What are you doing for the summer? Going home, wherever that is for you? Have you ever thought about staying on campus for the summer? Maybe you could knock out some classes and enjoy the Portland summer culture. If you are thinking about staying on campus or might want to take some summer classes at some point in your academic career, this story is aimed at helping you in your decision.
According to the University of Portland Office of the Registrar, there are currently 488 students enlisted for classes in both summer sessions. The first summer session begins May 13 and runs through June 20. Then the second session will commence June 24 and end August 1.
These 500 some-odd students have a choice of over 375 different classes to take including the study abroad options. There is a six credit hour maximum for students enrolling in summer classes. How much does this cost a student? According to the UP summer handbook, each credit hour costs $742. That times six comes out to $4,452 for classes alone. Not to mention all the extra costs of living either on campus or near it. Just to put that into perspective, the average costs of a summer study abroad session costs on average $5,000 for tuition. This is a very logical and exciting alternative for many UP students who need or desire to take summer classes.
About 150 students each semester choose to live on campus while taking summer classes. The past couple of years they have lived in Corrado while other dorms get a makeover. This year it’s Corrado’s turn to get some renovations while students stay in Fields and Schoenfeldt.
Why Students Stay
Students stay on campus for several reasons: classes, jobs and internships.
Andrew Condino, a sophomore Marketing major here at UP and an employee of College Pro Painters, is one of the students who will be dedicating their summer to working. Condino said, “I will be here in Portland working all summer. I really enjoy my job and it keeps me busy and out in the nice Portland summer sun. It doesn’t get too hot here like it does at home in Southern California.”
Ryan Kirven, a sophomore Accounting major, will be attending community college to take a course needed for his major. He also hopes to get a campus job. Kirven said “I don’t think I could be as productive back home in Wyoming. Staying in Portland helps me get Managerial Accounting out of the way which is important for my major and hopefully I will be able to find a job either at P Plant (Physical Plant) or somewhere off campus.”
Students like Kirven who elect to take summer courses at a community college will actually be making their Fall 2013 semester even more difficult by doing so.
“My course at PCC doesn’t start until mid June and won’t end until after Fall semester begins. It is a bit of an inconvenience because of having to drive out there during the school week but the reality is that I am saving quite a bit of money by doing it so it has its pros and cons,” Kirven added.
Tyler Desmarais, a Junior Accounting major is among the students who will be in Portland solely for an internship. Desmarais said “I have an internship for Northwestern Mutual this summer. It definitely won’t be as fun as going back home and working at the port in Seattle with some of my childhood friends but it is a big opportunity for me and my future career. It gives me necessary exposure to the type of work that I want to do.”
Many students choose to stay in Portland over the summer and take advantage of the University’s summer session. The smaller class sizes and lighter workload are just a few of the perks that junior Samantha Wong embraced last year.
“I feel like I can get a lot more accomplished during the summer because I can devote my time to just one or two classes instead of five or six,” Wong said.
When she isn’t in class or studying, Wong spends her time exploring Oregon with her housemates and friends.
“Going on small road trips are a blast,” said Wong. “I had three-day weekends so I went camping at the coast and other parts of Oregon a few times.”
Financial Aid Not Applicable
While Wong chose to attend summer classes, other students do not receive such luxury. Nursing students are required to remain in Portland the summer after their junior year if they wish to graduate on time.
In addition to this requirement, nursing students are not granted financial aid for the summer, which leaves many of them paying out of pocket.
“If they are going to make us take summer classes, the least the school could do is offer additional scholarships to cover the extra cost,” said junior Katie Ellison.
Although bitter about the additional cost, Ellison is excited for her summer clinical placement.
“I’m going to be working with babies at a hospital, which is awesome because I want to take care of all the little ones after I graduate,” said Ellison.
Hours of Operation
Most UP facilities are open, but with different hours:
Even if they don’t need to take classes, many students choose to stay on campus because they revel in the freedom of being away from home. Junior Maggie Smet, who is not taking summer classes, will be a summer RA in Schoenfeldt.
“When I’m at home I have to do stuff and I have to pick up kids from school and I have a lot more responsibilities for other people,” Smet said. “It will be good to be able to do what I want to do.”
As an RA, Smet receives free room as well as a $2000 stipend and a $50 laundry card. While Smet is not worried about her financial situation, she notes that her parents will be worried about her.
“My mom really likes me so she’s really going to miss not being with me,” Smet said. “[My parents] do have some qualms about me earning money and not having anything productive to do.”
While students enjoy the independence that summer life at UP brings, some find the experience to be lonely.
“I got homesick, the days get long,” junior Nicole Simard said.
Smet plans to combat the loneliness by extensive reading and working on her capstone. She looks forward to opening the books her professors recommend that she doesn’t have time to read during the school year.
Students feel surprise at the emptiness summer campus brings. Simard said that most students just go to class and then go home. Popular hangout spots like the Commons are left vacated by students without meal plans.
While the Commons is still open, Simard remembers the menu being limited. Additionally, meal points from previous semesters do not carry over into summer semester and students are required to use cash or card to pay for food.
Simard decided against using the Commons or fast food runs and instead made all her food herself.
“I got creative but I also just made really strange combinations of food,” said Simard. “Cutting up a pineapple in a dorm room proves to be incredibly challenging.”
Events in Portland
Looking for activities to fill time? Portland offers many summer activities to combat boredom.