Sunday, July 4, 2010
The Dartmouth Experience
Josten and I after a short conversation
Josten the tour guide
Today we were scheduled to go visit Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. I must confess, I am absolutely in love with that college now.
Being an Ivy League school, Dartmouth is special. Though it provides a large variety of graduate programs, those programs are not its only focus. Dartmouth puts effort into undergraduate education and still has not changed the formal title of the school from "College" to "University".
As a liberal arts institution, Dartmouth requires general education classes in order to produce academically well-rounded students. There are no Pre-Med or Pre-Law programs. According to our tour guide, Josten, Dartmouth students only take classes they are interested in. For example, a student has to take a psychology class for general education requirements. She would have a variety of psychology classes to choose from. She might choose chose Psychology of Love, which is just about loving people. The class suited what she was looking for.
It has been said that the professors at Dartmouth come to teach undergraduate students because they love teaching. From what I can see, they really do care about their students. Even a professor teaching Introductory Biology (about 100 people per class) will remember everyone’s name, not a simple feat. Josten gave us an idea of what talking to professors outside of class is like. Even when she went to them during their office hours, they wouldn’t explain the subject without first asking “How are you adjusting to the new environment?” or “Are you are doing alright?”
As far as the Dartmouth environment goes, it is big and beautiful. Unlike UC Berkeley or Brown, Dartmouth is located in a very small town and the campus is not broken up at all. The campus looked very clean and quiet, a perfect environment for studying.
I was highly impressed by Dartmouth. Not only by its fine faculty and environment, but also by the love the students have for it. Everyone here calls Dartmouth “home”, and that is exactly what I want to do with my future school. I will definitely apply to go here.
After Josten finished her explanation of Dartmouth, I talked to her personally and learned about what Dartmouth expects from its prospective students; most certainly academic excellence, but also a passion for what they intend to do in life.