Saturday, July 20, 2013

All Hail Yale

This morning I woke up on the right side of the bed: I was well-rested, excited to finally visit Yale, and hopeful for the weather report to come true (chance of thunderstorms!). The drive to Yale, located in New Haven, Connecticut, was about two hours long. We got to New Haven really early so we checked out the Yale University Art Gallery. The gallery had many different types of art including African, European, Asian, and modern art.

"Seated Buddha In Meditation" (ca. late 1st-early 4th century CE)

"Arabesque" by Jason Pollock 
After exploring the art gallery, we met up with Lauren, a recent Yale graduate, who told us a lot about Yale and accompanied us on our campus tour. The tour was mainly focused on the history of Yale, so it was helpful to have Lauren there to talk to us about the other aspects of Yale. Yale, much like Boston University, has an open campus but New Haven isn't a big city like Boston, so things are a lot calmer. With our tour group, we visited many of the Yale buildings such as Connecticut Hall, which is the oldest standing building in Yale and New Haven. Also, according to our tour guide, one of the fields at Yale used to be a graveyard, and although the headstones were removed, there are still people buried there (talk about spooky!). In addition to having an interesting history, the architecture at Yale is by far my favorite out of all the colleges I've seen so far.

Harkness Tour (Yale's bell tower)

Victorian stone arch

Class buildings at Yale

Bradford College (student housing)

"The most beautiful courtyard in America." -Mark Twain
Yale has residential housing, which means that students are assigned a different residential house each year (there are twelve in all). This means that students in residential housing can form a small community with people in the same residential house, but residential houses aren't exclusive, so students from different residential houses frequently intermingle. As I've mentioned before, a college with a good community is really important to me, and Lauren assured me that Yale has a very friendly, tight community. She also said that the faculty and administration are very invested in their students and love to get to know each student personally. According to the tour guide, the office for Yale's president was designed to be a small room with big windows so that he wouldn't want to spend time in his cramped office and, if he ever had to be in his office, he'd be able to look out his windows and be somewhat connected with the community. This just goes to show how important community is to Yale.

The abroad program at Yale sounded really promising because Yale is connected with many different abroad programs so there's a variety of programs to choose from. Additionally, if you're on financial aid at Yale (Yale has amazing financial aid too), you're eligible to get a summer abroad award, where Yale pays for your summer trip abroad. My tour guide said Yale puts away a great deal of money for these awards. That sounds like a pretty great deal to me. Yale is also really serious about it's academics and is very intent on giving its students the best education possible. To ensure this, Yale has a collection of over 13 million books! We visited Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which holds about 800,000 of Yale's books, most of which are easily accessible to students. They even have one of 14 original copies of the Gutenberg Bible from the 1400's! The only thing that really stuck out as negative to me was the fact that there are no minors at Yale. As someone who is interested in lots of things and will probably want to minor in something, that sounded slightly problematic to me.

While my hopes of a thunderstorm weren't exactly full-filled (there was slight thunder, but not much), Yale did not disappoint. I definitely want to do more research about Yale because, for the most part, what I saw today really impressed me. I'm sad that the college tours are over but excited to begin part two of my trip tomorrow: taking a class at Brown. Today, we got our course packet for the Women and Leadership class and were instructed to read the first chapter of it. I can't wait to get started!

Post a Comment