College Senior 2013-12-12T19:59:14Z
Health & Safety:
Bennington is in the middle of nowhere and is a small campus. People rarely steal, most people leave their doors unlocked.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:58:05Z
Basically if you are not bothering anyone or being dangerous, you are left alone to do what you want. We don't have RAs, we have house chairs. They are there to help if you need it, not to get you in trouble. Most of campus safety is friendly and does not want to catch you drinking. Just don't be stupid about it and no one cares.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:54:36Z
We don't have majors or minors. You work in what you want to and just need to justify yourself to a committee every term. That means you can do as much interdisciplinary work as you want and as long as you have enough credits you graduate.
I know the literature classes are rigorous as are the music ones but the crazy hard working students are the visual artists.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:51:59Z
The townies actually seemed to hate Bennington students when I first got here but it is getting better. Many of the local shops advertise minor student discounts now. Oh, and there is a pizza truck that plays music and drives onto campus selling pizzas on weekends. That is probably the best thing we have.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:50:00Z
We have 1 computer lab. That is it. But you can print for free basically anywhere.
The internet is ok when it is working but it shuts off sometimes and then the school groans collectively.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:48:14Z
I know 85% of us receive financial aid, and they try every year to have the seniors help fund raise for new students but, the matter of the fact is Bennington is extremely expensive. Look for outside scholarships as much as possible because although they do provide financial aid and work study jobs it probably won't be enough.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:46:17Z
If you want clubs you might as well just drive down to NYC. We have 1 bar near us. It is called Kevin's, it is within walking distance and everyone goes there, including your professors. You could go downtown, but there is still nothing there. Unless you want pizza. There is lots of pizza.
Our nightlife is on campus, period.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:43:45Z
See, the school does not want you to live off campus. Most people, even seniors, stay at the school. If you really want to get off, there are a few options right around the school but you would probably need a car.
There are some apartments most students live in that are about a 20 minute walk and then random duplexes right around the school. If you do have a car, you could live in downtown Bennington for more options.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:41:23Z
We have Field Work Term (FWT) which is basically the easiest opportunity to find out what you want to do with your life, get experience and make connection. You are actually required to do this. It can be difficult money wise sometimes, but there are a few grants that can help you. People do everything from working on farms, to being part of the youth EU council, shadowing doctors or working with nonprofits for humanitarian needs. You do have to get 210 hours of work done in 7 weeks but you can do it anywhere in the world every winter.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:36:40Z
The forecast says sunny, but what it means is sunny followed by a five minute hail storm, sudden humidity and then wind gusts. We live in a valley. The weather does what it wants.
Expect heat in the late spring/ early fall. Then beautiful leaves! Then lovely snow everywhere.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:34:05Z
Guys & Girls:
We have a 65/35 female male split here. For those of you in the LGBTQ* section of humanity you will not be alone here at Bennington. The reason I saw 'bad' is not because of that though! The school is so small it creates quite a bit of drama fairly quickly, so watch out for that.
If you happen to be a hetero cis lady, make sure you have a car to head down to Williams if you want a date. For those hetero cis dudes try not to get too cocky when everyone wants to dance with you.
The campus /is/ small, so many times social activities revolve around watching concerts/plays/dances by classmates on the weekends and a lot of the social scene is actually pretty academically driven. I mean, I like it but I think most people would be confused.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:26:42Z
There are quite a few places to park all over campus and while some lots fill up quickly you never won't find a spot. The campus is so small even if you have to park far away from your destination it is not a huge deal.
Do not park where you shouldn't. They are quick with those tickets.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:23:48Z
There are a few options for on campus living. We have houses, not dorms and there are three kinds you can live in. The colonials from my experience are the most popular because although they are the oldest they have the best public spaces to hang out in. There are the 70s houses (built to be temporary and yet...) they get a bad rep, but those people that live in them love the community. Also, the new houses. Built in the 90s they tend to be the quietest, cleanest and have nice working spaces but some of the family-like feeling is lost. Bennington is a bubble- all social activities are on campus.
You can also live in one of the non-dorm like houses. The only real difference is those people cook their own food and live a bit farther away.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:14:33Z
The thing I did not know about Bennington when I applied was actually the best thing about it. You learn what you want.
We don't have majors. We don't have grades (but you can ask for them and they will give them to you). Class sizes are small and professors go by there first names. Basically, the whole experience is about you. Although most people here laugh at the Plan Process it is actually pretty awesome.
We make our own majors by explaining to a committee of professors what we want to learn while we are here, why we want to do it and how we are going to make it happen. There are no requirements, but don't think that makes it easy. No one tells you what 'your major' should include, you have to figure it out and justify it. You need to be creative and smart, there are no check boxes to tick off to graduate it isn't that simple.
Oh, and we have Field Work Term (FWT) were you are required to find an internship/job anywhere in the world over the winter. Terrifying and fantastic but really helps you figure out what you want to do with your life after school.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:04:57Z
We don't do the Greek thing here and even if we did, I am pretty sure those houses would just be empty.
College Senior 2013-12-12T19:03:26Z
There are only two places to get food, the Student Center and the Dinning Hall. We have just gone through a change in the Dinning Hall so the menu is not as diverse as in previous years, but the good thing is that even if you do not like what they are serving as the main event you can make a sandwich or get some pasta. Also there is always vegetarian /vegan options. They try and be creative with the choices.
You can be healthy, or not but like all college food services you will want home cooking when you go on break.
The only really bad thing is it is very expensive and you just lose money if you miss mealtimes which have set hours.
College Sophomore 2013-11-20T20:27:30Z
The drug scene at Bennington is mostly reserved to weed and alcohol. There are more intense drugs on campus (some shrooms, acid, etc.) but they are not common. A large portion of people (underclassman and upperclassman) do drink or smoke, however partaking in large quantities is usually only on the weekends. Drinking is not necessary to maintain a social life here, I have several friends who do not drink and do not feel pressured too.
College Sophomore 2013-11-20T20:22:48Z
Guys & Girls:
I'm going to widen this to people at Bennington to not narrow this to the gender binary. As a person interested in guys, girls and those who don't subscribe to the gender binary, all of them are pretty awesome. Statistically, we have more females than males (only 36% males) but that is not much of a hindrance to people of any sexuality or gender identity. If I had to describe the general type of fashion on campus I would describe it as hippie hobo arty chic. Most people are creative, intelligent and passionate about what they are doing. People can sometimes be an interesting mix of passion and apathy, but that issue comes up more in the larger social life than individual relationships. Dating can be hard on this campus, mostly because it is very small and relationships can get very intense very fast. However, you don't come here to be in a relationship, you come here because you want the individualized educational experience that Bennington offers.
College Sophomore 2013-11-20T20:07:52Z
I learned the other day that 45% of the college's funds go to Financial Aid for students which is pretty awesome. Personally Financial Aid has been great. Bennington is pretty expensive, but I was offered more money here than other colleges that advertise as "100% need met." A lot of my friends decided to come here because of how much financial aid they offered. More than that they are really great at negotiating. When I was first coming here my dad asked for more money and they gave me 2,500 more semester.
College Sophomore 2013-11-20T20:04:43Z
I grew up in New England so I am used to the weather. We are on campus for two of the most beautiful times of the year, fall when all the leaves are changing and late spring when everything is blooming. We get cold weather and some snow, all of it is manageable.
College Sophomore 2013-11-20T20:03:19Z
Diversity is very hard to describe at Bennington. We have very low racial diversity and economic diversity. We are small, private liberal arts college and thus have a lot of middle and upper middle class liberal white kids. That being said we are accepting of other people's beliefs and sexual orientation. We are usually voted one of the most LGBT friendly campuses and speaking from experience, there is a large queer community and support for anyone who identifies as queer.
College Junior 2013-11-20T20:02:44Z
On campus we have parties every weekend - each house throws a party once/twice a term, and provides alcohol decorations music and a dance floor. They are fun the first few times, but tend to be kind of redundant. We have a couple of bars which are pretty nice, but no real great places full of young people. Hello locals!
College Junior 2013-11-20T20:00:38Z
We don't really do sports here, though there are intramurals (ultimate frisbee, soccor, basketball, dodgeball) and plenty of hiking/biking/swimming etc.
College Junior 2013-11-20T19:58:36Z
Library = wonderful
VAPA arts building = spectacular
College Junior 2013-11-20T19:58:36Z
Academics are phenomenal, and (for the most part) diverse and exciting. Social scene is lovely - finding your people is easier than most places. Facilities? What do you mean facilities....I mean my goodness. Campus life is small and contained, but nice.
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