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Bryn Mawr or Barnard?

lorrainelilorraineli 10 replies7 threads New Member
edited August 2015 in Women's Colleges
Any input/comments would be appreciated. Why did you choose Bryn Mawr? Why did you choose Barnard? And if you got into both, why one over the other? Thanks.
edited August 2015
6 replies
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Replies to: Bryn Mawr or Barnard?

  • englishivyenglishivy 347 replies25 threads Member
    I did Barnard's pre-college program in high school and was absolutely set on the school, but in an odd twist of fate, ended up deciding on Bryn Mawr. I hadn't visited Bryn Mawr until accepted students weekend and it just clicked.

    Barnard is great for independent students who want to be immersed in a city environment. Most students live off-campus after their first year, so I place extra emphasis on independence re: navigating city apartments, cooking for yourself, etc etc. Great if you want to be immersed 24/7 in an urban environment and want to do internships throughout the school year. It's a great school.

    While I knew I didn't want to be in a rural environment, I didn't realize there could be a middle ground until visiting Bryn Mawr. At just 20 minutes from downtown Philly (the 5th largest US city) and 2 hours from New York and DC, BMC still offers a lush, classically collegiate campus. I loved being able to have a more traditional community-based college experience, while easily being able to escape to Philly or nearby cities. It was the best of both worlds for me. Bryn Mawr is also VERY active with traditions, which I loved.

    Bryn Mawr and Barnard have probably the closest ties with co-ed colleges of the Seven Sisters. Barnard is across the street from Columbia, whereas Bryn Mawr is 1 mile/10-minute bus from Haverford. Both colleges offer total cross-registration and share clubs and activities. It's all pretty seamless.

    I strongly encourage you to visit! That's how I knew which was best for me.
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  • lorrainelilorraineli 10 replies7 threads New Member
    Thank you so much, englishivy for your input. I thought I was pretty set on Barnard too but after visiting Bryn Mawr, I realized that I did love how it was not in the city, but yet is still close enough.

    The only thing I'm concerned about are internships and projects - being that Bryn Mawr isn't located in the city, are internships still easily accessible? In addition to being able to work closely with a professor etc?

    Also, are there nice tutoring services available and created for anyone that happens to be struggling with a specific academic subject?

    I also felt that Bryn Mawr had a much bigger close-knit community feel, especially with the emphasis on traditions. Is it because of the Honor Code/self government or is it because of some other influences that make it so close-knit? Out of curiosity- What is your favorite tradition?
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  • englishivyenglishivy 347 replies25 threads Member
    You can definitely still do internships during the school year. I know students who have done internships in the suburbs and in th city, from small poetry presses to non-profits downtown. You can even get school credit through the Praxis program: http://www.brynmawr.edu/ceo/programs/praxis/levels.html

    During the summer, Bryn Mawr will even fund your research or internship: http://www.brynmawr.edu/summerfunding/

    Bryn Mawr has a lot of academic supports in place to ensure your academic success. It's the smallest of the Seven Sisters (but still nicely sized at 1,300 undergrad), so you'll definitely get to know professors. Your Dean is your go-to contact for any and all questions or concerns during your time at BMC. They can help you with everything from course registration to tutoring to study abroad. They're with you all four years and really get to know you as a person. Here's an outline of support services: http://www.brynmawr.edu/academicsupport/StudentSupportServices.html

    The closeness of BMC is definitely a mix of all those things. I think traditions really bind us together, not only with current students, but alums, as well. It's a really powerful experience. I loved Hell Week and May Day most. Though Lantern Night is sooo beautiful and moving. You can read more about them on the BMC site.
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  • lorrainelilorraineli 10 replies7 threads New Member
    edited August 2015
    Thank you, englishivy - your inputs are always so useful!

    I'm from the city, so I'm unfamiliar with the suburbs. Does it ever get too boring or will you always have things to do? During weekends, what do Bryn Mawr students do? Are there chances to visit Philly often or do most end up staying on campus with events going on? (I heard that most students spend their time studying).
    I want to be able to gain a balance where there are rigorous academics, but also a chance to relax and visit places during the weekends or so.

    Is it true that I don't have to worry about food, dorming, or laundry services since they're superb?
    edited August 2015
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  • englishivyenglishivy 347 replies25 threads Member
    Bryn Mawr is located in the historic Main Line, an old and wealthy suburb of the city. The campus is about a 5 minute walk to the regional rail, which takes 20 minutes to get to Center City/downtown Philly. You can also walk about 20 minutes to a High Speed Line which hooks up directly to the city's subway system. At night, Bryn Mawr offers free shuttles to these trains. Between Philly and Haverford just down the street, there's a lot of choices for how to spend your time. While during the week most students are studying or going to club meetings, you'll also find students socializing in the campus center or in dorm common spaces. On weekends, there are lots of campus events between BMC, Haverford, and Swarthmore--from dance recitals to traditional college parties to concerts. All events are free to students of these colleges and there's a free bus system to get you from campus to campus. I went into the city at least once a week, but that would vary if you had an internship in the city or friends at other colleges (UPenn, UArts, Temple, Drexel, etc). It's also really easy to get to NYC and DC via megabus or boltbus. There's Amtrak, too, but it's obviously more expensive than a $10 bus ride.

    Yes, we are consistently ranked as having one of the best dining services in the country. It's included with your room and board fee, so you don't have to worry about paying meal by meal or anything like that. You can also dine with your student ID at Haverford and Swarthmore in case you had class or just visiting friends there (although BMC's food is better...). All dorms have free laundry in each building. The dorms are beautiful and each room is unique (some have window seats, others have skylights or fireplaces).
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  • ricck1ricck1 207 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Both fantastic schools, and I think, the best of the seven sisters. (The urban sisters.) They offer basically everything, with great coed colleges across the street. You can have a single sex education, or immerse yourself in coed classes and activities. The biggest difference is the campuses. One highly urban, tall buildings, the other more traditional campus. Both in major cities with great connections and networks. I would suggest visiting both to see which you like better.
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