Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nice to meet you, Dartmouth.

I didn't know much about Dartmouth before our trip to New Hampshire, Hanover today. But I quickly learned all about it through an information session and then an extensive tour. 

The information session was run by an alum who now works in admissions. He went through everything from the re-search opportunities for undergraduates to the versatile Dartmouth Plan. He stressed the focus the faculty puts on the undergraduates and how there are so many opportunities for re-search despite having a graduate program as well. The Dartmouth Plan also stuck out to me because it was unique to the school. It is a quarter system with 10 week long terms and every sophomore is required to spend their summer on campus taking classes or doing research but they have other terms available throughout the year to travel or apply for internships. 

Another thing that I found interesting about the application process was that one of the supplements to the Common Application was a letter of recommendation from your best friend. Isabelle, an admissions officer we had lunch with, said it was an important part of the application because it told the school what kind of person you are outside of your transcript. It can tell admissions what kind of community member you would be or what kind of roommate you would be. 

Our enthusiastic and informative tour guide, Michael.

After the tour we went to lunch with some current students and a few admissions officers. They had only nice things to say about the school. They raved about the professors and their willingness to get to know each student. They also talked about the importance of community and since the school is such a big part of Hanover with half of the population being students, they said there are many community service opportunities. By the end of the lunch we are full and happy. My cohort and I climbed back in the van to begin the long trek home.

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