The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Robert graduated from Middlebury College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in French Literature and Music. He is now a New York City tutor specializing in IB prep tutoring, Trigonometry tutoring, all levels of French tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Take a look at his review of Middlebury College:
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?
Robert: Middlebury College is a very safe campus. It is in a rural setting in a lovely picturesque town in Vermont. However, it is slightly isolated. Most people at the college like that, though, as it creates a real sense of community. A beautiful walk, an incredible view, or a fun ski mountain are all extremely close. Bikes are popular to get around campus, but you can easily walk to class too. Cars are extremely useful for errands in town, as the buses are not that regular. It is also possible to bike or walk into town if you have time. There is a daily bus to Burlington or Rutland. Getting to and from Middlebury College at the beginning and end of the semester can be a bit of a drag too if you do not have a car. There is a ride-share bus or a ride-share taxi, but you can always ask friends for rides.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Robert: The academic assistance at Middlebury College is exemplary. Most professors are always willing to help, and teaching assistants are often assigned to classes. The library also runs an academic adviser program, which is free for students. It is very useful for students struggling with that one subject, students with general writing questions and queries, and even students wanting to practice their language skills.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Robert: Middlebury has very nice dorms and a great selection of single or double rooms, apartments, townhouses, houses, and even theme-based housing. The three dining halls are good too. Although in recent years the staff has tended to cut a few corners due to their budget, the food is still good, and there is a huge salad bar, panini machine, and stir-fry station. The huge advantage of Middlebury’s dining halls is that they are open for long hours, and you can help yourself to food as many times as you want. Middlebury is not known as a party school. There are always good restaurants and bars in town, though. There are always interesting speakers, concerts, and activities, so your weekends will never be boring.
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?
Robert: The Economics and Environmental Sciences departments are the most popular subjects at Middlebury. However, languages are one of Middlebury’s fortes. I studied French Literature and Music because these two subjects are my passions, but also because the professors in these departments were excellent.
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?
Robert: It is quite easy to meet people and make friends. There are a lot of fun clubs and activities that bring students with similar interests together. Greek life does exist in the form of co-ed social houses. “Greek” life plays quite an important role in student social life. The only other social events are organized by clubs, commons houses, or the Middlebury College Activities Board.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Robert: Yes. The Career Center is extremely useful, and many important and reputable multinational companies recruit on Middlebury College’s campus.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Robert: There are many available study areas, and each student has a favorite spot. Study areas do tend to get crowded during finals week, but the facilities are excellent for focused independent study or open group study.
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?
Robert: Most students stay on campus, but Burlington is close by. The town of Middlebury is only a 10-minute walk. There are many restaurants and coffee shops in Middlebury, as well as some beautiful mountains to climb and walks to hike nearby. In the winter, the skiing is fantastic, with ski resorts between 20 and 45 minutes away. In the summer, the lakes, rivers, and waterfall pools provide great entertainment. There is a movie theater in Middlebury and a laser tag facility, too.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Robert: Middlebury College is a small liberal arts college with approximately 2,500 students. The college is 51% female and 49% male. The class sizes were an average of 9:1 when I attended.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Robert: I really enjoyed my first year seminar. It was really exciting to just focus on my writing style and learn new writing techniques and forms with a fascinating professor. Often, the subject of a first year seminar is overlooked, but in this class, I also learned a lot about the topic and found the course materials to be really pertinent. It was a great way to start my time at Middlebury, and I hold especially fond memories of those first few months.
Check out Robert’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.