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News & Events

The Office for International Students & Scholars holds seminars and workshops during the year. The office also advises the International Students Organization, and helps showcase their events. Please check periodically to see when the next event or workshop is scheduled.

Open Office Hours

Have a Question? Need something signed? Want to know more about something?

Come to our ISSO open office hours, held every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2-4pm on a first-come, first-served basis. If you cannot make it during those hours, feel free to contact the office to make an appointment.


Office closed for Winter Break: Smith College will be closed from Wednesday, December 24th until Sunday, January 4th. The Lewis Global Studies Center will be closed during this time as well. If you have an emergency, please contact Campus Police at (413) 585-2490.

Traveling during Winter Break: Make sure you have all your travel documents! For domestic travel, US driver's license, state IDs or your passports should be sufficient. For international travel, you must have your passport and I-20 (signed in the last 12 months)!

Winter Break Housing:

Winter Break EVENTS - December 20 - January 4


Winter Solstice and Children's Day Celebration

4:00pm - 7:00pm, Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center, 191 Main Street (3rd floor)

"All are warmly invited to our winter solstice celebration.  The Shambhala community traditionally celebrates the changes of season. These special days are called Nyida Days and relate to the spring and autumn equinoxes, and the summer and winter solstices.

The winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere falls on December 21 this year. This celebration is our Children’s Day, a special opportunity to express appreciation for, and with, our children. Winter Solstice is an occasion for all of us to celebrate our lineage and our place in Shambhala, with the warmth and cheer of light, friendship and food.

We will be honored with a visit from the Shambhala royalty, a presentation by the children and enjoy a shared meal together.

We hope you can join us! For more information, go to: http://pioneervalley.shambhala.org/program-details/?id=199493


Look Park: Santa’s Trains & Holiday Lights

3:50pm, Academy of Music bus stop

Meet at the Academy of Music at 3:50pm to take the R42 PVTA bus to Florence, MA. The bus costs $1.25 each way.

Tell the bus driver you’d like to stop at Look Park – it will be the next stop after Florence Center. Buses will leave every hour from Look Park to come back to town – at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, and 8pm.

All Aboard! This holiday season, Look Memorial Park is celebrating this special timeof the year with a selection of running model trains whirling by displays of a whimsical wonderland of Christmas favorites and village landscapes. Chat with authentic engineers, view beautifully themed holiday trees and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus before relaxing with a holiday cookie and hot chocolate. Each evening features a special guest Conductor and Station Master from the community greeting you as you enter a magical world and share in the spirit of the season.

Santa’s Trains at Look Park is open to the public daily from December 10th–23rd from 4:00 to 8:00 PM and on December 24th from 10 AM - 2:00 PM at the Garden House at Look Memorial Park, 300 North Main Street in Florence, MA. Free for all ages!

While you enjoy Santa’s Trains, you can also step aboard the Holiday Express train and take a one mile ride around the Park. View over 50 holiday light displays made by the park's Grounds and Maintenance staff. The train departs nightly every 20 minutes beginning at 4:20 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Visit www.lookpark.org for information.

Women's Chanukah Night of Art and Inspiration

7:00pm - 10:00pm, Chabad-Lubavitch of Northampton, 81 Milton Street


"Bring your inner light out and experience your soul essence through painting your Hebrew name on your own tambourine (supplied).

Relax with a hot bowl of soup and fresh warm bread around the fire place.

Take in words of inspiration and feel the true spirit of Chanukah together with friends.

RSVP to reserve your tambourine by emailing Tamar@kugelnoho.com.
$18 suggested donation


Dinner & a Movie!

6:00pm, Cutter House living room


Come join other international students staying for Winter Break and enjoy dinner on the International Students & Scholars Office. We’ll be ordering food from Oriental Flavor in Amherst, MA (http://orientalflavoramherst.com/) and watching Disney’s Maleficent! If you have any menu requests, send them to Cutter's HR, QianQian Liang (qliang@smith.edu) by 9am Tuesday. Come by to have delicious food and good company. FREE.



Local Northampton Christmas Eve Services



- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish: Mass at Parish Church, 99 King Street

- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish: Mass at Blessed Sacrament, 354 Elm Street

- St. John's Episcopal Church, 48 Elm Street: Children's pageant and Holy Communion

- Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, 22 Main Street


- The College Church, 57 Pomeroy Terrace: Candlelight service, lessons and carols, ending with candle lighting. Cookies and cocoa afterwards. All are welcome.

- Edwards Church, 297 Main Street: "Come Let Us Adore Him."

- St. John's Episcopal Church, 48 Elm Street: Hymns and Holy Communion

- Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, 22 Main Street


- First Churches of Northampton, 129 Main Street: Prelude music begins at 7:15. Come sing your favorite carols and light a candle of hope with us amidst the darkness.


- St. John's Episcopal Church, 48 Elm Street: Special choral music


- St. John's Episcopal Church, 48 Elm Street: Candlelit service with incense and Holy Communion

12 midnight

- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish: Midnight mass at Parish Church, 99 King Street

- St. Valentine Polish National Catholic Church, 127 King Street: Midnight Mass, shepherd's Mass, will begin with a concert of carols in Polish and English at 11:45pm


Local Northampton Christmas Day Services


- St. Valentine Polish National Catholic Church, 127 King Street


- First Churches of Northampton, 129 Main Street: Service of lessons and carols


- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish: Mass at Parish Church, 99 King Street


Holyoke Mall trip

11:00am, Academy of Music bus stop

Shop those crazy after-the-holidays sales at the mall! Meet at the Academy of Music to take the B48 PVTA bus to the Holyoke Mall. The bus costs $1.25 each way. Anyone who is interested will take the 11:00am bus to the mall, and we'll meet back up at the bus stop at 3:05pm to come back to campus. Feel free to go earlier or stay later, but this will be a chance to travel with other Smithies for shopping.


Get Your Craft On! Snowflake Making & Cookie Decorating

6:00pm, Ziskind House kitchen

Come make snowflakes to decorate your room, decorate some holiday cookies, and have a low-key get-together in the houses. FREE.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31st: New Year's Eve!

First Night Northampton

12:00 noon - 6:00pm, all over downtown Northampton

Northampton comes alive on New Year's Eve day! All day and night there will be performances and special deals all over town to those who have bought a First Night Northampton button. We've bought 20 buttons to the daytime events, and we're giving them out first-come, first-served. Sign up for a button with your HR, or buy a button on your own (Daytime buttons- good until 6pm: $10; All day and night buttons: $16).

We'll meet in the living room of your house to hand out buttons, and then we'll walk down to the first event at the Academy of Music at 12 noon, A Circus Wonderland. There will be a super-sized circus spilling into the streets!

To download a PDF of the day's events, click here. To learn more about the events and performances, go to: www.firstnightnorthampton.org or download the iPhone app: First Night Northampton 2015. FREE with button.




Don't miss the New Year's Eve fireworks this year! Walk downtown to watch them and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the holiday. FREE.


New Year's Eve Celebration

8:00pm, Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center, 191 Main Street (3rd floor)

"Please Join us for a New Year’s Eve Party at the Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center! Let’s celebrate, meditate and authenticate the New Year together.

This event is hosted by the PVSC “Sit and Talk” group. All ages most welcome. Festive dress optional.


Shambhala Lounge: relax with friends, eat, drink, and be merry. Please bring an offering of savory finger food and a favorite holiday libation.

Open Mic - Bring a song, story, music, poetry, dance, etc. Improv warmly welcomed. We then move into a

Dance Party - Barefoot Ballroom. Dance to a wide selection of great music.

Meditation/Celebration - A mindful and short ceremonial meditation just before midnight. To usher in the gentleness and generosity as a community.

For further information, please contact: Julie Robbins - julierobbins50@gmail.com or Faith Killough - faithkillough@gmail.com" or go to: http://pioneervalley.shambhala.org/program-details/?id=204209.


New Year's Eve countdown

11:30pm, Intersection of Pleasant Street & Main Street

Every year, the Hotel Northampton rings in the New Year with a glittering ball atop the roof. Gather in the center of town to countdown the last minutes of 2014 and watch the ball rise to signify the New Year. FREE.


Movie, Pizza & Popcorn

6:00pm, Cutter House living room

Movie to be announced! Come hang out and watch a movie with friends, eat some popcorn. FREE.