SCU is a beautiful place to be and an exceptional educational experience. The campus is paradise and facilities are great. The community is wonderful and my I still hang out with the same people from my dorm after 4 years. It took me a while, but these have been the best 4 years of my life and I've had a wonderful experience.
I love it! The culture is easygoing, but students work hard in school and still like to have fun.
Santa Clara University is great because it has components of a small school mixed with others that you would get at a large school. I love the fact that I can recognize most of the people I see when I walk into the dining hall but that I also meet new people all of the time. I love the fact that even though we are a smaller liberal arts university, we have incredibly competitive programs that make it possible for students to enter the workforce with great credentials and experience. Our business school is well known and is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, providing many opportunities to its students. While I love many things about my smaller catholic school, I do wish that in terms of sports we had more school spirit. It would be fun to go to a basketball game where tons of students show up, but with a struggling team and varied students interests, not many attend. I also sometimes wish that San Jose or Santa Clara felt a stronger student presence, making it more of a college town. Santa Clara is in such a suburban area that there is no one place that most students congregate. The suburban setting of the campus does make exercising around campus pretty easy though, and bringing my roller blades to campus and setting off on an adventure in the surrounding neighborhoods with friends was so much fun.
Santa Clara is just too small. If you don't find the right group of friends at Welcome Weekend, you're pretty much out of the loop. Everyone eats together in Benson, parties together on weekends, and sticks with the same friends from freshman to senior year. Each of the majors seems to have its own group as well. Santa Clara is not a good school for life-diversity, as I'd call it. I'm a junior there, who is married and pregnant, and most of my teachers treat me like I'm straight off the MTV show 16 and Pregnant. The student disabilities office is not very supportive and neither are the professors. I would recommend a large school or a UC for students who have an alternative lifestyle to the college norm.
I love the size of SCU. With just over 5,000 undergrads I meet new people in every class, but I also know a lot of students walking through campus on the way to that class.
On campus the one place to find everyone (at least during meal times) is Benson, which is our student center and cafeteria. I spent a lot of time in my residence hall as a freshman because I got involved in residence hall events (not just participating but planning them).
If I tell someone in the Bay Area that I go to Santa Clara, they immediately know the school. The most common response, "That's such a beautiful campus." If I tell someone outside of the Bay Area who doesn't go to a Jesuit High School or something, then I tell them we are Jesuit...like Boston College and Georgetown.
Santa Clara University is a small Jesuit University. Though the core curriculum demands that we take three theology classes during our time here, religion is not imposed on students at all. This knowledge, I know, is reassuring to those unfamiliar with the Jesuit system. Despite the school's small size as well, there's always always always new people to meet. At least it's not as small as a liberal arts college. In fact, I wouldn't even call it "small". It's more like, medium-sized.
On campus, I spend most of my time in the dorms. When we're not here though, we're at Benson Center getting food and socializing, or at The Bronco getting more food and doing more socializing, or we're off campus ---getting food someplace and socializing.
The campus is BEAUTIFUL. The best days are those spent under the sun on the lawn, not doing homework but pretending otherwise. The weather is amazing --obviously. The area surrounding campus is mostly suburban. There are a few good restaurants in walking distance and a Safeway. Otherwise, the bus station across from the school's entrance is your best friend. Freshmen are allowed to have cars unless they have an off-campus job --so, the bus is a really convenient and inexpensive way to get to Santa Row, Valley Fair Mall, any bart station, and even the airport.
Alot, of students complain that there isn't anything to do during the day on weekends. Really though, if you don't want to do all the homework and studying that you'll inevitably have to finish, make your own fun. It's the school's job to educate you, not entertain you 24/7. If you're bored, watch a movie, spend a day in SF, go the the beach in Santa Cruz. There's PLENTY to do.
The great thing about Santa Clara is that the students are the most important thing. Professors are here to teach and help students learn and grow, not just pad their resumes. They really care about each student's wellbeing both academicly and personally. When you speak here, people truly listen to you.
I love Santa Clara! The housing system of RLC's (or Residential Learning Communities) at SCU is amazing. Every RLC is a little different, and most of the people within them fit in their RLC so take applying to housing seriously. However, it is definitely easy to meet people from outside your housing and mingle with them!
People mistakenly think that because SCU has no football team there is no school spirit. We have a good soccer team, and everyone enjoys those games. There is definitely school pride!
First of all, Santa Clara is pretty small, as a private university. This creates a better learning atmosphere for its students and the professors. The administration is 100% prepared to help whenever you need them. They go out of their way for all students. Every student can be heard. The best feature to me is the education and general feel of the campus. The Jesuit educators want for SCU students to thrive and grow in both ACADEMICS and AS A PERSON. Diversity and the enrichment of not only your brain, but your heart and soul as well. There is a great deal of school pride. Our Ruff Riders show up to EVERY home game, for EVERY athletic team, and we are ALWAYS loud and proud for our SCU Broncos! Even citizens who live around the campus get involved in activities. Every person affiliated with the university is given a chance to live a comfortable and happy life, whether they be a student, a professor, or in maintenance or food sales. It's just such a generally content place to be for college.
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