International student deciding between studying film at Bennington or Middlebury

My name is Vladimir and I am an international student from Bosnia and Herzegovina accepted to both Middlebury and Bennington, and am supposed to decide soon. However, seeing as I don’t live in the US, the only way to get a personal, first-hand input for any of these schools is through forums like this one, so I’d be extremely grateful if you could share your experiences and/or observations for these schools on any of the following topics. (I’ll write them in ascending order of importance.)</p>

<p>First of all, I’m a smoker, so share with me is there a smoking population at these schools and what are the rules about smoking on campus, or are there pubs or something where it’s allowed. I do realize it’s bad for me and everything, so this is the least important since I want to quit sometime during college, but I’m still interested. Just realize that smoking is a huge part of the culture in the Balkans, so please try not to judge me based on this.</p>

<p>Second of all, I’m gay and am interested in what is the situation with the gay-dating scene at both schools. I know both are very accepting and liberal, so you don’t need to comment on that. Nevertheless, I come from an EXTREMELY conservative and homophobic society, and would enjoy getting to know a milieu where it is completely open and transparent, so where would be a better place to do so? Moreover, I am interested in LGBTQ activism, so please also comment on the excellence and efforts of LGBTQ organizations and initiatives at these schools.</p>

<p>Third of all, I will major in Film and Video/Film or Media at Bennington or Film and Media Culture at Middlebury, so please comment on general quality of courses and MOST IMPORTANTLY the teaching staff in these programs. </p>

<p>Fourth of all, please tell me more about the breadth and presence of alumni from these schools in the field of TV or Film Production.</p>

<p>Fifth of all, I would like to tell you more about me and my interests so you would get a better feeling of what I’m looking for and which school would fit me better.
I am still quite torn between directing and production, but more importantly, between a career in TV of film. Is there any difference between the opportunities for internship (and co-funding for them) in these fields offered at these two schools? </p>

<p>Furthermore, what are the employment opportunities in these fields after I finish my undergraduate studies? Somehow, I got a feeling that Bennington puts more emphasis on internships than Middlebury, so even though Middlebury might be a better school on paper, what is more important when looking for a job. The employment opporrtunities are very important, because my Visa will expire the minute I finish school, so in order to stay in the US, I will already need to find some work in the field by the middle of my senior year.</p>

<p>And lastly, in case I choose to pursue graduate studies, which school offers me a better chance of getting in some program after I graduate?</p>

<p>Finally, I am aware that Middlebury might me a better name on my diploma, but then again, I feel Bennington would be a better fit since I’m quite artsy and don’t know if I’d fit in with the WASP, athletic population at Middlebury, so be so kind to comment on that as well.</p>

<p>I will add if I think of something else, but for now, please be so kind to give me your input in ANY of the above topics.</p>

<p>Thank you very much in advance.</p>

<p>Kind regards from Bosnia and Herzegovina.</p>

<p>Sounds like you prefer Bennington. Just know that the entire student body at Bennington numbers around 800, which translates into around 200 students per class. That is VERY small, especially for a school in rural Vermont. It could either be a great thing or a terrible thing, depending on the student.</p>

<p>I have mixed feelings about that fact. I do like the idea of a cozy, small community, but then again, maybe I’d make more connections at Middlebury.
I do prefer Bennington because of this, but I want to make an informed choice and want to have all the facts before I send in my final decision.</p>

<p>I’d imagine that the number of Bennington students posting on this website is quite small. If you want more opinions, I’d suggest you post this thread under a different forum (e.g., Parents Forum, College Search, College Admissions, or Middlebury).</p>

<p>There have been 448 posts about Bennington College since this website began. There have been 15,030 about Middlebury.</p>

<p>I don’t know much about Middlebury, but it seems that Bennington has everything you’re looking for (including a lot of kids who smoke, unfortunately). Bennington also has a Field Work term every winter during which you are required to get a job. That is a huge boost in building up your resume. Many students, including my daughter, end up working at one of the companies they interned for during Field Work term. There is also a large, supportive alumni network, especially in Boston and New York City. Some of my daughter’s friends are working in film production in NYC.</p>