Student Experiences at the University of Texas at Austin

Alyson earned her bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in writing tutoring, French tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, she shares her experience at the University of Texas at Austin:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options. 

Alyson: The campus has an on-campus bus that runs in a circle to help students get from one side of campus to the other. There are also public buses that run to campus from almost anywhere in the city. Lots of students have bikes, but I didn’t. I had a car on campus, but never used it because the buses were so convenient.

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

Alyson: The staff at UT Austin is very available. While some have walk-in hours, I always preferred to make an appointment. They all worked really well through email, too.

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

Alyson: I never lived in the dorms. I lived in an apartment my junior year and a house by campus my senior year. I like the freedom and independence I felt, because I thought the dorms would make me feel too constricted.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? 

Alyson: UT Austin is known for its sports, as well as its business and law schools. The liberal arts programs were all very good as well. I double-majored in French and English. French was my passion, but I added English because I needed the credits to graduate. My advisor was super helpful in guiding me to choose English, and I felt supported the whole time I was at UT Austin.

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?

Alyson: I didn’t participate in Greek life, but it did have a nice presence on campus. I mostly spent my extra time outside of school working and studying, and I still made plenty of friends.

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

Alyson: I didn’t utilize this at UT Austin, but I know there were career fairs offered to students through the center.

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

Alyson: UT Austin is a big campus with lots of choices for where to study or hangout. I never found spaces overcrowded, and since there were so many, I could always find somewhere to study quite easily.

Describe the surrounding town.

Alyson: Austin, Texas is a fantastic city with lots to do. It’s very green and beautiful, so if you like nature, you’ll love it there. You can hike, swim, kayak, canoe, and generally never get bored. The urban side is incredible, too—tons of restaurants, shopping, music venues, and festivals. I’d say students go all over, but campus wasn’t too far from downtown anyway. Late night buses were also available to take students to and from campus safely.

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

Alyson: UT is a huge university. The lower-level classes were lecture, and would hold easily over 100 students. When you got further along in your specific major, however, the classes got much smaller and more intimate, with around 10-to-20 students. I loved the variety in class sizes.

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

Alyson: In one of my courses, I gave a presentation with a partner. The professor’s wife attended that day, which was unusual. My partner and I aced the presentation. It was about the Sirens chapter of Ulysses, and I remember that the professor’s wife came up to us after class to compliment us specifically about how impressed she was with our understanding of the subject matter. It just seemed really unique to get a compliment like that from the professor’s wife. I feel really lucky to have gotten to take that class, as it was the professor’s last one before he retired.


Check out Alyson’s tutoring profile.

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