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The Her Campus Pre-Collegiette Guide: Cornell University

School: Cornell
Location: Ithaca, NY
Funding: Private
Size: 13935

Architecture, Art and Planning; Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Hotel Administration; Unclassified, through the Internal Transfer Division     $41,325.00
Agriculture and Life Sciences; Human Ecology; Industrial and Labor Relations
Agriculture and Life Sciences; Human Ecology; Industrial and Labor Relations

Majors: 75

Schools: Agriculture and Life Sciences
Architecture, Art and Planning
Arts and Sciences
Hotel Administration
Human Ecology
Industrial and Labor Relations

Choice: “Even though I call England home, I decided to choose to study in the States for several reasons: first, because Cornell has had the top-ranked undergraduate architecture program in the US for the last decade or so; second, because I wanted to get as far away from home as possible; third, because Cornell has world class facilities and faculty, enabling me to pursue all of my interests to their full extent.  Oh, and because Ithaca is gorgeous.”

Repeat?: “Definitely!”

Best/Worst: “The best and worst things about Cornell are its size. It’s great in that you can meet some very interesting, very accomplished people, including grad students involved in research, undergrad students from all over the world, professors from the best schools in the country, and any number of famous guest lecturers and alumni – Keith Olbermann and Margaret Atwood were both here this week. By the same token, it can be hard to find your niche in such a big place, and it can be tempting to compare yourself to the people around you, which creates a competitive environment that some students find intimidating and cold. But when you do find the right crowd for you, you’ll be happy.”

“The best thing about Cornell is hands down its beautiful campus on Ithaca’s east hill, bounded by twin gorges, and the view from the Arts Quad overlooking West Campus, the rolling upstate New York countryside, downtown Ithaca, and the majestic Cayuga Lake.  The worst thing is, of course, the hills.”

Academics: “Cornell has so many distinguished professors and opportunities to do research. It is a big school so you really need to seek out faculty and choose smaller classes, such as seminars, in order to take advantage of Cornell’s amazing academic resources.”

Activities: “Cornell has so many activities that there is something for everyone! The only difficulty is  that because Cornell is so large, you really need to make the individual effort to find your niche, but once you find it you will fit right in.”

Dining: “The food is AMAZING! I’m a very picky eater and I LOVED the food offered at Cornell dining halls. Everyone agrees that they have delicious food.”

“RPCC (one of the two freshman dining halls) has the greatest food. In addition to the typical fare of pasta, pizza and the grill, it offers a make-your-own stir-fry station and a well-stocked salad bar, and local Cornell apples are always on the dessert table along with an array of delicious baked goods. Brunch lines on the weekends, when they serve dim sum and make-your-own omelets and pancakes, are insane.”

“If you move off campus, you’ll find plenty of places to eat in Collegetown.”

Fun: “Frat parties rule the freshmen night life whether you are a part of the Greek system or not. Sophomore year is a bit of a downer: sophomore slump starts to set in, which is why many choose to go abroad for one or both semesters. Junior year is all about house parties, and senior year revolves around bars. If you’re looking to have fun, sober or not, you can find it on campus.”

Housing: “All freshmen live on North Campus. Once you are a sophomore you can choose to remain on campus, move into Greek housing or live off campus. By junior year, a lot of students live in apartments in Collegetown.”

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