The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Kim is a Milwaukee tutor specializing in French tutoring, Algebra tutoring, Statistics tutoring and more. She is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in Atmospheric Science. See what she had to say about her school:
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?
Kim: UW-Milwaukee is a very tight-knit campus, giving the ability to walk from one corner of campus to the other in 15 minutes or less. UW-Milwaukee is located on the eastside of Milwaukee, which gives the benefit of multiple busing options to different parts of the city and surrounding suburbs. Many students who live off campus bike or walk to school and there are also many commuters who drive. Basically UWM is very versatile. Being located in a city, there is a question of safety but UWM does all they can to make students feel safe by providing SAFE walkers, and BOSS (basically a student shuttle to anywhere within 2 miles off campus).
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Kim: All professors and TAs have office hours, usually twice a week, and are able to schedule appointments. Academic advisers require an appointment but 99% of the time you can be scheduled within a week. In my experience, most advisers, professors, and TAs all want you to succeed and will do anything they can to help.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, and socialization opportunities with other students?
Kim: There are technically five dorm buildings, only one of which is on campus. However, the one on campus houses close to 3,000 students. The off campus dorms all have housing shuttles which take students to campus. Two of the off campus dorms are fairly new and are very nice—I’ve heard them be compared to apartment buildings. The other dorms are your average dorm, but no community bathroom is a plus! There are lots of dining options due to the large amount of students living on campus. Vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, or allergies? There are still lots of options for you! The dorms also put on a lot of events to help you get to know other students and there is a movie theater in the on-campus dorm playing movies that are no longer in theaters but not on DVD yet.
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?
Kim: I chose to be an Atmospheric Science major because I love the weather and I chose UWM because it is a small major with a lot of opportunities, great professors, and gaining experience. Although my major is small, maybe the smallest on campus, the university did give me scholarship, study abroad, and internship opportunities specifically for my major. My major is definitely underrepresented because of its size but the majors most represented are Nursing, Engineering, and Journalism. I say this mainly because of the amount of "advertisement" for these majors around campus and the fact that they are large, popular majors.
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?
Kim: Meeting people can at first seem difficult because many people come to UWM from Wisconsin and already know people from their high schools, but if you look for opportunities to meet people, it becomes easy to make friends. There are clubs for pretty much anything, events for all types of people (for example, LGBT film festival, French film festival, etc.). We do have Greek life at UWM but it is not a very large role in campus social life. There are many sororities and fraternities to choose from but there are no sorority houses due to Milwaukee city laws.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Kim: I have no ever gone to the Career Center but there are always a number of career fairs, major fairs, and other opportunities available every semester. I have seen a lot of big name companies advertise internships on campus so it seems as though they recognize UWM students as hard-working.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Kim: There are thousands of computers available for use across campus and even an online website to check and see where there are computers open before going there. During finals, the study areas are much more full but there is always somewhere to escape to. The library is huge with multiple levels, the union has study lounges, and each floor of every dorm has at least one study lounge. There is always some place quiet to go.
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?
Kim: Being located in Milwaukee, there is always something to do. We are about one mile off of Lake Michigan, so when the weather is nice, there is always someplace tranquil to go. There are also numerous festivals and events, and being in a big city allows for popular musicians to hold concerts. There is also a shopping mall that is just a close bus ride away. A lot of students go off campus for socialization mainly because there is so much to do between the festivals, bar scene, concerts, movie theaters, etc. The outside establishments make the city very fun and interesting. There is always something to do on the weekends.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Kim: The student body is large; around 30,000 students attend UWM, but class sizes vary. Usually, 100 level classes are large in big lecture classes but once you get into your majors classes, class size drastically decreases (depending on your major) and you can really get to know your classmates, professors, and feel like you are a part of a smaller campus. I was always pleased with my class size and because I got the experience of both a large and small class size, I was able to experience large university life and small university life.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Kim: One great memory I have is the last day of the semester, after we turned in our take-home final, our professor took our class out for a drink at the campus bar. Keep in mind, everyone in the class was 21 and the class size was around 13. Our professor recognized all our hard work and cared about getting to know us. I will never forget this because I never thought a professor would want to be seen with a group of students. It was a very difficult class for my major and he knew we all needed to let off some steam at the end of the semester and celebrate that we made it through.
Check out Kim’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.