Friday, April 26, 2013

Women’s Colleges and the International Student

If you are an international student thinking about attending college in the United States, I encourage you to read Sarah Tulimat’s article, “Why Women’s Colleges?

From Sarah's article:

"After over three years in the United States, the most common question I get from people: How did you learn about Mount Holyoke College? Did you know it was a women’s college and how did you feel about that?

I almost always answer with a big laugh. I learned about Mount Holyoke College by coincidence through reading a blog post of an MIT admission officer. The admission officer was talking about a conference he attended regarding colleges that support international students well, both financially and educationally. Matt, the MIT admission officer, suggested that many international students overlook small good liberal arts schools. Most likely because they only hear of big names such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, etc. However, there are many other schools that provide similar educational quality but are not known to the international students’ community.

In that post, Matt provided a list of great liberal arts schools that offer financial aid for international students, especially since he knows that financial aid is a determining factor for choosing schools for us. Mount Holyoke, a small research liberal arts school was on top of Matt’s list. From his post, I visited Mount Holyoke’s webpage, browsed through its pages researching admission requirements and students life on campus. The beautiful campus pictures caught my attention, and I quickly started thinking to myself: I like this college; I think I want to apply. Mount Holyoke, however, was much more unique than many other schools I have looked at. It is a women’s college.

In the beginning, I was slightly uncomfortable with the idea. Why would a college in the United States accept only women? I mean, I grow up in Syria... and even in Syria we did not have universities for women only. Most of us who attend the public school system have to attend girl’s schools or boy’s schools. However, our expectation for college completely differs. From that perspective, I disliked the idea that this school I have just discovered and liked is for women only. The only connection I made with single sex education was a conservative and a protective environment. And I did not want anything like that for my college education. I wanted to go to the United States to experience a diverse set of views and ideas, in a much more open atmosphere than that available at home. Well, it turned out, Mount Holyoke, and other famous women’s colleges had nothing to do with conservative and closed minded ideals."

To read the rest of Miss Tulimat’s article, click here.

Mount Holyoke College is a liberal arts college for women in South Hadley, MA, click here to learn more about the college.

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