University of Wisconsin-Madison Visit Report by volleysnap
Visit to University of Wisconsin-Madison in April 2008 by volleysnap(Student, HS Class of 2008)
(Member since September 05 2007 with 273 posts)
7 of 7 people found this visit report helpful
Information Session: Yes - I did not attend the information session, but on Friday they offered a wide variety of very specific information sessions. They sounded very informative for anyone who was planning on applying.
Campus Tour: Yes - First of all, know that the tour is long! Ours lasted for two hours through snow and over hills. The tour guide, who is a freshman, was very informative and knew his stuff. See below for more info.
Classroom Visit: Yes - I did not personally visit but a friend told me that most of her freshmen classes, except for languages, are very large. 10% of all classes are over 100 students.
Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
Appearance of Campus:
Overall Campus Impression:
Area Immediately Around Campus:
Campus Visit Notes for University of Wisconsin-Madison
As usual, I picked a completely frigid day to tour a college campus. It snowed/rained for most of Friday evening and Saturday when I was there. Nevertheless, I had a great time. Friday we walked down State Street, which I highly recommend as a lot of the campus life goes on there. State Street is also interesting because it leads right up to the state capital building. On Saturday, my mom dragged me to the Theta house, which is the sorority she lived in while in college (not at Wisc though). The girls there let us walk right in and around the house to see what it would be like to live in a sorority. Like a lot of the residences on campus, they lived right on Lake Mendota. The view from their living room was of just water. Even though it was a gray day, it was beautiful. After that, we walked through the Journalism school which looked pretty old and rundown. I talked to several students about the Badger Herald and Daily Cardinal, the two competing student newspapers. Opinions were pretty split, but it was interesting to explore the differences between the two. Afterwards, we met for the tour. In a two hour time-span, we saw EVERYTHING you would ever need to see, right down to the soil sciences building. It was great to see how the whole campus tied together, but it definitely felt a bit long. Our tour guide was great though and wasn't fake-enthusiastic like the tour guides at many of the other schools I toured. He genuinely liked being there and filled us in on current campus events (they were taping the finals of college-edition jeopardy that day). After the tour, I met with a friend of mine. We visited here Lakeshore dorm, where about ten of her friends had gathered in her dorm room. They urged us (me and another friend I was visiting with) to come to Wisc, and they cheered when I told them I was for sure. Overall, they all loved being there and seemed so happy to be crammed into a tiny dorm room, which by the way also looked out directly onto Lake Mendota. They said that they have the smallest dorm building, which they like because they all go on big trips to go hiking, camping, etc together.
Some places I suggest visiting are the memorial union, the red gym, library mall, Bascom Hill, both residence hall areas (they are completely different) and State Street.
One thing to note is that the University is undergoing the biggest building boom in several decades, as they are implementing a plan from 1908 that will restore a lot of nice architecture and replace a lot of the dorms. A lot has already been finished but a lot is left to do, so that should be continuing for a while.
I did not have a chance to sit in on a class, but my friend described hers in a lot of detail. All language classes are small and most of her other introductory classes are very large. She said that she likes her professors but does not make use of office hours. She says the TAs are super helpful.
One interesting thing I found out is that in some classes, such as languages, when you take the placement tests and get placed in a higher level class, you can get credit for the ones you skipped over. My friend got placed into fourth level spanish and because she got a B or higher, she received credit for all of the classes she was allowed to skip. Because of this plus AP credit, she currently has enough credits to be considered a junior. Because of required classes for her major though, it will still take her four years to graduate.
Overall, I was very impressed with the campus. I was a little nervous that I was sending in my deposit to attend before visiting, but all of my worries are gone now. My personal motto is that if I like it while it is snowing I will like it anytime, and that held true for UWisconsin-Madison. PM me if you have any further questions!
Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:
We stayed at the Best Western which was fine, but the University offers some on-campus lodging for visitors for pretty cheap. I will probably recommend to my parents that they stay there this fall.
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
I had meals at Ian's Pizza (I highly recommend the mac & cheese pizza) and at the Great Dane. Both were excellent. State street is the place to go to browse for restaurants overall!
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
Driving in and out of Madison was pretty difficult. I learned that they have a great bus system though so when I attend this fall I will be making use of that.