College Sophomore 2013-01-18T01:57:10Z
I am just a freshman, so I do not have a ton of experience, but so far I like it. The workload is extremely high, but then the outcomes are very satisfying.
College Sophomore 2013-01-18T01:52:52Z
I feel like Swarthmore will give me one of the best preparations for life.
Recent Alumnus 2013-01-17T20:56:07Z
I came into Swarthmore knowing that I wanted small class sizes and a vibrant, intellectual culture. I was not disappointed. While there are some classes that are not as great as others, overall the quality of the academic experience is excellent. Professors really take the time to get to know you if you make the effort to go and meet with them. I have been to a number of professors' houses for dinner and I also regularly walked a professor's dog one semester. You get to know them as real people. This makes for a really special, and privileged, learning experience because they respect you as peers, not just students.
Recent Alumnus 2013-01-17T20:50:59Z
The honors program is definitely an unique aspect of Swarthmore's academics. I have found the honors program to be an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience and I highly recommend that anyone who comes here gives seminars a shot. The small, intimate class environment as well as the depth of the reading, writing and discussion allows you to really formulate your own, unique world view. You really feel like a scholar!
The social life here is definitely not like most other schools and, as someone who likes to go out, it's better this way! While we may not have wild ragers 7-nights a week, the two popular going out days (Thursday and Saturday) are more than enough! Thursdays are Pub Nite and, in my opinion, the best night of the week. Basically people sit around tables playing a variety of drinking games and then it eventually devolves into a huge dance party. Saturdays there are usually events at the Fraternities and a couple of dance parties. What is nice about the Swarthmore social scene is that the administration, RAs and Public Safety do not bother students at all unless they are very sick or are causing trouble. People are free to have get togethers in their rooms, or even in the lounge, as long as they are being respectful and most of the time they are. This freedom is really nice and prevents people from getting into dangerous situations by trying to avoid getting help if there is a bad situation.
Campus life in general has varied events and lectures that students are free to go to if they so please. There is always a nice variety of lectures, art exhibits and student-run events so one should never feel bored, even if you don't like going out at night. On Fridays, there is also usually a music show in Olde Club, a small music venue on campus. They usually get indie performers from all over the country to come in and perform which is pretty cool.
Recent Alumnus 2013-01-17T20:27:53Z
As a Political Science honors major, I am constantly blown away by the level of intelligence possessed by my professors as well as my classmates. The academics are what make Swarthmore, Swarthmore. They cannot be topped. I have grown more intellectually in the past 3.5 years here than I had all the years of my life prior to arriving here. The instructors truly consider you peers, rather than students. There is an honest give and take relationship between student and professor that one would be hard pressed to find at any other institution of higher learning.
Recent Alumnus 2013-01-17T20:21:01Z
The weather here is typical of any place in the Mid-Atlantic. We have four seasons and it ranges from being very hot in the summer to pretty cold in the winter. Classes are almost never cancelled on account of snow because all the dorms are close to the academic buildings and most professors live right in the town. In the Spring, Swarthmore is one of my favorite places to be. Besides the ridiculous allergies I get by virtue of living on an arboretum with every type of pollen in existence, the campus is so beautiful and you will often find students reading and sunbathing out on Parrish Beach.
Recent Alumnus 2013-01-17T19:56:35Z
The campus itself is breathtakingly beautiful. The greenery is incredible as it is an arboretum and academic buildings are very attractive. Many of the classrooms have been recently renovated and are nice clean places to learn and work. McCabe Library could be better and it gets way too crowded during finals but there are always other places to work on campus. The Science Center is absolutely beautiful and the Commons are a very nice place to work and grab a coffee from the coffee bar. The one facility at Swarthmore that is severely lacking is the athletic center. It is much too small and incredibly dated. The fitness center gets packed with both athletes and students attempting to use the few treadmills or lift weights in the tiny free weights section. Also the indoor track is super dusty and I get allergic reactions when I try to run around it! Fortunately, the school is currently evaluating what needs to be updated in the future years and I believe the athletic center is their number one focus right now. Other than that, the campus and the surrounding town is a lovely place to go on a run if you would like to escape the cramped gym. There is also the Crum Woods on campus which serves as a lovely place to go off-road running. All in all Swarthmore truly has a unique and stunning campus.
College Sophomore 2013-01-07T17:31:25Z
It's no secret that Swarthmore is a small school, but many people would be surprised by the diversity of majors that it offers. Additionally, if Swarthmore DOESN'T have what you are looking for, you are free to take classes at Brynn Mawr College, Haverford Collge, or the University of Pennsylvania for major credit. Transportation is provided between the schools. The vast majority of students will not have trouble finding classes for their major.
College Sophomore 2013-01-07T17:19:23Z
This soooo depends on what you mean by "off-campus." The town of Swarthmore doesn't have much at all, but it's generally acceptable when you just can't eat another meal at Scharples. The ease of access to the train, however, tempts me to include nearby Media and even Philly (only 20 minutes away) as off-campus dining locales. Granted, such trips are generally confined to weekends.
College Junior 2012-12-26T03:43:00Z
barely edible. pretty much the chefs poop on plates and serve it for dinner
College Sophomore 2012-10-31T07:26:15Z
Train right on campus with Philly only 20 min away.
College Sophomore 2012-10-31T07:25:47Z
Not bad, but not good. Should be more than 1 dining hall.
College Sophomore 2012-10-31T07:24:09Z
Fun if you want to get involved, but it does not dominate at all. Good for parties
College Junior 2012-10-15T18:19:58Z
Swarthmore is nowhere near as bad about drugs as many larger colleges are. There certainly are students who use drugs, but they won't be particularly noticeable, depending on which dorm you live in (Willets Hall is well known for drug use) and who you hang out with. There's little to no pressure to partake in drug use, and it doesn't decrease safety around campus. Alcohol is a much bigger threat here.
College Junior 2012-10-15T18:15:15Z
The town of Swarthmore is quaint and looks fairly interesting, but most students don't go there very often as it isn't very big. It has a few shops and restaurants, but isn't all that much. On the other hand, Philadelphia is only twenty minutes and about twelve dollars (round trip) by train and is full of interesting things to do. There are also a few small towns in the area, such as Media, that may be worth checking out.
That said, there is a local farmers market which can be worthwhile.
College Junior 2012-10-15T18:04:12Z
There are plenty of computers on campus and every dorm has a computer that students can use. There are also various computer classrooms on campus. The majority of computers are Macs, but there are some PCs in the library, and even some Linux machines in the computer science department. It's perfectly possible to go without your own computer. However, the network connection is far from perfect and the printers aren't always refilled in a timely manner.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-20T00:52:26Z
Lax, but Starting to Get More Strict – When I first arrived at Swarthmore, campus was very lax and "for the students". The health center often helped students who had drunk too much recover overnight without notifying authorities about underage drinking. Safety, rather than legal ramifications, was prioritized.
Lately there's been a changing trend where the health center has begun sending blacked out/people who have drunk too much directly to hospitals, resulting in legal consequences. However, in general, campus security is very lax and students have a lot of freedom.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-20T00:49:44Z
Racially Diverse and Leftist – This is the most culturally/racially diverse I've ever experienced at school; you can look up the exact figures at Swarthmore's website. Some of my best friends are from international schools or across the country; you can find all sorts of people here.
However, the majority of students tend to be from mild to wild liberal and left-leaning. There are conservatives here, but they tend to be in the minority.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-20T00:46:42Z
More Drinking Than Drugs – To be honest, most of the time I see students drinking. Weed is pretty popular here and a few folks will light up outside the dorms, at parties, etc. The campus is pretty lax about these kinds of things, I have not heard of hardcore abuse to be honest.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-20T00:45:00Z
Haha, there's dining off-campus?
There's the co-op, which is a small expensive grocery store for quick buys within walking distance.
Target is also nearby as well.
Aria is expensive, but serves decent Mediterranean-style cuisine. One of the better restaurants in town.
Cheng Hing/Happy Wok is Chinese fast-food: quick, pretty cheap, and does the job. Not the greatest
Renatos: Pizza, subs, the like.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-20T00:43:00Z
It's What You Make of It – To be honest, Swarthmore is what you make of it. As a rising senior about to head back to campus in about two weeks, I can honestly say this is the most excited I've been about school in my life. It's been a hard and challenging three years where I've worked harder than I ever thought I ever could. But ultimately, the experience has been gratifying and I feel that I've progressed as a person during my three years here. I've thought up of four things/pieces of advice I would say about Swat:
Firstly: The community is truly one of a kind. The people you meet here will make you really think. The conversations you will have will broaden your horizons and make you a better person.
Second: The academics are hard. Not only in the regard that the classes themselves are difficult, but you need to know which ones to take. When you get to campus talk with the upperclassmen to suss out the good professors from the bad ones. The difficulties may be comparable, but your experiences won't be.
Third: In my junior year, I spent more time during weekends in the library than I did sleeping and going out combined. Be prepared to do something like that too.
Fourth: Like with all liberal arts colleges, finding a career afterwards can be hard. Go to career services early and be aware from the beginning.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-07T22:07:53Z
One, Mediocre Dining Hall – There is only one dining hall on campus (Sharples) and it is, at best, mediocre.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-07T22:06:09Z
Dorms Tend to Be Old and Some Can Be Isolating – In general, the dorms are not very modern or clean. However, some dorms (specifically ML) are far from the rest of campus and can result in students feeling isolated. Also, Swarthmore has problems with mice and cockroaches, which the administration often blames on the students. In the past, there have been issues with privacy violation when the administration attempted to prove that students were the cause of the pest problems.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-07T21:52:43Z
There are two frats at Swarthmore and no sororities, so there is hardly any Greek life.
Recent Alumnus 2012-08-07T21:46:30Z
I spoke to the financial aid office on multiple occasions and was given information that turned out to be false. Had the financial aid officers been honest from the start, I likely would not have attended Swarthmore. As a result of my experiences with them, I have over $150,000 of student loan debt, some of which is through private lenders with interest rates above 10%. The financial aid officers did not provide me with adequate information about Swarthmore's financial aid process or about student loans in general.
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