Top 10 Things about New England

Are you visiting New England? If so, here is some information that could help you prepare for the trip!

•Public transportation, trains, buses, air travel, is localized around the major cities and towns. e.g. once you get away from Boston, there is only limited bus service and even less train service.
•Cell phone and Internet connectivity is good until you go a long way from metropolitan areas, e.g. into the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts or the mountains of New Hampshire & Vermont.
•Additional help and understanding can be obtained from members of local Rotaract clubs, close to the study institution. Perhaps the most certain way to get Rotaract club location information is directly from the hosting District Governor, District Scholarship Chairperson or District Rotaract Chairperson. Go directly to the hosting district website to get their contact information. Rotaract clubs can be university/college based or community based. Community based clubs meet throughout the year, while college based clubs usually operate only during the ‘school’ year.
•The new Global Scholarship rules require the scholar to find a club willing to host them and with that club to establish who their Host-Counselor will be. Sometimes clubs centered on large metropolitan areas (like Boston or Washington DC) get so many requests to host scholars that it is worth considering working with a Rotary club just a little further from the city center.
•It is quite possible for clubs much further from the study university 30-80 Km (19-50 miles) to be effective hosts for scholars, but look carefully and choose a club location that has bus or train service between the university and host club locations. The value of choosing a more distant host club is that the life-style of your host-counselor’s family is likely to be different to that of a family in the city center, more relaxed and possibly more representative of American life.
•Typical Rotarian Host-Counselors will make a lot of effort to help scholars with problems that they have, resolve issues that can arise from lack of familiarity with the USA, and offer a glimpse into American family life. But scholars are expected to be adult and to respect the friendship that is offered. So don’t ask to routinely have your laundry done, or abuse that relationship.
•As a Rotary scholar coming to New England, you may believe that your studies are the only thing you should concentrate on in order to get good grades. Rotary has established the scholar program to give a much broader education, intentionally requiring scholars to connect with their hosting community. Don’t miss this opportunity; you will make good friends, often for life, by sharing the knowledge you have of your country with people in the USA. Sometimes that friendship can grow into a much larger relationship as the host family gets to know the scholar’s home family, offering opportunities for international exchange visits that are not part of the Rotary program.
•New England’s weather can change quickly. We have a saying that “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute”! This 2013-2014 Winter is a good example, where one day the high temperature of the day is 10 C. (50 F.) with a low of 2 C. (36 F.), then 3 days later be -9 C. (16 F.) with a low of -17 C. (2 F.). Extreme temperatures can be much lower, Boston had a low temperatures of -23 C. (-10 F.) this winter. So come prepared with some warm clothes. The advice is to ‘layer’ your clothes. e.g. bring a sweater and warm coat with you, so that you can take them off if it gets warm quickly.
•During winter, the air is very dry (low humidity), so it is helpful to use hand-cream to keep your skin moist.
•Summers are hot and humid, particularly in August. So it is a mistake to think that New England is a cold location in which to study. The nicest weather months are May-June-July as Spring moves into Summer, and September-October when Summer moves into Fall (Autumn). In October the tree foliage develops its amazing colors. Of course if you like skiing, then Winter is your time when there are many opportunities to go into the mountains.