FAQs for Attendees – 2024

Q: What is the general itinerary?


Check-in is from 2 PM – 6 PM on Sunday; you can move into your room beginning at 3PM.
The cafeteria is open for dinner from 5:00 – 6:30 PM
Orientation begins at 7 PM – It is strongly recommended to attend orientation.
Late check-in runs from 8:00 – 10 PM (For those unable to arrive until Monday morning, or later, can pre-arrange to check in when they arrive.)
Classes begin Monday morning at 9 AM
Evening activities begin at 7:30 PM
Check-out is on Saturday from 8 AM – 10 AM (Friday or early check-out can be accommodated.)
The cafeteria is open for breakfast on Saturday morning, but not for lunch or dinner.

*Those attending two or more weeks in a row, signed up for campus housing, can stay in their same rooms through the weekend, but are on their own for meals Saturday Lunch and Dinner and Sunday Breakfast and Lunch. These are the only Saturday stay-overs permitted.


Q: I’ll be registering for classes and want to bring my partner/spouse. What are the rates and what kind of activities are available?
A: Non-students can pay a $200 activity fee to gain access to all of the Gathering events except classes. This includes concerts, dances, jams, student showcases, etc. During the day while the students are at classes, they have access to the Warren Wilson College library, trails and student center. Some weeks also offer yoga classes in the mornings. If you and your partner/spouse choose to live on campus, each of you would pay the shared room fee of $540. This includes a double room and full meal plan. You can read more about Non-student activities on the Non-student Activities page. Note: SG non-students are individuals (max of one adult per registered student) registered on a SG student’s registration and, if staying on campus, must share a room. 

Q: I’d like to make this a family vacation. What kinds of activities do you have that might be appropriate for my children?
A: For children 6-12, we offer a Children’s Program during our Traditional Song, Celtic, and Old-Time Weeks. You can read more about the Children’s Program here. For older children, our classes do not have age limits, so we recommend enrolling your child in a class or two but we require that all students, especially minors, be sincerely interested in the class subject and not a distraction to others.

Q: Do you have a shuttle from Asheville airport?

A: We do not have a shuttle service from the airport, but here is a resource to see your options.


Q: Should I be worried about black bear on campus?

A: Western North Carolina is home to a large population of black bear and they are often seen on campus. The college works with BearWise.

Here is the BearWise flyer provided to all participants at check-in: https://swangathering.com/wp-content/uploads/BearWise-FLYER-2-sided-April2023.pdf



Q: How are the classes scheduled and how many classes can I take?
A: Each class is a five-day course of study. The classes run Monday-Friday and are held at the same time each day. So if you choose to take a 9:00 AM Fiddle class, you will meet with the class Monday-Friday at 9:00 AM in the same room. Our program’s ‘open’ format encourages students to take several courses a day. For example, a fiddle player may take a class in her instrument in the morning, then, after lunch, a dance class that uses tunes from her fiddle class, and a folklore class in the afternoon describing the cultural context in which both tunes and dances developed. How many classes you take is an individual decision. You can take from 1 to 3 or 4, depending on the week.

Q: How long are the classes?
A: Classes are usually an hour and 15 minutes and are schedules from 9:00 in the morning to 4:00 or 5:00 in the evening, depending on the week you choose.

Q: How large are the classes? Do you have waiting lists?
A: Classes limits are typically 15, but some weeks offer a few unlimited enrollment classes as well. Once a class fills, we begin a waiting list based on a first-come, first-served policy. The earlier you get on the waiting list, the better your odds of getting off. Once a student makes a class change or cancels their registration, we offer their slot to the next person on the waitlist. Some of our busier weeks tend to fill very quickly, so we recommend registering early.

Q: Are there age limits for class participants?
A: We welcome and encourage students of all ages to attend our classes. We do not have an age limit for class participants and just ask that the student be sincerely interested in the subject and not a distraction to others. Participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Q: How do I know which skill level to register for?
A: Our students come from all backgrounds and skill levels, from complete beginners to serious hobbyists to professional musicians. Some class descriptions define required skills in detail, but when the following terms appear, Beginner refers to those with no experience at all, or those who play some but are not yet comfortable with the basics. Intermediate students should have mastered basic skills, and be able to tune their instruments, keep time, play the principal chords and scales cleanly, and know how to play a few tunes with confidence (dancers should know basic steps and figures, and how to lead and/or follow). Advanced students should be very comfortable with their instruments and able to focus on style, arrangement and ornamentation.

Q: Can I get credit for the classes I take?
A: The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has allowed three hours of Teaching Certificate Renewal Credit for each week of the Swannanoa Gathering. Interested teachers should contact their local school board for prior approval.

Q: Will there be down time to practice and/or relax?
A: Students may choose to take a class during each of the offered class periods, but concentration on a few classes is strongly recommended. You can use open class period for practice or to schedule a massage with the massage therapist, take a walk on the campus trails, take a nap, enjoy a yoga class, head to the gym or just sit and enjoy a new friend. Your schedule is entirely up to you!



Q: How much is tuition?
A: Tuition is $625 for 2024. You can read more about our fees here.

Q: Is there a deposit required for registration?
A: Yes – there is a $100 deposit for students, $50 deposit for non-students and $25 deposit for the Children’s Program.

Q: Are there work study/volunteer positions available?
A: Yes – click here to read more about our Work Exchange Program

Q:What is the total amount to attend a week of camp – I can’t seem to find the total cost on your website?
A: Your total cost will depend on whether or not you are staying on campus and if you so, whether you are paying for a shared or single room.
Tuition is $625 to take classes, Shared Housing/Meals is $540 and Single Housing/Meals is $770.
If you are not staying on campus, you can purchase a meal ticket separately or purchase meals individually. Your deposit is a non-refundable administrative fee, but will be applied to your tuition fee.
Your total could be:
Tuition Only (not staying on campus): $625
Tuition + Shared Housing/Meals: $1165
Tuition + Single Housing/Meals: $1395



Q: What kinds of housing accommodations are available?
A: Click here to read more about housing.

Q: Are there private rooms?
A: We do have a limited number of single rooms available at an additional fee of $230 for a total of $770.

Q: I need air conditioning!
A: There are a limited number of air conditioned rooms. Our Housing Coordinator does their best to accommodate, especially for medical conditions (doctor’s notes), but there is no way to guarantee an air conditioned room to all who request one. If you need an absolute guarantee, we recommend you look into staying off campus. There are several airbnb options in the area, searching for “Swannanoa, NC,” as well as hotels.

Q: I have a specific building request for housing.
A: We cannot guarantee building requests, but please feel free to mention your request in your full registration.

Q: I want to room with a specific roommate.
A: During registration, there will be a space to list a roommate request. Folks should list each other on their registrations.

Q: Is it possible to camp on the campus? Are there alternatives to staying in the residence halls? Are RVs allowed on campus?
A: We do not allow camping on the campus, but there are campsites nearby. RVs/camper trailers/camper vans are not permitted on campus. For small campers/vans/trailers, campus public safety MAY pre-approve (depends on size, weight, and space availability) parking in a designated location, but you would still be required to sign up for dorm housing, as they do not permit camping/using the vehicle while it’s parked.

You may find that campground fees would be equal to, or more expensive than, our shared housing/meals fee for the week, but here are some local options:
Asheville East KOA Address: 2708 Highway 70 East, Swannanoa, NC 28778 Info: 828-686-3121 Reserve: 800-562-5907 https://koa.com/campgrounds/asheville-east/
Mama Gertie’s Hideaway Camping Address: 15 Uphill Rd. Swannanoa, NC 28778 877-686-4258 or 828-686-4258 https://mamagerties.com/
Airbnb is also a great resource, as well. Search for “Swannanoa, NC”.

Q: Can you tell me about the individual meals vs. full meal plan?
A: Anyone choosing to live on campus is given a full meal plan as part of his or her housing fee. Those living off-campus can choose to either purchase individual meals as needed, or purchase the full meal plan.

Q: I have special dietary requirements, can you accommodate them?
A: The College is catered by Sodexo (828-298-1041), and low-sodium, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan meals are available upon request. Please let us know in writing what your diet consists of and we will communicate with the kitchen staff before your arrival.

Q: I can find a cheaper flight if I arrive Saturday instead of Sunday, can I check in a day early?
A: Due to the rapid turnover of the residence halls each week, we do not allow early arrivals. Please contact our office for a list of nearby hotels or hotels close to the airport.

Q: Are RVs allowed on campus?
A: No, RVs are not allowed on campus. Warren Wilson College’s policy states: “Due to limited parking on campus, no vehicle over 8400lbs. GVW (gross vehicle weight) will be permitted to park on college property. The exceptions to this will be visiting school buses for athletic events and tour buses.”



Q: I may have to cancel my registration. Can I get a refund?
A: The deposits are required for registration and are processing fees credited toward tuition and not student funds held in escrow, and are thus non-refundable and non-transferable. Should an enrolled student need to cancel, we can refund all monies collected other than deposits, if notified four weeks before his/her classes beginNo refunds other than the cost of meals can be made within four weeks of the event.