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Iowa State University

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Before you choose to go to Iowa StateQuite BrightAerospace Engineering
Before you choose to go to Iowa State University for engineering there are a few things that as a current engineering student, I think all future engineering students should know:

1) It does not seem that they require their teachers/TA's to take English proficiency exams before walking into a classroom... Now I know this may sound extremely arrogant, but when you begin to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars a semester to attend a university and then realize the teacher is incapable of answering your questions, simply because he doesn't understand or speak English, the frustration will set in.

2) Most professors have RIDICULOUSLY limited office hours. And even during the listed hours, there is still no guarantee that they will be present. When I brought this up with the head of the Aerospace Department, he said that all teachers are required to hold a certain amount of office hours per week and that he would look into it (nothing has ever changed).

3) The Engineering Student 4-Year Plan looks great at first glance, but in reality it is filled with wasted credit hours. At first your counselor will give you an enormous list of classes that meet the criteria for their "General Education" requirements. What they won't tell you until your Junior year is that in the fine print it clearly states only a few of those classes will actually fulfill the degree requirement. In other words, ISU makes it next to impossible for you to take any General Education classes that pertain directly to engineering (in hopes of getting a minor degree) and still graduate on time.I cannot speak for how the other departments at Iowa State University work, I can only speak for the Engineering Department. That being said, my recommendation to all prospective engineering students is to look elsewhere.

3rd Year Male -- Class 2012
Perceived Campus Safety: A, Faculty Accessibility: D
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Being from out of state it seems likeQuite BrightHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
Being from out of state it seems like everyone sticks to their friends from their small town iowa high schools and generally aren't to accepting of new people being included into the group. If you don't like to drink then good luck trying to find something to do on the weekends. It seems like a lot of people go home on the weekends to. If you are from out of state consider somewhere else tuition is really expensive and keeps going up.
1st Year Male -- Class 2013
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Surrounding City: F
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Before you choose to set foot at ISU,Quite BrightGenetics
Before you choose to set foot at ISU, there are a few things you should know:

The Office of Disabilities as well as School Counselling aren't at all helpful. (Having problems? Get ready to be put on a year + waiting list.) If you have problems that are a bit more advanced or complicated than test anxiety or ADHD, they will not be of any use whatsoever.

If you have any sort of difficulty, expect most of the professors to be fairly unhelpful. Yet there is a point between wanting your students to figure things out themselves, and flat out insulting a student's intellect in front of his peers if he gets confused along the way. (Unprofessional and shameful behavior coming from an educated adult - I have seen better behavior from children.)

Professors will have very limited office hours, and no guarantee they will actually be in their office. In frustration, I have been left waiting for an hour at Bessey just for the chance to talk to one professor for no more than two or so minutes. He never showed up despite rules dictating that they must hold a set amount of office hours. This happens regularly depending on which professor you get, but from others' experience as well... be ready to be frustrated with zero options at your disposal if you ever need further clarification. These people obviously do not want to teach, period.

As far as academics goes, most classes seem to expand on the curriculum of Iowa's high-school classes, making things a bit harder for transfer students. They automatically assume you have a high amount of lab experience in science courses, for example. In my hometown, we never had the opportunity for labs and I only had what would be considered a vague lecture on biology. Assumptions that you have intermediate experience with Apple computers are also troublesome, as most students are PC (less expensive) users.You will be expected to use Apple products on the regular and keep up with graduate students and professors that have had these tools at their disposal for quite some time. There is no time to adjust and adapt to this switch in technology, and you will end up running out of time to finish assignments or slowing down the class progression. Frustrating does not cover it. I have even considered buying a Macbook just to help me with one particular class, unfortunately, such expenses are not an option for every student. The social life is hit or miss, during class days most students are generally frustrated and unpleasant, and I cannot blame them. Binge drinking is a problem as well as STIs and promiscuity, as with any college. However, parties seem to be restricted to VEISHA week and breaks, as most students are overwhelmed. Clubs are impossible to attend if you are trying to maintain a part-time job as well as attend classes. They will kick you out if you miss a certain amount of meetings, even with a valid excuse (medical, employment, etc.) As far as recreation goes, you have the option of several small gyms scattered around campus (expensive equipment with little variety) and no actual place to sit down comfortably and relax. I spend most of my time in my apartment and with a few relatives, the opportunities are very limited.

1st Year Female -- Class 2015
Campus Maintenance: A, Faculty Accessibility: F
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