Impressions Of
University of Vermont

Academic Experience

Female Animal Science Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It depends on the course. Some courses seem to be more competitive than others, especially when it comes to large classes because it’s hard to be in groups to do work together and have a team atmosphere. You’re an individual in the middle of a 200-person lecture hall, so it’s hard to be involved with anyone else. In smaller classes, especially my Animal Science courses, when you get more into courses of your major they are more collaborative. You get to work in groups and you get to figure out who else is in your major and learn the other personality types, as well as what others are doing.

What are your major graded assignments?
My freshman year, I struggled with General Chemistry because it was a big lecture and we had exams from 7:30 till 10:30 at night on Tuesdays. It was difficult having a full course load that day and to wait until 7:30 after learning a bunch of new materials and take an exam where you had to study hard. The labs are easy for my Animal Science courses and most of the labs were hands on. There were also projects, but other than chemistry most of the courses were really nice and hands-on oriented. Exams weren’t that difficult as long as you studied the material.

Male Business Major C/O 2020

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It is a lot of problem sets and group work. The business simulations that are primarily group work and the accounting classes are problem sets. We focus mostly on the problem sets and studying concepts.

What are your major graded assignments?
It depends on the semester on how many presentations I have. One semester I can have 14 and the other one zero. It depends on the type of classes, but on average, five to six big presentations per semester. We also have graded exams.

Female Environmental Studies Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I can’t speak to any other major, but in Environmental Studies it’s very, very supportive. Everyone’s interested in what you’re doing. I feel very emotionally looked after and I think there are a lot of community-oriented and self-care tactics that are integrated into most professor’s missions.

What is your weekly coursework like for your major?
What I study requires a lot of reading and writing. Environmental Studies is interesting because it’s a lot of people who want to change the world. As a whole, I would say the academic course load has been really, really easy. You have to do a lot to excel, but it’s very easy to coast through. It varies semester to semester, but I rarely put in more than an hour of homework every night last semester.

Social Opportunities

Female Nursing Major C/O 2021

What nights of the week do you regularly go out? Are there certain places you go on certain nights?
Friday and Saturday night were normally the party nights. We would typically go to a house or a frat or something like that. It wasn’t usually the week, and if anything, we would go to a club on a Thursday night, but [that was pretty rare].

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
Greek life has been beneficial to my specific nightlife. I was friends with a couple of people in sororities so we had ins with frats. It was also nice just going to a frat and being let in and talking to people there. I love that Greek life is a part of UVM.

Female Animal Science Major C/O 2021

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
If I have early morning classes during the week, I hang out with my friends in the dorm or go to a sports game. During the weekend, we go to the clubs around campus, to fraternity parties, or to friends’ houses downtown.

What is the impact of Greek life is on nightlife?
At UVM there are not many fraternities compared to the schools in the south, so Greek life isn’t that important. It’s prominent in that you will see sororities selling things and doing fundraisers, or during rush week people are trying to get you to come in and rush. But, you don’t have to be in a fraternity or sorority to be involved in the school. At UVM, there is more of a sense of community, especially in the dorms. Everyone seems to know each other, so fraternities and sororities aren’t that important. If they throw parties, obviously people are going to go to them. [About 8% of students are involved in Greek life.]

Male Business Major C/O 2020

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
There are parties, but the party scene isn’t as heavy as people think it is. The school puts on some events on the weekend like movie nights and there is a nice downtown where people go to. I like to go out with my friends to fraternity parties, off-campus house parties and bars.

What do you think the impact of Greek life is on nightlife?
Greek life is not that big of an impact on UVM. They kicked some of them off campus. They’re cracking it down and fraternities are scaling back and focusing on recruitment and what they can do, rather than parties because everyone is on thin ice. The fraternity and sorority scene are a lot lighter than it used to be, and every year it becomes lighter and lighter.

Campus Culture

Female Nursing Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s really positive, especially freshman year when everybody’s in the same boat and trying to get to know people. I think if you’re interested in Greek life it’s beneficial to get involved with that because you meet a lot of people through that.

How would you describe the student body?
The student body is very diverse. There are people from all walks of life and there is no way that you cannot find someone like you or want to be friends with. It is so beneficial to put yourself out there and get involved on campus.

To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Although I think UVM is diverse, it’s not super diverse racially, [it is 77% White]. However, it is very diverse in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity. In that sense, it’s very welcoming for people who are different than everyone else.

Female Animal Science Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the overall social scene at UVM?
People at UVM are really nice. Almost everyone wants to have a good time and hang out. We will make plans with each other to relax on the grass, get a group to go to the mountain or the waterfront, and just have a good time.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
UVM is very accepting, everyone is different in their own way and the student body is generally respectful of individuality. There are obviously people who aren’t, but it does not fit because everyone around promotes uniqueness and individuality. No one gets left out for anything. There are also always groups for support.

There have been protests going on last year though about how UVM faculty and people who were running UVM how they’re not being overly inclusive and how there are not letting people in of different races in for some reason. At a higher-level people are seeing it’s not [as inclusive], but at a community level from the students’ perspective, we are very inclusive.

Male Business Major C/O 2020

How did you meet your closest friends?
I met some of my closest friends and girlfriend during my freshman year in Harris-Millis and they were on the same floor as me. I met other close friends during a travel study in Boston and we met in the Sports and Management Program. We see each other almost every day.

What was the travel study program you did?
In spring break UVM offers travel studies where for a week each semester you basically take an online class and during spring break you go somewhere. I went to Boston, but you can also go to Costa Rica or Europe. I really like that it relieves the course load with an online class, you still have 3 credits and you get to travel somewhere in the spring.

Burlington, VT

Pros of

  • “It’s such a small community. You’ll walk half a mile to the co-op, get eggs, and you’ll have like ten conversations with people you know. That can be a pro or a con depending on what type of person you are.”
  • “It’s close to the mountains for skiing and there is the lake for when the weather is nice. You can have a good time when it is warm and when it is cold.”
  • “It’s really close to Montreal. It’s about an hour and a half away, so it’s very accessible.”
  • “It’s such a big college town. You have a big college population from UVM, Champlain Collge, and Burlington College. Because of that, you always have stuff going on that’s geared towards students, whether that be parties or activities with student discounts.”

Cons of

  • “It’s a liberal bubble. If you’re not ready for people having very strict opinions, and lots of protests and rallies, it may be hard. One of our buildings was occupied, and I think that’s very cool to see that level of political activism, but if you aren’t ready for that, it may be hard.”
  • “The connectivity. The buses to Boston are infrequent and sometimes expensive. It can be a little bit hard to travel home.”
  • “The snow. I’m not used to the snow they have in Burlington. Vermont does have blizzards, but you are going to school unless the professor cancels class. UVM doesn’t cancel classes.” [Burlington averages 75 inches of snow a year, almost triple the USA average.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Nursing Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about UVM before entering as a freshman?
There’s not much I would say I wish I knew because getting there and being able to explore was really beneficial. I do wish that I was more familiar with the dorm styles. I was put on Trinity Campus, which is kind of far away and doesn’t feel too college-y. That made it a little bit more difficult, and I wish I knew that before I got to my dorm.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
UVM is pretty much a straight shot, so you can go from Trinity Campus straight to Redstone Campus. I don’t think people realize how easy it is to get around campus, but if you spend the time to figure out the campus it’s beneficial. I also think it’s important to figure out where all the dorm buildings are around campus.

Female Animal Science Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew before you entered UVM as a freshman?
I didn’t know large lecture halls would be so difficult. It’s tough getting taught by one professor who is way down in front, so you can barely see [the professor] or the board, and can’t talk to people around you. It was a big shock from high school to see many classes taught by one person to that many students at one time.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Go to Church Street to see how Burlington is. You get a good tour of the school and get to see all the buildings. They should walk past all of the dorms because you don’t get to see Trinity and Jeanne Mance close to Church Street, both are a bit off campus. You can end up in either of those as a freshman when you had no idea that they even exist. What really sealed the deal for me was checking out Downtown, because it is beautiful and is so close.

Male Business Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew before you entered UVM as a freshman?
I wish I had known how heavy the drug scene is here. At UVM it is all about [marijuana] and people are smoking a lot. Weed is a really heavy influence around this campus. [Although the state of Vermont legalized cannabis possession and consumption for individuals 21 and older, University of Vermont does not allow cannabis possession or consumption on UVM property.]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The North Beach. I didn’t know about it before I came to this campus, and it’s a frequent thing to do when it’s warm. When I visited the school, I looked at Church Street and went to the waterfront. I don’t go to Church Street or the waterfront that often, but I go to the beach or play sports outside often. I wish I was able to see the beach before I came here because that would have been a big deciding factor.

Reasons to attend and not to attend University of Vermont

To Attend

  • “The community is really nice. People want to have a good time and try to include you as a friend. You always meet new people.”
  • “If you like skiing and snowboarding, definitely go to UVM. Everyone is going to the mountains in the winter.”
  • “Easy going, flexible people do really well at UVM. If you see yourself as that, you’d do well here.”
  • “It’s big enough that you’ll always see people you know on campus, but you also meet new people every single day.”

To Not Attend

  • “There are going to be in larger classes. If you don’t like being an anonymous face in a class, then it’s not for you. That being said, the big classes have T.A.’s that are super accessible.”
  • “If you don’t like the cold and snow. People can be seen wearing a ski mask to class because of the wind, the snow, and the freezing cold.”
  • “The distance from a lot of things is a negative. You have to take connecting flights to get to Burlington.”
  • “If you like smaller schools, UVM might not be the right school because UVM is big. It can be overwhelming for people who are not used to bigger schools.”
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