Amherst College Tours & Reviews

Amherst, MA

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A Day in the Life with Lily

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Lily Fang

Math and French, Class of 2018

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ON THIS TOUR

Meet Lily, a senior math and French major at Amherst! King Hall

Tour of Lily's room in King, one of two "thesis dorms" and part of the French House King Hall

Another look at Lily's room King Hall

A walk through King Hall + Quick Facts on Amherst King Hall

More about Greenway/dorm rooms on-campus Greenway Dormitory

The outside of Greenway Greenway Dormitory

The freshman quad Amherst College Quadrangle

Another view of the freshman quad James Hall

Lily Val-sits at breakfast. What's Val-sitting? Valentine Dining Hall, Amherst College

Special Events on Val Quad Valentine Dining Hall, Amherst College

The biggest lecture hall at Amherst Merrill Science Center, Amherst College

A typical "old" science center classroom Merrill Science Center, Amherst College

A typical math classroom + tutoring resources available Seeley Mudd

The inside of Keefe Campus Center Amherst College: Keefe Campus Center

Free things at Amherst: break shuttles, music lessons, summer storage Amherst College

The gym at Amherst Alumni Gymnasium and Athletic Complex

Just keep swimming Amherst College

Classes by the natural history museum on-campus Beneski Museum of Natural History

The best view on-campus: Memorial Hill Memorial Dr

A "beach" in Western Mass?!? Beneski Museum of Natural History

The quaintest place on-campus, the Rotherwas Room in the Mead Art Museum Mead Art Museum

Our language TA's from abroad Amherst Town Clerk

A chat with Larissa, a German TA Amherst College Quadrangle

A chat with Hui, a Chinese international student studying math Robert Frost Library

A stroll through town Amherst College

A chat with Josh, polisci and music major in the class of 2018E Amherst College

To have a car or not to have a car? Amherst College

The college farm: Book and Plow Book and Plow Farm

I got my Chipotle Tempeh wrap! + more on the dining system Amherst College

The music building Buckley Recital Hall

Cozy little study spot: The Lord Jeff Inn The Lord Jeffery Inn

The best place to stargaze and pick flowers: Tuttle Hill Amherst College

The bike path Norwottuck Rail Trail

Thoughts on study abroad! (Yes, your credits and financial aid transfer over!) Amherst College

Final thoughts: pros and cons of Amherst part 1 King Hall

Final thoughts: pros and cons of Amherst part 2 King Hall

I finish my food. So now I can actually take you through without dropping? How many plates? I'll start with my favorite part's Just a little fruit station. Well, actually gonna grab you mandarins with road? We're in a transition period right now because it's just about ten a. M. So hot breakfast is ending on. So you put out thanks for lunch so I can see that there's a salad bar behind me. There's some bridges for good and free and dairy free items. They actually have had milk, which I'm super excited about it. You know, it doesn't have a lot of dairy normally produced. And then in the main line you normally have great behind me would only have some meat items on DH the later side, which is right behind me. Here you'll have your vegetarian items on. One thing I do when I mentioned is that the dining hall it is face style. So once you swipe in, you can just grab whatever you once. Uh, I like rumor has it that you can swipe and like, two, thirty nine times that day, I've never tried that. You could try it if you want. But basically that means, like, even if you go in once already for a meal, but you want to grab a coffee on the way back to class, you can still sleep back in. So lots of options. Thank you. Thank you. And this is what the dining hall looks like from the outside. There's actually there's a patio above me on DH has pretty nice eating. They recently renovated it on DH. There's really nice benches, their lights at night, and actually, the floor above the dining hall is a door, which previously people didn't like because it was kind of dingy and old. But since that was also renovated, it's a really nice dorm toe livin because you could just walk downstairs and get all your shoot. Now we're still in the old science center because I wanted to show you a gigolo lecture, huh? This's probably our biggest one. I think at least one hundred people. I had social psychology in here, which is probably about forty people, and that was definitely one of my larger classes. I think my largest classic, Emerse, was probably fifty or so people when it was count three or multi variable calculus. Amorous really does try Teo. Keep classes, tio around twenty students. Probably a little bit larger for, you know, science courses like Control camera and true Psycho or anything. And so, with those sort of classes, you may find yourself in lecture situations. But even then, Professor's really do try to engage with the students and ask questions and even to some extent, get to know us. They were professors. I've never had a professor who didn't know my name on DH. There are programs in place so that we can get to know them. You know, there is office hours where we can go to our Professor's office and ask questions on these. Happened several times a week on DSO. These computers questions on the homework. These could be like. You can talk about your personal life if you want. There is also a system called Type O, which is Take your professor outs, and Immerse will actually pay for groups of students to take their professors out to a restaurant in town once a semester, Um, and share a meal together. And so that's really nice. Honestly, like Amherst really facilitates close faculty, too. Student relationships like I've had students. I've had professors who have invited my classes to their homes for meals to their homes for classes. It's really not uncommon for students to really like no other professors and, you know, we grow fond of each other, so it's it's really sad, Teo, think that, you know, this is the end of my four years, and I definitely feel like I'm going to be staying in touch with professors and also students. Behind me is our bike path, and this is what my favorite spots. Because, like I said earlier, I run a lot like some pretty long distances. And so this is where I do most of it. And this place is also really gorgeous. In the fall, as you can tell, with trees like the leaves just turn all different colors. So if you want to get, you know, a bike ride and if you want to go on a run, this is really your place. Because otherwise you might have toe run through town, and I have to stop every now and then. But here you can pretty much go straight through. Behind me is also our bird sanctuary. You can see a little entrance just right there. Ah, and it's basically just a bunch of rolling fields and hills. There are a lot of birds in that area, so you can You might be able to hear them call actually on DSO. That can also be a great place to continue around on the trails. It can also be a great place to just, you know, sit with the picnic blanket for the day or just take a little stroll. So definitely lots of nature in this area. Ah, lots of places to go on. Hikes on that is one of the perks of Amherst, even though it is a little bit more of a moral location, that means there's a lot more nature to We're taking a little walk down memory lane because I'm in the dorm that I lived in over the summer. The's air called the Greenway dorms. And as you can see, if the lighting will cooperate with us, the architecture is definitely very different. It's very modern and clean cuts come at the storm's actually just opened a couple of years ago on their the only dorms with air conditioning, so they are kind of a pretty coveted space and a really good space to be in over the somewhere where it is pretty hot. And I was here over the summer, actually, because I was doing research with the math professor and a group of four people, including me. And it was great because the school offer funding for students to do research. And so they will pay for things like housing food you have tio pay for on your own, but it is pretty inexpensive of this summer. It's three dollars for breakfast, for for lunch and five for dinner as students on DH. The school, even if you are not on campus, will sometimes fund your summer internships or opportunities as well. The school often funds things that our government related or nonprofit related, and so you don't have to necessarily worry about getting something that's paid. The school also does offer a lot of things in their database. They have some pretty cool opportunities, like the Prince Albert, the second of Monaco Foundation internship, because the prince was an alum or is an alum of Amherst on DH. So there are some pretty awesome opportunities that you can really experienced while you're assuming that I am versed on I'm here with Josh, who graduated last fall. And so he was in the class of eighty e standing for early, and I just wanted to ask him a few questions about his experience here. So could you tell me a little bit about why you should is Amherst? Sure. I mean, Amber is an amazing institution, the first reason being they admitted me, which was important. But I was really drawn to their commitment, Teo creating a truly diverse body of students, especially with their deed by financial aid packages on which comparative schools don't have to that level, right? I think that's really what stood out to me, because what's the point of just going to a classroom where everyone is the same? You want, uh, academic body in a community where everyone's different and brings those differences to academic and social discussions? Yeah, that's fair was like, Were there any activities or anything? Something that do you know? Yes, they had a good orchestra cellist on. And so I was definitely didn't want to go to a school that had strong music and having amorous this singular woman. At least small liver arts institutions on having only really, really good orchestra. Ah, full time conductor who was really committed, Teo making good music. And we have six plus, um, concerts a year where we play real music, which is just incredible. Yeah, I remember that being a big drop of Amherst and like when I like Tio, is that like there, there's, like, this audition process. But Mark kind of like puts you in pieces that he thinks that you like, can excel in, you know, like so if you he feels that you're not ready for something he'll like, still normally like you away. So I mean, which is a piece of the brother point about. What's so great about Amherst is that everyone comes together. They're all really amazing individuals. And when you get Teo to get to know each person, you really understand how amazing they are. But there's so many opportunities that you don't have to jump through a lot of hoops to go to him. And I know this is like true when I hear like I have a lot of Ivy League schools, friends who go there and say, like getting into a model U N orchestra Super super competitive in a stressful process, and that just isn't true. Bit amorous. You can do what you love to dio on. You don't need to feel stressed about belonging or being good enough to do it. Right now, that is such an important point, But I guess we should probably also talk about academics a little bit. So could you tell us about your major and like tell us a little bit about, like the academic climate in general? And maybe in that major, sure, a political science major? And then I added a double in music, which was something that was on the fence on for a while because Amherst doesn't have minors. That's important. Ended a think like that I did both. I mean, Amherst As a liberal arts education, they have open curriculum, which means they want you to take just about whatever you want so I could take the upper level English course on Shakespeare. On you have taking upper level sociology course about having the pre Rex on, and we're all really good experiences. But then also being able Teo die Vinto political science and music. Um, I mean, academics are really, really strong. The professor's expect a lot of you out of you, and students are really incredible. So the standards really high? Definitely. When I was starting out freshman year, I was overwhelmed. Then, yeah, I questioned survival wand, but definitely getting used to it after a while. But just like questioning all the assumptions, finding what you're really interested in. And I ended up doing thes season, both departments actually on just really proud of producing independent project, well, political science, that music, performance and really just everyone's been so supportive of what I wanted to do and help me along the way and still help me, you know, getting to my future career goals, right? Would you say that the student body is pretty supportive and like the professors and everyone as well like how would you describe just the student body ache? Agus. Everyone's really supportive. I mean, we're all we're all very, like, the same type of personality. I feel read off a lot of us. They don't feel like Ah, we're Balon or like everyone else. We feeling everything else is so incredible and we're like, are not necessarily recognizing what's special about us, and then we do a lot as well. But definitely like it definitely is a very like you expect to do a lot of work here at Amherst, and, um, I mean, but then everyone does work together, you know, on the we're starting up a nice, strong. It's a community of struggling. But we know how to have fun here. Tio. Fun doesn't go to die here. Besides, I thought you should know about but just one last thing. And before you can add whatever you want. But could you tell me your favorite and least favorite part about Everest? Um oh, boy, I think what I said earlier about, you know, that there's a lot of pressure in college. And, you know, wherever you go, you'll you'll fight, have pressure to do well and find what you enjoy. And there's itt's hard to like, not freak out there's this big bubble be there. No, I know, but yeah, I mean, the fact that, like, everything's open to you and like I could do model U. N Roosevelt and orchestra and whatever else I wanted to do about, you know, they're being like a barrier to entry. They're just like I'm here. I'm admitted I all the resources were here for me. And, you know, my fellow students aren't competitors, their comrades Socialist. No, no, no, I mean, but definitely it's a sense of, uh, you know, community that you might not get at other schools where they're bringing students of similar caliber. But it's much more cutthroat compa petition, right? No, that makes a lot of sense. And then what would be really saving apart, just like the others, too. But it's just too much. Todo on This is a problem, a lot of students. But I mean, there's a lot of pressure. Teo, like, not just do classes, but duel of extracurriculars and especially like it if your friends will point you to try to do different things. And at least most of my friends are doing like four or five different genes. And this is a common problem of college again. But especially like at a place like ever. So there are so many opportunities. It's really hard. Teo, focus and narrow in on the couple things that we'll make you happy investing a lot of time in. And I've struggled at times to really narrow in on that and instead try to do too many things. Yeah, that was definitely a big issue, I think, for a lot of students, like pulling yourself too thin. But I'm sorry. I meant to ask you your favorite part, but ended up asking for more. Negative. Every guest you said, Teo. Oh, you did. It was the student body. Everything. Yeah. There we go. Access to cast because Josh is doing research on campus still. So he is actually living off campus, which is not common for enrolled students. And so that's why we're in this car. Do you have anything else to add? I think that's all going to Amherst things, Judge. I'm currently in the art museum, and this is one of my favorite rooms here, Rother Wass room and it's just it's really old room, that very historic. And it's actually one of my favorite places to come and sometimes just sit and study. There is normally actually a table where there is that house over there. But even when there isn't a table, there is in chairs and sometimes we'll just plop down with my laptop and people say, I'm working here like at the museum asked me a bunch of questions, but I don't know the answer to, but this is just a really peaceful spot to study. It is a really nice place to just walk in and see what sort of exhibits are going on at Hey, everyone, Why was Lily and I'm a senior math and French major Amherst College. My first few years here I played violin in the orchestra was a math c A. But my junior year, I left to study abroad. For the entire year, I was in Bordeaux, France, and Oxford, England. And so that was great because amorous not only lets you study abroad for the entire year, but also lets you do it in two different places. And so both my departments were also pretty accommodating in terms of major requirements. Being away my senior year, I didn't do as many things as I used to on campus because I was writing to honor species in math and in French. And so I was basically really focused on those and hold up before my work during the entire year. But I'm really excited to take you around campus. I officially submitted my feces yesterday on DH. So now I'm in our dining hall, which we could really call Bao. It's actually technically called Valentine Dining Hall on one of the things that people sometimes like to do is actually spend hours and hours here about sitting where we just come here and sit down and do our work or end up talking to a lot of people who come and go. We actually only have one dining hall. So this is where we are right now, and I think that's what makes it the sort of center of social life A lot of people come here to meet up for meals. Like I said you their work and study. People also kind of love to hate on now. It's not the best food in the world, but it is pretty descent there a lot of options, so I prefer to eat vegetarian. Also, don't love to get a lot of dairy. So what I have this morning is just like some spinach. There's a tofu scramble. There's also some potatoes. We have a station, so this looks a little bit funky. What? It's much of a chair. We have some, like interesting flavor. Sometimes my favorite is this one actually, and also a spinach main. Go one, and I also have something real with blueberries and a lot of scenes. And yeah, basically you will find something for you. There are also things like panini machines, microwaves. There's a stir fry station during the week, and so if you don't like what's in the main line, you can basically make something for yourself at one of those I'm outside right now on one of three college on hammocks outside my door, and it's actually kind of a gloomy day. But I don't know what better promotional material there is then college only hammocks on de so out of here. I just wanted to give you a crash course, kind of like a rundown of what I think the major pros and cons of Amherst. Our help you if you kind of need a crash course and like making a decision. And so I'll start with the cons just because I think it's always good to get through the negative things first. And so the things that I dislike most about Amherst are probably just the fickle weather, like as you can see. Like, you know, there was a beautiful weather and other videos, and here it's now kind of stormy and gloomy. The winter can be kind of depressing, but one spring comes and you know the fall there, they're all very gorgeous and beautiful. Another thing that I just like is definitely the academic pressure. I think it's really easy to feel inadequate since you're around all these high achieving people and it's easy to start comparing yourself, but I think it's also a great opportunity for you to learn how not to compare yourself on how to really just do your own thing and you maximize your potential rather than trying. Tio, do what other people are doing. Um and finally, I would also just say, since Emerson is not and the most accessible of places, uh, it can be a little bit difficulty. It could be a little bubble feeling if, you know, I'm saying and difficulty to you get out. Um, though I actually took quite a few trips to Boston this semester, and it is possible you just really have to work around your schedule and look for rides to ride share groups or other shuttle services. I would. In terms of the pros, I would say first the faculty, the student relationships. That is a major thing. People are really like. I said, People get to know you. We've become very fond of each other, the faculty and the students, and they really support you as people. Another thing academically would be the open curriculum, because you can not only delve deeply into your major. But you can also have a true love or Arctic education, having no required courses by being able to explore whatever you what, outside of those your major requirements. I would also say that our dorms are pretty spacious and are living. Spaces are very community based. I love the culture houses on. I've had a single ever since my freshman year. Um, I also would say that it's nice to have a dining hall that's the face style and accessible like with unlimited swipes. The food is so so sometimes sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's only meth, But I would say just having the option there and being able to stir fry and everything really makes it a lot better. And like not having Teo, you know, like decide whether you want this or that because you can only have one entree. I think that's great. I would also say that the nature is really awesome here. I'm being able to go on hikes, being able to see the leaves in the fall. That is a really big perk of this area. And like I said, even though it's not super accessible Teo, major cities, you still can get to them and like we still like we're not living on a farm or anything. Even though we do have a college farm, there's still things like Target and Walmart and traitor Joe's and Whole Foods just like down the road. I also wanted to take you on a quick walk through my door so you can see what it looks like when it's not just my room. So we have to be a little bit quiet because again, it is a dorm where people are very respectful of noise levels and space. And right now we're passing by. What is the common room? And so this is basically just a space where we can have group events. People can study and there when there isn't anything going on. But since this is a culture House will use the space for a trivia nights or quiz nights, sometimes for films. Also, we used the common room on the first floor when there are things like crepe nice. Let's just happens twice here, and it's just really an event that the French house puts on where the entire campus is invited and we just share a little piece of French culture. And so that's just the space right here and before we had. I probably should tell you a little bit more about the college itself. So you know, you haven't flown here and don't even know necessarily where we are. Amherst College is a small liberal arts school of only about eighteen hundred people. So, like four to five hundred people of class, we're located in western Massachusetts, and so the weather can be pretty fickle. I'm from Columbus, Ohio, and so things were like, basically what I grew up with right now. It is beautiful. It is May. But it was not like this even two days ago. On Sunday, it was maybe between thirty and fifty, and today is Tuesday, and it's between seventy and eighty. We've had a lot of weird snowstorms this month. Oh, and so really just be prepared for everything. We have all four seasons when it does snow. It is beautiful, though, and when it is sunny, it is gorgeous. The falls air beautiful with all the leaves. And I would just say that like, what makes Amherst special is just the intimacy of the campus. Since there are not a lot of people are campus is pretty small. So my dorm is one of the furthest storms from Maine, like the main campus area. And I'd say it's only like five to seven walk from any seven minute walk from any like important building were actually really close to the science buildings. Um, and then the further stories I would say, is about a ten to fifteen minute walk, and so that makes really just living a lot easier because you don't need to worry about buses are community, and you will definitely run into people. You know, whether that's a good thing or not. Um, and so it is. Something that I really like about this campus is just the fact that you will get to know the people