Malls and Shopping

There are a number of shopping malls within a 15-20 minute driving distance from the Brandeis campus. 

Chestnut Hill Mall
199 Boylston St.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Natick Collection (Mall)
1245 Worcester St.
Natick, MA 01760

Watertown Mall
550 Arsenal St. #1
Watertown, MA 02472

550 Arsenal St. #1
Watertown, MA 02472

121 Worcester Rd.
Framingham, MA 01701

A Note About New England Weather

During the summer (June through August) temperatures range from 60º F to 100ºF (15.5ºC to 37.7ºC) and average about 80ºF (26.6ºC). During the winter months (December through March) temperatures range from -4ºF (with windchill) to 45ºF (-20ºC to 7.2ºC) and average about 32ºF (0ºC).

The cold season begins in October and continues through March, with snow mostly in December, January and February. April and May bring warmth and rain. For updated information you can visit The Weather Channel and type the Waltham zip code: 02454

Packing Suggestions


Packing Tips

As a student or scholar in the US, you will likely spend several years in temporary accommodations (often shared with other people), and may have to shift residences quite often. Your needs and interests will also change in the course of your stay, and you will begin to acquire possessions while you are here. So, remember to travel light! Bring only those items that you are sure to use. These may include: 


  • Official transcripts and syllabi from secondary schools, colleges, or universities
  • Medical and dental records, including certificates of immunizations and vaccinations (especially important for young children)
  • Information about medical conditions or treatments, prescriptions for medication (including generic and brand names), spare eyeglasses and a prescription.
  •  Marriage certificate – original and translated if necessary
  •  Birth certificates for children
  • International driver’s license
  • Certificates or letters of recommendation when applying for an on-campus job

Wherever applicable, these documents should be accompanied by official English translations.


Bring a sheet and towel for the first few days at Brandeis; sheets in the United States come in standard sizes to fit the beds.  Purchase extra long twin sheets if you are living in the residence halls.  Brandeis’ Student Service Bureau will also be sending you information regarding the purchase of linens.  You may want to purchase these before arriving on campus, since shipping takes a while.

One option is to buy your essentials online from the "Shop for College" section in the Bed Bath and Beyond website. You can do this if you do not wish to purchase linens through the Student Service Bureau. 


Students at Brandeis dress very informally: jeans, shorts, t-shirts, casual shirts, etc. Nevertheless, there will be some occasions for you to dress up, such as semi-formal and formal dances or special events with the faculty. Traditional dress is always welcome. You will need plenty of warm clothing for the winter: sweaters, fleeces and/or sweatshirts, and a winter jacket are essential. Heavy, waterproof shoes/ snow boots, gloves, a hat and scarf for snow will also be necessary, as will be an umbrella for rainy days.

Conversions and General Measurements

Clothing sizes in the U.S. can vary. Be sure to try on any clothing or shoes before you buy them.

General Guide

 Be advised that high-quality winter jackets can be quite expensive, but we recommend that you purchase it after arrival, to make sure that it is warm enough. Some popular brands for winter jackets are Patagonia and North Face. If you are a scholar who will be teaching classes, check ahead with your department for any applicable dress code.

Books and Supplies 

Books are very expensive in the United States -- a semester’s worth of books for an undergraduate is typically around $350.00. You should probably bring along books (dictionaries, reference material) that you use often, or know you will need. Copies of most course books are also kept in the Reserve section of the Brandeis libraries; these may be read within the library, but cannot be borrowed.  Students recommend “renting” books from sites like or purchasing books from other students at We strongly suggest you consider buying used copies through sources like the Brandeis Bookstore,, CheapbooksBarnes and Noble, or eBay since they are less expensive than new books. You might also like to bring some books in languages other than English, which are harder to come by in the United States.

Electrical Devices

The standard electrical output in the U.S. is 110V/220V, so most foreign electrical equipment cannot be used here. Bring electrical devices only if you will run them on batteries or a voltage converter.