Study in USA: Philadephia
by Stefka Gerova
Choosing where to study |
San Francisco |
Los Angeles |
Texas : Austin |
Washington D.C. |
New York City
Just a two and a half hour drive south of New York City, Philadelphia (or commonly referred
to as Philly) is one of the most exciting cities on the East Coast. Being the fifth-largest city
in the United States and the second-largest on the East Coast, it offers plenty of historical,
cultural and entertainment attractions to students and tourists alike. And if you get tired of the
busy city life, there's always an easy escape into the peaceful, charming and picturesque suburbia,
where most of the smaller colleges of this area are nestled.
There are around fifty big universities and smaller colleges in Philadelphia proper and in the near
vicinity of the city. Unlike typical university towns such as Boston, Philadelphia offers the perfect
mix of a proper busy city and a student-oriented town. That's how you can never get bored here!
One of the oldest and best-known universities in the United States is the
University of Pennsylvania
(or commonly known as UPenn), a school of enviable reputation whose faculty include numerous Nobel
laureates, recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, and Fulbright Fellows. It was founded in 1740, but only
moved to its current location in 1870. The university practically offers any major, from economics to
theater to medicine. Its most famous branches include in
The College at Penn (School of Arts and
Sciences), the School of Engineering
and Applied Science, the School of Nursing
and the Wharton School.
However, getting admitted is one of the harder things in life, both at the undergraduate and at the
graduate level as it has been in the Top 10 U.S. universities for numerous years. On the other hand,
getting a degree from it is practically equivalent to a secure future for a lifetime. If you just go
there for a tour, be sure not to miss the controversial exhibitions of the Institute of Contemporary
Art, or the outstanding collection of Asian, African and Egyptian relics of the University of
Archaeology and Anthropology, or the varied theater and dance performances of the Annenberg Center.
UPenn is undoubtedly rich in student clubs, including a university radio and a TV station, fraternities
and sororities, and graduate and professional organizations. All in all, it will be hard to get bored
here, both academically and socially.
is the technology-based university of Philly. Founded in 1891, it is the academic
home to over 12,000 graduate and undergraduate students. It offers a wide variety of majors: from
engineering to IT to biomedicine to design arts and business. Drexel also offers numerous programs
for on-line learning and on-line certificates. Moreover, there are more than 1,500 international
students at Drexel. The International Students and Scholars Office assists international students,
professors and scholars with various cultural and academic programs. Along with UPenn, it forms the
so-called University City of Philadelphia, a vibrant and rich in opportunities student area. For
those of you who are technically oriented, this will be the perfect big university with rigorous
Southwest of Philadelphia, within a half-hour drive from the city, lie three smaller liberal-arts
colleges for those students who seek high-quality education without the hectic life of a big university:
An all-girls school, Bryn Mawr features undergraduate and graduate
programs in the arts, sciences and social sciences. It's rather small in size: only about 1,700 total
enrolment, with a little bit over 400 graduate students. Yet, its rigorous curriculum, gorgeous campus
and proximity to a big city make it an attractive destination for gifted students. Founded in 1833,
Haverford College is the oldest of the three liberal-arts schools. It is also the smallest (1,100 total
enrolment), which only enhances the personal interaction of students and faculty. Its most charming
peculiarity is the fact that it abides by an honor code, a system of unsupervized examination that not
many other colleges in the U.S. use. Haverford College offers B.A. degrees in the natural sciences and
the humanities. Its campus is a great place for an afternoon walk, which should definitely not miss the
charming Duck pond. Located in the borough of Swarthmore, Swarthmore College was founded in 1864 and has
continuously offered outstanding undergraduate programs in art and sciences and in engineering. Small
class-size, devoted professors and famous alumni add to the atmosphere of the place. Besides that, the
wooded residential campus is nationally recognized as the Scott Arboretum and provides quite a peaceful
place for academic endeavors.
Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore form the so-called Tri-College, or a consortium-type of arrangement
that allows students to take classes in any of the three schools. Moreover, students have the option of
taking classes in UPenn, which lies within a twenty-minute bus ride from any of the three campuses. The
members of the Tri-College rank among the elite liberal-arts colleges of the country, and education is
taken quite seriously there.
And if this is not enough, Philly has to offer more in terms of education.
Temple University is the
biggest university of the area. For fashion designers and textile artists there is the
which also owns an outstanding collection of clothing pieces from different epochs and
places of the globe.
The Moore College of Art and Design emphasizes on visual arts. For those
interested in performing arts, the perfect place is the
University of the Arts. For talented musicians
there is the Curtis Institute
which has trained prominent figures like Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber
and Gian Carlo Menotti. And further beyond the limits of the city proper, there are the smaller, yet
charming Rosemont College
and Villanova University.
In terms of campus life, there is plenty of it going on. Most students in the smaller colleges live
on campus and therefore there is always something going on at all of them, both on weekdays and during
the weekends. UPenn and Drexel can get quite loud for the peace-lovers and rather scattered around due
to their size. However, one thing is certain: Philadelphia can suit any taste, whether one desires a
quiet environment or wishes to be in the center of the action. And in either case, Philly students have
been known for going out in the city or for making weekend trips to New York City in order to find
something novel and fun off campus.
LIVING IN PHILLY
Philadelphia is by far one of the most famous U.S. cities by virtue of being the birthplace of
American independence. Moreover, Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1774 to
1800. The Liberty Bell,
one of the most precious historical monuments of the States, the Independence
the Independence National Historic Park are the must-see features of Philly that would
immediately take you on a lovely journey through time. The Independence Hall is where Thomas
Jefferson's Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. The Old City has preserved some
old architecture and is home to numerous breath-taking art galleries featuring diverse exhibitions.
Another historic landmark of the city is the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which hosts the Fourth of July
Fireworks as well as many other festivals throughout the year.
The Convention Center right in the center of the city exhibits modern architectural design. Built
in 1994, it's one of the busiest places in Philly, hosting various exhibitions and conferences
throughout the year.
A studious student and a curious tourist alike can never get bored on South Street, one of the city's
most famous shopping, dining and clubbing areas. Another exclusive shopping place is Rittenhouse Square,
which also features a wide array of first-class restaurants. And if you're looking for Asian cuisine,
thee best place to have a meal is Chinatown. One of the most popular hangout places for college students
and one of Philly's most charming, yet slightly snobbish suburbs, is
Manayunk. It features hip boutiques,
cozy restaurants, and a wide variety of nightclubs. In general, gourmet restaurants are abundant -
after all, the city has been dubbed "the number one restaurant city" in the United States!
Philadelphia doesn't lack outdoor attractions either. The Fairmount Park is the world's largest
landscaped park, with beautiful trails for a relaxing Sunday walk. It also includes one of Philadelphia'
s most scenic places, the Boathouse Row on the bank of the Schuylkill River. Well-lit at night, the
boathouses can be seen when driving on the highway and will inevitably remind you of a fairy-tale of
ancient times. The Philadelphia Zoo, the first one in the United States, also offers recreational
opportunities and fun for children and adults alike.
All in all, Philadelphia is by far one of the must-see cities in the United States. What's more,
it's perfect for students who seek first-quality education in a very happening area. Colleges and
Universities are hard to get into, but definitely worth the trouble!