Monday, January 23, 2012

St. Olaf vs. Augustana (Part Two)

-          St. Olaf: I was VERY impressed with the dorms at St. Olaf. My guide told me that St. Olaf is a residential campus and about 95-99% of the students live on campus in the dorms. The dorms were very nice and were quite large. All of the dorms had free Wi-Fi connection. (This was a very good thing!) The dorms were all nice too; they were pretty much equal distance from the cafeteria and classroom buildings.
-          Augustana: I was semi-impressed with the rooming situations here. When you are a freshman and sophomore, you live in the dorms. The dorms were nice, but not as nice as St. Olaf’s. Only one of maybe five dorms had Wi-Fi. For the rest of them, you were expected to bring your own modem. The only other place with free Wi-Fi was the library. One thing I did not like at all about Augustana was that when you are a junior, they send you to live in campus “houses.” You room with three or four of your friends and live in a house, on campus- but off campus, if that makes sense. It wasn’t as close to all of the on-campus activities, but it was still on the outskirts of campus. And then, when you are a senior, you are expected to find your own house or apartment near campus and live there. You no longer have to pay room and board, but you have to pay rent each month. This did not sound appealing to me because I believe that when you are in college, you should get the full experience by living on campus. However, I am only seventeen, I might be ready to get off campus, but as of right now, I can’t really judge how I will feel in four years.
-          St. Olaf: St. Olaf is very well known for their academic programs. Many kids excel there and are very smart. I am very interested in studying abroad, and St. Olaf has one of the best study abroad programs. Approximately 80% of their students study abroad while at St. Olaf. This was very appealing because it is something I really want to do. They also have a calendar with a January term that makes it easier to study off campus for just one month rather than a full semester.
-          Augustana: Augustana’s academic programs are very impressive. Most of their students stay at Augustana all four years and succeed after they graduated. However, unlike St. Olaf, Augustana does not offer as great of study abroad program. Only about 30-40% of their students choose to study abroad. This number isn’t bad, but it was almost too low for my liking. With more interest and their new Augie Choice (a scholarship for study abroad programs) this number has the potential to go up.  The academic calendar at Augustana is three trimesters with four classes per term which give you a lot of variety, but may make it harder to study abroad because it would have to be for a whole trimester.
Both of these colleges are excellent. There are going to be things I like and dislike about every college I visit and these were only two. By visiting a few more schools, I will be able to find what I want and what I don’t want in a college.  

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