Livia Tosta • guest writer

Rose-Hulman is completely different from my college in Brazil. It starts with the fact that students can live on campus and ends with one of the most effective ways of teaching I have ever seen.
The first thing that caught my attention when I arrived here was the size of the campus and its prettiness. I like animals and nature in general, and it’s funny for me because in Brazil, we usually don’t have squirrels and raccoons. It was the first time that I’ve ever seen these animals. When I first saw a squirrel, it reminded me of the cartoon “Chip ‘n’ Dale,” which I used to watch when I was a child.
The infrastructure of the campus is impressive. The academic buildings are really good: the classrooms are comfortable, the labs are well-constructed, the auditoriums, the study rooms, everything is perfect. The recreational infrastructure of the campus gives students a lot of possibilities to exercise: the SRC and the tennis and volleyball courts are my favorites.
Another interesting characteristic for me is the fact that students can live on campus, which is not common in Brazil. I was used to living with my parents and going to my college either by car, which took me approximately twenty minutes, or by bus, which took me almost an hour. Living on campus is much better because it is easier (and faster) to go to classes, library, gym, etc. In addition to these advantages, the dorms are very comfortable and the housekeepers make me feel as if I were back at my home in Brazil.
The dedication of the professors to the students is amazing, and for me, one of the most impressive characteristics of the teaching model at Rose is the close relationship between students and professors, which is not common for colleges in Brazil. It is really helpful and makes you feel more comfortable and self-confident when you need to talk to them to clarify any doubt about homework or exams.
A second and really interesting point is the reduced number of students per class. In Brazil, I was used to having classes with at least forty students in most of the courses, even in the more specific courses that I took. I would say that taking classes with only a few students is much better because it makes me more attentive to the subject that is being taught. On the other hand, I believe it is better for the professor too, because the probability that the students will stop paying attention to the subject is smaller.
The only disadvantage, which I believe to be more a cultural aspect of the United States than a particular characteristic of Rose, is the fact that we must buy our own books for each of the courses that we are taking, and they are really expensive. Usually in Brazil, we don’t need to buy books because you can find them in the libraries in your college.
Studying at Rose for one year is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had, not only because of the language that I am practicing and learning, but mainly because of the new culture that I am in contact with all of the time and the new friends that I am making here, too. I can honestly say that Rose-Hulman will change my life forever.

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