When do you come visit home, during Thanksgiving or Christmas or both?

Just came back from seeing my son moved in the Commons. I am very impressed with what I saw at Vanderbilt! The school is located in a nice neighborhood just west of downtown Nashville. The architecture is of southern style, with simple red bricks, in contrast to those stuffy over the top Gothic style you see at other schools. The campus is covered with tall trees, colorful flowers and green lawns. The houses in the Commons are laid out in a circular fashion, thus creating a very close knit community. The thing that stuck me the most is the students, they were all smiling and making eye contact with you.

I am probably not the only one thinking of booking plane tickets now. I would love to have him home on both occasions, but it costs a lot. So I will let him pick one.

Dose the school shut down completely on Thanksgiving and Christmas? Is the Commons dining hall open during the holidays? Are there many students staying at school ?

Most domestic students visit home during both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, although I know several who live further away from TN and stay on campus for Thanksgiving due to the prohibitive expense for their families. If one must pick between the two, Christmas is the obvious choice - it’s a substantially longer break (3 weeks if I remember correctly) and it would be rather unbearable to remain on campus during that winter break. Thanksgiving is quiet and a touch lonely on campus I’ve heard, due to the desolation as people go home and the lack of consistent dining hours on the meal plan for the few that remain on campus, but it’s doable if the cost is just too much for both holidays. But again, most people go home for both I would say - especially as first years, since the long period of time (10 weeks!) without family (for the first time, in some cases) makes people want to go home/makes parents want to see their children all the more.

So glad to hear you liked the state of the Commons! It is a wonderful tight knit community for the freshmen.

Does Southwest fly to your hometown? If so, you can book flights on SW for both as a placeholder. If you end up not using one, you can re-use the fare dollars for another flight with no penalties or fees.

We book and re-book SW flights constantly for our away-at-college kids.

Thanks @Senior2016M Good tips @northwesty will check it out.

It is more common for students to stay on campuses for the shorter Thanksgiving break.

@TimeUpJunior We too just came back from the move in. Our kid is in Sutherland. The school calendar says that the residence halls close on both Thanksgiving and Winter breaks (vs diner hall close in Fall break). That was the reason that I bought SW tickets for my kid couple month ago (the earlier the better prices; probably costs 1/2 price than book right around the corner) for both holidays to come home (and back to school on Thanksgiving). I booked the tickets on the day the residence halls close and the day the the residence hall reopen (the day before classes start again) to make sure kid can attend all exam schedules.

Hear friend’s daughter who just graduated from Vandy the past summer that many local churches host international students during these breaks, and I think they also cover students who live far away states. Originally, I was exploring this option, but my kid wanted to see high school friends for the first year so I had to get the tickets. Will explore alternate spring break next year for Spring Break.

Yes, we loved seeing the campus and the happy students, and even felt better the second time around (visited last year). It does not get voted for the happiest school for nothing. :slight_smile:

We just came back as well. I have a child in East! We booked both our Thanksgiving and Christmas break tickets (both on SW) after coming back from the Vandy send off in our area. The same thinking as above - if for some reason we change on SW, there are no fees. I think over the fall break she may be with her roommate. It is a short break so we were not as concerned yet. I don’t even know if the dorms close over the Fall break. I hope all the above helped you. Was SO impressed with all the move in activities and organization. One other thing, you may want to join the VandyParent Group for 2021 on FB…a closed group for the parents only.

My daughter stays at school for Thanksgiving as she only has off from Tues to Sun. Sometimes the profs let them shave that down, but last year they had 3 extra days off for the hurricane so they had classes and labs on Monday and Tues. She had a good time going to Universal and shopping in Orlando on Thanksgiving, and to the beach on Friday.

Not only is is expensive to travel at Thanksgiving, it is crowded and often bad weather causing delays There are only a few days to travel, and the Sun/Mon after Thanksgiving are the worst. A D’s school, there are no dining services on Thurs, and maybe limited the other days, but there are places to eat nearby. The dorms are not closed. At Christmas, the dorms are closed. There are quite a few international students so they make arrangements, but I’m sure they charge them extra.

@hcmom65 - Housing does not close for the 2 day fall break and the meal plan is available. Housing and meals do close for both Thanksgiving and Christmas but it is easy to arrange to stay in your room. The meal plan is not available then.

Thank you @KSMom1518 i knew about Thanksgiving and Christmas and would never want my child to stay in the dorm over those 2 breaks, even if arrangements can be made. We will figure out the fall break…lots of time :slight_smile:

@hcmom65 - My son stayed on campus his freshman year just like any other weekend. Last year we went to Nashville to visit during fall break instead of over parent’s weekend.

Most kid go home for both since Thanksgiving break is for full week, but it’s very expensive to fly during both the breaks and you have to book flight tickets months in advance. I paid $700 for Thanksgiving and $500+ for Xmas.

My kids (different schools, but far away from home) have always managed to find a friend who lived within driving distance who took them home over Fall break.

In an effort to be more inclusive and sensitive to those who cannot get home for Thanksgiving, many schools will keep a dining hall open so that it’s possible to stay on campus. The winter break is more often a full closure.

I never went home for Thanksgiving. I usually had several invitations to friends’ homes who lived closer.