Archives—November 2013

Fall Break

Hello Parents,

I hope you’re all having a great week!  It’s finally here: Fall Break is upon us!  After 12 weeks of classes, homework, exams, and extra curriculars, students are finally ready for the week-long break that lies ahead.  But with the break, there are a few things to be aware of for students going home for break and for students who will be staying.

A view of Houghton surrounded in fall colors
A view of Houghton surrounded in fall colors

If your student is still looking for a ride home either for Fall Break or for the end of the semester, there is still time to find another student to carpool with.  There are online message boards that your student may take part in to find other students to share rides to their hometowns. Ride board and Barkboard are two sites that students can utilize to connect with someone for a ride home.  On these sites, students can make a post either looking for a ride or looking for passengers.  Sometimes, students can even ride just part way with a car if the final destination is farther than the student needs.  Both of these discussion boards are sponsored by Michigan Tech, so the safety of your student is secure.

Some students choose to stay on campus during Fall Break to catch up on coursework and to prepare for final exams.  Michigan Tech welcomes all students living in Wadsworth, McNair, DHH, and Hillside to stay in the residence halls during the Fall Break.  Power and heat will remain on, there is no additional charge to stay.  However, there are some limitations and they are outlined below:

  • The reception desks will be closed from 8:00 PM on Friday, November 22 to 12:00 PM on Sunday, December 1.

  • Mail will be not be delivered during this time.

  • The dining halls will be closed Saturday, November 23 and will reopen on Monday, December 2.

If your student will be staying in the residence halls during the break, they will need to register at the Wadsworth, McNair, or DHH reception desks by Thursday, November 21.  If your student is not staying for Fall Break but will be leaving after November 22 or coming back before December 2, they will also have to register (free of charge) to ensure that their HuskyCard building access will continue while the buildings are locked.

For something fun to do during the Fall Break for those students that will be staying here, International Programs and Services (IPS) is hosting a trip to Bloomington, Minnesota to visit the Mall of America!  The Bus to Bloomington will depart on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, and return on Saturday, November 30. Cost per ticket is only $65 per seat.  To get your bus ticket, each passenger must print, complete, and sign a waiver and return it to IPS.  Passengers under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver form.  Tickets are non-refundable and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Students are responsible for securing their own hotel accommodations.  To make your reservations online, please visit the Marriot website or call 952-858-8475 and ask for the special group rate for Michigan Tech University (major credit card required).  To find a hotel roommate, students can check BarkBoard:  Discussion Forums/Discussions – Any Topics/  IPS-hotel roommate for Mall of America bus trip ONLY.  For any questions, please contact IPS at 906-487-2160 or


If your student has a car on campus, it’s highly recommended that they leave their car at home if it’s not used on a regular basis due to the narrowing of parking lots in the winter.  Once the snow comes, the parking spot lines are no longer visible and parking becomes less accurate, consequently allowing for less cars to park in each lot.  If your student will be leaving their vehicle on campus during the Fall Break, they must park it in the northwest side of commuter Lot 26 by Sunday, November 24 and move it back into their assigned lot by Sunday, December 1 by 11:00 PM. If your student’s car is left it in their assigned lot, it may be towed away at the owner’s expense. For more information, please contact Transportation Services.

That’s all for this week!  I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy catching up with your student!  If you have any questions regarding preparation for Fall Break or have a topic you’d like me to write more about, please don’t hesitate to email me at  Have a great rest of the week!



Study Abroad

Hello Parents,

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week! Time here seems to be speeding up a bit now that we’re getting into the meat of the semester, and the cool, brisk

Me on my study abroad to Lüneburg, Germany in 2012
Me on my study abroad to Lüneburg, Germany, in 2012

November air is reminding us that winter is not very far away. The snow is starting to come and the days are especially short, and there’s a cozy feeling in the Copper Country as the leaves continue to fall.

As students are starting to think ahead to next year, it’s also time to start thinking about studying abroad. Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity for students to broaden their horizons, expose themselves to new things, and challenge themselves in unfamiliar ways while continuing to obtain a quality education. Students can unveil new and exciting cultures and explore the exotic world around them while pursuing top-notch academics. Studying abroad is a great opportunity for students to build skills in flexibility, accountability, and responsibility for their careers in the future. And the best thing about it is that studying abroad at Michigan Tech is extremely affordable! There are many programs in which students can pay tuition directly to Michigan Tech, so whatever they pay here, they pay there. In addition to this, there are a multitude of scholarships that students can apply for to help cover the costs.

If your student is considering studying abroad in the future, he or she should visit the International Programs and Services (IPS) office, located on the second floor of the Administration Building. In addition to assisting international students, IPS specializes in helping students find and choose the right program and country in which to study abroad. Michigan Tech offers programs in more than 30 countries, including China, Germany, Costa Rica, France, Brazil, India, and Japan. They can also assist in corresponding with your student’s academic advisor to make sure the classes they are taking during their study-abroad experience will work towards their degree. Financial Aid is also a tremendous resource to utilize when your student is planning his or her time abroad. While IPS can direct your student to study-abroad-specific scholarships such as the Gilman Scholarship, FEA, and country-specific aid, Financial Aid staff can help in finding domestic scholarships as well as scholarships unique to Michigan Tech to help finance your student’s time abroad.

Studying abroad is an invaluable and once-in-a-lifetime experience that is unique to everyone. I myself have studied abroad, and can say with absolute certainty that it was an experience I will never forget! Here, four other Michigan Tech students share their thoughts about studying abroad:

“Since arriving in Santiago, I have learned so much about myself as a person and a student. I have become a more confident and understanding person. I am studying with others in mostly non-technical fields, which has allowed me to gain a better perspective about how to work with those who have different mindsets.” —Hannah Altscheffel, third-year geological engineering student, currently studying abroad in Santiago, Chile

“During my summer research internship in Munich, Germany, I was able to take extended weekend trips to see much of Germany as well as many neighboring countries. I met so many people from diverse backgrounds and recognized that even though we were so different, there was so much we had in common. It was humbling to find myself in an environment where I couldn’t take my ability to communicate for granted, yet also confidence building. It was an incredible experience that I will not soon forget.” —Michael Adler, fourth-year physics and mathematics double major, studied abroad in Munich, Germany

“Studying abroad was probably the best decision I made during my college career. The only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner… I would have gone a second time. It opened my eyes to a whole new culture and way of living. I grew so much as a person; living on your own in a different country really gives you time to discover new things about yourself. I made lifelong friends and memories. It is my hope that everyone gets the opportunity to have an experience like this as well!” —Allison Strome, fourth-year business management student, studied abroad in Costa Rica

“I studied abroad during the fall semester of my third year at the University of Kingston in London, UK, and it was one of the best experiences of my life! As a student working to put myself through college, I could never afford to travel the world on a whim. However, Michigan Tech’s study-abroad program enabled me to further my civil engineering education while developing my education about other cultures. I greatly appreciated having the opportunity to do so without prolonging graduation.” —Kodi Padilla, fifth-year civil engineering student, studied abroad in London, UK

For more information on studying abroad, please visit International Programs and Services. You can check out IPS’s blog, A Student Abroad, which follows students’ international travel/study experiences.

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions about studying abroad or ParentNet Weekly, please email me at Have a great week!


Upcoming Events and Registration

Hello Parents,

What an eventful week it’s been! With Safehouse, Make a Difference Day, and Halloween finished and over, the semester is coming closer to conclusion every day. It has blown by so fast that it’s hard to keep track of what goes on around campus!   Time here seems to be speeding up a bit now that we’re getting into the meat of the semester, and the cool, brisk November air is reminding us that winter is not very far away.  It’s gone by so fast that course registration for the Spring and Summer semesters is open already!

Spring and Summer Registration
Registration for the Spring and Summer semesters began on Thursday, October 31, and ends on Sunday, November 17. Students’ registration times are opened based on the number of credits they have earned at the time of registration, giving priority first to the students with the most credits earned and continuing through to the students with the least amount of credits earned. Registration can be a stressful experience for students who do not prepare sufficiently. That’s why it’s extremely important for students to plan ahead and adequately ready themselves. Here are a few tricks for students to use to make sure they’re ready when their registration time comes:

1.) Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to make sure that you’re taking the right courses you need in order to graduate on time. I have personally heard horror stories about students who did not do this and were unable to graduate when they expected to because they forgot to take a course they needed, or mixed up the number of credits they needed for a particular concentration. This is probably the most important thing to do when preparing for class registration.

2.) Try to register as soon as your registration time opens; it’s not wise to leisurely log on a half hour after your time opens and try to register. Make sure you know what you can and want to take beforehand so you’re ready when the time comes. It’s important to be savvy, prepared, and quick when you’re registering to make sure that you can get into the classes you want to take.

3.) Pick as many back-up courses as possible, just in case there’s no more room in the PE course you really want to take, or the elective course you were counting on getting into. This is a really easy tip to forget, but it’s really important if you want to get into the courses that interest you the most. If you don’t pick any backups, by the time you find another course that fits in your schedule that you want to take, it will most likely already be filled.

To register, students must log onto Banweb, and click on Students, Registration, then Add/Drop Classes. To view potential courses, they can follow the same steps but click Look Up Classes to Add instead of Add/Drop classes. As a parent, you may be able to log onto your student’s account and access this information via Guest Access. Through Guest Access, your student may grant you access to their electronic bill notification, tuition bill and associated holds, emergency contact information, financial aid awards, unofficial academic transcript, midterm grades, term end grades, and class schedules. For additional questions on how to be granted guest access to your student’s account, please visit the Guest Access website or contact the Registrar’s Office.

That’s it for this week! I hope you feel more in the loop if your student starts talking to you about his or her Spring registration. If you have any further questions about upcoming events or registration, please email me at Have a great week!