What is it Like to Attend Fairfield University?

Owen earned his bachelor’s degree in theatre from Fairfield University. He specializes in English tutoring, test prep tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, he shares his experience at Fairfield University:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options.

Owen: Fairfield University feels like an oasis. It resides in the beautiful suburban beach town of Fairfield, Connecticut. From end to end, one can walk this lovely campus in about thirty minutes. The compact nature creates a sense of community that is unique to Fairfield; everyone’s face feels familiar and every destination feels close. And escaping the oasis is easy: a free shuttle runs a loop every half hour, to the train station (which provides a direct line to Grand Central Station in New York City), the downtown area, and the local supermarket.

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

Owen: The physical sense of community and easy access extends to the professors. Fairfield’s typically small class sizes allow for students to form genuine relationships with their educators. Professors go beyond making themselves available for regular office hours. They take time to talk with students after classes, offer research partnerships, and recommend books tailored to one’s interests. Some will even sit down with a student for coffee and offer valuable career counseling and insight. One always gets the feeling that the professors take their work with students seriously and that they want what is best for their students.

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

Owen: From top to bottom, the university works to maintain a continuous sense of community. Dorm life is a key piece of this community. Incoming freshmen are surveyed based on preferences, like average bed time and study habits, then placed with a roommate who is a good match. The semi-random assignment process pushes freshmen to make new friends on the first day. Official events support community bonding, but often, it’s the casual drop-ins, the open doors, and friendly hellos that build the sense of togetherness among hallmates. Fairfield only has one main dining hall, called Barone, and it extends the communal feeling of the dorms outward. It’s hard to walk into the dining hall without seeing a friend from a class, a dorm, or a club, and Barone can provide an all-day space for socialization and studying.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?

Owen: The university is a force in the worlds of nursing and business, boasting two excellent schools for both that produce students who are almost immediately employed after graduation. The majors outside of these programs also offer wonderful opportunity and support. I can say personally that my experience as a theatre major at Fairfield has led in large part to my deep love and appreciation for my time at the university. I had professors who were actively interested in my personal and academic growth, who worked alongside me to produce plays, and who always pushed me to realize my potential to create brilliant theatre.

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?

Owen: Meeting people as a freshman can take time, but the school works hard to create spaces for building relationships. Each dorm has weekly events for all of its residents. Clubs actively seek out new recruits and eagerly bring them into the fold. Movie nights, lecture series, concerts, church services, and community outings stack the monthly calendar with opportunities to make friends. In my experience, my closest and most quickly-made friends came from my involvement in clubs and extracurricular programs. Each club functions as a community within the larger community, and these mini-communities take care of their members. Everyone is offered opportunities to be responsible for some aspect of the club and chances to gain respect by working alongside veteran club members as an equal.

Fairfield’s active club, program, and sports communities take the place of Greek life on campus. For me, the absence of fraternities and sororities seemed to facilitate making friends across diverse groups of people.

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

Owen: Because of the business and nursing Schools' prominent reputations, high profile companies consistently recruit on campus. I had a strong idea of my path immediately after college and did not make much use of the career center, however I did make use of other support services. The school’s counseling service is filled with compassionate and qualified individuals who, like the professors, always have a student’s best interests at heart.

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

Owen: Every dorm at Fairfield has multiple lounges and study areas that are available to any student. The library is spacious and filled with a variety of resource rooms for a number of purposes. Around finals time, the resource rooms get quite crowded and often require a reservation, but students are also free to use classrooms as study spaces—ensuring that everyone has the space they need to prepare.

Describe the surrounding town.

Owen: The town surrounding the university has a quiet suburban feel. There are a number of good restaurants and coffee shops in the downtown area, but in terms of nightlife, the town itself is quiet. Students mostly stay on campus to socialize, but there is typically enough going on to keep everyone engaged and happy. One of the true perks of Fairfield University is its proximity to Fairfield Beach. Many seniors live in beach houses, and there are a number of memorable events held at the beach.

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

Owen: My experience with the Fairfield Theatre program involving one of my professors was a microcosm of the broader Fairfield University experience. At one point, in a moment of crisis, I turned to one of my professors and spilled out a myriad of academic struggles, fears of the future, and personal doubts. Sitting in her office, we talked through a plan and a path for the future. She expressed firm, unyielding belief in my ability to become a successful student and artist, and offered continued support along the way. I have stayed in contact with her ever since, checking in for career advice, encouragement, and wisdom. That kind of personal relationship is something that the Fairfield University community fosters. The small classes, the inclusive atmosphere of clubs and programs, and the student-centered approach create a space where mentors and friends seem to be around every corner.



Check out Owen’s  tutoring profile.

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