Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dart She Goes!

Today is the second day that us Brownies are going to tour another college, Dartmouth. I personally didn't want to wake up today because we had to be ready by 6:30 AM. But any who, the show must go on. 

Information Session Begins Inside!
Administration Office
The first thing we did when we arrived was attend the information session led by John Beck. He went over the basics; financial aid, application process, and curriculum. The one thing that stood out to me was the D-Plan. Dartmouth runs on a quarter system based on four ten week terms per year and you are required to study on the school's campus during your sophomore summer term. John also talked about studying abroad. There are two different kinds, Language Study Abroad (LSA), and Foreign Study Programs (FSP). LSA is when you study the country's main language while FSP is when you study a specific course. I love that Dartmouth offers more countries you can choose to study abroad at compared to other colleges. In a few years when I start to attend college, I want to major in global health and it's great to hear about the many choices I can pick from if I do attend Dartmouth. After the session, we went to tour the school by a current student.

This campus compared to Wellesley gave me a different experience. Dartmouth is incorporated near a town rather than alone and secluded. The spacing between the buildings at Wellesley were much father and its architecture gave it a twist to what I expected from the Ivy League colleges. Wellesley combined the old-fashioned brick structures with modern styles while Dartmouth was only built with bricks. Academically wise, I'm leaning more towards Dartmouth. I like how it's an open curriculum and core classes aren't mandatory, aside from a mathematic, science, and PE course. If I choose to do research, Dartmouth offers it starting your freshman year while Wellesley offers it starting your sophomore. I also love that both schools are on the smaller scale of students. For me, if I were to attend a larger school I believe that I might get distracted too easily, but I do love a vast diversity. A smaller environment does have its perks too. Smaller classes means that I'll have more time to spend with my professors and it'll be a more hands on experience, but that also means I wouldn't be able to see as many new faces. I suppose it's bitter sweet. When our tour guide finished, we all went to eat lunch with Dartmouth students, deans, and alum.

I sat with Romina, Ynah, Abby, Caitlin, June, and Jake. Caitlin will graduate the year of 14 and she will declare her major, government, in the fall. She talked about studying abroad in Paris, Germany, and Big Sibling Little Sibling. This is similar to Wellesley's Big Sister Little Sister, but instead of mentoring a student, you hang out with elementary aged kids. You can do anything you want with them but you do have to spend at least four hours per week with them. June is a dean and she gave advice on what to focus our application on. She did say that GPA and SAT scores aren't the biggest factors to acceptance. She mentioned that you need to be true to yourself. Make sure that the essay is well written but make sure it sounds like it's been written from us. June said that the deans can tell whether the essay has been written with an older person's perspective compared to an applicant's. Everything she said made me feel much more relieved since I had more insight of what deans look at. Jake is a director of this organization named SEAD which stands for Service Enrichment At Dartmouth. SEAD expands educational resources for students that might have came from deprived schools. He's even worked at El Cerrito before!

Soon to Be Dartmouth Students?
Maybe One Day...

 In conclusion, Dartmouth is growing on me. I would definitely redo this visit again, especially during the fall session where I can see more students in action. Without being apart of the ILC, I wouldn't have consider applying to an Ivy League school, let alone any East Coast ones. I've always wanted to go in-state just to be near family, but I'm ready to spread my wings and to see what I can do on my own!

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