Graduate Student Resources

 

Transportation

  • Getting to UMass from the airport
    • From Bradley Airport (Hartford) :
      • Bradley airport is the nearest airport to UMass. If possible, try and book your flights to arrive here. However, relatively few international flights fly into Bradley.
      • The best way to reach UMass from Bradley airport is through ‘Valley Transporter’. This is a private shuttle service that charges $60 to pick up from Hartford and drop off anywhere in the Valley (cheaper if more than one person is travelling). If you’d like to use this service, one of the current UMass students can help you make a reservation (they need a credit card number to make a reservation). There is no bus service between Bradley airport and UMass.
    • From Logan Airport (Boston):
      • Logan Airport in Boston is the nearest major international airport from UMass. It is about ~2 hrs from Amherst by car.
      • The best way to reach UMass from Logan is through the ‘Peter Pan’ (https://peterpanbus.com/) bus service. It costs about $35-40 for a one-way bus ticket. Please note that the last bus from Logan airport for Amherst leaves by 6pm.
    • MSA support: You can contact Hassaan Khan (hfkhan@umass.edu) for help with organizing pick up from the airport.
  • Transportation within the city
    • All buses operated by PVTA are free year round for students
    • Reduced schedule during holidays
    • Uber is also available

Accommodation

  • Most graduate students live in off-campus housing where they pay a monthly rent. Amherst is a relatively expensive place to stay, with a high demand for housing. Rents typically range from $400-$700 a month. The best place to start looking for housing is on the UMass off campus housing website (https://offcampushousing.umass.edu/). It has a nice layout that is easy to understand. If you find a place that you like, one of us will be happy to check it out and give advice. Some tips as you search for places to rent:
    • For your first year, look for housing that is in Amherst. While many students live in surrounding towns of Northampton and Sunderland, it can be a little isolating to live there during your first year.
    • Contact person – we will try our best to accommodate people for one or two nights while you move into your new place when you arrive. You can contact Hassaan Khan (hfkhan@umass.edu) if you need help finding a place to stay the day you arrive in Amherst.
    • Craigslist– while this is a useful option for finding good rental places, avoid it during your first year. Once you arrive and have a better idea of your options, you can make use of Craigslist to find places to rent.

Prayer Spaces

  • Hampshire Mosque (451 Russell Street, Hadley): This is the closest mosque from UMass. It can be reached by bus (route 33, B43) in about 10 minutes. There are daily prayer services here along with Friday prayers.
  • UMass Muslim Student Association (MSA) office. The UMass MSA office is located in the Student Union (Room 321). Many students use this space for daily prayers and to hang out with friends.
  • Islamic Society Western Massachusetts (ISWM): This is the biggest mosque in the area located in West Springfield (~35 minutes from Amherst by car). There is also a Sunday School at the mosque for young kids.

Halal Meat/Groceries

Halal meat is easily accessible in Amherst. There are also dining locations at the UMass Amherst campus that serve Halal food, along with several restaurants in Amherst and Northampton. Below is a list of stores that sell Halal food/international groceries and the bus route that you can take to get there:

    • Maple Farms, (B43 from campus)
    • Stop and Shop, (33, B43)
    • Mom’s house, (30)/Neighbor food mart (30)

Halal Restaurants

  • Halal restaurants in Amherst/Northampton
    • The Halal Cart (New York style street food)
    • Top Kebab (Iranian)
    • Pita pocket (Syrian)
    • Malik shawarma (Lebanese)
    • Bombay Royale (Indian)
    • Amanouz Café (Moroccan)
  • Halal Food on UMass campus
    • Worcester Dining Common (one halal meat dish)
    • Franklin Dining Common (Kosher meal option)
    • Harvest in campus center

Weather gear

It is advisable to have waterproof shoes or boots, a waterproof jacket, and a scarf, hat and gloves. During the fall, Amherst temperatures range between 50-80F (10-27C), with some rainy days. The winter months are significantly colder, with temperatures as low as -20F (-30C) . During the winter season, there is potential for at least mild snow(1-6 inches, 0-15cm), and occasionally more significant snowfall (12-36 inches, 30-90cm). There are many locations to purchase these items in Amherst in the right season. Just be prepared!

Grad student contacts in different departments

  • Electrical & Computer Engineering- Noman (nbashir@umass.edu)
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering- Hassaan (hfkhan@umass.edu)
  • Food Sciences – Boimin (bboimin@umass.edu)
  • Isenberg SOM – Amro El-Adle (aeladle@umass.edu)
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