University offers options for on-campus breakers

Zoe+Grant+Daily+Illini%0DStudents+gathered+on+the+Main+Quad+to+enjoy+the+snow+on+Manday+afternoon.

Zoe Grant Daily Illini Students gathered on the Main Quad to enjoy the snow on Manday afternoon.

By Yi Zhang

Last year, the University began to provide online courses for the winter session, offering an additional option for students who stay on campus and want to be productive, said Adam Fein, associate director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning.

“Starting from last year with eight courses and expanding to 17 courses this year, we surveyed students and faculties for the classes (that interested them),” he said. “And all the courses are covered in GenEd and have been taught online previously.”

The classes are offered in advertising, economics, geology and gender and women’s studies.

“(A vast amount) of students who registered are residential students, and international students make up a great percentage — about 25 percent of (those) registered,” Fein said. “For students who stay on campus, it is also a good option to earn extra credits.”

For students that may not be interested in spending a month just taking online classes, other events are held on campus.

“The Illini Union Board holds a lot of events for students during break, and there is also a tour for students to visit Champaign County,” said Jennifer Avery, international advising specialist of International Student and Scholar Services.

Because a large amount of students who stay on campus are international students, there are other kinds of opportunities available that are specially tailed for international students.

“Lots of international students enjoy the International Friends Program, which connects local host families with international students and invite students to their homes for holiday,” Avery said. “Students become more connected with the community, and they can spend holiday time during break with their host families.”

The reasons that students choose to stay on campus can vary, said Avery.

“Some of them have lots of work to do and work on research, some of them will do an internship otherwise because of financial issues,” Avery said.

In addition, some students, especially international students, may be dissuaded from traveling the long distance between the University and their homes.

“Winter break’s time seems too short for me to go back to China,” Yi Zhao, a junior in LAS said. “But instead of staying on campus and preparing for next semester all the time, I would like to go to California for a short break. Just want to stay in somewhere warmer.”

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