Ask a transfer student anything

<p>Hi all,</p>

<p>I transferred to UNC in Fall '09 and just finished up my first year here. Having gone through what I'm sure a lot of you will be going through as far as housing, class scheduling, etc, I figured I'd make myself available to answer whatever questions you might have</p>

<p>If I can't answer it hopefully I will be able to point you in the right direction!</p>

<p>one simple question.. WHY UNC? What is it that seperates unc from all others schools.. im borderline transferring to unc between cal so i just need help deciding</p>

<p>hey ken
I just got into UNC Chapel Hill as a junior from NJ
I am a political science major</p>

<p>I have many questions
Hows UNC like?
best way 2 make friends?
the dorms, foods? the people, atmosphere? academics?
overall experience, people, professors, class sizes?
political science department?
haha let me know
im from NJ, and I won't know ne 1 from there</p>

<p>let me know the best suitable way 2 fit in </p>

and hows the competition?
answer as much as u can, as much u know
much appreciated

WHY UNC? What is it that seperates unc from all others schools.. im borderline transferring to unc between cal so i just need help deciding


<p>1) Amazing college town
2) Beautiful campus
3) Excellent academic reputation
4) Friendly and sociable people
5) Football
6) Basketball
7) Baseball
8) Great weather
9) HISTORY! (first state university in the US to open its doors)
10) The Rivalry
11) Great RTP location, just 2 hours from the beach and 2 hours from the mountains
12) Traditions: Rushing Franklin Street, Halloween, Streakers</p>

<p>Those are just a few things that I could think of off of the top of my head. I'm sure that more will be coming!</p>

<p>I love UNC and can't see myself anywhere else honestly.. What Cuse said is definitely true, UNC has so many things in one location that other schools simply don't.</p>

<p>I think the coolest thing really is the traditions, Franklin Street (didn't get much of that this year with our Basketball team, but next year!!), Halloween, Streakers, the original flash raves (this year was amazing and outdoors instead of in the library), and really there's a sense of community that I didn't see at other schools. Sure a lot of it centers around sports, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing.. The rivalry between Duke (and NC State's delusions of being our rivals.. haha!) really make you a Tarheel the second you get here.. But there's other ways to feel involved besides sports and I've done those as well, like volunteering at the hospital, clubs, going to the hundreds of events throughout the semester, etc.</p>

<p>I'm a Chem major so I can't really speak to the political science department, but the friends I have who are poli sci majors seem to like it pretty well..</p>

<p>I've made friends really easily, though I'm fairly outgoing. I think most of the friends I've made have been from my language class (Arabic), since it's a really small department and they do a lot of cultural activities I've had the best chance to get to know people from there.. but it's not limited to that at all, in the science classes I've taken I have made a lot of friends to study with and do so on a regular basis, and friends through them, etc.. I had a pretty well established set of friends pretty early in my first semester.</p>

<p>I live in Ram (apt style), so I also can't really speak to the dorms, but the ones I've seen from going over to friends on North Campus have been really nice. The food in the dining halls is IMO excellent, people who complain are spoiled, there's tons of options (including a vegetarian option), though I wish they had more healthy stuff. I'm also not really impressed with the pricing of the meal plans, and really the price was the reason I decided not to get one at all my first year, and I don't regret it.</p>

<p>As for the people and the academics, both are really good. You have some less than excellent professors, but that's everywhere.. what is nice is that UNC is a very collaborative school in my mind, not cut throat like I've heard some others are.</p>

<p>The school is a lot more rigorous I think than people give it credit for, at least in the sciences. While there are complaints from some people about "grade inflation" .. that's mainly a problem with the humanities and social sciences, and it doesn't exist like it does at the ivies for science majors.</p>

<p>I would say if you come to UNC the best thing you can do to fit in is just introduce yourself to people in classes, everyone is really nice and you'll make friends really quickly. Also try to get involved in clubs, and there's also a transfer-student organization you can get involved with that can help you fit in faster.</p>

<p>I know I probably haven't answered everything, but let me know if I missed something or if you have another specific one and I'll do my best!</p>

<p>Did you transfer in as a sophomore?</p>

<p>And how is the south? I'm from CT, a Hispanic and was wondering how diverse the school/area is.</p>

<p>Writer1992, I think I can help answer that for you. I was just recently admitted, but spent some time in Chapel Hill looking for an apartment. There are not very many Hispanics at UNC, but I did see some around Chapel Hill. I believe there are student organizations for Latins as well.</p>

<p>I wouldn't say the school is very diverse ethnically (most students are from NC), but the students themselves are diverse in their interests and goals. Overall, I felt the people in Chapel Hill are much nicer than in my hometown Miami, which is around 70% Hispanic. And yes, I am Hispanic myself.</p>

<p>I transferred in as a 2nd semester sophomore, yeah.</p>

<p>I'm originally from Texas, so I can't really give you a northerner's perspective, but I think the people in NC are really friendly.. The phrase "southern hospitality" didn't come from no where ya know! ;)</p>

<p>As far as being diverse, it's definitely not an exceptionally diverse school. The majority of the school is white, but there are hispanic/latino/other minority student groups on campus, and Carrboro has a decent sized hispanic population. I have actually volunteered at the SHAC clinic ( The</a> Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) — Student Health Action Coalition - UNC School of Medicine ), a free clinic in Carrboro run by medical students, and I think most of the people they serve are Hispanic.. They have special volunteer spots for fluent speakers to help in that setting (called SALSA), so I know there's plenty of ways to get involved if you're interested.</p>

<p>One of my friends who transferred in is Hispanic and she has had no trouble feeling at home from what she's told me.</p>

<p>Thanks to both _ken and bquin.</p>

<p>I've always liked the south but was turned off initially because of the low Hispanic % of students. (Most colleges in the south are like 2% Hispanic and I believe UNC is around 5-6%.)
Now, even though I don't want the whole school to be Hispanic, I'm use to being in a very diverse community and would like to continue being in somewhat the same atmosphere, so thanks for clearing that up for me. :D</p>

<p>Oh and I'm (hopefully) going to transfer in either next year after frosh year. It's my dream school (of the moment). :)</p>

<p>Central Carrboro especially is not very Hispanic-oriented. Carrboro (in part thanks to efforts to preserve its historic 'character') has a low commercial tax base. This means that it is dependent on property taxes, which are very high.</p>

<p>So lots of the Hispanic population of Carrboro is forced out into the cheaper apartments on the periphery, the centre of the village is lily-white.</p>

<p>I don't think Hispanics should have any trouble at UNC, even though there aren't very many of them.</p>

<p>when did you apply to UNC (like were you are junior then?) and what university did you transfer from? OS is extremely hard to get into, i believe, so what special thing did you do to make yourself stand out for UNC? Hopefully these aren't too many questions but please feel free to answer any of them, definitely the last one if you can. Thnks a ton!</p>

<p>There's no in/out state advantage for transferring like there is for first year students, so everyone is on a level playing field at that point.</p>

<p>As far as what I did to make myself stand out, I don't really know that I can point to any one thing and say "This got me in!" I had a 4.0 GPA, which I'm sure helped, but I know they don't only look at GPA as I know several people with below 3.3 who were admitted as transfer students, and several people with 4.0 who were not.</p>

<p>I think probably the best advice I can give to help yourself stand out is in the essays. I didn't submit any recommendation letters (they weren't required), so I doubt they put much emphasis on those unless they are negative somehow.</p>

<p>What I did was present a coherent vision to the adcoms of why I believed UNC was the next step on my academic journey. I tied it in with the extracurriculars I had been involved in (which weren't many, but were consistent and centered on several key interests) and explained how admission to UNC would help me further my involvement in those specifically, and about what I wanted to accomplish during my time at UNC. The EC's I was involved in weren't directly related to my major, but I tied my involvement in them into some broader goals I have for after graduation.</p>

<p>I think today there are so many people with 800 EC's that all just make it look like they're trying to come up with something else to attach to an application/resume, and that can make it impossible for the adcoms to really get a good feel for who the person is compared to the picture I was able to give them of myself.</p>

<p>Hope that helps!</p>

<p>Ken, I will be applying to live in Ram Apts.
How many people were in each room? </p>

<p>And how many rooms per "section".. also were you and your roomates close? </p>

<p>Were the rooms all single or some doubles? </p>

<p>Can you get a meal plan that works all over campus or can you only eat in certain areas if you live in Ram. </p>

<p>Are the floors linoelum and the walls cinderblock looking or what? kind of like this
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Depends on your specific apartment.. There are 1, 2, 3, and 4 person apartments. The last year I was in one of the 4 person apartments, there were two bedrooms to a bathroom on one side of the apartment, the common area (dining/kitchin/living) was shared between everyone, and then and we all shared a common area.</p>

<p>We probably weren't the closest of roommates but we were friendly and got along well, but I think any lack of closeness is just due to time constraints, most people in Ram/Odum are Juniors, so by that time you're pretty busy with your major stuff. Two of my suitemates were in the Business school, which put them on a pretty different schedule than I had, for example.</p>

<p>All of the ones I know about are single bedrooms, I know there are supposedly some that are double occupancy, but I don't know anyone who lives in those so I can't really comment.</p>

<p>Any mealplan you get allows you to eat at either Rams Head or Top of Lenoir for as many meals as your plan allows, and you can use the flex $ anywhere else on campus.. but again I'd say aside from convenience while learning the school, they're a pretty poor deal. </p>

<p>Any time you spend $7 to eat at Subway or one of the other places on campus you're essentially saving money, with the caveat that you can get a LOT more food each time you go to Lenoir or Rams Head, and it's pretty good IMO.</p>

<p>Odum has the cinderblock prison style walls, Ram the walls aren't concrete, they're plaster and painted a sort of brown/beige color. The floors are linoleum throughout the apartment, there's no carpet unless you bring some.. and I'd definitely recommend getting one (though not necessarily from the service they offer, there are better deals to be had as far as quality/price are concerned)</p>

<p>thank you sir. about how long is the walk to the union and to rams head center? I mapquested it and got about a mile to the union but that wasn't including shortcuts by foot. (mapquest gives car directions)</p>

<p>also was there any interaction between you and the othe rpeople on your floor or was it very isolated. And how is the party scene? Any parties in peoples apartments?</p>

<p>Here's a few pictures I took during my initial move in:</p>

<p>Kitchen Area

<a href=""&gt;


<p>Kitchen/Hallway, Dining/Common to the left

<a href=""&gt;


<p>Part of the common area

<a href=""&gt;



<a href=""&gt;


<p>It really is just like a 4 bedroom apartment with a pretty standard layout. The rooms aren't the biggest, but you really get the privacy compared to a traditional dorm/hall style.</p>

<p>Also, our common area/kitchen was a bit bigger than some other 4 bedroom apartments because it was one of the ones designed to be for a handicap person who needed wheelchair access.</p>

<p>I dunno distance wise, I'd say about a 10-15 min walk though to the Union.. Ram is less than half that.. but it's all kind of uphill, so getting back seems to be faster. </p>

<p>Interaction is I think what you make it, unlike a dorm/hall style you aren't going to have your apartment door open, so it's definitely harder to meet people. Other than people I knew lived in Ram already or that I met who I found out lived in Ram I didn't really socialize that much with people on the floor.. but I'm sure that's different for different people.</p>

<p>There are parties, we had several throughout the year, and unlike a lot of North Campus, you have your privacy, so if you aren't crazy with the noise, no one really cares (or at least our RA didn't) about alcohol, etc as long as it's kept in your apartment.. though you're still not "allowed" to have it if you're under 21, in practice, no one is going to find out unless you're stupid about it.</p>

<p>The biggest thing I'd say about the parties is you really need to make sure to clear **** with roommates ahead of time. I'd recommend getting everyone together very early on and setting out expectations during the semester for when parties will be / what times are reasonable so no everyone is on the same page and no one gets angry.</p>

<p>Also, about dorm style rooms. If I request a single bedroom because of religious reasons in a regular dorm, do you think there is a good chance i will get it?</p>

<p>I'd have to say that I doubt it unless it's some extreme circumstance.. With the way the housing bids are set up this year, everyone pretty much got to pick their room directly instead of being assigned, so I'd imagine almost all (if not all) the singles are taken on north campus.</p>

<p>My understanding is that the singles like that are typically allotted to RA's and people with health issues that require a certain type of environment... and then with the way things were picked, I'm sure you can imagine they're probably gone.</p>

<p>One of my friends who is transferring in as a Junior got placed on mid campus, so I don't even know how many spots there are in Ram/Odum left..</p>

<p>That said, it never hurts to ask, though I'm kind of curious what type of religious stuff would require a single room specifically rather than maybe a pairing with someone else who is also your religion.</p>