Occidental College (OXY)
Occidental college (OXY) is also one of the colleges located in LA, so the campus is surrounded by lots of green and beautiful scenery,which must look perfect most days (today the weather wasn’t so nice unfortunately). Just as the other colleges that we visited during this tour, OXY also puts a lot of effort into the liberal arts. Students aren’t forced to decide their majors until the end of their sophomore year, which means that they have a great deal of time to think about what to do in their futures.
This school has a strong reputation for politics, business, and international relations, which is evidenced by a lot of great alumni such as Barack Obama. OXY has 2,100 students, and this is a quite small number, despite the fact that the campus is very large, so I guess the students are more able to relax and enjoy their own time more than at the other colleges. I actually saw many students studying or spending their time by themselves, which seemed really cool to me as at Japanese colleges or most of the other American ones where students tend to spend more time with their friends rather than being independent.
Lastly, I need to talk about the facilities. There are 13 residential halls, many departments for each field, a library, and sports facilities. Students get to choose which place to live in among those halls. And there are some unique departments such as the science building that has a pendulum, and the language center which has an open and modern place to give presentations. Each building doesn’t look that far from each other, so it takes less time to move from one to another. In addition to this, there is also a comfortable library and good sports equipment. I highly recommend OXY to those who are interested in politics or diplomacy, but also to those who would like to focus on both study and sports, or those who want to be independent.
E.Y M3 (Girl)
Loyola Marymount University (LMU)
Today we went to LMU and it was the last school that we visited. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the greatest but the campus had an amazing view and beautiful buildings. The total undergraduate enrollment is 6126 people and around 10% of the student population are international students, representing over 90 different countries. It is a Jesuit school and there are five chapels on the campus. They do not require you to be Christian or religious, however as a Jesuit school they will require you to take two theology and two philosophy classes once you get into the university. I thought that it was a nice system because although I personally am not religious, it was a nice way of learning other cultures and beliefs and it wouldn’t hurt to know more about other religions because by knowing more your perspective about many things will expand. There are over 60 majors and the student to faculty ratio is 11:1, meaning that the teachers and students are very close and it is easier to work with teachers.
One of the reasons I personally liked LMU was because of the location. There was a cliff on campus that we went to, where we could see the Santa Monica beach all the way across to the Hollywood sign. The school is located in the very west side of California and you could see all of Los Angeles. It was a very convenient place since the Los Angeles international airport is close and the Santa Monica beach was just a 5 minute ride; the tour guide told us that in the afternoon after classes, students usually go there and I thought it was one of the most fanciest things you could do at a school.
Another reason why I really liked this school was because of the all the school spirit. The mascot character for the school was a lion and there were a lot of facilities or school programs named or related to the word lion. For example the meal plans system was called LION. L for being the most smallest plan and N being the largest. Also all of the facilities had lion-related names. One of the restaurants was called The lair and I thought that was pretty creative and funny. It was almost like a little mystery hunt and by this I could tell that not only does the school provide education and resources for studying, it also likes to have fun and I think that’s what made me attracted to this school in particular.
I myself am interested in sociology but I would really like to take other classes than that too and in the information session they told us that the school encourages students to take other classes as well even if they weren’t in your major or minor and this was attractive. They said that it was a good opportunity to learn about many other things and then by doing that you could come back with a new perspective and take what you have learned back into those other classes in your major or minor area of study. I thought that that was a brilliant idea and I completely agree with that. As a student who hasn’t decided exactly what to do in the future after college and is a little wary about the major I want to take, I think that opportunities like these are the ones that support the students the most. I was really glad that I got to go to LMU and I think that by going there, I was able to gain something and bring it back with me.
L.O M3 (girl)
These four days in Los Angeles of seeing various types of universities and colleges has definitely gotten me thinking more about what I should do for university and how to prepare for it. Honestly, after the tour, I felt that every institution that we visited had it’s very own unique features and they were all wonderful places that I could go in the future, so it was rather difficult for me to think about which institution would suit me the most. But now that I look back, at this moment, I feel that I would be able to fit most comfortably in the University of Southern California (USC) and I have a couple of reasons for that.
I genuinely thought that the tour guide in charge of us was very informative about the university and provided each of us relevant information about our interests along with good advice for us when we apply for university. Also, although it felt like USC had the highest enrollment fees (including tuition, accommodation etc) I got the impression that it could actually be not as difficult to obtain merit scholarships compared to other institutions, since the tour guide told us as long as we submit our applications by December 1st, we would be considered for all sorts of scholarship programs. Moreover, the faculty to student ratio was 1 to 8 which was the lowest among all the institutions we visited. Throughout the tour, I also got a general idea of how the American education system works in universities and colleges. I liked the fact that students are eligible for holding a double major while taking several other minors. I think this will be effective for students to widen their vision towards their surrounding environment or atmosphere. For me personally, my interests are astronomy and international relations which are two very different fields of study but I think that these institutions make it possible to study both of these areas. I also found the community-like environment of each institution very enjoyable. I still haven’t decided whether I will actually be going to an American university in the future, but I can certainly say that I am more than satisfied for being able to attend this wonderful tour.
R.M. M3 (boy)
From this college tour, I have learned many things that wouldn’t have been possible without actually going there. Before going to this college tour, I thought that this GPA and SAT score was everything that the colleges cared about. But in reality, all of the eight colleges we went to, they also put emphasis on extracurricular activities. They wanted applicants with unique/rare experiences. Also, my image of college was a class with hundreds of students listening to a professor and taking notes like robots. Maybe some schools are like this, but all the colleges we went to in this college tour boasted a low faculty to student ratio and the interaction between students and the professors was much more intimate. Unlike my imagination, the colleges were all unique in their own ways, whether it be in their culture or in the buildings and the people there (for example some had a more study-focused atmosphere or a more energetic atmosphere). Each college had interesting systems that could not be seen in other colleges. The Claremont Colleges were a very interesting group of colleges in which they share facilities and even dining halls. This taught me to look at many of the systems that the school has to offer and that there were so many factors for me to decide what is the right school for me. Overall, this college tour gave me a general idea of what I should expect from colleges and what the college expects from me. I hope I can turn this experience into motivation so that I can study and possibly get into one of these amazing colleges.
S.T M3 (boy)