UMBC is one of the worst choices I've ever made
in my life. The work is not difficult -
just long and annoying, and often times, vague and unclear.
I've found that many of my favorite teachers here
have not been in my field and only a small
handful of teachers in the CMSC program were approachable and
considerate of students. I've had teachers forward my e-mails
immediately to the TA without bothering to even read it
(for instance, if the e-mail says 'I already asked the
TA') and sometimes even go ignored.
The food staff is
awful. The food is often poor quality and is
supplied by Sodexho, who are known for being awful.
The food at the dining hall is hardly suitable for
consumption 90% of the time, with your best resort being
cereal or toast. There is occasionally something good there,
but it's all very subpar for the high price you
pay for a meal plan during a semester. At
the Commons, the food is slightly better but still often
varies in quality. Cheeseburgers are rarely hot or fresh,
bread at the sub shop is often stale and smooshed,
or cut to be 3 or 4 inches instead of
6. There is a BBQ place on campus which
will sometimes have good food and other times have disgusting
meat that's full of fat and difficult to stomach.
But what's worse than any of this is that the
staff is rude. They will argue with you about
what you ordered, and they will complain about a customer
TO other customers. We once found a dead roach
in the french fries at the burger place and the
food staff only wrote it off and tried to hush
us by giving us a free meal. Nothing ever
changed, and the places only became worse.
Many of the
classes are not very difficult. You have your share
of professors that read off of slides, professors that go
off on tangents for the entire glass, and honestly good
professors. Unfortunately, many of my classes have fallen into
the first two - I've been doing well my entire
time here and barely even attend most of my classes
outside of when it's absolutely necessary (test or quiz, etc).
Some of the teachers are nice and knowledgeable, others
act as if their students are a burden on them.
Some professors honestly do not know the material and
will even admit it, and leave you to fend for
yourself. Your mileage may vary on this, of course.
If you want fun, UMBC is not the place to
go. There are few events of interest here on
campus, and even so, many people here aren't very approachable.
You can go off campus to do things, which
can be great. There are a lot of places
easily accessible to you at this part of Maryland.
However, the closest city is Baltimore, and while Baltimore may
have a lot to do, it is also a garbage
heap of a city that's very dangerous in some parts
(check baltimorecrime.blogspot.com to see just what I mean).
credit, the campus is gorgeous. There are ample trees
all over the place, a pond (though it has seen
better days) and ample wild life - squirrels, geese, birds
and even deer. The campus itself is also very
safe. Police frequently patrol around the campus and there
are two police stations on or around campus (the UMBC
police and the Baltimore County police).
Overall, however, UMBC is
a very mediocre school with poor serving staff. You
can get a decent education here, but you'll likely have
to do a lot of your own legwork with little
help from your professors. I'd recommend looking at other
options before you come here.