Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Call of the Wild

Today we headed off to Dartmouth College. I was the designated Dartmouth researcher so I knew a little information about the school before we got there. Knowing it was in a rural area, I didn't really think that environment would be a good fit for me. But boy was I wrong. The school itself is really gorgeous, although its on the smaller side of the scale. But the campus is still a very open place. The city of Hanover, New Hampshire is a really quaint city with many little shops and eateries. 

Baker Library Bell Tower
After driving 3 and 1/2 hours, I was just happy to be out of the car and stretch my legs. We entered the information session late due to heavy traffic. We learned all about Dartmouth's "D Plan" which basically means that Dartmouth is on quarter system and sometimes students take school over the summer as well as during the school year. Students can swap quarters from which they are on campus for an academic term, on term leave, or off campus for an academic term. Dartmouth offers 40 study abroad opportunities which is something that interests me because I would love to take advantage of an opportunity like that. In the information session we also learned about Dartmouth's admission process and how they choose students. Dartmouth's student population is 53% minority which is also really appealing to me, being from the Bay Area. Dartmouth's annual class size is a little over 1,000 students. 10% of 22,385 students who apply are accepted to Dartmouth. So it is a very selective school. 

Because Dartmouth is set in a rural area, the school has many activities to keep the students busy. From bonfires with Alumni to winter sports celebrations, Dartmouth seems like a really cool place. Greek life is also a big part of campus life. 70% of students participate in Greek Life at Dartmouth. This is a pretty high number compared to the other schools we visited. But our tour guide, Elise '13 who is apart of a sorority, assured us that Greek Life is not the main focus of the school. Students of all kinds, affiliated and non affiliated all interact together. And either way, your experience there will be great.

Since Dartmouth is surrounded by nature, it is a big part of the social scene. Many people meet their best friends during an event for incoming freshman. Students join a group of 7 people before school starts and takes a trip within the area to bond with people who will be joining Dartmouth with you. Hiking, canoeing, biking and more activities are available through the Outdoor Club. This is a club 95% of students participate in.We even learned of a hidden statue in the middle of the Dartmouth forest. It's not allowed to be on campus because Dartmouth doesn't believe in having statues on campus. So the creators moved it to the forest where students can search for it and enjoy its beauty.

Outside of the Canoe Club Bistro
After a tour and a group photo, we left Dartmouth and walked around the nearby shops and went into a couple of stores. Eventually, it was time to eat lunch at the Canoe Club Bistro. It was a really nice restaurant and had great food. I ordered the NE Family Farms Grass Fed Cheese Burger which was delicious and I had Pecan Maple Ice Cream with a Shortbread Cookie for dessert. 

Canoe Club Dessert
At my table, including David, Ying-An, and Mr. Crosby, we spoke to Jessica Womack, a rising junior who majors in art history and is from New Orleans and Adriana Flores majored in Spanish and minors in Italian. She is a rising senior who is originally from El Salvador and then moved to LA, her family now resides in Oregon. She has studied abroad twice, once in Rome and once in Spain. We also spoke to Justine Modica, a Dartmouth admissions officer who graduated the school in 2009. All three women hey told us about their opinions of the weather in New Hampshire and how it gets really cold but how beautiful it is. Being a California girl, I'm not sure how that would work out for me, but they were pretty convincing so maybe I could handle it. They gave us more insight on how to get through the admissions process and tips for our essay. The ladies were really informative and did a great job of selling their school to us.

Afterwords some of us grabbed some gelato at Morano Gelato which is considered the best gelato in the United States. It was really delicious. Finally as we headed home I decided that I will defiantly be adding Dartmouth to my college wish list. When we arrived back at the hotel the whole cohort shared pizza, blogged, and reflected on our great day at Dartmouth.

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