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Washington and Lee University

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Sep 11 2012Undecided
As an international student, I don't feel isolated or adrift because most people here are really friendly and approachable, from students to professors to staffs. This is my first time abroad, so friendliness is really important to me. And the school is so much more caring than I've expected! There is not only one but three orientations: international orientation (which is for international students like me), pre-orientation (one week of bonding and making friends who might become your BFFs), and orientation. These orientations help me become ready for college more than ever!I have just begun my study for a few days, so I have nothing much to say about the academics. Yet I love my econ class soooooo much! Prof. Peter is soooo great!!!
1st Year Female -- Class 2016
Scholastic Success: A+, Surrounding City: D

If you come into W&L with preconceived notions

Dec 11 2011Psychology
If you come into W&L with preconceived notions about the other students and stick to them then you are not going to have a very good time here. You have to come into the school with an open mind and people will surprise you.

Yes the school has a large greek life. But it's not the typical frat and sorority dynamics that you would expect and if you truly do not want to go greek then you don't have to. Even if you don't you won't be excluded and isolated at all. Most of the parties (except for mixers between houses) are open to the rest of campus.

The professors and classes are really and truly amazing. You get the same top notch education you would get at any ivy league school but the classes are smaller and every one of your professors will know you.I absolutely love this school and while it's not perfect it's pretty close.

1st Year Female -- Class 2014
Education Quality: A+, Surrounding City: B-

Going to W&L was the best decision I

Dec 15 2008Economics
Going to W&L was the best decision I have made. As you have read, it certainly is not the right school for everyone. It is true that the social scene is dominated by Greek Life (something like 92% pledge) but that is not necessarily a negative. In high school, I did not picture myself as the "fratty" type per se. What is great about Washington and Lee is that all parties are open (except some mixers and formals) and even if you didn't think you would want to go greek, you will be able to easily find a good group of guys/girls who you really get along with.

That being said, there are other social outlets; we have singing groups, intramural sports, bands, community service groups etc which one can get involved in. The trick is to find a group of friends and get involved with them.

Academically W&L is great. It is challenging, but not to the point where you cannot have a social life and maintain decent grades. The professors are incredibly knowledgeable, and also extremely helpful. They are always willing to meet with you or give you feedback, you just have to approach them; they won't hold you hand.

My one complaint would be that the school's AP policy kind of sucks, don't expect much credit for classes unless you got 5s on your tests.

As far as the school's reputation is concerned, it is true that it is not "well known," to the generally public anyway. Anyone in academia or anyone at top corporations will have heard of it, don't let that stupid towny from wherever you live deter you because he hasn't heard of it. W&L will be able to provide you with any opportunities a big school can (minus a football stadium of 45k). There is a very strong alumni network and ample opportunities for internships, study abroad etc. Not to mention the people that you meet at school as prestigious as this one will be able to offer you additional connections to their parent's companies and whatnot.

Of course, you cannot have a review of Washington and Lee without mentioning the honor code. Many school's brag of having a great honor system, but none implement it quite the same way as W&L . Our school embraces the honor system, and the affects on the students can be seen everyday. We have un-proctored tests, we schedule our own finals, we leave our laptops everywhere, we don't lock our doors, and the list goes on.

In reality, you have to come to your own conclusions about the school. I highly recommend doing an overnight, but make sure you go out and experience the night life (so come on wednesday, friday or saturday). Most people I have talked to said it just "felt" right when they visited, so make sure you get there!

1st Year Male -- Class 2012
Useful Schoolwork: A+, Surrounding City: C-

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