Duke University Visit Report by keellota
Information Session: Yes - It was very helpful, and the speaker was both jovial and informative with just the right amount of comic relief.
Campus Tour: Yes - It covered all the aspects of the campus, minus inside the dorms. I was pleased.
Classroom Visit: Yes - The class I sat in on was a sophomore level neuroscience class. The teacher was very skilled, and was very amiable and willing in answering my questions afterward.
Campus Visit Notes for Duke University
I went to visit Duke and UNC at Chapel Hill during a weekend of spring break. Saturday, I visited UNC; Monday, Duke.
On Sunday we pre-visited Duke, going around campus by ourselves. I was awestruck. It is absolutely beautiful, a veritable gothic wonderland. You can see from my descriptions of Duke's various aspects what I think in those regards. I'd just like to expound on my /only/ qualm with Duke.
When I toured UNC, I asked my student tour guide various questions about the social life at UNC. Of import to this description, he said that a significant amount of Duke students came to UNC when they wanted to party. I also went to some Mediterranean eatery in Chapel Hill. In discourse with the guy behind the counter, he discovered I was touring said colleges, so he disabused me about Duke yet again. He said that some guy frequented his restaurant (in Chapel Hill, rather than Duke) weekly, always reading "some book this big" (emphasizing the intellectualism of Duke students). Anyway, all the word I caught throughout the triangle was that, in general, Duke students leave Durham for the social life, food, etc. No one ever mentioned a case of non-Duke students going to Durham for any reason.
Personally, I can attest for this. Upon leaving Duke after the tour on Monday, my mother and I were determined to find some food to eat in Durham before embarking on our journey home. We accidentally entered in erroneous GPS info and ended up in a rather questionable part of town... a part of town no further than a few miles outside of Duke. We didn't stay too long, but I had a few insights: it was rundown, battered, and insipid; I wasn't too keen on getting out of my car. We left the project-esk area for the social hot spot of Durham. It also was rather uninteresting. We ended up leaving for Chapel Hill to eat on the restaurant-lined street on the edge of UNC's campus. (Ironic.)
Overall, I would still go to Duke. I imagine I'll be too busy with school, extracurriculars, etc. to do much out of campus, and when I do have time, I'm sure I can find a junior/senior friend to take me to Chapel Hill or somewhere else.
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
Duke has two parts of campus for which a bus system takes you to and fro. I suppose that's my only other issue with Duke, the discontinuity of the campus, but it's not that important.