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Information for accepted participants at SIL-UND
This page contains a summary of important practical information for students who have been accepted to attend the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota. (Much of the information is also of interest to staff members.)
- Completing your application to SIL-UND and to UND
- Travel by public transport
- Travel by car
- Registration and payment
- What to bring (and what's already there)
- Directory information
- Children and childcare
- Outside activities and recreation
- Guest accommodations
- Health care and insurance
- Special needs
- Contact information before the summer
- Summer phone number and address
If you are on the UND campus during the regular school year, you may also find it helpful to read the information for regular UND students.
If you haven't begun the online application process for SIL-UND, please do so by filling in our pre-application form. All students, including those who attend UND regularly, should apply directly to SIL using this form every year that they want to take SIL classes.
Once you have submitted SIL-UND's pre-application form ("Step 1" of the application process), you will receive an email message notifying you if you have been accepted. This message will include detailed instructions on how to complete your application (applying to UND, filling in the SIL-UND pre-arrival form, paying the SIL tuition and housing deposits, etc.).
The message will also include instructions on what you need to do to enroll with UND. (All SIL students must enroll with UND.) Details vary depending on your personal circumstances, so please read the message carefully.
Deadlines and recommended dates for applying: see the instructions for the pre-application form.
Check our calendar for details on dates for the session.
For advice on how to travel by public transport to Grand Forks, see our separate page of travel information).
Once you get to Grand Forks, arrangements can be made for pick-up from public transport terminals if you give us advance notice. Charges are $5 for the bus or train station, $10 for the Grand Forks airport. By comparison, a taxi from the airport costs about $20. Tell us the mode of transport, the date and time of arrival and where you will be coming from. For air transport, please also provide the airline and flight number.
Don't worry about arriving on public transport at odd hours if that's the way you have to schedule your trip; that's just the way the schedules work and we're used to it. As long as we know in advance when you are coming, we can have someone there to meet you (even in the middle of the night at the train station).
When arranging bus transport, the bus company may tell you that the bus stops on the UND campus at the Memorial Union. However, this stop does not usually operate during the summer, so you will need some way to get from the bus depot (about two miles away).
If you are delayed, please notify us.
We will have people ready at the residence hall to meet you between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm on the weekend before classes begin. Please plan to arrive between those times. If you must arrive at some other time, please call or email in advance, although we cannot guarantee that we will have anyone available to meet you outside of normal reception hours.
Grand Forks is located on the eastern edge of North Dakota, at the intersection of I-29 and U.S. highway 2. From the south, take I-29 north from Fargo (about 80 miles). If driving from the east or west, either take I-94 to Fargo and then go north, or follow U.S. Highway 2 direct to Grand Forks. From Canada, go south from Winnipeg (about 3-4 hours).
The SIL-UND program is located on the UND campus in the Johnstone-Fulton-Smith residence hall complex on University Avenue (which runs east-west through campus). You may want to look up “Davis Drive, Grand Forks ND” in your GPS or on mapping services such as Google or Mapquest. This will get you close to the complex, but we suggest you print the following map and directions to take with you, as they are more precise.
Depending on which direction you are coming from, follow the appropriate directions below:
From the north on Interstate 29 : Take the exit for U.S. Highway 2, turn left (east), and then follow the directions in the next column for coming from the west on U.S. Highway 2.
From the south on Interstate 29: Take the Demers exit, turn right (east) on Demers. 42nd Street is the first light, turn left (north) there and cross the railroad tracks. Go north on 42nd to University Avenue and turn right (east), proceed about a mile, then follow the directions below.
From the west on U.S. Highway 2: Turn south on 42nd Street (the intersection is just east of Interstate 29, on the west side of Grand Forks). Go south on 42nd to University Avenue and turn left (east). Proceed about a mile, then follow the directions below.
From the east on U.S. Highway 2: Turn south on Columbia Rd. Go south to University Avenue and turn right (west). Proceed less than .2 mile, then follow the directions below.
Once you are on University Avenue: Continue to Centennial Drive in the center of campus, next to the Chester Fritz Library. This is a one-way loop that intersects University in two places. You want the eastern intersection; turn south there into campus. Follow Centennial Drive around until you see a small river, then angle left onto Davis Drive. Davis Drive ends at the parking lot for the Johnstone-Fulton-Smith complex.
If possible, park in the loading zone near the south end of Smith Hall. (Don't worry about parking permits; no tickets are issued during the weekend SIL participants are arriving.) Look for signs on doors or in entryways with instructions about how to get in the building. Wait to unload until after you find out your room assignment—there are other doors that are closer to some rooms.
If you bring a car with you, you will be able to leave it in a student parking lot about 100 yards from the residence halls. UND charges a parking fee (see costs) for the summer.
If you are planning to live off-campus, there is limited free on-street parking available in some locations.
Bicycles can be parked outside in bike racks next to the residence hall. A bike lock is recommended. (With a sturdy lock, the theft rate is very low.) A few students prefer to carry their bikes into their rooms.
Trailers and anything heavier than a passenger car, van or pickup truck cannot be stored in the parking lot near the residence halls. If you need to bring such a vehicle, arrangements must be made in advance; see our contact information. If you need a place to park an RV that you plan to live in during the summer, you should contact local campgrounds. UND does not have RV hookups.
SIL students normally register on the day before classes begin (see calendar). There is an orientation meeting at 8:00 that morning. All students and academic staff are expected to attend this important meeting. Its location will be announced on signs in the residence hall when you check in, or you can call the SIL office (701-777-0575) the week before.
At the close of this meeting, students will register for classes with UND, buy textbooks, and pay SIL for classes, housing and meals.
Payment for tuition, housing and meals, books, child care, etc., is made directly to SIL (not to UND) and is due on the day of registration. If you cannot pay in full at that time, please make arrangements in advance with the SIL-UND director for an alternate payment schedule. Checks drawn on US banks, money orders, and cash are accepted. (In order to keep tuition and fees as low as possible, we unfortunately cannot accept credit cards.)
New textbooks are available for sale from SIL, usually at prices that are better than you can get on your own. If you want used or e-reader copies, search for them yourself on the internet.
There are other important meetings in the afternoon, including training about child safety for all participants. Please reserve the whole day to complete registration procedures and make other preparations for starting classes.
Residence hall bedrooms are equipped with basic furniture: beds, dressers, desks, desk chairs, and wastebaskets. They have closets with about 3-4' of rod space per person. There are fluorescent ceiling lights in each room; you may want to bring a desk lamp.
Weather in Grand Forks in the summer can range from chilly (in the 40s and 50s, sometimes lower) to sweltering (90s, sometimes even over 100), with highs on most days in the 70s and 80s. Days are frequently breezy (20 mph or more). It rains every few days, sometimes heavily. Weather changes often—sometimes a couple times a day. The bedrooms and offices are not air conditioned, but air conditioning is available in most classrooms, the library, dining center, and part of the residence hall basement. This means:
- Bring school and sport clothing suitable for warm and cool weather, windy days and heavy rain, and suitable for moving in and out of air-conditioning (e.g. light sweaters). (There is no formal dress code, but most students' clothing tends to be informal but modest.)
- You will likely appreciate having a fan for warmer days—one that can be used either in a window or to blow air around inside. If you can, bring your own (see our Pro-Tip). A limited supply of fans and extension cords are available to borrow on a first-come-first-served basis. (Air conditioners are not permitted in bedrooms due to circuit load.)
Coin-operated washers and dryers are located in the basement, as are irons, ironing boards, and facilities for hand laundering.
Since bathroom facilities are shared and most floors are co-ed, bring a bathrobe or other wrap for walking between your room and the bathrooms. Some floors have separate bathroom facilities for men and women; others have clusters of private bathrooms that are used by all.
Most people will need their own pillow, bedlinens, blanket and towels. (These items are provided for official guests.) Linens may be available inexpensively in local thrift stores. The mattresses are extra-long twins; regular fitted twin-size linens are tight, but they usually do work. Married couples may choose to put two beds together and cover them with king-size sheets.
There is one public TV in the dormitory complex. However, out of consideration for children living in the residence halls, viewing is not unlimited, so you may wish to bring your own TV for personal use. Each room has a cable connection provided at no charge.
Most people bring a cell phone, which should work most places on campus. (Residence hall rooms do have wired outlets for telephones but you would need to furnish your own phone and costs are relatively high.)
Due to fire regulations at UND, cooking is only permitted in bedrooms with devices that have fully-enclosed heating elements. Small (dorm-sized) refrigerators are permitted (and, indeed, are available to rent from UND). Kitchenettes and microwave ovens are available for occasional use.
If you have a personal computer and printer, bring them, as they will be useful for some courses, e.g. writing papers or preparing presentations, interaction with online components of the course, etc. The University has computers which are available for your use in the residence hall and other public areas around campus, so if you don't own a computer you can use UND's equipment when it is available. (The computers in the residence hall are sometimes used heavily, but others on campus have much lighter use in the summer.) SIL has a couple printers that you can print to through the network if you don't bring your own. One or more USB memory drives (e.g. “thumb drive” or “jump drive”) are very useful, especially if you don't bring a computer.
There are network connections (both wired and wireless) for access to the internet from bedrooms and study areas at no charge. Although SIL and/or UND can often provide assistance for getting your computer to work on UND's network, we can't promise this service. The network is not filtered for content (such as sexually-explicit or violent material), so if you want that filtering for yourself or your children, you will need to provide it on your own.
Digital electronic recording and playback equipment is useful for some courses, especially Ling 480 (Learner-Directed Second Language Acquisition), Ling 506 (Field Methods), and Ling 506L (Media Technology for Linguistic Research); these courses make heavy use of digital audio and/or video recordings. If you have an MP3 player or recorder, it would be worthwhile to bring it. Likewise if you expect to work with a signed language and have a digital video camera that you can bring, please do so. However, don't buy any equipment specially for these courses ahead of time; even if you think you might want to buy it anyway. Wait until you arrive and can get advice on what to buy. Digital audio and video recordings can also be played on most computers, so that's another option for playback. Finally, bring headphones or earbuds for listening to audio without bothering other people.
If you are a returning student and have a UND ID card (U Card), bring it to avoid paying for a new one. You'll need it for the dining hall, library, etc.
If you are from outside the U.S. or Canada and have health insurance that is valid in the U.S., bring evidence of coverage. (See also under Health Care, below.)
If you are interested in visiting Canada during the summer, take note: A passport is normally required for crossing the border, even for U.S. and Canadian citizens. We do not recommend that non-U.S. citizens visit Canada during their time at SIL-UND; there have been instances in the past where non-citizens had difficulty re-entering the U.S. or have even been denied re-entry.
If you play an instrument (any style of music: classical, popular, non-Western, whatever), consider bringing it to play in our group meetings and informal get-togethers. If there is enough interest, we will put together a small orchestra and a choir.
There are facilities for volleyball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, basketball, tennis, handball, swimming and other sports, so bring appropriate equipment and clothing.
No pets are permitted.
UND is a tobacco-free campus. Smoking and all tobacco products are prohibited on all UND property, including outside. UND does not permit alcoholic beverages in residence halls.
To facilitate communication among staff and students, SIL-UND distributes a directory each summer with rooms, phone numbers, and email addresses of adults (not children). Directory information is primarily for use by SIL participants. Occasionally, though, we respond, with discretion, to requests for this information by outsiders (e.g., a family member or potential employer). Most people want to have their directory information included, but you may choose to have some or all of your information excluded. You may have already requested to exclude certain information when you completed your pre-arrival ("Step 3") form. If you did not do so, or if you have changed your mind, you may still choose to exclude, add or change information by notifying the SIL reception office on arrival.
We are looking forward to having you and your children with us. All children under 14 years of age who are living in the residence hall must be supervised while you are in classes; the normal way to do this is by enrollment in the childcare program. (Sometimes one parent will choose not to be a student and instead just watch their children, but there is an extra housing-and-meals charge to non-participating adults, plus the children miss out on all the things we do in the childcare program to make their stay fun and pleasant.) The childcare program is also open to SIL families who are living off-campus. For further information about the program and what to bring for your children, see detailed information elsewhere.
Child safety orientation for all participants
SIL takes the safety and well-being of children very seriously. All SIL participants are required to attend a one-hour orientation session at the beginning of the summer which focuses on child safety issues in the SIL-UND context and expectations about appropriate behavior with children.
SIL summer courses are intensive. Outside work, courses, or other major responsibilities are strongly discouraged. Students who do not give their full attention to their SIL studies almost always end up facing significant academic consequences. Please do not plan to arrive late at the beginning of the summer, to leave early at the end of the summer, or to be gone for more than a couple of weekends. (Missed classes may result in grade penalties.)
However, there are ample opportunities for personal recreation when you need a break from studies for an hour or a weekend afternoon. Parties and outings are organized by SIL-UND regularly. Volleyball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee are especially popular. The Grand Forks community sponsors concerts and plays throughout the summer. Around Grand Forks, there are stores and malls, movie theaters, restaurants, museums, a public library, bike trails and parks, tennis and raquetball courts, swimming pools, a campus fwellness center, and a climbing wall, all within a few minutes of campus and many within easy walking distance. See the Grand Forks city website for more information.
There are fishing and camping sites less than an hour away in North Dakota and Minnesota. During the long weekend in mid-summer (not necessarily on July 4), many people go camping at Lake Itasca (headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota) or in Winnipeg, Manitoba, both about three hours away.
There are numerous Christian churches in the Grand Forks area, representing many different denominations, a small synagogue, and opportunities for Muslim Friday prayers. There is an optional chapel service on weekdays in the SIL residence hall which focuses on interests of participants in the SIL program.
Make arrangements with your own bank so that you can mail deposits to them and obtain cash from ATM machines.
There is a limited number of guest rooms available in the residence hall for short stays. If you have someone who needs to spend a night or two, arrangements can sometimes be made for a modest charge; please make your request in advance to the SIL-UND receptionist). Since there is never an assurance of space in guest rooms, it is suggested that you make your request as early as possible. Guest rooms are not available during the first or last week except under special circumstances. If you plan to have someone drop you off at the beginning of the summer, or pick you up at the end, please make arrangements for them to stay off-campus. There are many motel choices in Grand Forks, including several of the large chains as well as locally-owned establishments.
Please do not plan on inviting guests to spend nights with you in your room without paying.
Personal guests will need to make arrangements for their own meals. They may eat in the dining hall with staff and students by paying for each meal individually (about $6-$12 per meal). There are also many restaurants within a few miles of campus.
Grand Forks has an excellent health care system. Health care for students, staff, and their families is readily available, either through the University student health service or outside providers. Some immunizations may be available through the Grand Forks public health service.
International students (except Canadians) must have health insurance coverage that is valid in the U.S. and which meets federal immigration requirements. If you don't have such coverage, you will need to buy a health insurance policy through the university. See our page of costs (near the bottom) for an estimate of what you will have to pay.
U.S. citizens are not required to have health insurance.
If you or anyone coming with you have special needs for your academic work or living arrangements, please contact us as soon as possible so that reasonable arrangements can be made. We want to work with you so that your summer can be as enjoyable and beneficial to you as possible.
If you have questions, the best way to reach us is almost always by email through our web-based form. Or, before May 15, you can leave a message at 800-292-1621 (520-825-6132 from outside the USA), or write to:
Dr. Albert Bickford
16131 N. Vernon Dr.
Tucson AZ 85739-9395
From May 15 until we arrive in Grand Forks (see dates), we will be travelling, so email is the only reliable way to reach us then. After we arrive, use the summer phone number and address below.
The summer SIL-UND office phone number will be 701-777-0575. (This number is active only during the summer session; see contact information above if you need to talk with us at other times.)
You may receive mail and packages at the following address:
2901 University Avenue, Stop 8217
Grand Forks ND 58202-8217
|(please read restrictions below)|
This address is only used during the summer session. Forwarding service after the end of the session is slow and unreliable, and is only available for first class mail within the USA. (Other items will be returned or discarded.) Please advise your correspondents not to use this address after August 1. If you have mail forwarded to you during the summer, please make sure that it will not be forwarded here after August 1. Please do not give this address to magazines, retailers, banks, credit cards, utilities, and other businesses and organizations, and if they get ahold of it anyway, please inform them of your permanent address immediately. You may use this address as a shipping address for packages only if you provide a permanent address as a billing address and you are sure the items you order will arrive while you are actually on campus, since many packages cannot be forwarded.