Providence, RI

Steph's review of Brown University

Steph's answers to common questions

Describe the students at your school.

Brown students place a high priority on accepting everyone regardless of differences. There's a constant, conscious effort to avoid stereotypes and such. Conservative students from the South might feel out of place (i knew one who transferred out. he really liked to get drunk and pee on doors.) Lots of Brown students come from New York, New Jersey, California, Boston, Rhode Island.

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Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Brown is the most wonderful place in the world -- for the right type of student. If you're independent, enjoy using your creativity, and really care about learning for the pleasure of it, then you'll love Brown. If, on the other hand, you like the structure provided by distribution requirements or don't have a particular passion for academics, then you might feel lost.

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Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

yes, qualified. Most students fall somewhere on the liberal scale, and many are inclined to try things like vegetarianism, Buddhist meditation, and political protests. But we also tend to be pretty laid-back, never pushy about whatever ideas we have. Brown students are unique in that we place a high value on creativity, on intellectual independence, and on passion for learning and being.

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What are the academics like at your school?

Brown is designed for people who love to learn and want to guide their own education. It's famous for having an "open curriculum," meaning there are no core or distribution requirements. This doesn't mean students just take whatever they think is easiest -- but it does mean you will never find yourself in a class surrounded by people who don't want to be there. Interested and engaged students foster deeper, more involved discussions and, in my opinion, an overall more fulfilling academic experience. (And I took a class at BU that most of the students were using to fulfill a requirement, so i have some experience with the different atmospheres.) Learning for its own sake -- not getting a job.

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What are the most popular student activities/groups?

On weekend nights, lots of students (underclassmen in particular) go to events thrown by student groups (a cappella, improv, sketch comedy,'s endless). Frats comprise only 10 percent of the student body, but their parties are also very important in the underclassmen social scene, even though the big parties charge an entrance fee.

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What is the stereotype of students at your school?

-Brown's very unstructured -students are hippies who smoke a lot of weed -students are smart but also weird -everyone is very independent

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What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing: The students. I have never met a boring person here -- everyone has a story, has something that makes them really excited. Thing i'd change: nothing! Size: Medium, perfect for me. People's reaction: "Ohhh Brown! So you're smart." or, "Ohhh Brown! Are you a vegan yet?" Providence: You've got to learn to love it, but I have. It's a small city with a strong sense of identity, lots of cafes and a new interest in the arts.

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