The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish from Trinity University. She is currently a tutor in San Antonio specializing in Geography tutoring, History tutoring, Spanish tutoring, and several other subjects. See what she had to say about her experience at Trinity University:
VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?
Sarah: The Trinity University campus is in the heart of San Antonio, about 10 minutes north of downtown, 10 minutes south of the San Antonio International Airport, and just five minutes away from a major shopping area. Public transportation is extremely limited, and most students depend on cars for travel.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Sarah: Professors are always very available, and they are willing to help students grow. Professors act as academic advisers and teach all of their classes. Some introductory-level classes do have peer tutors, which are similar to teaching assistants. Peer tutors sometimes facilitate discussions during classes, but they mainly lead study groups or tutoring sessions outside of class. Because Trinity University is a small school, students and professors often form bonds that last past graduation. I graduated in 2011, and I still seek advice from two of my former professors.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Sarah: Trinity University has mandatory on-campus living for three years. All the dorms and dining facilities are very nice, and they are constantly being updated. The three-year living requirement means that one’s friends are never far away and that there is always something going on.
VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?
Sarah: Trinity University is a liberal arts school. Students are required to take a wide variety of general education classes, as well as courses focusing on their major. I studied International Studies and Spanish because the subjects had always interested me, and I wanted to work internationally. As I have said before, Trinity University is a small school, and they do a good job of supporting all of their departments.
VT: 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?
Sarah: I had absolutely no trouble making friends my freshman year. Though I did rush and join a sorority, about half of my friends did not. My non-Greek friends also had no trouble forming lasting friendships. Greek life is a pretty big part of the Trinity University social scene, but it does not make or break your social life. Rush is a semester-long process, and it is a great opportunity to make new friends even if you decide not to join Greek life. Some of my closest friends are those I met through rush, even though we ended up joining different sororities.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Sarah: As great as Trinity University is, I have never found the Career Center to be very helpful. Many organizations do recruit on campus. Trinity University holds a career fair every year, and organizations frequently hold information sessions in the student union.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Sarah: They are numerous, convenient, and spacious. Trinity University offers many different types of study areas to accommodate as many learning habits as possible. Each dorm has at least one study room, with the more modern ones having one or more on each floor. On upper campus, where the classrooms are, each building also has multiple study rooms. Most students choose to study in the library. The library has four levels. The area near the coffee shop is more social, and students often hang out on the nearby couches when taking a much deserved study break. Coates University Center, the student union, was recently updated, and it is the main thoroughfare for students passing through on their way to and from classes. It also contains one of the school’s dining halls.
VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus?
Sarah: There is always something going on in San Antonio. I do not ever remember being bored as a student. There are a number of restaurants and shopping areas nearby, the zoo is within walking distance, and downtown is an easy 10-minute drive on the freeway.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Sarah: The student body is small. Class sizes average around 25 students, which I liked. The small class sizes enabled professors and students to get to know each other, which in turn made students more accountable for their attendance and participation in class.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Sarah: One of my favorite classes was called “The Individual in World Politics.” The professor divided us into three groups, with each group reading a different book. Our project was to read the book and then relate it back to the class in the form of a 30-minute skit. I do not think I ever had more fun learning about a topic.
Check out Sarah’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.