Ohio University

Resources: Living in Athens


People walking at corner of Court Street and Union

Winter Break Information

Ohio University will be closed from Wednesday December 25 through Wednesday January 1, reopening on Thursday January 2.  If you are planning to remain in Athens after the end of the semester, below is some important information. 


On Tuesday December 24, ISFS will offer very limited services.  (It is likely that other campus offices will do the same.)  Please be sure that any time sensitive requests are submitted to our office before December 20.  This includes any travel signature requests.  You can request a travel signature any time of day or night in iCats.ohio.edu.  ISFS will not be able to process any requests during the university closure, and we will not be responding to emails and phone calls.  If you have an immigration emergency after December 24, please contact the Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) at 740-593-1911. If you call our front desk during the university closure, you will be directed to OUPD as a first line of contact.


Baker University Center Food Bank:

The last day for Cats’ Cupboard for 2019 will be December 24th from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm. We will reopen on January 2nd at 7:00 am. The Cupboard will have modified weekday hours of 7:00 am – 6:00 pm from January 2nd – January 10th. Normal hours resume on January 11th.  More information about hours and other community-based food resources can be found at https://www.ohio.edu/student-affairs/dean-of-students/bobcats-helping-bobcats/cats-cupboard


Athens Community Closures:

The majority of US businesses will be closed on December 25, and many local businesses close for additional days.  Here are some closures that may be of interest.

  • CATS Late Night: December 15th through January 8th
  • Walmart: December 25th (Closes at 6:00 pm on December 24th)
  • Kroger: December 25th (Closes at 6:00 pm on December 24th)
  • CVS: December 25th (Closes at 6:00pm on December 24th)
  • Restaurants:  Most will be closed December 25.  We recommend calling to check on other days.

Union Street Diner will remain open on December 25.  (Be sure to give your wait staff a generous tip for working that day!)   Most gas stations remain open.  Emergency services such as police and ambulances remain available.


Athens Public Transit Holiday

Holiday Hours--

Christmas Eve Dec 24th
Line 2 7:30am-5:30pm
Line 3 6:46am-7:00pm
Line 4 7:45am-6:45pm
Line 5 7:20am-5:30pm
Line 6 6:52am-5:00pm
Line 7 6:45am-5:45pm

Closed Christmas Day Dec 25th.
Resume Normal Service on Dec 26th

New Year’s Eve Dec 31st
Line 2 7:30am-5:30pm
Line 3 6:46am-7:00pm
Line 4 7:45am-6:45pm
Line 5 7:20am-5:30pm
Line 6 6:52am-5:00pm
Line 7 6:45am-5:45pm

Closed New Year’s Day Jan 1st, 2020.
Resume Normal Service on Jan 2, 2020

What is a snow emergency?
The snow emergency level issued by county sheriffs in Ohio, is meant to give citizens a sense of roadway conditions, and in some cases, to limit or restrict travel on roadways in the interest of safety. The authority to declare snow emergencies is placed on the county sheriff

What are snow levels and what do they mean?
LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy, drive carefully.

LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.

LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest.

We hope this information is helpful as you plan ahead for Winter break.  ISFS will continue to offer our afternoon walk-in advising through December 23, so feel free to stop by with any questions.

Living in Athens

Ohio University's main campus is located in the city of Athens, OH. With about 24,000 residents (not counting the on-campus student population), Athens may be smaller than you expect when you think of a city. But, Athens is unique and special, and although it may be a small city, you will certainly never be bored while you are here. Click here to learn more about Athens, OH. Ohio University also has multiple regional campuses, click here to learn more about OHIO's regional campuses.

If you are going to be a student on OHIO's main campus in Athens, OH, please see below for more information about life in Athens and explore the various links at your leisure. And, always remember, if you have a question, we are here for you. Click here to get in contact with International Student & Faculty Services.


There are many housing options in and around Athens both on and off campus. If you would like to live on-campus, Residential Housing has information about the University's residence halls including how to apply for this type of housing. Click here for more information. If you are interested in off-campus housing options, click here.

Health Care:

  1. Emergency Care: If you find yourself in a life-threatening situation and you cannot wait to see a doctor, go to a hospital's emergency room. The closest hospital is: O'Bleness Memorial Hospital which is located at 44 West Union Street in Athens. The phone number for the hospital is: (740) 566-4925. If you cannot make it to the hospital emergency room, but still need immediate medical help, you can call 9-1-1 for an ambulance to take you to the hospital. Some examples of health emergencies are: heart attacks, severe bleeding, poisoning, severe allergic reactions, and broken bones. Emergency care is extremely expensive in the United States and emergency rooms are reserved for serious health issues. If you do need to go to an emergency room, DO NOT forget your health insurance card.
  2. Urgent Care: Urgent medical conditions are ones that are not considered emergencies but still require care within 24 hours. Some examples of such conditions include: accidents and falls, sprains and strains, moderate back problems, cuts, eye irritation and redness, fever or flu, and vomiting. If you have any urgent medical condition you can go to the Holzer Clinic URGENT CARE located at 2131 East State Street in Athens. The phone number for the Holzer Clinic is: 740-593-3594. You can also go to EXPRESS CARE located at 265 West Union Street, Athens. The phone number for Express Care is: 740-594-2456. Please make sure that you carry your health insurance card with you.
  3. Routine Health Care: If you do not feel well or if you have a minor illness, you can go to the OhioHealth Campus Care Center. Examples of minor illnesses/issues are: the flu, sore throat, check-ups, and minor injuries. For more information about the University Hudson Health Center, you can visit their website or you can call them at 740-592-7100. Please make sure that you carry your health insurance card with you. **Please note that dependents of international students cannot get health care service at the OhioHealth Campus Care Center.**

Driver's License and State ID:

If you want to own your own vehicle as an international student, you will need to get an US driver's license. In order to get an Ohio driver's license, you must pass a written test, a vision test, and a driving test. Please click here for more information about Ohio driver's licenses. You will find the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) located at 1002 East State. St. Suite 8 in Athens, OH. They will be able to assist you with this entire process.

Transportation and Parking services:

Looking for ways to get around town without your own car? OU offers a wide range of transportation services. Other transportation services offered in and outside Athens include the Greencab (740-594-7336), Athens Public Transit, and GoBus.

Safety Services:

We, at Ohio University, want you to always feel safe and secure. However, if at any time, you need help or assistance, you can always contact the Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) or the City of Athens Police Department.

Job Listings:

Are you thinking about looking for employment on campus? Visit the Ohio University job site.

Events & Activities in Athens:

Athens has something for everyone whether you enjoy the outdoors or if you prefer high quality entertainment. Click here to see all that Athens, OH has to offer. There is truly something for everyone.

Campus Events:

OU takes pride in showcasing various shows and events on campus that are both informative and educative. For events around OU Campus, visit The Performing Arts website and the Campus Involvement website.

Bank Locations:

Click here to view local banking options.

Where To Eat:

Whether you want to eat or off campus, you are sure to find something to please your palate. Click here to view on-campus options. If you want to browse the many options in Athens, OH outside of the University, visit the Athen's County Visitor's Bureau.


Athens, OH has four seasons: fall, winter, spring, and summer. The summer (June – August) is hot with temperatures between 16-35°C or 61-95°F. During the winter (November – March), it can be very cold, with average temperatures between -3-11°C or 25-52°F. Be sure to pack some clothes for cold weather if you have them. There are shops near campus where you will be able to buy boots, coats, sweaters, hats gloves, or whatever else you may need. Fall (September – November) and Spring (March – June) are mixtures of winter and summer weather usually with temperatures between 4-21°C or 40-70°F. Click here to check on the weather for when you arrive.

Mail Services:

Do you need to mail something? There various options available both on-campus and off-campus.

Metric System to U.S. Measurement System:

We understand that it can be a little confusing to try and use the U.S. measurement system. So if you run into trouble, click here for an easy-to-use conversion tool.

Get Involved:

At U.S. higher education institutions, it is important to balance your studies with campus involvement. With over a hundred student organizations, there is truly an organization for anyone. Click here to view the many different organizations on campus.

University Policies and Guidelines:

As an Ohio University student, there are certain rules and guidelines you should know. Please click here to learn more about the behavioral standards of the institution and click here for the academic policies every student should know.