December 27, 2010

The Top Three Reasons Why You Should Go to Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada for Your Undergraduate Degree

While many American schools admissions deadlines passed or are very quickly approaching, the deadline for admission to Mount Allison University, is months away (March 15 for Scholarship Consideration, April 1 for Preferential Consideration for September enrollment). For years, many Americans have been going up north for education that is both more affordable and of a similar quality of education to many American schools. As I am now seeing the impact my choice to come to Mount Allison has had on my future job and education prospects, I thought I should write about why you (the Canadian/American/other international high school senior) should consider going to Mount Allison along with other top schools in North America.

For background, here's an NBC story on why many Americans are going up north for college.

Mount Allison in Winter

In my previous post, I mentioned the new marketing campaign Mount Allison has recently begun...and I mentioned my hopes that future advertising would move beyond just its ranking.

For me it was personal recommendations and a visit to campus that more or less made the decision for me. The Macleans and other rankings simply confirmed everything that I had already heard about the school and eliminated any doubts I had about Mount Allison's national reputation (and more importantly if a Mount Allison degree would be respected back here in the United States. There are intangible aspects that may be hard to put into marketing material. It is knowing that you're going to be treated as an individual and not a number like students at larger Canadian universities commonly report. My three reasons at the time (which have been validated over three years of study) for going to Mount Allison University were:

1) You are able to feel comfortable from the first day.
2) You can be as active as you want to be in student groups.
You can develop a working relationship with your professors.

Quite possibly the first aspect of Mount Allison that made me want to come here was the sense of community I found even when visiting in the dead of winter. People seemed to enjoy being there and were genuinely friendly. This sense of community was confirmed during the first weeks here where I met some of the most interesting and caring people I've ever met. I'm still friends, if not close friends, with many of the people I met here during frosh week. Although it is difficult to accurately quantify a sense of comfort, it has been a major factor contributing to my success here. Even in times of anxiety I still have felt at home at Mount Allison.

Secondly, I saw that there was a vibrant student community with over a hundred active student groups. During my first semester at Mount Allison I joined different Students' Administrative Council Committees, became a blog writer for the school, and published an article about the US election in the Argosy, Mount Allison's independent student newspaper. I don't think there are many other schools of Mount Allison's calibre where a new student would be able to get so involved.

When I got back form the airport on the car ride back home I talked to my parents about the school year so far and they noted how my academic writing has improved over the years. I wrote earlier about how sometimes the intense stress of large assignments over a long period of time can make you refocus your priorities. It can make you a more efficient student and writer and after receiving my grades I'm even more convinced this is true.

This semester in four third-year courses I wrote in excess of 125 pages. Now a ten page assignment that seemed like a hassle in first year seems like very little after the gargantuan amount of work I completed this semester. I owe this success partially due to the Honors and AP courses I was able to take in high school that prepared me for university but it is the high expectations, excellent teaching, and advice from professors that forced and aided me in writing multiple 20+ page A-quality research papers. I firmly believe Mount Allison provides one of the most solid foundations anyone can have when applying directly for employment or to a graduate program.