We disembarked the train from D.C. and walked into a wave of heat in the city of Philadelphia. The atmosphere was much less humid, although the heat was still prominent.
After checking into the Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel, my cohort and I headed over to the University of Pennsylvania to partake in an informational session and campus tour. Both episodes were very effective in demonstrating what the school has to offer, from language courses to financial aid.
We took a cab into the city, and congregated at Butcher & Singer for dinner with a number of admissions officers, students, and alumni from University of Pennsylvania.
I sat down next to Amy Smith and Teran Tedal, part of the admissions faculty, and Andrew Zheng, a medical student who graduated from the University two years ago.
I was very fortunate to have been able to speak with them about the University of Pennsylvania. One aspect of the school that piqued my interest most was its emphasis on community service. Academically based community service courses allow students to turn the classroom experience into one where skills can be applied and impact made. An example is when students implemented a city plan to create local vegetable gardens to provide healthy produce to the community. Students have the opportunity to contribute to the greater good of their community, and this mindset is prevalent in the projects and programs the school offers.
The location of the institution is also pleasing; the city of Philadelphia is lovely, and although the University is located within the city, standing on campus, one can hardly notice that within a mile or two is the bustling city. The campus feel and urban environment outside its bubble is comfortable. Additionally, the school is very close-knit despite its size - learning about the various (and hilarious) campus traditions was very entertaining.
I enjoyed speaking to Andrew, who is in medical school now after having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. There is a handful of hospitals and medical centers located on campus, which provide for chances to intern and volunteer to gain valuable experience.
|Our seafood appetizer.|
It was such a wonderful opportunity to meet with the admissions officers & students - hopefully this won't be the last time I visit Philadelphia.
Tomorrow, we will board a train to New York!