The value of an all women’s education is priceless. My experience at Smith College, a Seven Sister and the largest all women’s undergraduate school in the country could not be replaced with any other educational experience. I’d like to highlight the five best aspects of my Smith education:
First, Smith has no core curriculum, so the college gives students – who typically have been top of their class – the freedom to concentrate on a field(s) of study they are passionate about without getting bogged down in core curriculum requirements. I focused primarily on History, Computer Science, Film and English. I did not take any courses in Mathematics, Science or Language. I had experienced enough of a broad range curriculum in preparatory school.
Second, Smith’s professors are phenomenal. Many of the professors have tenure and are committed to the culture of the college. You are taught by the professor him/herself, not a teacher’s assistant. Most of the professors are published. The professors are extremely accessible and class sizes remain small.
Third, Smith doesn’t have dorms, it has houses. Each house has a different feel and culture (i.e. the French House that speaks only French, the athlete’s house, the quad which is more social). Some students spend one year at a house, others spend all four. Many of the houses still have their own dining rooms and cooking staff, who knows each students likes and dislikes.
Fourth, Smith is part of the Five College Consortium. Smith students can take advantage of the other colleges/universities surrounding them via a free shuttle bus. Smithies can take classes at Amherst College, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire College and UMass Amherst, as well as engage in many of the other school’s social calendars.
Fifth, Smith offers the flexibility to create your own study abroad. Smith has some exceptional established study abroad programs. But if you don’t see a program you like, you can create your own. I had the pleasure and honor of proposing my own study abroad program through Oxford University. For one year I studied one-on-one under the tutelage of some of the most renowned professors in history.
As I write this, I wish I could go back and do it all over again. This time, in no hurry to graduate. If you get into Smith, Go. Savor every second. And don’t be too eager to get out…because truly, those four years are the best years of your life. Needless to say, after graduating from Smith there is a strong, dynamic network of Smithies who are there for you post-graduation.