An Interview On
Brown University


Interview Date:May 2018

Gender Identity: Woman
Race/Ethnicity: Mixed race and I identify as Chinese-American
Graduation Year: 2018
Sexual Orientation: Queer
High School Experience: Public high school in Palo Alto, CA with a graduating class of about 400 students.
Concentration: South Asian Classics, and I also took classes for Pre-Med but did not double concentrate
Extracurricular Activities: I work at a school nearby. I also was really heavily involved with the tutoring program for refugee youth in Providence.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your concentration?
The workload for my concentration was pretty light. It was just two years of language classes and then also history classes and comparative literature classes. So most of it was writing papers.

Is there anything that you feel your department does especially well or especially poorly?
It’s small, so I felt like I knew people in the department. I didn’t think the South Asian Classics department was particularly well engaged with the rest of the university and struggled to work through diversity and to be inclusive of students of other identities.

Can you describe the learning environment in your concentration?
Most of my classes were under 10 people and the majority of my professors were White men. [About 11% of Humanities faculty are non-White or non-Asian. About 54% are male.]

Why did you choose your concentration?
I was interested in getting better at translating as practice and I found philosophy interesting at that point.

Are you happy with your concentration choice?
Yeah, it was a really small concentration. I finished it in two years and then the rest of the time I took to refocus on classes about education and systems of care. Overall, I would say it doesn’t feel like a super large part of my experience.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in Wayland my freshman year in a double.

Sophomore: Barbour in a double bedroom but it was a four-person suite with a kitchen and a bathroom

Junior and Senior: Off campus

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I think I personal felt safe during my time at Brown, but I think that is somewhat a product of luck. I think Brown has serious work to do around how they protect students who are experiencing sexual violence. But there was nothing that happened to me that would make me feel particularly unsafe.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I spent quite a bit of time off-campus. Anywhere on the west side or south side of Providence is away from campus and Brown students don’t really go to either of those areas. Mostly when I’m going off campus I’m working with youth, so those are always my favorite times.

Pros and cons of being in Providence, RI?
Pros: (1) It’s a really easy city to get around that is not super big and overwhelming.
(2) I think it’s a creative city. There are a lot of artists and community organizations that are really amazing.
(3) It has good food.

Cons: (1) The weather sucks, and I think that’s kind of it. I actually really love living in Providence.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I mostly go to off-campus parties that are showcasing student talent or music. I also just like to lay low with friends or go to bars around campus.

What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Can you describe a typical night freshman year?
Probably wandering around, stumbling into random frat houses and going back to my dorm pretty early.

What have been your favorite nights at college?
Spring Weekend is always fun. Also, Campus Dance is a really fun thing that a lot of alumni come back for. Then, honestly, just going to the student bar with my friends, having a few drinks, and going home.

What are some alternatives to going to a party or bar that you like to go to?
Sometimes I will go see a movie or a play.

How happy are you with the nightlife at Brown?
I don’t feel super excited about it, but it also wasn’t terrible.

How did being Queer affect your nightlife experience?
I feel I found the right community of people, which allowed me to have a good time.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
My closest friend is my roommate from freshman year, and my other closest friends I met through working in the tutoring program.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Brown?
I think it’s really heavily reliant on social media, and maybe a little bit competitive.

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Brown by their senior year?
Yeah, I think most people are glad they came here.


Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I haven’t really used it.

To what extent have you used the career office?
I’ve used it once or twice. I got a grant from it once.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew before entering Brown as a freshman?
I wish I had known what departments were stronger than others and which ones would have been good for me to spend more time in.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I think if you visit Brown you kind of miss the city of Providence in general, so I would encourage students to go downtown or try eating at places other than on campus and stuff. Just try to get a better sense of the city vibe.

Reasons to attend Brown:
1) I think the strong History department is a good reason.
2) The location in Providence.
3) There are lots of amazing lecturers and visitors.
4) Cheap rent if you decide to live off campus.

Reasons to not attend Brown:
1) It’s expensive, and that’s it.

Notice: Brown University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Brown University.

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