Living at Smith
All undergraduates at the college are required to live in a college house. For your first year, you should expect to share a room with an American student.
College rooms are quite simple; a bed, a desk, a chest of drawers, a chair and a closet are provided. The college does not supply curtains, sheets and bedding or lamps. You can purchase those after you arrive and during the first full day of International Student Pre-Orientation (ISP). For your personal laundry, there are washing machines and dryers, for $1.50 per wash, in the basement of your house.
What to Bring
For now, it's important to pack light when you are traveling for the first time. Just bring with you some essential clothing, a few souvenirs, pictures of your family, etc. Additional clothing and other personal items can be purchased here or brought back with you when you go home for the winter holidays or the following summer.
Each fall, the office also holds a Winter Clothes Closet, collected from donations from older students and campus community members. All articles of clothing available there are free of charge.
The college does not supply curtains, sheets and bedding or lamps (see "Housing & Meals" above).
Northampton is situated in the northeast part of the United States, and you can expect a wide range of weather conditions. From late August/early September (during ISP) the temperature can range from 15°C to 35°C. In early fall and late spring, you'll find that shorts or light pants, dresses, skirts and pullovers are worn. Colder winter months come quickly, however! From November through late March, temperatures range from –25°C to 5°C. A heavy outer coat is essential, as are snow boots, gloves, a warm hat and a scarf. Rain equipment such as rubber boots and an umbrella are necessary, too.
Generally, students dress in casual clothing on campus and in the classroom. There are many local stores and a large shopping mall nearby where you can purchase all of the above.
Having a laptop computer is not essential, but it will make your assignments easier to complete. There are computer facilities available for students in several buildings, which are open during the day and accessible by OneCard after business hours. WiFi is available campus-wide, including in student rooms. For more information about available study spaces and laptops available for temporary use, read through Smith's Where's My Library page or download the SmithScape app.
For more information about computers to purchase—and discounts through Smith—please visit the Smith College Computer Store website. If you buy a computer from Smith, it will be covered under a warranty system and can be serviced by the college if you have any problems. Computers purchased elsewhere are not serviced by Smith.
Luggage, Storage & Shipping
Personal possessions that are to be sent from foreign countries rather than brought into the United States with you should be mailed by parcel post whenever possible. Parcels may be mailed if they are under $250 in value.
The advantages of parcel post mailing are: ease of clearing customs, savings on shipping charges, faster delivery, and delivery directly to Smith College rather than to a port of entry (which involves an additional expense). Be sure to fill out a customs and postal declaration when you mail the parcel, giving an accurate description and value of the contents, and attach it securely to the parcel. Parcels labeled "student clothing" are exempt from customs duty. It will probably be much cheaper to send three or four parcels by mail. You should address boxes to:
[SC Unit Number]
1 Chapin Way, Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063-6302
Please mark the boxes "Hold For Arrival." There is very limited space on campus for storage during the academic year and summer months. Please do not send any items you do not absolutely need.