Friday, June 15, 2012

A Whole New World

After a long week of early rising we finally got a chance to sleep in. In the girls room we woke up around 9 and got dressed to tour a little of downtown Providence before me had to leave today. Kelly, Emily, and I walked to CVS and picked up some necessary supplies before we headed to a small organic cafe and grabbed a bite to eat.

Eventually, we were all ready to head off to today's destination: MIT. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and after an hour and a half drive we finally made it.
The Stata Center at MIT
MIT's campus is split into two sections the east and west side. The east side is for the academics and the west side is for housing and the student life in general. When we arrived we had lunch in the food court on campus on the west side before heading off to the information session. At the session the MIT admissions officer talked about academics, admission, and MIT's special attributes. He was very enthusiastic about the school since he was once a student and now is an admissions officer. After he was done we went on a tour and learned more interesting facts about MIT home of the Beavers. We got to see a lot of MIT's cool architecture and fascinating projects created by students. One thing I learned that I hadn't known before was that MIT has a program for social sciences, humanities, and arts. Even though I am not interested in going to MIT, I still enjoyed the experience.

The Capital Grille
Once we got back to hotel we had to quickly change for dinner at Capital Grille in Providence. We had the chance to meet with Brown students, alums, and faculty. We were in our own private room in the restaurant so it was a very intimate affair. I sat next two Aida Manduley and Kisa Takesue. Aida is a Brown alumni who graduated recently. She majored in Sexuality and Medicine. When she first started at Brown she was double majoring in international relations. We had a very interesting conversation about the subject because international relations is something I am thinking of majoring in. Aida is originally from Puerto Rico so it was very interesting to hear her perspective on her experiences at Brown. She told me about Brown traditions like specials dances and such. I really enjoyed talking to her and the other students in our proximate who gave us advice on college applications. 

For dinner we had appetizers shared throughout the whole table. I had a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing and bacon bits. A bone-in kona crusted dry aged sirloin with shallot butter for the entree along with sides for the entire table. For dessert we all shared a dessert platter with the whole table. The food was delicious and the dinner overall was amazing.
After visiting all of these schools and talking with all of these fascinating people it made me realize that our school district should offer more chances for other students who don't get this experience to at least learn about these schools and their criteria. I feel if students were better informed either from their own schools or from actual admissions officers coming to visit, many of them would breach outside of California to go to school. If we take the steps necessary to inform more students I believe we would see a higher rise in students going outside of California.

Each us came up with questions about a certain topic that we believe students should make sure to ask when searching for colleges. My topic was Housing and Food. My questions are:
  • Is housing guaranteed for all undergraduates all four years?
  • What is the cost of housing?
  • What percent of students live on campus?
  • Are there coed or single gender housing?
  • What meal plan does the school offer?
At Wesleyan 100 % of first year students live on campus and 98% of undergraduates live in college housing. Wesleyan has coed housing, theme housing, apartment housing, and fraternity/sorority housing. Wesleyan has a couple of cafes on campus along with dining halls.

At Yale 100% of first year students live on campus. Yale has a system where students live in a designated "college" for their time at Yale that stays with them until they graduate. Students with in these colleges become really close and have their own community within the large Yale community. Each residential college has their own dining hall and there is a main dinning hall that all students conjugate to.

At Dartmouth 100% of first year students live on campus and 86% of undergrads live in college housing. Dartmouth has coed housing and theme housing. 70% of Dartmouth's students participate in Greek Life. So some (but not all) Greek students live in sorority/fraternity housing. Dartmouth has a couple of dinning options on campus.

At MIT 100% of first year students live on campus and 90% of undergrads take advantage of college housing. MIT has coed, women specific, theme , and fraternity/sorority housing. At MIT they have separate houses that students live in similar to Yale's system. But at MIT students get to choose their place of resident. The students at MIT become very close to the students in their houses. For dinning options their are many different places to choose from on campus.

MIT was the last school on our tour stop and I can truly say I feel very lucky to have had this experience. All of these schools had their own unique characteristics that I enjoyed. My two favorite schools were Wesleyan and Dartmouth because of their size and academic philosophy. These past few days have opened up my eyes to another world that I have never imagined. It's shown me that there are so many more options when it comes to college and with hard work and determination anything is possible. Within these past few days I have learned a lot and met many wonderful people that I would not have met without the Ivy League Connection. 

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