Answering the BIG question
Fast-paced terms give little room for introspection but seeing so many admitted students buzzing with excitement around campus and lounging on the Green got me thinking about what exactly drew me here. We all have our reasons to attend a certain school... however, now that I'm almost two years into my Dartmouth experience, I reckon I can add some more nuance to why I would choose this place again in a heartbeat. I didn't really have that many options when I began applying to colleges abroad. Dartmouth is one of the few schools in the US that meets 100% of demonstrated need of all students, regardless of their citizenship. That was a game-changer when I was nearing decision day, as some other good schools were out of reach for me financially. I think it's an amazing opportunity that I can attend such a great college with zero financial burdens.
Beyond its generous aid, my two cents are that Dartmouth has a community for everyone. It's normal to be scared when you're settling into a new place. But before I even got here, I already felt connected to Hanover. Crazy, right? The Alumni Group connected me with admitted students from Europe and set up many Zoom calls to help us bond as a class. Their help really speaks to Dartmouth's global tight-knit community. No matter where you are in the world, you'll run into current students or alumni who are always so willing to support you! School pride runs deep here, I mean it. Whenever I go back home for breaks, I love to wear my Dartmouth hoodie in Boston Logan because I often meet alums who love reconnecting with current students. When I'm away from Hanover, I can still carry Dartmouth's uplifting spirit with me wherever I go.
As international students, we inevitably worry about not fitting in. A remote location in the great outdoors can steer some city people away… but I'd say, why not give this idyllic setting a shot? Dartmouth's campus has given me two years to really get to grips with what I want out of my education and how that should manifest in my career. City environments would have distracted me from my goals, and I'd feel a lot less attached to my school. The uniqueness of Hanover lies in its location. That's the secret ingredient that fosters a strong sense of place. We root for each other's success, even decades after graduating (or so they say!). But these are just some of the reasons why Dartmouth continues to resonate with me. The beauty of such an open-ended question like "Why Dartmouth" is that my answer could have taken many different directions. I could have also spoken about the cool research opportunities I've joined, the times I've taken professors out for lunch with Dartmouth-sponsored vouchers, or the collaborative culture I've witnessed through my extracurriculars. It's pretty obvious to me why people wish to call Hanover home!