Should I Go To Georgia State University?

Galina earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Georgia State University. She specializes in Spanish tutoring, algebra tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, she shares her experience at Georgia State University:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options. 

Galina: I attended the downtown campus of Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a big urban campus, with classrooms as close as 1 to 2 minutes and as far as 40 minutes walking distance from one another. There were buses that took the students around the campus, but I always walked. One aspect of being a downtown campus is, of course, the safety. We always had to keep our eyes open and pay attention to our surroundings.

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

Galina: For the most part, my professors were available both in-person and via email. I would receive a response via email within 24 hours, sometimes even within a few hours of reaching out. I did not interact with many teaching assistants as an undergraduate student, but I always made sure I was available to students who needed help when I was working as GRA myself.

I did not seek much help from the advisers. After the initial dialogue, I felt I was not getting much value out of speaking with my adviser. However, right now my cousin is going to the same university, and she works a lot with her adviser. It may all depend on the individual adviser.

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

Galina: During my first year I lived in the Student Lofts—housing designated for the scholarship students. However, for the following year, despite keeping my scholarship, myself and many other students were reassigned to the University Commons—basically, the housing for anyone who wanted to live on campus. In addition, at the Lofts I only had one roommate, who was also a scholar and a dedicated student. However, when we got reassigned to the Commons, we were going to share a six-person dorm.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?

Galina: GSU has a very strong business school, best known for its risk management and insurance department and managerial science department. We also have an incredible foreign language department, specifically one of the strongest Spanish departments.  

I got my first undergraduate degree in actuarial science with a minor in Spanish language. But as I was finishing, I realized that my heart was really in something more international, and I did not see myself stuck with numbers all day long. As a result, I enrolled in a dual degree program of a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a Master’s degree in international business with a focus in Latin America. I couldn’t have been happier.

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?

Galina: For me, it has always been easy to make new friends. I did not have any problems striking up a conversation with someone. I had my extracurricular activities outside of the university and was very happy with that. I had no interest whatsoever in the Greek life—I didn’t even know what that was, so I never got involved with it and have no knowledge about its importance to the campus social life.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? 

Galina: The Career Center seemed somewhat helpful—some students were more successful than others. Sadly, the key to that success seemed to reside in having previous internship experience, even when looking for an internship. So, many students, myself included, felt left out and helpless when it came to finding an opportunity for an internship. At the same time, there were many well-known and reputable companies often hiring students as interns or full and part-time employees, especially when it came to graduates. Those were companies from all over the nation, from every industry. Overall, I think this was a good pool of companies.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Galina: In general, the libraries were a very good place to study if on one of the top three floors. The first two were usually noisy. The student center would normally be a pretty quiet place; one could even fall asleep or see others take a quick nap. The Lofts did not have dorm lounges, and the Commons were very noisy. There were some additional study places, some of them were somewhat hidden, which made them excellent study spots—quiet and helpful in concentrating.

Describe the surrounding town.

Galina: Since we were in the middle of downtown Atlanta, we had a relatively easy and quick access to the main city attractions—the Aquarium, the Coca-Cola museum, the CNN station, several parks, and the Midtown. I would say that the Midtown and the parks are the most picturesque and popular places to visit any time for the year, so there are always many students in those areas.

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

Galina: The student body was rather big; we were the second largest student body in the state. Also, our university is one of the top ones in the state for the first-generation college students, so many people celebrated the mere fact of being on campus and going to classes.

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

Galina: One of the most memorable experiences was my study abroad in Argentina, a course in Psychology/Spanish. We were learning about the Dirty Wars (Guerras Sucias) of the 1976-82, a time of military dictatorship. We learned not only about the history, but also about the people. That was an unforgettable experience, I highly recommend such a trip to anyone who wants to learn more, not only about the country and its history, but also about human nature.

Check out Galina’s tutoring profile.

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