Hello everyone! With the early decision/application deadlines coming up, I'm going into a bit of a panic mode over where I should apply to. I have visited both schools, and both schools have managed to capture my heart in different ways. With Yale, it is more of a gut feeling. The happiness of the students was infectious, and I loved the vibrant student life and residential colleges. Meanwhile, Amherst appeals to me for more concrete reasons, such as the open curriculum and intimate classes.
I've been doing a lot of additional research, and here are some questions/concerns I have right now about Amherst:
1. There were several student comments in a reference book that stated that students were not as academically engaged as one would expect (ie. not as much class participation, lulls in discussions). Granted, this was in a 2006 edition, but I'm wondering if this still holds true today?
2. There were also comments about how there were quite a few unremarkable teachers (again, this was back in 2006). In your experience, how have the majority of your teachers been?
3. I am an international student from Shanghai, so I was wondering - is there a significant international presence on campus? Is it generally very cliquish with ethnicities?
4. Is the student body generally intellectual? (I know that to get in Amherst one has been be reasonably intelligent, but we can all agree that there is a difference between being good at school and being intellectual). Could I strike up a conversation about David Foster Wallace's works or discuss existentialist philosophical thought and not be confronted by only bored/blank stares?
5. On a more frivolous note - how is the dating scene? :p Do Amherst girls have a bit of a disadvantage due to the many women's colleges within the vicinity? Hook-ups more prevalent, or relationships?
I'd appreciate it if anyone could help me out with any one of these questions!