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Frequently Asked Questions

Classes, Textbooks, and Homework
Residence Hall and Roommates
Food and Shopping
School Breaks
Clubs and Other Activities
Other Necessities

Classes, Textbooks, and Homework
What are classes like?
You will have several classes each day, e.g. grammar, reading, writing, listening, speaking. Your classes will consist of discussions, pair and group work, tests, and quizzes. Classes also have projects like essays, research papers, presentations, book reports, etc. Both regular attendance and participation are expected.

What should I bring to classes?
You will need your textbook(s), notebook, pens/pencils, and a dictionary. Computers are often used as well.

What textbooks am I going to need and how much do they cost?
Your teachers will tell you on the first day of classes what books you’ll need to get. All the books can be found in the College’s bookstore. You can expect to spend about $250-300 on textbooks each semester.

How much homework will I receive?
You should plan to spend 3-4 hours on homework every day (at least one hour for each class).

Where can I get help with homework?
Your teachers and your ESL tutor are great resources. You can visit your teachers during their office hours if you have questions. The ESL tutor has regular hours during which you can get more help with your homework or practice English conversation. There is no extra charge for these resources.

Is the TOEFL test required?
Students entering our ESL program are not required to take the TOEFL test before they start in the program.

Is the TOEFL test offered?
Yes, we offer the ITP (Institutional/paper and pencil) TOEFL test for a small fee. It is usually offered at the end of each semester, depending on student interest.

Residence Hall and Roommates
How many roommates am I going to have?
There can be 1 to 4 people in each room, depending on your residence hall (dormitory).

Are my roommates going to be American or other international students?
The College’s housing office works hard to make the best roommate matches for you. Your roommates can either be American or other international students. Sometimes there may be a mix of the two.

What will my dormitory room look like?
Once your housing placement has been finalized by the College’s housing office, you can find specific details about your residence hall and your room on the housing website, which shows floor plans, pictures of the interior, etc.

Where can I do laundry and how much does it cost?
Each residence hall has a laundry room with washing machines and dryers. These are free for students to use. You will need to get your own laundry detergent and dryer sheets.

Food and Shopping
Where can I eat on campus?
There are several dining options on campus, available at various times of the day. You can check the dining website for more details, menus, etc. Ruth’s Marketplace is the College’s main cafeteria, which serves food buffet-style (you eat as much as you want for a set price). Please note that when the College is closed for holidays or breaks, the campus dining options are limited.

What are meal dollars?
If you are living on campus during the academic year (fall and/or spring semester), you will have a meal plan, which consists of “meal dollars.” Your meal dollars can be used at any dining option on campus: Ruth’s Marketplace, Phil’s, Ed’s and Dale’s.

Can I cook in my residence hall (dormitory)?
Besides using the meal plan, you can cook in your residence hall. Each residential building has a small kitchen with a stove and a refrigerator for students to use.

Where can I go grocery shopping?
You can take the city bus to Festival Foods or Walmart. Festival Foods primarily sells food groceries and is about 5 minutes by bus from St. Norbert College campus. Walmart (about 15 minutes by bus) has a wide variety of products, including food, clothing, electronics, etc.

Where can I do other shopping?
Besides Walmart (about 15 minutes by bus from campus), you can also shop at Bay Park Square Mall in the Green Bay’s shopping district (about 25 minutes by bus from campus), which offers a variety of retail businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, movie theater, etc.

School Breaks
How long is Winter break?
Winter break is usually 4-6 weeks long (from mid-December to late January).

How long is May break?
May break for ESL students is usually 2-3 weeks long (from the end of the spring semester in mid-May to the start of the ESL summer semester in late May/early June).

How long is August break?
August break is usually 4-5 weeks long (from the end of ESL summer semester in late July to the beginning of the fall semester in late August).

What do students do during break?
Longer breaks are a great opportunity for students to travel or do activities with their friends, roommates or friendship families. During breaks, there are no classes and much of campus dining is limited or closed.

Clubs and Other Activities
What clubs do ESL students often join?
Involvement Fair in early fall semester is a great way for students to explore College’s many student organizations and clubs before they decide to join. Many ESL students are involved in Bridges/Cru and Japan Club. Intramurals are a great opportunity to interact with domestic students and become involved in sports. All clubs are a great way to meet new people and make friends.

Are there campus activities all year round?
Most campus activities, including events by student organizations and clubs, are available during the academic year (fall and spring semester). In the summer, the ESL program regularly organizes special activities for ESL students.

What is there to do in the Green Bay area?
Greater Green Bay area, which includes De Pere, offers a variety of arts, dining, shopping, outdoors and sports options for different interests. Your friends and friendship families will introduce you to many of these. Our ESL program excursions will allow you to explore these as well.

What is the climate like in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin has four seasons. Fall and spring can be brisk. Winter is extremely cold and snowy (the average temperature is from 1F = -17C to 20F = -6C during the coldest month of January). Summer is warm and can be humid (the average temperature is from 55F = 13C to 80F = 27C during the warmest month of July).

What should I bring to prepare for the weather?
In the fall and spring, you may want a light jacket and/or a rain jacket. In the winter, you will need a heavy winter jacket and a hat and gloves as well as winter boots. In the summer, most students wear shorts, t-shirts or tank tops, and sandals. You don’t necessarily have to bring all these items from home; instead please plan to buy them here in order to be best prepared for the local weather. Please note that all academic buildings on campus are heated and air-conditioned. Residence halls are heated and some have air-conditioning.

How do students get around the city?
There is a city bus that is affordable and conveniently stops outside Bemis International Center on St. Norbert College campus. Many students also use Uber or taxi.

How do students travel on longer distances (to other cities or states)?
Depending on the destination, there are long-distance buses available (the Bus Station is in downtown Green Bay, 20-25 minutes by car from St. Norbert College). Many students usually fly in order to travel to other states. Austin Straubel Airport (GRB) is only 10 minutes from campus (by car).

Other Necessities
Do I need cash?
Cash and credit/debit cards are most commonly used. People usually use cash at outdoor markets and credit/debit cards at other businesses.

Will I need a suit (dress clothes)?
There will be a few formal occasions (e.g. Farewell Ceremony), but a suit is not necessary. It is useful to bring a button down shirt, tie, and dress pants for men and a dress for women.

Do I need my own laptop computer?
Yes, if you have one. All St. Norbert College students are expected to bring a device to campus, which they can use both in their residence hall as well as in the classroom.

Do I need to bring a printer?
No, it’s not necessary to bring a printer. There are several printers across campus and students can use these free of charge (up to a certain limit).

Do I need a school ID card?
Yes. Each student is issued their SNC ID card shortly after their arrival on campus. You should keep this card on you at all times as you will use it often for a variety of purposes, including cafeteria access, residence hall entry, library check-outs, printing, etc.

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