, intern, research and pursue their passions with a lot of flexibility, it often means that you may not be able to see certain people if they aren't on campus at the same time that you are. Because Dartmouth requires all students to take classes during sophomore summer, you get to bond and have fun with people who you might not have been able to see otherwise!
Many students also use sophomore summer as a time to try out new extracurricular activities with a lower level of commitment than a typical 9-month school year requires. Dance groups, acapella groups, and comedy groups are just a few of the campus organizations that welcome new members during sophomore summer, with auditions held during the first weekend of the term. Additionally, the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) and its sub-clubs such as People of Color Outdoors (POCO) and Ledyard offer fun summer activities open to everyone on campus. This term, I've been able to take advantage of the ceramics and pottery classes being offered by Dartmouth's Ceramics Studio.
About three weeks into the term, I definitely understand why so many students and alumni have such fond memories and experiences from sophomore summer. As an international student, I was initially dismayed by the prospect of missing out on this part of the Dartmouth experience, but I was glad to hear all the other options available to me outside of only taking classes.