The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach—they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Miguel is an online tutor specializing in algebra tutoring, biology tutoring, Spanish tutoring, and a number of other areas. He is currently a sophomore at the University of Miami majoring in public health. See what he had to share about the University of Miami:
Describe the campus setting and transportation options.
Miguel: The University of Miami is located in a very urban area. The campus has such an upbeat atmosphere—it looks like a resort, and it feels like I’m on vacation, but with homework! The University of Miami has excellent security, and they take pride in how well they protect the campus. I can walk around at any time, and I know I’m safe. They have strict protocol and police driving around campus at all hours. During orientation, campus police host a session going over safety on campus. There are Hurry ‘Canes, or shuttle buses that transport students around campus. On certain days, mostly weekends, the shuttle buses will transport students to local hangout spots like “The Grove.” The shuttle buses will also take students to football games during football season. Students do find having a bike on campus useful, but in my experience, it isn’t necessary.
How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants at University of Miami?
Miguel: Professors love the work they do. They have done or are actively doing research in their field. Professors genuinely enjoy talking to their students and helping them. They have office hours, but they’ll work with students to find a convenient time if necessary. Advising, when it is not registration time, is always available on a walk-in basis. Whenever you need an adviser, the wait is never longer than 30 minutes. Some professors even live on campus, and they are available after hours to assist students.
How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Miguel: Dorm life is very interactive. The dorms are small, but it’s all part of the college experience. You have the opportunity to meet people and establish relationships. The resident assistants also host events for your floor, which is another opportunity to meet your floor-mates. The residential colleges also have events where students are able to meet each other. Dining is buffet-style, with many options for every meal. This is where most people build relationships. You can always find someone to eat a meal with and to enjoy a nice chat with.
Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?
Miguel: The University of Miami has 12 colleges focusing on different areas. Every college has a good reputation, and they strive for the success of their students. Currently, I’m enrolled in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. My current major is public health. I just ended my freshman year, therefore I’m not too advanced in the major yet. I have been reading into different opportunities that the school has to offer, and there is plenty for all students.
How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?
Miguel: Greek life is prominent at the University of Miami. Fraternities and sororities are very involved on campus. Each of them show great pride in their brotherhood or sisterhood, but I did not join one. There are over 300 organizations on campus, so there is always something to join to meet people with the same interests. In my experience, I got along really well with my roommate and made friends through him. In other words, there are many ways to meet people and make friends.
How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services at University of Miami?
Miguel: The University of Miami has many connections locally and worldwide. We have the Toppel Career Center, which is the perfect place to find careers, internships, or simply establish connections in the workforce. I once went there for career advising, and the adviser gave me advice on which career is for me and how I should go about pursuing it. We also have the Launch Pad, which provides many entrepreneurial opportunities. If an individual has a product, idea, or business that he or she wants to pursue, the Launch Pad is the perfect place to begin such endeavors.
How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?
Miguel: The University of Miami has a spectrum of study areas. There is the completely quiet 24-hour room in the student center. There are the tables in the university center, which are perfect for social studying or group studying. The library has the “Stacks,” which are nine floors of complete silence. The library also has a semi-noisy environment on the first floor if that’s your cup of tea. There are gliders, or rocking benches, all over campus for those who enjoy studying outside. Each floor in the residential colleges has a study room that doesn’t fill up often. They range from quiet to noisy. And there are other random places to study, like the tables outside of the library or the chairs in the student center. Since there are so many places to study, each area always has space.
Describe the surrounding town at University of Miami.
Miguel: Miami is full of life! There is always something to do, and it ranges from relaxing beach days to art walks in Wynwood to going dancing. There are always different events happening in Miami. Miami is famous for its nightlife and diversity in culture. One can go to Little Havana and play dominoes in Dominoes Park, or listen to people playing music on instruments in Little Haiti. A nice place to have lunch is downtown Miami-Bayside. They have boat rides with tours that will show you Miami while on the water enjoying a nice drink. Miami does a great job with public transportation, and Uber is always available. There is also the metro-rail or the metro-buses to take you around the city.
How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Miguel: The University of Miami is a medium-sized university with approximately 11,000 undergraduates. My class currently has about 2,100 students. I enjoy this size in a university because there isn’t an overwhelming amount of students, and on the same note, the class isn’t so small that everyone knows each other. Class sizes are super personal except for the general, introductory classes like general biology or chemistry. I enjoy the size of classes because I actually get to know my professor, and vice versa. This also allows for one to make friends in a classroom because it is a lot more intimate.
Check out Miguel’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.