I live in Maryland, and although The University of Maryland is a great school, going to college in Florida is something I really want to do. The U of Miami is at the top of my list, but I want to know from someone who goes there what it is like. Any bit of information helps!
I would say read up on it in some of the guide books.
It's a great school academically with lots of great programs (premed, marine sci, business, music etc), its got a top athletic program, and plenty of diversity among its students.
Going to school in FL is definitely different than the Northeast (where I'm from). Kids are always outside even if they're studying. there's bars and clubs in miami while UM has some frats and house parties. Plenty of things on and off campus--concerts, sporting events, community service stuff, etc.
Your question is so general. Ask more specific questions- youll get a much better answer I promise!
Location: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Funny thing is I went to both schools and found myself back at a large public university like Maryland. University of Miami attracts a certain student and if you do not mind having large classes, I'd say Maryland might be better. Miami is not much of a college in terms of atmosphere and college life. Of course they have football, but the football stadium is a half-hour drive away, that says something about the university of I should say country club. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me anything about either university. In my honest opinion, Maryland would be more valuable for you in the long run, or checkout other medium-large public schools such as UNC, UVA, and UF
Here is a post from another thread by bijou3owl. It gives some more info on the school from a student's perspective:
Hello, I'm a freshman at the U and just got back home from my first semester. I must say I LOVE it there.
One of the greatest things is the accessibility of the profs. I could email one, after hours, and get a response back in a few hours (except, you know, if it's dinner time or 2AM or something). They are always super willing to meet with you and help you out. They understand your personal situations (in my English class this last semester, one of my classmate's computer died, along with her paper, and the prof didn't make her re-write it, just to email it to her after her computer got fixed). I had AP credit for the chem I lab, but wanted to still try it out to see if the labs were any different. Since the lab didn't start until after the add/drop period, the lab coordinator made special arrangements with me to be able to drop the class without a withdrawal! Everyone there is super-nice! Not to mention that they offer you an hour of free tutoring per week (two for math classes) per class if you're stuck! And if you can't make office hours, Profs are always willing to make special arrangements with you, it's fantastic!
The weather is awesome (I mean, it's Miami), you just always have to be sure to pack an umbrella just in case, and if it's raining, don't wear flip-flops because you're going to slip on the brick pathway around the lake. The students are absolutely fantastic. Sure, you do have snobby rich kids (what private college doesn't?), but if you don't want to associate with them, it's easy to find other, down-to-earth friends. That said, it's really important to go to a bunch of the free activities they have during orientation, because you meet SO many people. I met some of my really, really good friends in Miami at a s'more BBQ organized by Rho Rho Rho (marine science honor society) on the first day of classes. One of them is very wealthy (Darien, CT anyone?), but she's totally cool and down to earth. What you have to remember is, while some people may come from rich families, they're soon on their own money-wise, a poor college student just like the rest of us.
There is a definite flavor to Hecht and Stanford. Hecht attracts more of the rich, party-minded kids (because they have a nice lobby and elevators that function well), and Stanford attracts the music students and the more academically minded (three study rooms, music practice rooms, and substance-free floors). But then, people mingle in-between dorms (a lot of my really close friends are in Hecht, and I'm in Stanford). Football is big at the school, but only really when you go to games. Sure, the campus is a lot emptier during games, but there are quite a few people who don't ever go to games. It's way emptier at Thanksgiving than during a football game: the campus is still alive during a game. Actually, there are less people out on campus on a Sunday morning at 10AM than during a game.
Academics is a real focus: during finals, they have hammocks and tents put up outside the library, the library is open 24 hours starting the last week of classes through finals, there is 24 hour quiet in the dorms starting right after classes end, they give you a couple days off to study for finals, they organize study breaks with tons of free food every night, etc.
All in all, Miami is a great place, and it's not for everyone, but, then again, what college is?
My favorite thing about Miami is that it has everything a large school has to offer, but it's not. We have basically every major, so if you change your mind, you don't have to transfer just to study something different. Also the athletics and the national reputation. But we don't have any classes over 200 students and there are only a couple that are even over 100. It's a very personal school, unlike large state schools where you don't know most of your professors and you meet people and never see them again. Also, there are so many kids from MD here.
I'm also interested in Miami but have some big concerns about the social life
I know the U is a big party school, but I'm wondering if there are other social scenes aside from the trendy clubbing/ frat party scene that still qualify as social scenes (aka not "If you're not into partying there are always free movies and campus events!" --cuz that's lame)
I mean are there other REAL social options besides the superficial party scene.
Just to give some background on myself, I'm applying for music so I guess I'd be conidered an "artsy" kid...One of my other fave schools is Oberlin....and don't get the wrong idea- I do like to party- just in a more chill way....
based on this....could I still have a good time at U Miami???
It's possible. The music school has a very good reputation and I'd say some very interesting kids are in Frost. The music kids seem to hang together. The main social scene at UM is the trendy clubbing and frat party thing, but it is possible that the music school kids have other things going on as well. They did appear to be some of the happier kids on campus. Have you visited both your fav schools to compare?
My son went to UM for 2 1/2 years and ended up transferring out to a much more artsy and down to earth environment. A very different population at the new school. He's glad he got to experience more than one environment. Both had their merits, it's just a matter of what your looking for exactly.