Bard College isn't a bad school. The academics are above average and I've learned to become a politically active member of civil society. We're encouraged to get involved and support local organizations which I love doing. The small-town atmosphere is most likely homely and welcoming to most, but not really my thing (I'm a city girl at heart). To anyone looking to get involved in social activism or enhance your artistic abilities, this is the place. If you really enjoy school-led glow stick parties, this is also the place. The professors here really care about the individual students and intellectual conversations are prevalent. I've definitely grown a lot since coming here.
My daughter was a very excited freshman in September 2015. Two weeks into the Language and Thinking Program, which is an introduction to the liberal arts and sciences with a particular focus on writing, she started feeling sick. Her fever shot up high, and she felt like she couldn't go to classes. We recommended her to go to student health services to feel better. She had gone five times and was misdiagnosed five times as having the flu, a cold, strep throat, tired and homesick! A week and a half had gone by, with numerous phone calls from her complaining of not feeling well. We live on the other side of the country in California, so we tried to get her to a real doctor in town near Bard. That was seeming impossible to figure out, because Bard is VERY SECLUDED. We couldn't find a doctor to treat her. I flew out to New York and traveled to the Hudson River Valley of upstate New York to figure out how to help my daughter. When I saw her, she looked like she had lost 20 lbs. and was definitely dehydrated. No one was helping her get food or water. I demanded she get a blood test and the results said she had mononucleosis.
The school BARD, did not care for my daughter, the student health services did not care for my daughter. I took my daughter out of school as the finance department demanded that we pay 70% of the remaining semester! My daughter had only been there a couople of weeks, and most of the time there, she was in bed - sick! The president of the school, Leon Botstein, started emailing us demanding to be paid. BARD IS THE WORST!
Bard College is probably the best place I have ever been. I suffer from several severe mental illnesses, and I have never felt as accommodated and supported as I do here. The academics are amazing, the classes are small, the teachers are available, and the campus is gorgeous! The students are kind and driven for the most part. This is where I feel truly at home.
Bard College never strays from its motto -- "A Place to Think." Every concept, every activity, every thought you have on this campus will be deconstructed, analyzed through a Marxist or Faustian lens, and made applicable to some obscure academic theory. Your classes will be full of dyed-hair, pierced-and-tattooed self-proclaimed intellectuals, a surprising number of student athletes, liberals with flaming words, stereotyped stoners, and a good majority of just normal-dormal everyday people. Classes will typically be seminar-style, everyone sitting around a table and essentially having a conversation about reading material. Prepare for a LOT of reading and writing, and if math isn't your strong suit, fear not; you will hardly be expected to know anything above a fourth grade level (unless of course you're a STEM major). Class discussions about privilege and politics and art and theory will follow you into the library, the bathrooms, the cafeteria, the dorms. Word about the dorms -- as a first year, you will either luck out and be placed in a relatively new, air-conditioned building or a dilapidated white-brick-wall structure from the 1970s or maybe even a trailer park. The process is totally random, but either way, it will be an experience. If you have never seen drugs in use before, don't worry -- it's practically impossible to spend a day without sniffing the sweet smell of marijuana wafting out from somewhere. If you haven't experimented with your sexuality either, you will have many people here willing to help out. There will be something to do every weekend, usually a show at SMOG, the shed-like music venue sandwiched between the soccer and baseball fields. Don't expect big rager parties. Most will take place in dorm rooms, dorm basements, occasionally off-campus at some upperclassman's house, but what they lack in size or splendor they make up for in consistency. Cafeteria food will be manageable. Some days you will feast like a king, some days you will make do with cereal or a sandwich, and some days you will get food poisoning from the oysters they serve. The library is alright, you'll probably find what you need. The gym is fantastic, an absolutely state-of-the-art institution. You will meet a lot of interesting characters here, people you'll be telling your grandkids about: "There was a kid who rode a unicycle to class everyday!" "There was teen movie star with his own string of Netflix specials!" Some of them will be really cool and genuine, friends you will keep for life, and some of them will be phony bullies with the emotional maturity of a twelve year old and gigantic trust funds they hide with cheap-looking street wear. The stereotype is true -- most of them will smoke cigarettes. Bard is a PWI, a predominantly white institution, and though they try to be inclusive, many efforts fall flat and tensions continue. Often times, it remains up to the students to resolve conflicts. Overall, Bard is what you make of it, and for many people, it's just not the right place. There's actually a higher-than-normal chance you'll transfer out. It is really in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by a few villages accessible by shuttle or car, and has many quirks and flaws that become apparent after you've lived here for a while. Our school spirit is really almost non-existent. But at the same time, if this is the right place for you, it is truly a place like no other, a place that's impossible to explain to outsiders, that holds a very special magic understandable only to those that have lived there themselves. Really consider if this place works for you, and if it does, do not hesitate to come on over.
Do not go to Bard if you are looking for a typical college experience. Bard's academics and professors are amazing; the class size is small, everyone has a relationship with their professors, and the classes offered are riveting and exciting. Other than that, everything about Bard is trash. The dorms are constantly disgusting, there are virtually no clubs, the food is inedible, and the students are rich social justice warriors who pretend that they can only afford Good Will in order to be cool. It's very hard to fit in if you;re not exactly like every other person there.
I think Bard offers an excellent academic environment. It's secluded. Some people are uncomfortable by that. It's a beautiful campus, right by that Catskills in upstate NY. If students was to go to Manhattan they can easily catch the school shuttle or grab a train. However, it is my experience that I went to university to study and work, not to be on vacation. I enjoy the nature and find Bard to be a good environment for school. The professors are all brilliant and they are all focused on their students. Classes are small which is amazing.
I love Bard! It's the best place to be a liberal arts student. I am a biology major but I still have the time to take a painting class because it's also a part of what I love to do even though I'm on the pre-med track. The party scene is very lowkey, Bard is more into small functions rather than big parties with a large amount of students...
I visited Bard before I made my final decision of where to go. I found the academics the most interesting and compelling part of my entire experience on this tour. I have heard outside information about the type of students that attend Bard and I did not feel I would fit in well there. The campus is beautiful, it is just too big and spread out for the idea I had in my head of what a college is.
I adore this place. An amazing education and experience. Inspiringly idealistic, and a stunning campus.
The student body is increasingly diverse, and for all the cliches, really wonderful people, if slightly morally pliant.
Professors are brilliant.
Bard College is a beautiful place with it's surrounding environment being at the center of the Hudson Valley; with the architecture with a mix of an old and new. There are incredible professors and students that they can have a one on one bonding time.
Intellectual, artistic, innovative, in the interest of the common good and human rights. Best-in-field faculty, constant schedule of events and speakers, top-notch visiting faculty, and artists, and a diverse and broad global network. Bard Fiction Prize annually awards $30,000 and a semester-long residence to acclaimed young writers. 90 minutes north of New York City on the Hudson River.
as a 1978 graduate, I thought of bard as a major cross road for me in that il earned to love college again after transferring from a larger university. small classroom size and accessibility to my instructors was the main reason I chose bard. the ability to be a free thinker and to be challenged were wonderful and helped me to go on in the health professions as a dentist, now retired.
my one comment today is that bard has swung way to the left politically and does not seem to invite counterpoint from a conservative perspective. this is pretty evident in much of the communications I receive as an alumnus. president Leon botstein, who I remember very personally, should be more active in this, in my opinion. I have always felt and still do that colleges should encourage both sides to allow students to make up their own minds, not be indoctrinated.
I would hope that bard redirects its path to encourage more students with more diversified views. when exposed to real life, this would make the graduates better prepared to be successful.
My major is not an option in the drop down menu, so I wanted to specify here that I am a joint major in Art History and Studio Arts at Bard College. I am going to be a Sophomore in the fall and thoroughly enjoyed my freshman year experience. While there is always that moment of realization that you're not a kid anymore, it tends to be fleeting as the reality of adulthood sinks in. Bard jumped us right in with its Learning and Thinking Program and kept us busy with unique activities to introduce us into the literature and analytical thinking that Bard encourages. Although leaving for school three weeks earlier than everyone else was frustrating, it was worth it because I got to meet one of my best friends who I spent many days with during L&T. We wrote poems about yams and sweaters and lived our best Freshman lives. Bard is small, but that nourishes a more connected environment not only with professors, but also with the other students. My roommate became one of my closest friends and the boy that lived right next door also joined our crew. I wouldn't trade a moment of my freshman year experience at Bard. The on campus living is comfortable and fun, while the off campus living is lacking with its tenants in nearby towns treating renting students very poorly. Being on campus, in my opinion, is a much better opportunity because you can sleep in before classes and still get there on time! Everything at Bard is a maximum 25 minute walk (that is from one side of campus to the other). I am very excited to be living in a Suite with five girls next year right near the Fischer Arts Building where all of the Orchestral performances take place. The dorm sizes are very decent, especially when it comes to living in a Suite. We will have our own kitchen, bathroom, and living room next year! The overall campus facilities are all very nice, and many have been redone in recent years. Bard's science building is almost completely new and an amazing place to take lab classes, or study for finals in the study pods. Another beautiful building on campus is the Fischer Center, designed by Frank Gehry; the same man to design the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Down Town Los Angeles. We have an amazing gym with great yoga, pilates, and cycling classes throughout the week. Although our food is not the most incredible thing to eat, Bard does have a farm that sells fresh produce on Thursdays that can we used for delicious recipes. I find myself getting more produce to cook with rather than going to the dining hall. There is a shuttle to reach off campus towns such as Red Hook, which has our grocery store, some restaurants, and our local movie theatre. Another town nearby is Kingston which has the most civilization closest to Bard, however, there is only a shuttle here on weekends. Of course, the true gem of Bard is its professors and academics; this is the reason I chose Bard. It speaks highly of the school that not only me, but my sister before me, and my mother are both Bard alumni. I am in love with the Art History department and Studio Arts at Bard. Bard allows me to pursue my love of the Arts while still keeping track of my goal to become a Midwife in the future. I take classes for my majors while also focusing on a premed track as well. I absolutely adore Bard and all the things that come with it!
Oh, this school changed my life! I never went here personally, but the trans prostitute I banged last weekend did. She didn't graduate or nothin' but because she owed the banks so much money from her student loans so she could come here, she became a whore and let me tell you, dude, best lay of my life. She had nice tits! Nothing big, you know, B-cups at most, but they were so soft and smooth, the tit job felt like heaven. Such a nice, tight ass too. And, I ain't gay or nothin' but her dick was pretty damn cute. Thanks for making this girl broke, guys! I owe you one!
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