Carleton College Visit Report by Keilexandra
Admissions Interview: No - Interviews were scheduled for all TOC participants, but I skipped mine because I had already had an alumni interview back home.
Information Session: Yes - Not the usual info session, I think, or maybe it was just too early on a weekday. Three TOC students talking to an adcom.
Campus Tour: Yes - Co-led by two students, and wonderful--just the right length, the usual factoids accompanied by that quirky Carleton humor.
Classroom Visit: Yes - I visited an Intermediate Chinese class, which was unfortunately being taught by a native-speaker TA (alternating days w/ the prof) so I couldn't ask specific questions about the program.
Campus Visit Notes for Carleton College
I visited Carleton with a diversity program called Taste of Carleton (TOC). While Carleton had been solidly on my list from paper attributes, it became one of my top choices after my visit. I loved my host and her roommate; they lived on a sub-free floor (one in almost every dorm, not isolated in a single dorm) and everyone was so excited about having "prospies." On a weekday night, they hung out in the lounge and chatted while simultaneously doing homework. Some people who live on the sub-free floor don't party or drink at all; others absolutely do, but don't bring it back to the dorm. And there's no shortage of parties, nor alcohol, but I could see firsthand that there were also many non-alcoholic activities available. The night before Halloween, I went on a guided "haunted" tour through the arboretum, which was muddy and amazing.
80% of Carls play an intramural or club sport, which is a ridiculously high number--yet I feel like you don't have to be athletic to participate or to be accepted by the community. The food is catered by Bon Appetit, which uses sustainable practices and locally grown produce whenever possible; I'm extremely picky and was satisfied. Academics are also top-notch, rigorous and challenging without being unnecessarily intense; Carleton is on a trimester system, where students take 3 classes per term, 3 terms per year. In spite of the increased number of classes, few students double-major--only 25-30 of each graduating class. Minors have been replaced by language certificates and interdisciplinary concentrations.
Minneapolis/St. Paul is only 40 miles away and it's relatively easy to get there, although it's easiest if you spend the whole day there and more convenient if you have a car. But Carls usually stay on campus, where opportunities for fun and learning both abound.
The highlight of my visit, though, was definitely the people. I "clicked" with them--e.g. the prospective physics/math double major, and varsity swimmer, who raved about special relativity--and I could picture myself perfectly happy at Carleton.