St. John’s University, NY
University highlight as contributed by Clare Lloyd Jones, Assistant Director, International Admission, St. John's University, and featured in the Undergraduate Newsletter, Winter-Spring 2012 issue (available here).
St. John's was founded in 1870 by the Vincentian religious community in New York, with the goal of educating the poor. Humble beginnings in Brooklyn led to a sprawling 150-acre campus in Queens with the addition of campuses in Manhattan, Staten Island, and in Europe in Rome and Paris. A Tier-1 school, St. John's proudly offers over 100 academic majors and the instruction of world-class faculty to students from all over the world, no matter their background or religious affiliation.
These statistics are impressive, but what always impresses me the most - and the reason why I love St. John's - is the students. It may sound corny, but I actually miss them when I am traveling! They come from all over the U.S. and our 1,300 international students represent almost the whole globe. Our student population is considered one of the most diverse in the country. Where I grew up, everyone looked very similar and had a shared history - but at St. John's the community more closely resembles the United Nations! I expected the students to be like the New Yorkers I saw in movies or TV shows: gruff and aggressive. Instead I found some of the kindest, funniest and smartest people I have ever met.
The campus itself didn't look like what I expected either. Sitting on a hill overlooking the Manhattan skyline with wide lawns, residence halls, soccer fields and stone buildings, I was blown away to see a large traditional campus in New York City. The campus is stunning, offering a warm, safe community setting for students and faculty with plenty of space to collaborate and celebrate holidays. From a Maroon 5 concert, to fireworks at the end of Christmas celebrations, and random Frisbee games, every inch of campus teems with students. All this only adds to the amazing contrast of being able to jump on the subway for 30 minutes and pop up in Times Square in downtown New York!
Another element of campus life that surprised me: the athletic programs. St. John's is famous for many of its sports. This year's Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) Rookie of the Year was a St. John 's alum, one of our fencers won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics, and our soccer and basketball teams are some of the most competitive in the country. Watching the St. John's basketball team play at Madison Square Garden has to be the highlight of any school year.
Outside of athletics, there are over 260 student organizations on campus, representing Greek life (sororities and fraternities), club sports, academic groups, theatre, music and pretty much anything you can imagine. St. John's students also show their passion for community service through a variety of service projects in the city, country and even abroad. I have always loved that our students are personally driven, yet always willing to support their community - whether near or far.
Of course the academic programs are exceptional, with competitive courses in health sciences, business, education, and professional studies. The average class size is 26 students and the educational emphasis is on practical experience. The range of internships available to students is mind-blowing: from the New York Times, Yankees, UBS, United Nations, MTV, and HBO to smaller boutique companies or local hospitals and schools, there is an abundance of choice. The graduate programs are also extensive, including a law school and MBA program.
You can see how easy it is to be proud of an institution like St. John's. But there's more: I can't help but admire the university's long-standing commitment to supporting students through generous financial assistance. International students are eligible for the same academic scholarships that domestic students receive and scholarship funds range this year from $10,000 to full tuition. Not only that, but every student receives a laptop when they enroll because St. John's wants all students to have the same access to information and technology that is so essential in today's global economy.
I know St. John's will continue to blossom and attract wonderful students and faculty to add to its long tradition of excellence. Being a member of this community is a true privilege - and I look forward to many great things ahead!
Curious what life is like at St. John's University? Check out the exciting videos at http://www.stjohns.edu/admission/undergraduate/discover to imagine yourself there!
My fulbright experience
Students at the advising center