Release Date: December 11, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Although still in its infancy, University at Buffalo faculty, staff and students are finding UBThisWinter, the university’s winter session, to be a great way to spend the time between the traditional fall and spring semesters.
The session, which runs Jan. 4-22, offers courses, study abroad programs, seasonal activities and volunteer and community service opportunities to engage all members of the UB community.
While there’s still almost a month left until the start of winter session, nearly 1,600 students already have registered for more than 5,300 credit hours, notes Matt Blum, director of summer/winter enrollment in the Office of the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. That’s an increase over the 1,500 students who registered for 5,000 credit hours last year and the 1,000 students who registered for 3,600 credit hours in 2014, the inaugural year of winter session.
Winter session also remains a popular option among UB students interested in studying abroad, says Olga Crombie, assistant director for study abroad programs. The session ranks second only after the summer as the most popular time of year for students to travel abroad, she adds.
And although there has been a small decline in the number of overseas programs offered this winter session, participation has remained relatively steady, Crombie says. UB is sending 150 students abroad during winter 2016 through programs administered by UB and other SUNY campuses, compared with 168 students in 2015 and 123 during winter 2014. These numbers include a handful of students who attend institutions other than UB.
Enrollment in the winter programs in London, Italy and Hong Kong and China has grown from last winter, Crombie says, noting that for the first time, student will be traveling to Barbados this session.
Overall, says Blum, winter session “continues to gain popularity, especially with online courses and study abroad. Each year, a new group of entering students are introduced to winter session,” he says. “UB has become a year-round university where learning never ends.”
But winter session is not just for students. The folks at UBThisWinter have planned a variety of fun, seasonal activities for faculty and staff as well.
Skating at Canalside proved to be extremely popular last year, Blum says. More than 400 people initially registered for the event, which had to be rescheduled due to poor ice conditions. About 200 attended the rescheduled outing.
Faculty and staff also can sign up to take an on-campus or online course, Blum says, adding that some UB employees are eligible for a tuition waiver. Employees should check with their union.