- Class: Senior
- Major: Russian Studies
- Gender: F
- High School: Bethlehem Central
- Transfer Student: N
Bard offers a unique experience: The faculty is top-notch and easily accessible, the campus is spread out (600 acres) but comfortable, and the people are great. Our academics give you a structure but encourage exploration, and our seminar-style classes (we don't offer lecture classes) encourage participation and critical thinking. I wish that smoking weren't as prevalent, but that's been my biggest complaint.
The average class size is about 15 students, and you'll get to know your professors and classmates pretty well, whether you try to or not. Every class is taught by a Bard professor (we have no TAs). All faculty members are required to take on student advisees and hold office hours each week. The distribution requirement encourages students to explore areas outside of their major area by compelling students to take classes in each of the four divisions of the college: Arts; Languages and Literatures; Social Sciences; and Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing. In addition, the First Year Seminar gives the entire college a common base of knowledge to build on. The consensus among graduates seems to be that no matter what you do after Bard, you'll be well prepared.
The only box you can put all Bard students is just that; Bard is about the only thing that all 1700 of us have in common. Most of us have political beliefs that fall left of center, though there are exceptions, as there are exceptions to every rule here. As far as the make-up of the student body: more than 10% of students have international backgrounds, we have students from almost every state, we represent every rung of the socio-economic ladder and the whole of the gender and sexuality spectrum. We could be doing better on racial and ethnic diversity on campus, but there are programs in place to work on this issue.
The Best Things
Blithewood on a warm, sunny day. Or the waterfall.
The Worst Things
A lot of smokers. The dining hall needs to be expanded (we're working on this one).