This is the Way We Go to School

When I arrived last spring, one of the first things I noticed about this school is that it seems like almost everyone has a bicycle.  Residents have bikes in addition to cars so they can zoom around campus or ride downtown without having to worry about where to park or exceeding the speed limit.  Students living off campus often ride their bikes to classes as well. And, once spring settles in, I can guarantee that the number of bikes we see on campus will increase, as students prefer the warm air to a stuffy car ride.     

Because UNC Asheville is tucked away in the mountains of Western North Carolina, we have the opportunity that many other schools do not: mountain biking.  Many students here enjoy taking their bikes "off-roading" and enjoying the thrill of essentially riding their bikes down mountains and taking their adventure off the beaten path.  As I have already mentioned, students also love to ride their bikes downtown.  Downtown Asheville is very close to campus, so taking one's bike downtown makes for a fun trip, and beats taking the bus any day.  It is equally enjoyable to explore the neighborhoods of Montford and North Asheville via bicycle, especially when the weather is nice.  

Given UNC Asheville's obvious love affair with bicycles, it is worth mentioning that we have an awesome bike shop on campus.  This shop provides free repairs and maintenance to students' bikes (given that they are not in too terrible a condition) and even offers very reasonable rental prices for students who could not bring a bike to campus.  The bike shop is located at the bottom level of Highsmith Union, our student union building, accessible only from the outside (see picture below).

I took some pictures of several popular docking spots for bikes to show you what it looks like on the weekends alone.  Given that today is Sunday and most non-residents are not on campus, there are not as many bikes as usual.  However, given the amount of bikes in the pictures, you can imagine how great that volume is when off campus students come for classes on weekdays! 


Read more »

LSIC at UNC Asheville

What do you need to know before coming to UNC Asheville?  Something that I didn't know until I came here was that although is is part of the UNC system, our university has a unique core curriculum.  As part of this curriculum, UNC Asheville requires its new students to take a Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquium course (LSIC). 

These courses cover a variety of interesting topics from " 'Bad' Science Fiction" to "Survival Skills" (two classes being offered this semester).  The LSIC courses are very useful not only because they push students to think about subjects they had perhaps never before considered, but because they help students get used to the way that UNC Asheville works.  The instructor of each course introduces students to resources that UNC Asheville offers students, such as the University Writing Center. 

When I came here last year, I took a course entitled "Exploring Censorship," which helped me consider various issues surrounding censorship and get into a routine at my new school.  My brother, a freshman this year, took "Bees and Bee Literature" last semester.  Not only did his class read such books as The Secret Life of Bees, but they also got to try their hand at the art of beekeeping!  New students should embrace the LSIC courses; they are fun and definitely worthwhile!

Read more »

Brunch in Asheville

Although UNC Asheville offers a variety of dining options, students sometimes enjoy eating breakfast, lunch, or even brunch, off campus.  Luckily, downtown Asheville, just a short walk, drive, bus or bike ride, offers a variety of restaurants from which students can choose for brunch on the weekends.  Interested in brunch?  Here are some of the many awesome eateries we came across when we went downtown for brunch today.  
22 College Street
(Serves breakfast all day)

The Green Sage Coffee House and Cafe
5 Broadway Street
(Serves breakfast all day and has a large selection of sandwiches and salads)

Over Easy Cafe
32 Broadway Street
(Serves breakfast all day)

Bistro 1896
7 Southwest Pack Square

Tingles Cafe
27 Broadway Street

Tupelo Honey Cafe
12 College Street
(Includes breakfast on the dinner menu)

Asheville has many more fantastic eateries, so it was hard to decide where to eat.  However, today, we chose to visit Tupelo Honey.  It's pretty busy most days, so if you decide to go, make sure you get there early enough! 

Read more »

Study Abroad at UNCA

For those who have the resources to do so, studying abroad is an invaluable college experience.  Several of my friends have gone abroad, studying in Costa Rica, Italy, Peru, and throughout the EU, and all have felt that their experiences abroad have helped them grow as individuals and as members of the community.  One of the best things about UNC Asheville is that it offers many study abroad programs for students to choose from.  The lengths of these programs can range from one semester to a year, or for those who have limited time or funding, just one summer (approximately 6 weeks). 

Essential to the study abroad experience is the assistance of the Study Abroad Office.  The staff of our Study Abroad Office is fantastic.  They are knowledgeable and friendly and are willing to work closely with students to help them find the program that best suits their needs.  I myself am hoping to study abroad in South Korea this summer, and have sought the help of the Study Abroad Office as I plan my trip.  For anyone interested in studying abroad through UNC Asheville, the Study Abroad Office is holding a study abroad fair on Thursday.  Come on by to see the opportunities UNC Asheville offers for study abroad! 

When: January 20, 2011; 12-3 PM
Where: Karpen Hall, Laurel Forum

Here are some pictures from UNC Asheville students' study abroad trips (taken from the UNC Asheville Study Abroad website):


Read more »

Winter Hats

As those in the Asheville area know, to say that we have gotten a lot of snow lately would be something of an understatement.  UNC Asheville began the semester with three snowdays, starting on Thursday, rather than Monday, and local schools began on Friday with delays. 

All of this snow, accompanied by very cold weather, begs the question: how do UNC Asheville students keep warm?  Walking around campus, visitors might notice that hats are one of the preferred winter accessories among our students.  What do these hats look like?  Check it out!

Many UNC Asheville students favor the tweed cap.  Although this hat is not as practical as a true winter cap, it's trendy around campus and can be worn during both the winter and fall seasons!

 A cute trend this semester are animal hats.  What we have here is a hat that looks like a frog.  Students around campus have hats topped with dogs, cows, giraffes, etc.  These hats keep students warm and are lots of fun!
 I have seen quite a few hunting caps around campus this semester.  Like the animal-themed hats, these caps are trendy and warm. 
Knitted hats are classic winter accessories.  This winter, the most common hat patterns I've seen have been Fair Isle patterns and snowflake motifs.     

 For those who can grow them, beards are a pretty convenient way to keep warm when you don't have a hat!  Beards must really help keep people's faces warm because lots of people have them!

 Something I have recently discovered is the blanket-cape.  My friend gave me this awesome hybrid (pictured above in all of its glory) to keep me warm throughout the upcoming winter months, and so far, I have not been disappointed! 

Read more »