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9 Summertime Perks & Services for U-M Graduate Students

Maybe you’re sticking around in Ann Arbor this summer, and maybe you’re wondering what to do with less structured days or a limited budget. If that sounds like you, check out this list of things that you’re still eligible to take advantage of over the summer as an enrolled Rackham student. Most of these things are free (or discounted), and run the gamut from practical to academic to purely fun.

1. Outdoor Adventures
Michigan has lovely summers, so get out there and enjoy the warmth while you can. Outdoor Adventures not only has equipment you can rent for your own excursions, but you can also sign up to go on adventure trips with a guided group. Looks like there will be several trips to the Sleeping Bear Dunes (a Michigan bucket-list favorite).

2. Askwith Media Library
Not the outdoor type? Soak up that cool, crisp, filtered air and catch up on movies through the Askwith Media Library. They have over 40,000 films to check out. Screen films in preparation for teaching next semester, round out your research, or even take a nice study break in one of the private viewing booths at Askwith.

3. Wellness Coaching
Fall and Winter semesters are universally hectic, but summer usually offers opportunities for concentrating on rest, wellness, and refocusing. If you need a sounding board to help you meet personal, professional, health, or fitness goals, check out U-M’s Wellness Coaching and sign up for a one-hour session.

4. Group X
Group X is Rec Sports’ group fitness program. Unlike most of the other things on this list, a Group X pass comes at a price, but they do offer a discount for a summer membership: just $25 for an unlimited summer pass. They offer fitness classes like yoga, zumba, pilates, high intensity training, and more. You can even apply to be an instructor!

5. U-M Library Events (book crawls, workshops, etc.)
The U-M Libraries have fabulous resources that you can access all summer, but did you know that they also have amazing events? Be sure to check their events calendar regularly. There are several Book Crawls coming up, as well as a Writer’s Workshop at the Ann Arbor Book Festival. For a more practical resource, check out the upcoming Copyright Workshop in Hatcher Graduate Library.

6. Teaching Technology Collaborative
The Teaching Technology Collaborative offers workshops on just about everything you can imagine having to do with technology in the academy--but keep checking back, the variety of workshops changes all the time. They have workshops on anything from finding funding to conducting human subject research. Right now, it looks like their schedule is crammed with Canvas workshops, so if you’re teaching and need some help transitioning from CTools to Canvas, check it out soon. Classes do have a cap, so if you see something you’re interested in, jump on it.

7. AAATA Rides
If you didn’t already know that your MCard can be used for free rides year-round on The Ride busses, it’s time to check the bus schedule, whip out that card, and get moving. If you live in Ann Arbor, try taking a ride to Ypsilanti to check out some of the great restaurants and shops (or vice versa if you live in Ypsilanti!), and be free of the burden of finding parking, driving yourself, and fighting traffic on Washtenaw Ave.

8. MCard Discounts
Your MCard (that yellow ID card with your photo on it) gets you discounts at hundreds of local businesses and services. The list is almost too much to process, but if you have a pet who needs a checkup, need a computer repaired, or want to visit some local amusements (like Cedar Point), be sure to check this list first and see if you can save some cash.

9. Rackham Study Halls
Rackham has some beautiful, quiet, and comfortable study halls on the second floor, and these spaces are set aside exclusively for graduate students to work in. Bring your own laptop or that stack of books that you’ve been meaning to get to for months, and enjoy a change of scenery in high-ceilinged rooms that will make notetaking feel almost elegant. There’s also a snack and lunch room on the second floor in case you want to stick around for the long haul. (Bring a sweater, too, because the air conditioning can get a little intense on hot days).