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Why You Should Apply to a 360° Cluster

When I was touring colleges, one of the features that drew me to Bryn Mawr was its unique set of internship opportunities, jobs and academic programs.  The 360° program, in particular, seemed like the ideal way to get exactly what I wanted out of my education––a real-world experience that would add a new dimension to what I was learning in the classroom.

For those who are unfamiliar, 360°s are interdisciplinary programs where admitted students enroll in a cluster of multiple courses across disciplines, often involving fieldwork or a travel component.  The classes are centered around common themes, problems, and experiences that serve as an avenue for engagement in research and scholarship.

Now, as a sophomore, I am participating in the Borderlands 360°.  It is surreal to be involved in something that sparked my enthusiasm for the school and has proven to be one of the most fulfilling academic experiences I’ve ever had.  Our trip to Yunnan, China over fall break was enriching as well and taught me more than I ever could have anticipated.

Have you considered applying to a 360° at some point in your academic career?  Let me convince you why it’s worth pursuing!

Academic Work Feels Cohesive and Purposeful. 

Every week, I notice parallels between the topics or themes addressed in different classes.  It is rewarding to know you will leave the experience with nuanced, in-depth knowledge of a subject from a variety of perspectives.

It’s Almost Inevitable That You’ll Bond with Your Classmates.

After all, you will be taking two or three classes together, celebrating successes and grumbling about the workload.  Traveling for any period of time also helps facilitate the process––spending every day with the same group of people is a fast track to lasting friendships!

360° Experiences are a Phenomenal Way to Solidify a Passion or Academic Direction. 

With field experiences and involvement in a cumulative final project, you’ll surely have a grasp on where your passions lie by the end of the program.

The Program Will Help Enrich Your Bryn Mawr Experience

I had never interacted with professors in any personal or casual context before this 360°, and doing so has enriched my experience at Bryn Mawr in an incredible way.  The classroom dynamics are noticeably warmer, and I feel so much more comfortable approaching my professors with questions, concerns and general banter or conversation.

Avery Matteo

Bryn Mawr '22

Avery Matteo is a junior at Bryn Mawr College from Charlottesville, Virginia. Her interests include reading, traveling, and sleeping during every available moment. In her free time, she is either listening to podcasts, indie music, or sprinkling Disney Parks facts on her unsuspecting friends. She can be found as @memeteo on Instagram.
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