University of Pennsylvania
College review by Lisa Bleich
Bustling with energy, bands playing, student club tables, and swarms of people aptly describes University of Pennsylvania during my visit. I arrived on admitted students day, so it was no surprise that Penn was charged. The campus itself is beautiful and compact.
It is one of the few universities where all of the undergraduate and graduate programs are on the same campus. I wandered through Wharton and I felt like I was on an active trading floor. The building had student groups in every square inch with informal clusters of chairs, conference rooms, computer centers, and classrooms.
Students were actively engaged in discussion about how best to present their data and how to develop a cohesive marketing strategy. Students were equally passionate about the humanities and other pre-professional subject.
Our information session was moved to a very large, theater-like classroom since it was over-crowded due to spring break. WE were nicely kicked-out early to make room for a positive psychology class that was waiting to take over the classroom. The TA loaded the professor’s slides onto the state-of-the-art audio-visual system while the professor brought in Easter candy to pass out to her students to illustrate positive reinforcements.
The classroom sat about 300 students, but they all seemed eager to step in. Penn is an enclosed city campus with top programs in every discipline. Students can participate in every activity imaginable and students were passionate about their chosen disciplines. Penn has cleaned up the are directly leading into the campus with a mini-upscale outdoor mall-like feel. However once you go about one mile outside of campus, it is like you are in a different world; the streets are dingier, the lights are not so bright, and you feel outside of the Penn bubble.