College review by Lisa Bleich
Bowdoin College is a highly select school located in Brunswick, ME, about 15 minutes from Freeport, ME and 25 minutes north of Portland, ME. I was very impressed with the student body, the feel of the campus, and the overall positive, laid-back, but intellectually curious vibe of the campus. Students were low-key, but passionate about learning and being part of a tight-knit community. They said that they came to Bowdoin because they wanted the intellectual rigor, but didn’t want to feel as stressed as they were in high school. Downtown Brunswick has a lot of cute shops and restaurants. I ate at a converted warehouse café/movie-theater/art gallery/wine bar overlooking the River.
40% of Bowdoin students come from New England with California and New York as the second largest states. Bowdoin has a wide-range of students, with a variety of passions. The Associate Dean of Admissions asked all of the visiting students to describe something that they are good at that is not academic and not extra-curricular. The answers varied from juggling to cooking to Sudoko puzzles. I think her attitude is indicative of the Bowdoin philosophy to explore many interests just because… Bowdoin has an extremely strong visual and performing arts focus, with real depth in music, dance, theater and art. Their on campus museum was three stories and felt like we were in a real museum replete with a book store and new “installation.” The art was as varied as the student body with modern, impressionist, and ancient Greek ruins among the collections. We also heard a duet of a pianist and a cellist who were participating in the summer international music program. (Click here to listen. Insert video). Bowdoin is equally strong in the sciences with a state-of-the art science facility and ample opportunity for student research and publications. The Outdoor is the biggest club on campus, which takes advantage of the beauty of Maine from kayaking, to camping, to white-water rafting to skiing. $45 covers all trips for the entire year. Students also have the option to participate in a pre-orientation trip to start bonding right away.
Bowdoin a great place for an intellectually curious, outdoorsy, non-competitive student who wants a strong sense of community and a balance in work and play. Students are incredibly smart, but don’t have the need to flaunt their intelligence, instead their natural curiosity and passions come out through their genuine love of learning. While Brunsick is a small, coastal town (3 miles from the beach), it is only 25 miles north of Portland, which is a thriving city.