Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wesleyan in Water

This morning we had breakfast at Aspire again and set off on our journey to Wesleyan University in Connecticut. The drive was fairly easy and we passed by a lot of trees. All this green I’m seeing in the East Coast makes me appreciate it a lot. Kudos for green!

We arrived and immediately went into the informational session that started as we entered. There was an admissions officer along with a current Wesleyan student that talked about why this particular university was so special. The school has an open curriculum which means that students don’t have to take any classes that are outside of their major. There are, however, FYI classes that stand for Freshman Year Initiation classes. The school is very small with a total population of about three thousand undergrad students and 200 graduate students. This allows undergraduate students to do research from their first year in college which is very unique and is very rare in other universities.

Personally I don’t like the open curriculum system because I absolutely love structured programs and I think a core curriculum would be better and more organized for me. However the research opportunities are amazing and is really impossible to find in a UC system.

The university is very proud of their commitment to keeping the school diverse in both ethnicities and ways thinking. About 9% of the students are international and there are study abroad programs available to students who want to take a semester or even a year of schooling in another country. I, myself, have never seriously considered studying abroad much, but it can be a possibility. I’m beginning to realize that more and more students are talking about studying abroad and it seems to be a growing trend.

Something Wesleyan is very proud of is their Filmography Program. There are about 400 Wesleyan Alumni in Hollywood known as the “Wesleyan Mafia” who are valuable connections to students who want to pursue a career in motion picture. That was really interesting, but I’m not really a film person.

I think the open curriculum attracts a lot of students as well as the bountiful research opportunities and I will definitely tell people about this school, but I wouldn’t apply to this school.

We had a delicious lunch at Luce Restaurant over discussion on the Dream Act and how it didn’t pass. I think everyone agreed that it was a huge disappointment that it didn’t.

That night we had dinner with Brown Alum, Ms. Amy Tan. There was great discussion on Brown’s diverse student population and the problems caused by social gaps. For example, a person who has had to work hard their whole life and didn’t have both parents in their lives might resent someone who has lived a very privileged life. I found that really interesting and can imagine that situation.

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