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The transfer’s guide to UW-Madison

Over the past few months, I have had the joy of transitioning from 4,000 to 40,000 students and from a conservative southern private school to a generally liberal northern public school. The transition, like for most other transfer students, was somewhat trying. Here are some things that I wish I had known:

  1. Credit Evaluation. When you transfer to Madison, almost all classes don’t easily transfer or are retro credits. This makes fulfilling the GenEds a bit more complicated. Try to have as many classes evaluated to fulfill different requirements. The trick is to be extremely proactive during SOAR and take full use of the different advisors available. Even though it might seem attractive to quickly go through the different sessions, sign up for classes and then leave, you will learn that advising at Madison is all about how much you put in it. Check out the Office of Admissions page on credit evaluations, as well as your Student Center for your transfer evaluation.
  2. STAMP (Student Transfer Association and Mentor Program). An organization solely based on helping students like you and me transition to Madison. They host a variety of programs and events throughout the year that help transfers meet other transfers and find the support they need.
  3. Get Involved! Being at a large school means that there are lots of opportunities to get involved with, whether it is volunteering, joining a club (Her Campus!), becoming part of Greek life and so much more. This also means that it is really easy to fall through the cracks. One way of learning about all the different ways of getting involved is to check out the Student Org Fair. If you miss it, be sure to check out the student org directory and take the initiative to get involved.
  4. Branch out from high school friends. Don’t be shy about meeting new people. It is nice to get together with old friends and have a nice comfort zone. But you can also make new friends through these people, too. Just remember, there are 40,000 students here and most of them are willing to make new friends.
  5. GO TO SPORTING EVENTS! You are now enrolled in one of the country’s top universities both academically and athletically, so now you should support the teams (especially your fellow collegiettes on the women’s teams)! People are always selling tickets on Facebook.
  6. SO. Probably one of the best things about the community of Madison. Truthfully, I had no idea what they were until December, but now I am addicted. They are funny, supportive and allow people to have their moments. Check them out: http://www.badgerherald.com/shoutouts/index.php.

All in all, just remember that college is a time of new experiences and to go out and do something fun and crazy! Welcome to Madison.

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