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My daughter is interested in environmental sciences and loves the idea of the Dartout Club, but she's hesitant about Dartmouth's Greek life prominence and party culture. Can she still feel a part of the community without joining a sorority?

A: Adrian Chimboza '25

As someone who has navigated the complex, vibrant ecosystem of Dartmouth from the unique lens of being an international student from Zimbabwe, I find it truly rewarding to engage with prospective students and their families. Hearing that your daughter has specific interests like environmental sciences and is already eyeing clubs like Dartout fills me with joy. It reminds me of my excitement when I first considered Dartmouth, and how the school has lived up to those expectations in so many ways.

The Multifaceted World of Environmental Sciences at Dartmouth

Firstly, the Environmental Sciences program at Dartmouth is an academic haven that offers more than just traditional classroom learning. Your daughter would have the chance to engage in extensive research projects, some of which are interdisciplinary and integrate fields like technology and social sciences. Dartmouth faculty members often encourage undergraduates to take on ambitious research topics, and I've seen firsthand how students collaborate with professors to produce impactful work. Friends in the department have had opportunities to publish papers and even present at international conferences, all under the supportive guidance of their professors.

Beyond academics, Dartmouth's geographical location in beautiful Hanover provides abundant opportunities for hands-on fieldwork. From local water testing projects to exploring the nearby White Mountains' ecological health, the program offers a plethora of practical experiences that complement classroom learning. Your daughter will be well-equipped to not only understand environmental issues but to also make a meaningful impact.

Dartout Club: More Than Just an Outdoor Club

The Dartout Club stands as a testimony to Dartmouth's commitment to interdisciplinary involvement. It offers an array of activities and projects that integrate love for the outdoors with actionable steps toward environmental sustainability. I remember when the club organized a weekend camping trip combined with a river clean-up drive. It was not only a fun adventure but also gave members a first-hand perspective on the consequences of environmental neglect. The club also often invites guest speakers who are experts in outdoor education or environmental policy, providing a balanced view of the environmental scene from both an academic and a practical standpoint.

Greek Life: A Single Facet in Dartmouth's Social Gem

Let's talk about Greek life. It's undoubtedly a significant part of Dartmouth's social fabric, and it can seem intimidating if it's not something you're looking to engage in. However, what's crucial to understand is that Greek life is just one among many social options available. Personally, I never felt the need to join a fraternity or sorority. My social life has been incredibly fulfilling without it, brimming with activities that reflect my interests and identity.

One might argue that Dartmouth has a 'party school' reputation. While parties and social events are part of the culture, they are far from dominating the campus experience. You can choose to engage to the extent you're comfortable with. As someone who leans more towards academic and cultural engagements, I've found Dartmouth to offer a full, enriching social life without ever setting foot in a fraternity house.

A Deep Dive into Career Clubs: From Sadie Alexander to Business and Beyond

As an international student interested in economics and social justice, the Sadie Alexander Association has been a critical part of my Dartmouth experience. The club organizes a variety of events, ranging from guest lectures to community outreach programs. We explore issues like income inequality, healthcare, and education, often with a global lens. Given that I'm from Zimbabwe, I find these discussions incredibly relevant. They offer a platform to discuss economic challenges and opportunities pertinent to Africa, fostering a deeper understanding of complex issues.

Additionally, there are other career-focused clubs for virtually every field. Whether your daughter is interested in medicine, technology, law, or the arts, there's likely a club or society that would be a perfect fit. These clubs are great networking opportunities and often host events with alumni who have succeeded in those fields.

Identity and Belonging: Dartmouth African Students Association and More

The Dartmouth African Students Association (DASA) has been more than just a club for me; it's been a home away from home. At DASA events, I've had the opportunity to celebrate my Zimbabwean heritage, engage in pan-African discussions, and even share traditional African meals. One of the most heartwarming experiences was our annual Africa Week, where we organized an array of activities from film screenings to panel discussions that highlighted various aspects of African culture and contemporary issues.

But the tapestry of identity at Dartmouth stretches even wider. The school hosts numerous other cultural clubs and societies that celebrate different ethnicities, religions, and nationalities. These organizations provide safe spaces for students to explore their identities and share their unique perspectives, enriching the broader Dartmouth community in the process.

Crafting Your Unique Dartmouth Story

Dartmouth is a kaleidoscope of experiences and opportunities. Here, every student has the agency to craft a personal journey that reflects their aspirations, interests, and identities. And that's the beauty of it; Dartmouth provides the canvas, but the painting is yours to create. I've found a sense of belonging here that is rooted not just in shared interests but also in a shared commitment to making the most out of our college years.

Thank you for considering Dartmouth as a potential home for your daughter. Wishing you both all the best in this exciting phase of your lives!

For more information visit,

"Greek Life at Dartmouth," by Love Tsai '23 (Dartmouth's Admisions Blog)

"Is the Greek life overpowering? Can you make friends through clubs or other ways?," by Tulio Huggins '23 (Dartmouth's Admission Blog)


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