If your year is like our year than you will need to be present for both block weeks (Sept & Jan) as you will be taking a *mandatory course* during this time that is largely based on field trips. During this course you will be expected to complete assignments and quizzes...you will also go on field trips which are not only a lot of fun, but very informative. You cannot skip this class. For now I would avoid finalizing any kind of travel plans for the winter break...at least until you have your schedule confirmed. Your year could be different, but for now I would err on the side of caution and not book anything.Thank you so much capucinus1, super helpful! I am excited for all the orientation and beginning of the year events. I am staying around all summer and my tentative vacation plans are actually for the Christmas break. The confusion comes in for me where the academic calendar says that winter term 2017 starts January 2nd whereas classes start January 9th. I was planning on being gone up until about the 7th so the whole block week thing is kinda throwing me off haha. Are the block week field trips mandatory? Maybe you could clarify this? I will also read through the orientation package when it arrives to get a better idea. Thanks again!