UAA Students
Hello Anchorage students! I'm Becky and I'm considering exchanging at… 
11th-Mar-2008 04:18 pm
Hello Anchorage students! I'm Becky and I'm considering exchanging at UAA for next semester. I'm currently a 2nd year at New College of Florida, which is a tiny public liberal arts school in Sarasota, Florida. I have a lot of questions for y'all.

1. Umm.. what is Alaska like? I grew up in Orlando, Florida and now go to college south of there. The most cold weather I've experienced was one week in November in upstate New York... when I was 11. I didn't own close-toed shoes for 3 years until this year. And I don't own pants. I have no clue what kind of clothing/other stuff (besides pants, clearly) I would need to buy if I spent Fall semester in Anchorage. And I mean, that shit's expensive, right? Where could I buy it used or really cheap? How does one survive Winter? I just don't know shit about Alaska.

2. What is Anchorage like? The college I go to now is in Sarasota, which is a glorified beach-front retirement community. Lots of rich, old, white people and conservative young families. How big is Anchorage, and what type of area is campus in? How's the public transportation? What is there to do? Is it liberal or conservative?

3. How do you feel about academics? I'm used to taking small classes and I haven't had grades since high school. I want to take classes in Art History, gender/diversity studies, Anthropology, and especially the American Sign Language program. What classes are tough or impossible to get in to? How much time to you/students in general spend on schoolwork?

4. Student life: What do you guys do all the time? What types of events does the school program, and what do students put on themselves? What are some of the big clubs on campus? Is there much diversity, or any diversity clubs/groups? Is there a liberal or radical presence on campus?

5. What else do you have to tell me? What has your experience been like at UAA, good or bad? I want to know as much as I can before I make my decision!

Thank you all so much.
11th-Mar-2008 08:48 pm
LOL! You’re definitely going to want some cold weather clothing, at least pants and a decent jacket. Are you going to drive or take the awesome bus like me? Students at UAA get to ride the bus free. I’m from California (San Fernando Valley) and somehow I became acclimated fairly quickly. It all depends on you though. I can wear a tank top and just a comfy jacket all winter and still walk to the bus and stuff. I’ve even seen people wear sandals in the winter. You really don’t need super expensive stuff: my jacket is a cheap WalMart $30 jacket. This winter was fairly mild too. We’re looking outside and it’s clear and sunny and birds are out and it’s just *drool*.

Anchorage campus is a smaller than most campus. It’s a little over a mile long. The campus life here is awesome, though I have only joined the Justice club and Psych club. Everyone here (for the most part) is really friendly and open and relaxed. I think that’s what I love most about Alaska is the relaxed environment. There’s a ton to do, sometime you do have to be creative. The bus system is not the best, but I love it. I take it everywhere and it’s nice to relax and read a book rather than be stuck in traffic. The busses sometimes tend to run late, which can be annoying; but good planning eases the pain.

I love the academics here. Some classes are quite easy some are a little tougher. I can’t really speak for most classes you seem to be interested in; but I work in the Social Work department and take Justice and Psychology classes, so I do know a little about them. The classes are not too hard to get in but some gen eds. do fill up quickly. The professors here are amazing, though, and really do give you the one-on-one time you need and deserve. I spend very little time on school work, actually: a little homework here and there and some studying for tests, but nothing ridiculous.

There are a ton of events to go to and enough programs to fill any need. I can’t speak much for all the groups, as I haven’t yet become active in the social scene because of work and school. There are always the hockey games and other sports games to attend or just random socialization with classmates or people you bump into.

I absolutely love UAA and I’m just disappointed I likely can’t stay here past my BA since they don’t offer the MS or PsyD or PhD I want. I always highly recommend UAA if you can get over the “OMG it’s Alaska” shock. We do drive cars, not sled dogs; we have real houses, not igloos; and it’s not always snowing, in fact it’s gorgeous out now!
11th-Mar-2008 09:07 pm
Thanks so much for your detailed response!

2. Campus is a mile? That's how big my campus is-- but we've only got 700 students! Is it a commuter school, or am i just confused? Speaking of residence, how are the dorms-- crap or great?

What is this justice stuff? Pre-law, or something?

Thanks again!
11th-Mar-2008 09:19 pm
I think we have quite a bit more than 700 students! Here's a map of the campus

A lot of people are p/t and/or evening. The class sizes are usually under 30 and it's awesome.

I've seen the inside of the apartment/dorms and they were nice, but I've never lived here as I like off campus.

Yes, justice is pre-law, but I'm doing it for the law aspect to do Correctional/Forensic Clinical Psychology.
1st-Feb-2009 12:02 am
Heh...I wish I'd have seen this earlier (it's really too bad this community's so quiet!). Did you end up coming here for fall? I was actually on a semester abroad in England this fall, which was...very different from home.

If you're at all interested, I've got a travel blog up about my time in Europe, along with several entries recently about life here in Anchorage...although for the most part they consist of whining about the weather. >_< What can I say, it gets annoying...
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