Type: Public, 4-year university
Located: Bowling Green, OH
Size: a little bit under 15,000 undergraduate students
Cost (for 2008-2009): $23, 768 USD
Degree Offerings: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral
Out of State: 10%
Navigating the website
Before we look a bit more in-depth into my visit at BGSU, let’s make sure you know how to get to the International Students portion of the website. From the main page, click on the “http://www.bgsu.edu/future_students/” (located in green) near the top of the website. This page will, obviously, lead you to a section for all prospective BGSU students – both domestic and international. For information about international admissions, please look to your left under the “Information” section and choose the link that says “International Students.” This link will then take you to a section that talks very briefly about life at BGSU for International Students; for a more in-depth look, and to apply for Admission, click on the link that says “Center for International Programs” – which is basically a combination of International Student Affairs and Study Abroad Advising. From the Center for International Programs website, you can find “International Undergraduate Admissions” located on the left hand side of the page.
Now that we have figured out how to navigate the website, let’s get on to the campus review. I have to be completely honestly and tell you that I did not find BGSU’s campus to be visually appealing. I don’t think that there is anything distinctive about BGSU. Most of the colleges that I have seen have had “landmarks” that they can point to in order to define themselves in one image, and I didn’t find this to be the case at BGSU. I’m really disappointed to report that what I did see, I didn’t particularly like. It’s not that BGSU had a “dirty looking” campus (it was actually fairly well kept), I just found it to be very ordinary and plain. However, these are just my opinions, so I do invite you to look at my pictures and research a bit more about the school in order to develop your own.
As far as living on campus goes, I was informed that most students do choose to live on campus at BGSU since there is a 2-year campus living requirement that all incoming freshmen are required to sign. BGSU is home to around 17 residence facilities, housing 7,000 students annually. In terms of campus living, there are a few options to choose from, provided that you are willing to pay a little extra.
For an example, in addition to the 17 residence halls, BGSU students can either live in houses with their Greek organizations, in off campus apartments, or in residential learning and theme communities. Each Living Community serves a different purpose; for an example, the Arts Village is typically home to those who are trying to become more in-tuned with their creative side, citing that it is the Village’s mission to “explore all aspects of the arts and sharing views with one another and faculty of various disciplines.” I think the most relevant example for our purposes is BGSU’s Global Village living community. I don’t know how popular this option is, but all residents within this community take a course with an international focus, and live together in a place that hopes to “enhance international understanding and academic success.”
Clubs & Organizations on Campus
As I have mentioned before, most students do choose to live on (or very close to) BGSU since you can find most of what you need on campus. They also choose to stick around BGSU on weekends and partake in the numerous activities that can be found either on or off campus. With over 325 student organizations (ranging from multicultural student organizations to community service oriented groups), and a Greek population of about 13%, BGSU does have an outlet for those who want to become apart of the campus community. As far as how “active” these other organizations are, I obviously cannot say, but I do know that most people in Ohio view BGSU to be a party school. Of course, the “party culture” is usually a big part of a typical US College/University, so just be sure to keep that in mind wherever you decide to go.
Diversity at BGSU
Bowling Green State University states that it “changes the world by degrees” — a slogan that leads me to believe that it works hard to expose itself and its students to as much culture and diversity as possible. However, given the statistics provided by The Princeton Review, I have reservations on what BGSU defines diversity to be. For me (and I think for most people), diversity means exposing one self to as many “multicultural encounters” as possible – whether it is meeting people from various ethnic backgrounds or learning about how the rest of the world lives. With that being said, I must confess that I am a bit confused by what BGSU’s own Center for Multicultural Academic Initiatives has to say about diversity at BGSU. According to their pamphlet, “For some, Bowling Green State University will be the most diverse place they have ever lived, while others will be surprised by the lack of diversity. CMAI is a place to connect with staff and students to smooth your transition to BGSU. Although leaving the comforts of home and going to a new diverse living and learning environment is exciting, it can also be challenging … ” I think it’s apparent that the word “diversity” has multiple meanings in this statement, and I found it to be a bit confusing. I know that I do not usually comment much on the diversity of a specific institution, but I thought that this subject needed to be addressed since BGSU is claiming to have such a global appeal.
As far as resources for international students go, BGSU provides the typical services one would expect from an International Program would provide – advising for international students, counseling, and also aiding in career placement. BGSU’s International Students can also enjoy the academic services that are available to all BGSU students, such as help from the Math and Statistics Tutoring Center and also peer editing at the Writing Center, just to name a few. Aside from these services, BGSU’s International Office also concerns itself with being a liaison between its international students and the Bowling Green Language Institute.
To sum it all up ….
Overall, I wasn’t impressed by BGSU. I found it to be an unmemorable visit and, regrettably, indistinctive. However, I do know quite a few people who go to BGSU and truly love it like a second home; I’m just not one of those people. Nevertheless, I do invite you to learn more about BGSU – who knows, maybe you’ll see something in it that I am missing.
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