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| I'm going to divide my comments on UNC-CH into sections. |
ACADEMIC: Difficult. These guys don't mess around. The thing is, UNC is a flagship research university, so understand what you're getting into. Seminar classes (that is, those higher level classes) are much easier to get a good grade in than introductory level classes. Working very hard will get you a B. Working casually/normally will give you a C. The A is basically indicative of mastery or excellence: at least in my experience (Natural sciences and political science), getting an A is a huge achievement. Be warned.
Now that I've talked about the bad, here's the good: like I said, it's a flagship research university. This means your professors are the best of the best. Don't take this lightly: the experience, insight, wisdom, and potential opportunity they have to offer you as a student is immeasurable. If you have any interest whatsoever in research, UNC-CH is a goldmine. It's a rare combination of professors who are exemplary but who also really enjoy engaging their students. Don't underestimate the value of leaving a good impression: I was rejected from a study abroad program, but because I did well in a professor's class, I was able to land the opportunity to assist another professor in his research.
Bottom line academically: be passionate, be committed, and be focused.
SOCIAL: UNC wasn't my cup of tea, but this is a very personal preference. Also, I found my niche, so I definitely wasn't miserable--in a big school, you'll find friends. Join clubs, be social, and make conversation with your classmates. UNC students are easily accessible in terms of conversation and introductions. Having said that, if you'd like to hear my complaints: I felt like, as it is at many college campuses, UNC really favors the indigenous (to NC) and the generally fratty. It's a bit elitist in that sense. The other group I noticed getting the most notoriety was the activist. But like I said, these things are personal and while I didn't really quite fit in here, there's a lot of people here who absolutely love it.
ADVICE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: Take advantage of opportunities. Seriously. There's funding opportunities for unpaid internships, study abroad options for dirt cheap, research being done by professors that (if you are good/passionate enough) you may be able to help with. Other than that, just remember to work your butt off.
ADVICE FOR HIGH SCHOOLERS: I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I wasn't kidding about passion. If you can convey your passion, you'll be competitive for UNC admissions. Find what you like, and do things which signal your commitment to excelling in it. Grades are great. Extra-curriculars are great. Being focused is ideal. Your A+ in biology is pretty good, but it's amazing if you want to be a doctor. Same with English. Or History. Understand your coursework, extra-curriculars, and volunteer work as being a stepping stone to whatever it is you want--even what you think you want--to do. The End.
|May 02 2013|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| I would like to focus in this comment on telling you guys about the people working for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Not professors or TAs (I was generally satisfied with them with a few exceptions), not students and the surrounding environment (those were quite controversial as well).|
Since I am an international student, several times I had to ask for guidance on issues such as employment search, work visas, etc.
The Career Services at UNC are a joke. Career counselors never helped me with anything. Most of the time they were inaccessible to me, and whenever I had a chance to schedule an hour long appointment with them by about two-three weeks in advance, they could not answer my questions and finished with me earlier, not to mention their condescending tone and complete lack of empathy and interest in their job. Whenever I had a questions that had to do with my employment search, people working there just did not know the answer, and these were not super complicated questions that a qualified career services specialist must know, especially at a university that always brags about being so high quality! For example, I asked about my prospects of finding a job sponsored by a work visa in the US. They had to call another office, the office of international students and scholars, where counselors did not know the answer either because it had to do with jobs, a specialty of university career services. I was left without an answer at the end.
One time at the ACADEMIC ADVISOR COULD NOT SPELL WORDS CORRECTLY on a form that I asked her to fill out. The words like "practitioner" and "field." I am an international student, and I know English much better than her!
Another time I called the international students office and asked for one of their employee's advice, and she spoke with such a condescending tone I thought she's going to say that I should just go home to whatever country I came from. She was absolutely unable to help me with my question, she was obviously just trying to get rid of me as soon as possible, like she had better things to do.
For the $38,000 a year that an international student pays to go here - this plays isn't worth it. The service is horrible, the food is nasty, the students are incredibly stupid and close-minded, and the surrounding town is boring and pathetic.
The professors and some TAs are the only good thing about this university. If you really like studying and getting as much as you can from that, you'll be okay. The bottom line though: reconsider going to UNC. You will waste those precious 4 years of your life. Especially if you're an international student.
|Apr 12 2013|| 3rd Year Female --
Class 2012 |