I was recently accepted to Rice as a transfer for Fall 2013. I was honestly extremely surprised and also thrilled to be accepted to such a great school! I currently attend St. Olaf in Minnesota, and I have had a really good freshman year. I am not considering transferring because I have had a negative experience, but rather because I feel I could challenge myself more. I applied out of Olaf mainly because I felt it was isolated, homogenous, extremely cold (we currently have a foot of snow on the ground on May 2nd) and socially conservative in terms of the religious atmosphere and the strict dry campus policy.
I was wondering if I could get some input from students who transferred into Rice about the social adjustment process. I wasn't guaranteed on campus housing and worry that it may be difficult to make friends without living on campus. Also, I have literally never been to Texas and would feel intimidated having to come to Houston and arrange my own housing. I am curious what O-week orientation is like for transfers and whether students think transfers are an integrated part of the campus community.
I know that academically Rice is a far more prestigious school than St. Olaf and I feel it may give me more opportunities in pre-law that I couldn't get at St. Olaf. At the same time, I don't want to transfer just because of prestige and have to go through a re-adjustment process if the caliber of education will be similar. Academically, I have found Olaf to be fairly easy and haven't struggled tremendously, but I still feel I have learned a lot.
Socially, do students find the campus (specifically the administration) to be liberal? St. Olaf isn't exactly conservative but the college, imo, takes an irresponsible stance on drinking and treats the students like children rather than adults, encouraging reckless behavior.
I would greatly appreciate any advice or information current students may have regarding the transfer process. Thank you in advance for your help.