Visiting Scholar?

<p>I'm incredibly interested in either transferring to Smith or applying as a visiting scholar. I haven't seen much (any?) information on the visiting scholar experience, however, and I was wondering if any of you had some information on what the experience is like?</p>

<p>-As a visiting scholar, would I get the full Smith experience? Would I be able to form lasting relationships with people or are visiting scholars left out?
-I'm shooting for a doing a year, but if I can only do a semester, which is better: Fall or Spring?
-The handbook says that visiting scholars are not eligible for aid--how much, exactly, does the program cost? And, would aid from my home school be transferable for the program?
-Any other insights/comments on the visiting scholar program!</p>

<p>I LOVE Smith and I would love to transfer--but I also love my school now and I've already carved out a place for myself here (research position, job, friends, housing, classes, relationships with professors) and I really want to study abroad, which wouldn't be feasible (or really difficult at the least) if I were to study abroad. I'm still considering transferring, but the visiting scholar program sounds like an absolute godsend to me.</p>

<p>Is this what you mean?</p>

<p>Smith</a> College: Provost/Dean of the Faculty</p>

<p>It looks like it is only for faculty?</p>

<p>I'm looking at this page: Smith</a> College: For Visiting Students. My bad, I should have titled this thread "Visiting Students" instead of scholar, I'm definitely no guest lecturer!</p>

<p>I don't know anything about this program, but I'll try to answer some of your questions. I did know one student from a Canadian university who came to Smith for a year, but that was more of a study abroad/fellowship thing for her, and maybe that's the best way to think about this: you are basically studying abroad but doing it domestically. </p>

<p>If you could only done 1 semester, I would come in the Fall. Spring semester is very short (because we don't have January classes, and then we get out in early May, plus we have spring break, so a lot of things that eat in to class time). Also, during the Fall there will be lots of new students, including first-years of course, but also students returning from a year abroad, transfer students, etc. People tend to shift around more in the Fall, so it will be easier to make new friends and be a new person in the house. Also, you'll get a chance to run for/vote in house elections and decide house rules, and participate in the fun start of year traditions like Convocation. </p>

<p>I have no idea about the financial aid situation. You should probably address those questions directly to someone at Smith, I would think Student Financial Services, but see if there's a contact person on the visiting students page specifically for this program. </p>

<p>One thing, check with your school about how many semesters you need to spend on campus prior to graduation if you are thinking about both doing Visiting Student and study abroad, you want to make sure you're meeting all of your requirements.</p>

<p>I know of a student this last semester from Dartmouth who attended Smith and she wound up loving it. I would second S&P's suggestion to attend the fall semester, not spring, as it definitely would be easier to make friends then.</p>

<p>Hey Veronica,</p>

<p>I am more than happy to help you out here! However, I have a question. You just finished your sophomore year and you didn't apply for transfer this year to enter in the fall. Why do you want to apply for transfer NOW as opposed to back in January?</p>

<p>If you do this, you will be further in debt and you will take 5 years total to graduate. UNLESS you take off next year. What I mean by this is that Smith will require two years of on-campus residency in order to graduate so in addition to 3 years at Berkeley, you will have to spend 2 years at Smith. Unless, of course, you want to go to Smith that badly and you want to save $, take off next year and do something productive.</p>

<p>I've been to Berkeley (my grandparents live in SF and I've done my research there) and I can only surmise what it must be like for you. I've gone to a small LAC for my undergrad and at huge research university for my grad (Michigan!) so I can give you some tips.</p>

<p>First of all, yes, Berkeley is huge but it doesn't mean that such people don't exist. You need to look even harder and be more patient. As you go into your upper-division classes in the fall, you will have smaller classes and more opportunities to interact with professors and for them to get to know you. It wasn't easy for me at Michigan to find a group of people I liked outside of my department but I believe that somewhere in the 40,000 student population some people must think like me. At the end, some of those people ended up being my new roommates whom I found on Craig's List! </p>

<p>I suggest that you start attending lectures by guest speakers. Yeah, students mostly there for credit but pay attention to those who actually ask questions- and good ones at that. Those are the students who care about the subject and find a way to approach them afterward and give them a piece of your mind. So start finding lectures that interest you.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, it is so easy for students to be trapped in a bubble and not think too much about the world outside of their campus. That's why the student leaders in SGA organizations work to raise awareness about issues that they care about. Pay attention to those tables in the student union or any other central area and see if you're interested in what they're trying to promote. I was just amazed by what I saw at Michigan. I spoke with students at those tables and I was amazed by how passionate they were despite being at a tough (academically) school. Start fighting for the top positions in your clubs so YOU can bring the issues you care about on campus.</p>

<p>Second, I suggest that you start finding women's groups on campus. They will be much more likely to provide the kind of environment you're looking for. I did this at Colgate to help make my transition a bit easier- I started attending women's studies' brown-bag lecture series and joined my sorority (okay, my sorority was a bit of an exception to the rule). Make sure you seek out role models who can empower you- older students, professors. I had a Smith friend who also transferred to Colgate and she also became quite involved with that center. We've laughed over how we wanted to come to Colgate to get away from that single-sex atmosphere but we just found ourselves back in there! We shrugged. We liked the atmosphere and it was good for us anyhow because the topics, which could be almost anything, were so interesting and the post-lecture discussions were quite engaging.</p>

<p>I'm not saying that i don't think you should transfer to Smith but what i am saying is that there are far more opportunities out there nowadays for that kind of community you're looking for. Feel free to keep riding high at Berkeley while building networks with women everywhere, including the alumnae. You will see that Smith is just one opportunity for that kind of community out of so many out there in the real world. There are plenty of smart women out there who care about the issues as you do.</p>