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| I was a transfer student from a community college. I was always an average student who was always told I could do better if I applied myself. Being a native of Illinois and because this institution is associated with the State, I can tell you the name of the game with this entire place is revenue. Professors are paid by grants to do research, so there is little if any incentive to teach and many didn't seem to know how; I ended up teaching myself out of the book in some instances. The TA teaches or facilitates the class, some were good, others you could tell were basically doing it for the stipend and could care less. As a transfer student, social opportunities were limited since most everyone here joins the Greek system; you were often perceived as an outsider otherwise. From an academic perspective, I was always the type of learner who expected the person standing up in front of me was going to teach me something, so in hindsight this was probably not the best choice for someone like me. I graduated there with the feeling that the whole place was this giant research company posing as a university to bring in revenue. If you are from the Chicago area and your parents are networked in the alumni base, you may enjoy going here and partaking in the Greek/social scene for the duration as so many do, as you'll probably be able to use your parents contacts to get a job after graduation regardless of how you do or how you like it. Unless you are autonomous, self-motivated and have no expectations for quality of instruction, I would steer clear as a transfer student. Beer and circus. |
|Nov 13 2013|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| If I could change anything about my college, it would be my department. My department is terrible. Going to their undergraduate office is entirely unhelpful and if you talk to the assistant director she will do her best to talk in the most disrespectful way possible. I do not understand why she works there, as it does not seem like she cares for the students at all. Industrial engineering is also not done to well at this school I feel. Wish I had gone into civil instead..... |
|Nov 12 2013|| 3rd Year Female --
Class 2014 |
| I'm currently a Global Studies major, focusing on international diplomacy. I am about to begin my 3rd year, and I will be studying abroad the whole year. As of now, I greatly enjoy my major and my advisor is the best guy ever. Super helpful, and very knowledgeable about his field of study (which is similar to what I am focusing on), and knows how to give great advice. I cannot say that this experience is the same for all majors. I was formerly a business major, and I found that program to be very linear and non-explorative, though I suppose that makes sense for this specific major. If you KNOW you want to be a business major, definitely apply, but if you are unsure like I was, you are better off going into General Studies and not wasting time and money taking business courses. The business school is for the very ambitious and provides a great environment for networking and gaining professional skills. I didn't do this, but I recommend joining a business fraternity for even more opportunities.|
The business school was not a fit for me, but I am glad that U of I has many opportunities available to find what you're really passionate about or interested in. I was absolutely miserable as a business major, and I am so glad I talked to a guidance/course/whatever counselor and figured out what major is a fit for me. I think my classes for my major are still challenging and have really expanded my views on the world. On the whole, my entire academic experience has been very eye-opening and improved greatly on my small town high school experience. I was actually a little jealous of the greater variety of high school classes available to some of my Chicago suburb peers.
Now, on to student life. Yes, Greek life is a huge thing here, as well as partying till you're brain dead. Not all aspects of Greek life are bad though. There are professional fraternities (co-ed), and I am part of a co-ed service fraternity myself. I'm not sure how different they are from social fraternities and sororities, but I can tell you that plenty of my brothers party at each others' apartments and go out a lot together. I'm not a huge partier, so this aspect of U of I was a little surprising and a little unwelcome, but I've gotten over it. Going out with friends and doing a little drinking can definitely be fun! I lived in Weston my freshman year so I was fully exposed to the party life, I guess. I do not recommend living in Weston if you love air conditioning. Make absolutely sure the dorm you pick has AC or you will be miserable for the first month. Wi fi was also a little patchy, but my room was right above the computer lab, so I made out fine. I recommend Weston only on the condition of its closeness to the Ike, the best dining hall on campus. I lived in Newman my second year, and I'm not very religious (barely agnostic) so that was slightly uncomfortable. I was fortunate that I'd chosen to room with someone who'd lived at Weston the year before too. Newman has great pizza though, and the rooms fit the price for them. And the wifi was better too. But yeah, not very comfortable there, social life wise.
This is a neutral article, but on the whole I think U of I has been a positive experience so far. Maybe it hasn't been perfect, and I may have been miserable sometimes, but I would not trade my experiences for anything. They've really expanded my bubble (or completely destroyed it), and I'm so much more aware of things I would never have thought about before. I'm definitely challenged academically, and my professors all know their stuff. It's unfortunate the school is so large that the discussions are taught by TAs who may not be as passionate or good at teaching the subject as the actual professor. Having a large student population is great for having more experiences and finding more people with similar interests, but it really sacrifices a more fabulous classroom experience where you could have more dialogue with an esteemed professor who knows their stuff. You will usually have to wait for higher-level classes to get that small-classroom experience, though there are exceptions.
One really great positive thing about U of I is that they highly encourage study abroad, and there are several scholarships you can apply for to get aid with study abroad specifically. They have a lot of different programs, and if you can't fit in a semester, try summer or winter breaks. I'm going to east Asia, which typically are the less expensive programs since everyone and their mother and grandmother wants to go to Europe.
Let me even out the positive with a negative: campus safety. You are fairly safe on campus, but you really should be careful at night on less traveled streets, especially the further you go away from the campus. I have never had problems, but I don't go out much really late at night. Whenever I do, I have taken advantage of public transit or SafeRides if far from campus. You just have to be smart and walk with friends or with other people at least when out at night, and don't be black out drunk. If you do that, you should have no problems. The school works really hard, at least from my view, at making the campus safe, but they aren't perfect.
I'm a first generation college student (though my older sister went off to another school before me) so I think I've done okay for throwing myself into a completely unknown experience. Wish I'd done more research beforehand, but I'm doing fine now.I hope this review helps. I think I'm leaving my email on this survey thing somewhere, so if you find that, feel free to email me. I'll try to be helpful!
|Sep 02 2013|| 2nd Year Female --
Class 2015 |