Communications

Cell Phones

Most students either have or decide to purchase a cell phone instead of (or in addition to) Mount Holyoke’s telephone service. We recommend that you purchase your cell phone and plan through either AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. However, you should be aware that students who do not have a credit history or a credit card will have to pay a significant deposit fee before they can obtain the cell phone. However, this money is refunded to the student at the end of the plan period.

Another option is to get an unlocked phone (which means it can be used on any network) either through your service provider or websites such as BestBuy, Amazon and eBay. However, we suggest that you purchase your cell phone from trusted providers, and if possible, ask for a chance to check the product before purchasing, or ask whether you can return the cellphone should there be any problem with it. For some countries, your cellphones are already unlocked, so we suggest checking with your home country service provider. Please keep in mind that even if your phone is unlocked and can be used in your home country, due to certain compatibility issues, you might not be able to use your phone in the U.S. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that Verizon and Sprint, two major services providers in the U.S., use CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), which is different from cell phones in most other countries where GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is used. As such, cell phones from these providers are very difficult to unlock to use on other GSM providers. This is something you need to pay attention to, especially if you plan to travel overseas frequently or for extended periods during your time at Mount Holyoke. Overall, if you have any question about your cellphone’s compatibility, you can check your phone’s model and ask your service provider for more information.

If you have family in the U.S., you might also consider joining their family plan, if they have one. Another cheaper alternative is to share a cell phone plan with an upperclass student who already has a plan. This is why ISOC advises you to make friends FAST!

Verizon Store (1 mile away)
77 W State St #4
Granby, MA 01033
(413) 467-9777
AT&T Store
140 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 584-7252
T-Mobile
Holyoke Mall
413-539-6031

Postal Services

A U.S. Post Office is located across the street from the College, but you can also mail regular letters and some packages at Auxiliary Services. There are various types of mailing services offered by the U.S. Post Office. A description of some of these services is provided here. For more details inquire at the Post Office or ask for the booklet, A Consumer's Directory of Postal Services and Products. Another good online resource is A Customer’s Guide to Mailing. The maximum weight for mailing any parcel domestically (within the U.S.) is 70 pounds, and the length and girth measurement cannot be more than 108 inches. The Post Office can tell you the mailing rates over the phone (413-538-8686). The service windows are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, and on Saturday from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon. For full details and updated information regarding the postal service in the United States, check http://www.usps.com. Auxiliary Services takes care of mailing needs for students. You will get an email from Auxiliary Services when you receive mail or a package(s), which can then be picked up at Auxiliary Services.

First Class Mail

Use first class mail for letters, postal cards, greeting cards, and for sending checks and money orders. See the U.S. Postal Service web site for the most current information on mailing costs:
https://www.usps.com/ship/first-class-mail.htm

Priority Mail

Priority mail is First Class mail weighing more than thirteen ounces. Use it when a two or three day delivery is desired. The maximum weight for priority mail is 70 pounds and the maximum size is 108 inches in length.

Express Mail (domestic) & Next Day Service

It is the fastest postal service in the United States with delivery to most places in the U.S. by noon the next day. To use Express Mail Next Day Service, take your shipment to any designated Express Mail post office by 5 pm. Your mailing will be delivered to the addressee by 3 pm the next day (weekends and holidays included), or it can be picked up at a designated destination post office by the addressee as early as 10 am of the next business day. This service comes with a money-back guarantee and shipments are insured against loss or damage at no additional cost. Additional Express Mail services available include Same Day Airport Service and Custom Designed Service. Express mail is also available to over 190 foreign countries at varying costs. Packages sent by International Express Mail take anywhere from 1 to 3 days depending on the country to which they are mailed. Call or visit the Post Office for additional details and information regarding special offers.

Certified Mail

Certified mail provides you with a mailing receipt and a unique article number which allows you to verify delivery online. As an additional security feature, the recipient’s signature is obtained at the time of delivery and a record is maintained by the Post Office. For an additional fee you can request a copy of the signature before or after delivery with Return Receipt.

Registered Mail

Send irreplaceable articles, regardless of value, by registered mail. When you use registered mail service, you are buying protection against loss or damage. You receive a receipt and the mail's movement is monitored from the point of acceptance to delivery. You may also purchase insurance for a value up to $25,000 on registered articles. For an additional fee a return receipt may be obtained showing to whom, when, and where the item was delivered.

If you receive registered mail at the United States Post Office, you must take your student identification card with you in order to collect it.

International Mail

There are five categories of international mail:

  1. Global Express Guaranteed (GXG): The U.S. Postal Service and DHL Worldwide Express Inc. have joined forces to offer an expedited delivery service for both documents and non-documents (i.e., merchandise items).
  2. Global Express Mail (EMS): a reliable high-speed service for mailing time-sensitive items to more than 175 countries and territorial possessions. It provides customers with expeditious handling and delivery on an “on demand” basis.
  3. Global Priority Mail (GPM): an accelerated airmail service that provides customers with a reliable and economical means of sending correspondence, business documents, printed matter, and light-weight merchandise items to Canada, Mexico, and specified destination countries in Western Europe, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Pacific Rim, the Middle East, and Africa.
  4. Airmail: encompasses both the letter-post and parcel post classifications.
  5. Economy: also encompasses both the letter-post and parcel post classifications.

Money Orders

Do not send cash through the mail. Money orders are a safe way to send money. You can buy domestic money orders at all post offices in amounts up to $1,000. Domestic money orders should not be purchased or used outside the United States. If your money order is lost or stolen, present your customer receipt and it can be replaced. You can obtain copies of paid money orders for two years after the date they are paid. Authorizations to issue international money orders for payment in foreign countries may be purchased at most large post offices. Citizens of countries with currency limitations may have to contact their embassy or the Education Division at the embassy to request the necessary forms for a foreign exchange permit.

E-mail and the Internet

You will be assigned an e-mail account as soon as you have confirmed that you are coming to Mount Holyoke. Your email address will be (a user name that will be provided to you) @mtholyoke.edu. E-mail is the official means of communication at Mount Holyoke, and many important announcements from the College as well as messages from professors will be sent to you via MHC e-mail. Therefore, we strongly advise you to check your Mount Holyoke e-mail at least a few times a day, even before you arrive on campus.

There are high-speed internet jacks for each student in dormitory rooms, and the entire campus has WiFi (wireless access to the internet). Although it is most convenient to have your own laptop or computer, there are computer labs in each dormitory with 4 to 5 computers for students and guests to use. In addition, computer labs can be found in all academic buildings and in Williston Library.

Back to Guidebook directory