Columbia University Visit Report by amandakayak
Visit to Columbia University in May 2013 by amandakayak(Parent of Student)
(Member since December 30 2009 with 1235 posts)
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Information Session: Yes - Very interesting, not a rehashing of info you can easily find online, but "what makes Columbia unique" - handled a summer crowd of prob 200 people very well. 1st info session that I actuall
Campus Tour: Yes - Did not see inside any buildings - which is a bummer for me.
Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
Appearance of Campus:
Overall Campus Impression:
Area Immediately Around Campus:
Campus Visit Notes for Columbia University
Did I mention the heat wave? Well, yes it was 94 degrees and humid that day. As I said above, the info session was actually much more worthwhile than usual. I really felt I was given a "Why Columbia" talk by a persuasive alumni and not just a packaged speech by an administrator. What I would like to say to my fellow visitors, please don't waste time of a group of 200+ people, asking stupid questions. Noone is taking your name down with a "star" next to it because you asked a question - like "Is Columbia on the semester system?" Really??? Or "Does Columbia have an animal rights student organization?" Really??? Will that affect whether you apply?
Anyway, I digress. I felt that with the size of the group attending that day, the tour group sizes were pretty large (say 50/per) but our guide handled the group well and was very receptive to asking questions - in the group or alone with the guide as you walked to the next site. My only complaint is that we didn't go into any single building. Personally, I get a much better impression of a school by walking through the library, into a classroom and through the student center, maybe see a "standard" dorm room. I can understand that would be difficult with groups this large, but again, people had travelled from all over the world for the visit (we are just a train away) and it would have made more of their visit.
We signed up for the optional science tour - this was a bit less worthwhile because instead of breaking the 50 or so people into groups, the 4 tour guides took us all together - one guide in particular needs a class in public speaking because his head bobbed up and down while he spoke and he had no projection. I strained to hear and then gave up listening after a while, just watching his head bob from afar. Again, no insides of buildings, just talking outside - in the now sweltering heat. At the end of the tour, we had the option to follow one of the guides into a biochem lab. Great! Finally in a group of 12, we went into the AC bldg, up to the lab, and into the lab - my dd's dream. It would have been nice to be told what was being worked on at this lab or have someone from the lab say something but all we were told was "please don't touch anything" - we walked about and then left. Had the feeling it could have been a great moment for dd, but fell a bit short.
Ends up, we will be on another visit to Columbia in 2 wks for the "Engineering Invitational" which I hope covers more detail about that school and doesn't have too much repetitive stuff. I will let you know if we get inside a building!!
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
#1 train to 116th St. - comes out right in front of entrance to Columbia, couldn't have been any more convenient!