At Colby, students from around the world enhance their understanding of human difference by studying global issues. Half of our majors have an international component, and each student must fulfill international diversity and foreign language requirements. They learn from others by engaging in lively classroom and dinnertime discussions with their peers and by immersing themselves in other cultures by studying abroad.
Our commitment to global content in the curriculum led Colby to be one of the first recipients of the prestigious Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization in 2005. The award recognized values and trends that continue at Colby.
Information for International Students
What is your favorite holiday? If it is not listed or if the information should be adjusted, please send Director Of Interntaional Student Programs Sue McDougal a note so that it can be included.
- 1-New Year’s Day
- 3-Chinese New Year
- 14-16 Lao New Year and Water Festival
- 18-26 Passover
- 22-24 Good Friday-Easter
- 5-Cinco de Mayo
- 4-American Independence Day
- 14-Bastille Day
- 6-Labor Day
- 8-10 Rosh Hashanah
- 9-Eid al-Fitr
- 17-18 Yom Kippur
- 16-Eid al Adha
The Colby experience is shaped by the fact that virtually all students live on campus and eat in one of the three dining halls. This ensures that people of different backgrounds have opportunities to get to know one another well and contribute to the campus ethos that values differences. There are no dorms exclusively for first-year students. All of the residence halls are co-ed and, except for the senior apartments and the dialogue houses, all of them mix students from all four classes. Because class years are integrated in the residence halls, students are more quickly acclimated and better immersed into the life of the College.
While great effort is taken to ensure that you and your roommate(s) will be compatible, sometimes the arrangements do not work. Should you find your living situation intolerable, visit the Office of Campus Life on the second floor of Cotter Union, or call for an appointment at 207-859-4287.
The dorms offer a lot of variety, not only in location and style, but with several housing options available.
Substance-free halls provide an environment free from alcohol, tobacco, and other substances. More than 15 percent of students choose to live in substance-free halls each year and sign a pledge agreeing to adhere to this philosophy.
A quiet dorm with extended quiet hours is available for interested students.
Students with special dietary restrictions are eligible to live in the co-op in Mary Low Hall with access to a kitchen for meal preparation.
Depending on the size of the residence hall, each has between one and four community advisors, who are student hall staff available to help you in various ways. They assist in building community as well as resolving issues in your residential hall (respect of quiet hours, conflict between residents, etc). They also provide opportunities to engage in campus events and the campus community. They are a good source of information about what is happening on campus and the community rules that apply within your residence. They are also able to connect you to a variety of resources on campus such as library resources and counseling resources, but are also there to lend an ear.
Some of the residence halls also have faculty/staff residents, a faculty member or family who has an apartment in the hall. They eat in the dining halls and assist in planning events for the students in their hall. Faculty/staff residents work with the residence hall association to create a cohesive community.
Colby, together with Bon Appétit, the food contract service, offers its students an expansive choice of food service options to meet their diverse dietary choices. For those of you not familiar with our Dining Services, Colby operates three dining halls during the school year—Dana, Foss, and Roberts—each striving to create a flavor and atmosphere all its own. Students also have the option of grabbing a fresh, ready-made salad, sandwich, or dessert for lunch in the Caporale Lounge in Cotter Union. If organic, shade-grown coffee is more what you had in mind, visit the Spa. Supporting all of these locations is the bakeshop, where all of our breads and desserts are prepared fresh daily by the Colby bakers.
Many religious faiths are represented at Colby: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and others.
Catholic mass is celebrated every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The Catholic student organization, the Newman Council, plans meetings and social events.
The Protestant organization on campus is the Colby Christian Fellowship (CCF).
The Jewish organization on campus is B’nai B’rith Hillel. Meeting hours are announced at the beginning of the school year.
For Muslims, prayer service is held in the Rose Chapel every Friday from noon to 2:00 p.m.
Colby provides a large athletic center for its students as well as its staff. The athletic center includes a 25-yard-by-25-meter swimming pool, an ice hockey arena, a field house, two basketball courts, several squash and handball courts, a Nautilus and free-weight rooms, a modern center for athletic training and physical therapy, and several tennis courts.
Colby College Museum of Art
The Colby College Museum of Art, located in Bixler, is composed of the Jetté Gallery, the Davis Gallery, the Schupf wing, and the Lunder wing. Excellent exhibitions of painting, sculpture, and graphic art can be seen in the museum.
Colby’s post office, located on the ground floor in Cotter Union, provides a broad range of services. Domestic and international stamps may be purchased at the post office. The other services provided by Colby’s post office are money orders, fax services, priority mail, certified mail, registered mail, venda cards, insured mail, parcel post, notary public, and package pickup.
During orientation you will receive a box number and key. When your family and friends write, ask them to include your name on the first line, your box number and “Mayflower Hill” on the second, and city, state, and zip+4 on the third. Waterville’s zip code is 04901. All zip+4 codes begin with 88 after the hyphen, and the final two digits match the first two digits of your box number. A sample address is:
7256 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8872
If you need more information, just stop by the post office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and at certain times of the year seven days a week (exam periods, graduation time, etc.). The mail arrives once a day, generally in the morning.
Keep these recommendations in mind as you begin your studies.
Allow yourself time to adjust. You will need a period of time to adjust to a new academic system before you will be able to demonstrate the best of your ability. Do not be discouraged if, despite your best efforts, your first semester’s work at Colby is not up to your personal standards.
Select your courses carefully. During your first semester, do not take more courses than necessary. The result of taking too many courses may be discouragement and poor academic performance. Choose a combination of more demanding and less demanding courses, paying particular attention to the amount of reading required for each course. When arranging your schedule, talk not only with your academic advisor but also with experienced students familiar with available courses and professors.
Attend class regularly.American professors expect students to attend class. Class absences can contribute negatively to a final grade, not only because of the absence but also because students are expected to take notes on class lectures.
Work hard from the first day of classes. Unlike some other educational systems, it is not possible in the United States to wait until halfway through the semester to begin studying. You may have quizzes or exams within the first few weeks of class and papers due throughout the semester.
Talk with your professors. U.S. professors expect students to ask questions in class or immediately afterward. They also expect, and reward, class discussion and student participation. They assume you will consult with them during office hours if you have questions or problems. If you do not speak up about your difficulties, the professor will think that either you are doing well in class or that you do not really care about the class. If you are confused by some aspects of your work in class or by the professor’s expectations of you, make it a point to see the professor after class or during office hours.
Organize your study materials. From your experience in your own academic system, you have certain expectations about how your field of study should be learned. You may assume, for example, that it is important to memorize large quantities of information to be reproduced during exams, or that the way to study your field is to focus on a very limited aspect in great depth. In the United States you may find that memorizing material is less important than analyzing and synthesizing ideas from several different sources. You may find that your professors require you to read the works of a large number of scholars. Try to keep your mind and your eyes and ears open to these and other perspectives that may seem strange to you.
Find out as much as possible about test formats. The types of exam most frequently given by professors are multiple choice, short answer, and essay. Before a test, if you explain to a professor that you are unfamiliar with American college test formats and procedures, he or she will usually be willing to go over the type of test used in that particular class as well as his or her expectations. You may even be able to look at an old test as an example, but don’t necessarily expect this. What international students often find most difficult is the strict time limitations for completing tests, particularly essay tests. You may ask your professor for more time on an essay test and some will agree, but some may not, so don’t assume it will be granted, especially if you ask at the last moment. Try writing practice answers to possible questions before the test; ask your professor for help with this too. Be sure to ask the professor for clarification if you do not understand words or even the grammatical structure of a question (many American students have trouble understanding exam questions as well!). Budget your time carefully throughout any exam.