Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

What exactly is “Single On-campus Accommodation?”

The accommodations are in college dormitories. Since 2006 we have been allocated a number of rooms in Chamberlain, a newer dormitory. Four single rooms (a bed, desk, and chair) are all arranged in a quad. The quad has its own common room with tables, chairs and a couch. There is also a bathroom inside the quad. These quads are isolated and self-contained. Only men or only women will be housed in each quad.

The number of quads in Chamberlain is limited and they will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. If there are more participants who wish single rooms than there are available in Chamberlain, additional rooms are available in Coles Tower. The arrangement is similar to that in Chamberlain, but the building is older.

What are “On-campus Apartments?”

An on-campus apartment is a quad unit in Chamberlain. All four single rooms, the common room, and the bathroom, are all allocated to one attendee. The apartments must be used by a family or a couple. They have no cooking facilities, but campus meal plans are available for apartment participants and their accompanying persons.  Only one person in the apartment can be registered for the course.

Why is the price difference between on and off-campus relatively small?

The College offers organizations that use on-campus facilities what amounts to a discount for room and board. It is our assumption the College does this because they wish to keep their staff working all year and support them. They can also keep some facilities in operation and maintained all year. Off-campus attendees have access to College facilities, such as sports facilities and the library, but the sponsoring organization is obliged to pay a per attendee fee. The price difference essentially reflects the added cost for on-campus attendees.

Are the campus dormitories air-conditioned?

No. Some years it is quite cool in Maine and extra blankets may be needed to keep warm at night. One year during the course the nighttime temperature dipped below 40° F. Other years it has been quite warm. There are some fans for rent in the Coles Tower office, but there is a limited number and it may be advisable to bring a small electric fan if you are staying on-campus.

Is there internet access at the college?

Yes. All dormitory rooms used for the course have internet (CAT-5/RJ-41) connections. These take a standard internet cable and are connected into the back of the telephone in each bedroom. There is also wireless access and this can be used with a guest account. There are some active hard-wired ports in the Chemistry building and these can be used at any time the building is open. The protocol that Bowdoin College uses is DHCP, which is a very common standard. If you need internet access and you are bringing a laptop, please have your IT personnel set it up to run under DHCP. Bowdoin College does not provide IT support to summer program participants.

Is a computer required for the course?

It is not necessary to have a computer for the course. All course materials are printed and given to each participant. No exercises or lectures require the use of a computer.

What accommodations are available off-campus?

There is a number of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast inns in the Brunswick area. All but two establishments are outside walking distance to campus, consequently, participants who stay at most off campus establishments will require a car.

What materials are provided with the courses?

Both courses have extensive course notes. The notes consist of several hundred pages and many example spectra are included. There are also tables to help with interpretation. A second notebook of exercises is provided in each course for the problem-solving sessions.

What is the dress for the course?

Participants may dress casually. In past years many participants attend lectures in t-shirts and shorts, and others wear business casual. Basically, you dress however you feel most comfortable. The weather is generally pleasant in Maine in July, but it can be quite cool. Sometimes the lecture rooms are a bit cool from the air-conditioning, so sweaters or a heavy shirt may be necessary at times.

What parking is available during the course?

For off-campus participants, parking can generally be found behind Druckenmiller Hall where the lectures and workshop sessions are held.  The lot generally does not fill before 8:30 am.  Additional lots can be found within a 5-minute walk.  On-campus participants may park either behind Chamberlain Hall where the on-campus rooms are, or close by in a large lot off Coffin St.



Course FAQ


Course Location

Bowdoin College main web site

For air travel to the area, Portland International Airport (PWM) is the closest, which is about 25 miles from campus. Direct flights are available from Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. (Ronald Reagan and Dulles). Limo service ranges from $30 to $60 depending upon the number of passengers going to the college. Some participants prefer to fly to Boston Logan International Airport. It is about a two and a half-hour drive from Logan to the College, or there is AMTRAK rail service between Boston’s South Station and Brunswick.

Some participants rent cars for convenient transportation to and from the airport as well around the area. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, there are lectures in the mornings. The afternoons on these days may be free if participants wish to hold the exercise sesions in the evenings, then participants may spend their time either at local state parks, in Freeport for L.L. Bean and outlet shopping, or on whale-watching trips. Often the participants get together to organize a whale-watching trip and coordinate travel for those who do not have a car.

Parking on the Bowdoin College campus has not been a serious issue in past summers. There is generally parking available near the on-campus lodgings and dining hall, and there is some parking near Druckenmiller Hall where the lectures take place. It is about a five minute walk from the dormitories to Druckenmiller Hall so there is little reason for on-campus participants to drive to the lectures.


Updated November 21, 2021