A Day in the Life at Rice University

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Ankita is a Houston tutor and a junior at Rice University. She is majoring in Cognitive Science and specializes in many subjects such as Trigonometry tutoring, Biology tutoring, ACT prep tutoring and SAT prep tutoring. Check out her review of Rice:

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? 

Ankita: Rice is really special in that it is one of the few universities that has completely balanced a beautiful, spacious campus in the middle of an urban city. Walking beneath the trees that form a canopy above you, it is very easy to forget you are in a city. But one step beyond the hedges you are a two-minute walk from the metro, allowing you to easily get to museums, concerts, and restaurants. 

VT:  How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants? 

Ankita: It is almost overwhelming the number of resources you have, but in a good way.

VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Ankita: Rice is set up Hogwarts style, which means we are randomly divided among 11 residential colleges where we will spend our four years at Rice. The result of this is mini representations of the student body, a close-knit community that creates a unique atmosphere at Rice.

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?

Ankita: The Sciences and Engineering are really strong at Rice, with tons and tons of opportunities. Rice is also a great place to be a pre-med student, with the largest medical center in the world literally right outside.

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?

Ankita: Rice’s Orientation week is one of the most important weeks of the year. Advisors are hand picked to create a team of friendly, knowledgeable people who will gladly devote their time to learn the name of each freshman at the college before they arrive. As a result, the freshmen are quickly integrated into their college, and before O-week is over are convinced their college is the best.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus? 

Ankita: Yes, they constantly have fairs with companies coming to visit.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, student union, and dorm lounges?  Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious? 

Ankita: Other than finals week, I think it is easy to find space to study and hang out.

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? 

Ankita: Houston is great! And with our location, the zoo, museum district, and downtown can be accessed by the metro which, thanks to Rice, we ride for free. 

VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes? 

Ankita: I think Rice is a perfect size. It’s on the smaller end, but you don’t feel lost, and I still walk around campus and see new faces. 

VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Ankita: I took a class on Pediatric Global Health, a seminar series that I do not think I could have taken anywhere else. Every week we had visionaries that advocated for Global Health come from the medical center and around the world to share their work.

Check out Ankita’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.