Category Archives: Off Campus Fun

You Asked: About how many students study abroad? Is Skidmore helpful when someone chooses to spend a semester or year in a different country? I actually want to study in Australia also, so I would really appreciate your perspective and help. Thank you!

I would say about 65% of the Skidmore student body studies abroad. If I am not mistaken, we are ranked top 5 in the country for percentage of students who study abroad from a given campus. With that said studying abroad is pretty much apart of the Skidmore experience. Countless times I have heard students say that they did not consider or would have not considered studying abroad if it were not for Skidmore. Skidmore College definitely believes the abroad experience enhances the college experience overall and I agree with every bit of that claim. Studying abroad was just about the best decision I have ever made. I still look back at my time abroad fondly and sometimes wish so bad that I could go back.
Since the decision is much supported Skidmore is very helpful when deciding to study abroad. Skidmore allows you to choose from Skidmore programs or Skidmore approved programs and if you are still not happy with the options you may have the option of choosing your own program outside of these choices. A student can literally walk into the Office of Off- Campus Study and Echanges saying he or she has no idea where to go, what to study, when to go, or how and they can help. I would know, I was that student. They will help you make a decision that is best given your major and the courses you have taken and need to take. Skidmore also prepares you for the leave but getting you in touch with students who have studied in the same location in the past and giving tips on what to do and how to make the best of your experience when away.
Financial Aid and such also carries over!
Thinking of studying abroad ? I say DO IT !!

This was my blog while in Aussie.

Hope this all helped.


Ask me anything

A great question from a NYC Zinch’er.

Thank you! I’m not sure if I will transition smoothly from the city that never sleeps to a smaller town with less commotion. I always find a place to go on a leisure day; like the movies, bowling, ice skating, ect. Do you think activities like these are as easy to find up in Saratoga? Or maybe in Skidmore itself; do you find students to be pretty occupied between work clubs and outside activities?

I promise you there is so much to do. I know this is a big concern for many students who are coming from densely populated areas. There is heaps and heaps to do at Skidmroe- something every night. Evidence to this is that we have never been described as a suit case campus meaning none of our students go away for the weekend because Skidmore does not give you a reason too. Saratoga has heaps going on as well. Especially during the summer so everyone should stay for at least one summer. I think the difference between here and the city is that in the city it feels as if everything is just there, it comes to you, and you are familiar with it. Whereas here, it is helpful to be on top of everything. Read posters, check out websites, step out of your comfort zone and do not hesitate to meet new people from all walks of life. Another thing is that I feel like many NYC students expect all fun to involve dance parties. You will especially have a fantastic time if you step out of that mentality and realize a good time can be more than dancing and also include watching a show, listening to a lecture, participating in a particular club, watching a band play, etc.

And when I say be on top of things I do not mean that events are hard to find I am just saying the information is out there, pretty in your face, so it helps to keep an open eye.

And do not get me wrong about parties, those do exist here as well.


You Asked: My brother will be starting on campus this January. I want to get him gift certificates to local hangouts. Any suggestions?

Fantastic ! Congratulations to your brother !

Okay first things first. Your brother needs at least a Skidmore sweater, mug, or snuggie. Yea, the Skid shop sells snuggies. So a certificate to the Skidmore Shop is a must.

So many students go to Uncommon Grounds because it is a fantastic place to do homework. Bagels, coffee, and wifi. What else could you possibly need on a weekend afternoon? Nothing !

Plum Dandy. Frozen Yogurt deliciousness. I really do not have to say much more.

I really enjoy finding cool sweaters, accessories, and such in consignment shops. There is a really good one in town. Its called Eighty Twenty Boutique; the owner is really sweet and is actually lending clothes to the Fashion Show I am directing.

I am guessing your brother likes food. I mean who doesn’t?! A really fun, easy, chill place to eat with great burgers and a fun theme is Circus Cafe.

You can not go wrong in this town.

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You Asked: Did you go abroad? Did you enjoy your time?

I DID !! I went abroad to Australia. I had the time of my life. I fell in love with the people, sights, food, EVERYTHING!! I still keep in touch with the friends I met there and am confident that I will keep in contact with them for the rest of my days. I loved Australia so much I feel the need to return after graduation.

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You Asked: How cold are the winters at Skidmore? As someone who doesn’t like the cold but loves the school, would I be traumatized by the winters in Saratoga?

It can get pretty cold. The worst of the winter is December to the beginning of February- thank goodness we are gone for most of that since winter break is mid/ late December to late January. Some days are as cold as 0 degrees or maybe colder. As far as the snow goes, there can be heaps! I wouldn’t say it snows often in the winter. But when it does snow, it snows a lot. What helps is that the buildings have central heating and most of the campus is covered. Also, many of our academic buildings are connected so you may stay in doors for an entire day of classes and the campus is not very large so students do not spend much time out doors when traveling from one building to another.
The winters at Skidmore (Saratoga Springs) are no different than winters in most NorthEast areas. For instance, I am from NYC. Winters are just as cold there as they are here. Except Saratoga gets more snow. The campus and town are great about clearing the snow.

Remember to put “Coat” on your check list for things to buy/ bring up to Skidmore.

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No idea what you would do in the snow? Here are some ideas!

You Asked: Do you guys have off- campus dorms? Do most people live on- campus?

Skidmore College does not have any off campus dormitories as of 2006 (I may be off by a bit on that year). I think that is the year of which Skidmore sold Moore Hall, a dorm that was apart of the old campus. The campus use to be located about a 20 minute walk from the current campus, in the center of town.
90-95 % of Skidmore Students live on campus. Students are guaranteed housing for all four years and can not live off campus until junior year. Only under certain circumstances can a student live off campus as an underclassman.
I mean why wouldn’t the majority of the student body want to live on campus?! The campus is beautiful and the rooms are large and the houses are sick !

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Family, Friend Chicken, and Arrested Development

I completely forgot to post about my weekend. Here are a few high lights.

I think I may have said this already but my family was unable to make it for Celebration Weekend. I was not too upset but I did frown once or twice when seeing parents everywhere, even in town. As I was doing homework in Uncommon Grounds* I received a text from Amber Butcher’ 12: “Dinner with family 630p. Meet at Hattie’s”. Of course I got excited. Hattie’s is a Southern restaurant in Saratoga Springs. Hattie’s is where you can find the best friend chicken you will ever sink your teeth into. The restaurant also won a throw down against Iron Chef Bobby Fley. Anyways as I was having dinner I had one of those feelings where time seems to slow down for all the right reasons. I was apart of the Butcher family and was so grateful for it. The frown I had for not having family visit was washed away with good laughs over southern cuisine.

I am sure heaps of my friends would have done the same with their families.

The point being through Skidmore I have gained more family than one could imagine.

One other awesome thing. One of my favorite shows is Arrested Development. Apparently I am not the only one. I attended an AD themed party on campus. So many people dressed up: CTM !!

"Hey, Brother!!" - Tucker Costello' 12 as Buster

Seriously, how long did this take ?!

*Uncommon Grounds is a really popular coffee shop located in the center of town; right on Broadway. UG is definitely a favorite. I am really into the dim lighting and art. UG also has free wireless and amazing honey walnut cream cheese. My only complaint: I smell like bagels every time I come out of there.

You asked: is there stuff to do nearby? do a lot of people go home over the weekends?

Skidmore College by no means is a “suitcase” campus. On Friday afternoons students are not eagerly looking at the clock waiting to be dismissed so they can pack their suitcase and go home. There is so much to do on campus and off campus that students enjoy sticking around for the weekends. I myself like to joke how I have not been home since I first arrived at Skidmore. On campus, every night of the week there is an event going on anything from lectures to concerts and parties. Saratoga is a great location. It is a town that can survive on its own, it does not need Skidmore students to flourish. There are tons of restaurants– everything from Italian to Asian cuisine, adorable shops, an art district, a mall and the list goes on. What is amazing is that all this continues during the summer. Summer Saratoga includes performances at the Saratoga Arts Center, Arts Festival, and the racetrack. And for the outdoorsy types, the Adirondack mountains are about 20 minutes north; a great place to do some hiking, camping and even snow sports.
SO MUCH TO DO. YOU WILL NOT GO HOME … EVER !! warn your parents.

I <3 Saratoga Springs

Yesterday I decided to do work in town as opposed to the cozy cave that is my room. For me, there is nothing like work with the scent of coffee lingering in the air so I really enjoy doing work in coffee shops. There are so many to choose from in town. My choice of location just depends on my mood. My ‘mood’ called for a small, personal coffee place called Virgil’s House. Never over crowded or noisy, Virgil’s is the perfect location for studying. Every table is equipped with a board game or a puzzle set making it a great space for some casual alone time or a friendly game amongst two friends.
As I sat and pulled out my text book I glanced out the window; coffee cup hot at the palms of my hand, my eyes caught sight of fallen leaves; beautiful oranges and reds. At this moment, rather than catching up on the theories of Richard Dawkins and the “Selfish Gene”, I thought about how much I love Saratoga Springs. I truly am in love with this town. Many have asked me how I managed to make such a transition from the busy concrete jungle to the relaxed town of “healing springs”. I think the town speaks for itself.
I find everything about the town charming. The size is perfect, with a population size of 30,000 the town is just the right size to make enough friends but not too small that it depends on the campus for life. If Skidmore were to magically disappear Saratoga would do just fine. There are countless eateries. Everything from Asian to Italian cuisine, sweet locations to catch a quick bite or fancy settings for any special occasion. Coffee shops, boutiques, bars, restaurants, you name it it’s here. And the best part is they are all small and personal.
During the summer, the town picks up. The famous Saratoga Race Track attracts families from all over. The summer population size triples. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center features performances varying from the Philadelphia Orchestra to Lil’ Wayne. The weather is just right. Taking a bus or drive to point B from point A will come at the expense of enjoying the great sights of the college campus and town. Flowers are spread out thoughtfully making every walk a romantic one. And no day is ever dull with so much to do including free events on campus and in town. I could go on for quite a bit but I think you get the point.
I guess what I am saying is there is a reason why I have spent pretty much all of my academic vacations in Saratoga Springs. Some say I have turned my back to NYC, I say I have found a new home, a new love.