The CGSA Buddy Program pairs current new incoming students with current students to help out with their transit to UMass. The Social Coordinator pairs all incoming graduate students with current graduate students who can answer their questions and make them feel welcomed into the department (coordinating “buddies”). Information packets about the university and the Pioneer Valley area are also assembled by the Coordinator and mailed to the incoming cohort at least one month prior to the arrivals to the area. For more information, contact Sunny Lie at slie@.umass.edu
Check-list for incoming graduate students here.
-Contact information for Nade: email (ude.ssamu.mmoc|voritosn#ude.ssamu.mmoc|voritosn).
Welcome to the Pioneer Valley!
The current Communication graduate students compiled this list of area services to help you get better acquainted with some of the best the Valley has to offer. There is also some very helpful information for everyone at the end.
-Don's Auto Service: 141 Sargent St, Belchertown (on Route 9). Very reliable and friendly service.
-North Amherst Motors: 78 Sunderland Rd, North Amherst. (413) 549-2880: Excellent collision repair center with a friendly staff.
-Amherst Towing: 100 Sunderland Rd, North Amherst. (413) 549-0828
-Amherst Books: 8 Main St., Amherst. Good selection of new, used, and rare books. Graduate students receive 10% off. http://www.amherstbook.com.
-Raven Used Books: 71 N. Pleasant, Amherst; 4 Old South St, Northampton. Buy and sell used books here. They specialize in literary and academic titles, and are much cheaper than the UMass Textbook Annex!
-Food For Thought Books: 106 N. Pleasant St, Amherst. Lots of faculty list their course books at this store. They also carry lots of other progressive and academic titles and host frequent author events. GEO members get a 10% discount!
-The Amherst Bulletin (distributed for free every Thursday around town). An excellent source of information about local events, tag sales, and cars for sale from particular owners, not dealers.
-Craigslist: Western Massachusetts Craigslist. http://westernmass.craigslist.org
-The Wham Classifieds. Pretty new, but some people use it. http://www.campuswham.com/umassclassifieds.
-The Daily Hampshire Gazette. http://www.gazettenet.com. Free on-line classifieds.
-The Five College Society (free). http://www.fivecol-soc.net. A society of over 1000 faculty, students and employees of the five colleges that share information on events and buy/sell ads. You get around 20-25 e-mails a day of classifieds.
-Amherst Coffee and Northampton Coffee (same owners): 28 Amity St., Amherst and 269 Pleasant St., Northampton (respectively).
-Rao’s Coffee: 17 Kellogg Ave (behind the Unitarian Church in Amherst Center). Good coffee and baked goods. Free wireless connection.
-Starbucks’s: 71 N. Pleasant St, Amherst.
-Woodstar Cafe: 60 Masonic St., Northampton. Outdoor seating, Free wifi, limited plug-ins.
-1st Advantage Dental: 31 Hall Dr., Amherst. Friendly staff and they take our Delta Dental Insurance. (I have had a horrendous time with these people for anything more than a cleaning - they charged me an insane amount for a replacement filling which ended up needing a root canal -ZM)
- If you have a car I highly recommend these people - http://www.baystate-dental.com/ - I go to the Longmeadow Office, its a hike even for me but worth it - they have taken care of me well since the debacle at 1st Advantage - ZM (otherwise go to deltadental.com and search for a dentist)
-Big Y or Stop and Shop are the two main big grocery stores in the area. Both have Amherst and Northampton locations. But there are numerous farm stands all around the Valley in Summer and Fall along with smaller markets and a Co-op grocery store in Northampton.
-Atkins Farms Country Market: 1150 West St. (corner of Rt. 116 & Bay Rd), Amherst. Good for local organic produce and delicious pastries (including apple cider donuts and apple crumb pie).
-Whole Foods Market: 327 Russell St (Rt. 9), Hadley. Natural and organic foods.
-Trader Joe’s: 375 Russell St (RT. 9.) Hadley
-River Valley Market: Food Co-op grocery store. 330 Kings St., Northampton.
-Bucci’s: 25 N. Pleasant St., Amherst (413) 256-0733.
-Salon Divine: 15 Pray St., Amherst (behind Bertucci’s) (413) 549-0039. Haircuts run around $20-25 and all the stylists are super friendly and do excellent work. Ask for Carrie.
-Amethyst Brook (Pelham Rd.)
-The Notch (116 South)
-Quabbin Reservoir (Route 9)
-Robert Frost Trail (Puffer’s Pond)
-Norwottuck Bike Trail http://www.hadleyonline.com/railtrail
Check out the How-to's section on housing of this website.
For students with families: Apply for Family housing at once. They have a long waiting list. You only need to send a copy of your acceptance letter attached to the format. Check their site: http://www.housing.umass.edu/family/index.html
-Captain Video: 19 Montague Rd, Amherst and 15 Cowles Ln, Amherst. Large selection, free popcorn, Wednesday night special.
-Jones Library: 8 Montague Rd, Amherst. http://www.joneslibrary.org/
Large collection of books and audio CDs, DVDs and VHS movies.
-Pleasant St. Video. 29 Pleasant St, Northampton (next door to the theater). Huge selection of U.S./foreign movies including independents and Hollywood films.
Movie Theaters: (Don’t forget to bring your student ID for discount)
-Amherst Cinema: 28 Amity St., Amherst. Independent and art house films http://www.amherstcinema.org
-Cinemark at Hampshire Mall: 367 Russell St, Hadley. http://www.cinemark.com/theater_showtimes.asp?theater_id=321
Located on Rte 9 and showing current Hollywood films.
-Northfield Drive-In: Hindsdale Rd (Rte 63), Northfield.
-Pleasant St. Theater: 27 Pleasant St., Northampton. Independent and art house films. http://www.amherstcinema.org
-Twin Towers Movie Theater: Quaint 2 screen venue at Mt. Holyoke College.
Restaurants/Bars (to name a few)
-Amanouz (Morrocan): 44 Main St., Northampton.
-Amherst Brewing Company (American): 24 N. Pleasant, Amherst. Tasty homemade microbrews, burgers, pizza, and salads. Frequent site of grad student gatherings.
-Antonio’s (pizza): 31 N. Pleasant St., Amherst. Great by the slice pizza with a wide variety of toppings from the traditional to the unusual.
-Bub’s Bar-B-Q (Southern/BBQ): 676 Amherst Rd (Rte 116), Sunderland. Just north of campus on 116, Bub’s is a down home picnic-style restaurant. Great BBQ with unlimited side dish buffet.
-Bueno y Sano (Mexican): 46 Main St., Amherst. For burritos as big as your head.
Café Casablanca (North African and American): 16 Main St., Northampton. Crepes and other French influenced foods.
-Miss Florence Diner (American): 99 Main St., Florence. Fantastic burgers, great service.
-The Haymarket Café (Vegetarian, deli, coffee): 185 Main St., Northampton. A Northampton landmark.
-Lady Killigrew Café and Pub at the Montague Bookmill (coffeeshop, baked goods, salads, beer): Rte 47, Montague. http://www.montaguebookmill.com
-The Loose Goose Café (deli and baked goods): 1 E. Pleasant St, Amherst. Delicious sandwiches (available in full and half size), salads, homemade soups, and wonderful baked goods. Great lunch spot.
-Osaka (Japanese, vegetarian-friendly): 7 Old South St., Northampton. On the expensive side, but worth it for the best sushi in the Valley. Hibachi dinners and other Japanese cuisine also worth the visit.
-Panda East (Chinese and Japanese) 103 N. Pleasant St., Amherst.
-Pasta e Basta (Italian): 26 Main St, Amherst.
-Thai Corner (Southeast Asian): 31 Boltwood Walk, Amherst (behind Antonio’s). Hidden treasure (literally, it’s tucked behind the main thoroughfare of Amherst) of delicious and reasonably priced Thai food.
-Salvation Army Thrift Store: 310 Russell St. Hadley (on Route 9). Extensive offer of used or irregular clothes for every size. Also some home accessories.
-Second Chances: 7 Pomeroy Ln Ste 6. Amherst (Across Trading Post). Used Baby and toddler clothing, toys, books and accessories.
-Trading Post of South Amherst: 460 West St. Amherst. Great place to look for used but good furniture. Some antiques, classic furniture. Prices are negotiable, but you really have to be good at bargaining.
-Amherst Veterinary Clinic: 300 N. Pleasant St. Amherst. 413-253-3073.
-The Cat Hospital: 139 C Damon Rd. Northampton. 413-586-CATS (As the name implies it is just for cats).
-Hampshire Veterinary: 260 Snell St. Amherst. and 1 Broadhill Rd. Leverett. 413-549-5800. http://www.mkatz.com
-Windy Hollow Veterinary Clinic: RT 47, Montague Center. 413-367-0062. Ask for Amy Plavin. www.windyhollowvet.com/about.html
-Valley Veterinary Hospital: 320 Russell St (RT 9) Hadley. 413-584-1223. http://valleyvethospital.com
Tips for International Students… but also Helpful Information for Everyone
- If you come to UMass with funding as TA, you will have health insurance, so you can wait until you get here for medical checkups if you're feeling healthy. The benefit applies for prescriptions, so don't worry about bringing extra supplies of your own medicine from your country.
- Check the Mass Registry of Motor Vehicle site for information on converting your driver's license: http://www.mass.gov/rmv/license/9oos.htm. (This is information about converting any out of state license) It’s a good idea for international students to bring a driving record from your country to help in license conversion and to get a better deal on insurance.