Type: Public, 4 year university
Location: Athens, OH
Size: around 16,000 undergraduate students
Cost (for Fall 2009): $28,137 (including room and board for out-of-state students), $19,173 (room and board for in-state students)
Degree Offerings: Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral, First Professional
Greetings! Today, I would like to bring you along with me as I explore Ohio University, a state-affiliated college located in Athens, Ohio. The first university in the state of Ohio, OU currently enrolls over 16,500 undergraduates (but is not just an undergraduate school) and offers many types of degrees. According to collegeboard’s statistics, 90% of OU’s students come from Ohio, 10% from out-of-state, with a total of about 6% being international. The number of domestic multicultural students is also quite low; even the Admissions counselor who gave the presentation acknowledged that “Ohio University does struggle with racial diversity.”
Before we begin our look at Ohio University, let’s make sure that you know how to get to the International Students portion of the website. From the main page, click on the Future Students tab located on the left hand side, which will then lead you to a page for prospective students. From this page, hover over the “International Students” link provided and choose from the options provided — these options include Admission Information, English As A Second Language, and finally, International Student Services. Navigate these 3 sections in order to find out the information that you seek. Should you have any trouble, I was able to obtain the email address of the Admissions counselor who gave my presentation. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Athens
Ohio University’s campus is very, very lovely. I think it might be my favorite campus thus far. The drive to OU was a very scenic one, filled with rolling hills and plenty of trees — finally, a part of Ohio that wasn’t flat! Ohio University is located in the city of Athens, which is what you would call a very classic college town. The city of Athens exists for Ohio University and contributes to it in many ways. Its location in Athens allows OU to pay a little homage to Grecian themes – many of its buildings have tall columns and ivy growing on the side. There are also a lot of cute shops in Athens to satisfy the tourist in you, and many of the restaurants (as I was assured) are priced very reasonably for OU students. I personally recommend a shop named Brenen’s, which featured a variety of appetizing sub sandwiches!
OU’s campus is quite distinctive; there were, of course, some parts of campus that didn’t have a lot of visual appeal (mostly due to construction), and I think we were only led to 1/3 of the entire campus, but I honestly loved the small portion that I saw. Although OU is located a bit away from the big cities, it tries its best to be accommodating to its students. The nearest airport if 7 miles away from campus (shuttle service provided!), which is convenient for international travelers and those who hail from other states.
A (Brief) Summary On Academics
In terms of academic rigor, Ohio University is most known for its Scripps College of Communication, and its journalism program is held in high regard. Other than the school of Communication, however, Ohio University is more known for being a “party school” than one of academic rigor — which is NOT to say that OU does not offer a good education for its students, it’s just that OU has had this label for quite some time.
Ohio University offers over 250 academic programs, and plenty of academic advising for its students. Run on quarters (but in the process of switching to semesters within a few years), every student is required to meet with their academic advisor every quarter in order to make sure their education is on track. Although this service is available to all OU students, international students do enjoy special attention from the university. The university has set up ESL classes and other services for those who might need a little assistance in adjusting to life in the US.
Residence Halls & Campus Life
In terms of campus life, OU’s housing is divided up into “Greens” (North, South, East, and West), and these Greens do a lot to foster community life. Students usually love and become extremely loyal to whatever Green they might be assigned to. This love is facilitated by the university’s requirement that all first and second year students live in the residence halls on campus. Most of the residence halls are co-ed, but OU does have a couple non-traditional residence halls that cater to the specific needs of its students like an all-women’s residence hall another that is substance free. Furthermore, parties are technically not allowed to be thrown in residence halls in order to promote a more studious and comfortable environment.
In terms of safety, one must acknowledge that OU is a large university (definitely not as big as OSU, but it’s still a good size), and I was told that a “buddy system” is highly recommended. After all, Athens is a college town — not just strictly a “small town” — and crime does occur, even though there is campus security.
All in all, I can honestly say that I really enjoyed my time at Ohio University. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first; all I had heard about it was its “party school” label. Needless to say, I came away pleasantly surprised. I’m not going to speak to its academic reputation – that is something that you need to research on your own (and I definitely invite you to do so!), and I don’t think I have enough information to give you an informed opinion – but I can tell you that I was struck by the beauty of the campus.
To sum it all up …
I know I only saw 1/3 of the entire campus; however, the portion that I did see gave off the impression that OU is a place that is big enough to have options, but small enough that you won’t be seen as just another “number.” I think this is one of the fears that some people have about state-sponsored universities – they don’t want to be lost in the crowd. One of the unique ways that OU tries to combat this is by having the administration play a very intimate role in the lives of their students; for an example, the president of the university actually lives a couple houses down from the Student Center.
In conclusion, I hope that you will consider Ohio University as an option in your college list. I hope you will be able to look past the fact that it is located in a part of Ohio that many people have not heard of and focus on what Athens has to offer. I hope that you will do more research on this institution. I think you might be pleasantly surprised with what you will find.
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