Arizona State University is a public research university founded in 1885. Located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, ASU is the largest public university in the USA in terms of enrolment. It’s also one of the universities most Indians apply to, without fail, since it qualifies as a ‘safe’ university, which means it’s pretty easy to get in. Mechanical, Electrical and Industrial courses are rated top notch at ASU.
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While Phoenix is a decently sized city by itself, it isn’t exactly bustling with 24x7 activity, so to speak. Unfortunately, though, there aren’t really many places to go to once you’re out of Phoenix either. That is, if you don’t want to make the 240 mile trip to Las Vegas, of course.
If you’re at ASU, there’s a good chance that you’ll be studying at its Polytechnic Campus, a massive 600 acre setup which is a good 25 miles from the original Tempe campus. It’s not nearly half as good as the urban Tempe campus, but it’s pretty well made nevertheless. Constructed on a former Air Force base, the polytechnic campus has some excellent research labs, and very well made lecture halls. The Tempe campus, where you may have some of your lectures, is the oldest and arguably the best ASU campus, and has a couple of fantastic libraries, nice cafes, and wonderfully made recreational centers.
Living off-campus is marginally cheaper, and definitely more preferable than living on-campus. It affords you more space, luxury and privacy. Some of the popular areas students choose to live in are Mesa, Chandler and Scottsdale, where you can get apartments for about $200-300 per head if you’re nice enough to share. Of course, once you read further you’ll know that it’s absolutely imperative to have air-conditioners at home, but fortunately every place has in-built air-conditioning. The walk to college probably wouldn’t, so choose your location wisely.
Oh, it’s pretty hot. Summers can be really painful at ASU, with temperatures often soaring past 40°C. It’s hot and dry though, so you probably won’t be drenching your t-shirts with sweat, but it’s bad enough anyway. Winters are a pleasure compared to summers, but even then the relative extremes of temperature can get to you. Late evenings and early mornings in winter can get quite chilly, but all in all it’s a relief compared to the sweltering summer. Fortunately, everything at ASU is air-conditioned, so the only time you really have to worry is when you’re outside, up against the raging sun.
The ease of getting into a university doesn’t necessarily have a direct relation with how good a university is, and this is vindicated by ASU. It is definitely one of the better universities around, and has an excellent faculty. Many professors have relocated from Ivy League schools, while some are rather inexperienced and not-so-great, but one thing that’s common in all is an inherent desire to help students flourish. All professors are very approachable, and are willing to help students even beyond office hours. Oh but their accents might be a problem.
Well, some amount of need-based scholarship is common, but you need to maintain a good enough GPA to keep getting it.
One of the biggest plus-points of ASU is its massive alumni network. Fortunately, it’s as strong and active as it’s big. If you manage to get in touch with enough alumni, and make strong enough connections, you’ll see that it’s easy to make things start happening for you. And that includes placements.
The crowd is probably one of the major reasons why some students tend to ditch the academically better schools for ASU. Consistently ranked as one of the best party schools, Arizona State University is also known for the eye candy on offer. The soaring temperatures most of the year adds to the attraction – hot weather normally equals hot (small) clothes. That said, it’s also not too hard to find rather simple, down-to-earth folk who shy away from the limelight. Only if you want to look for them, of course.
While there’s enough to do even on campus, it’s a lot more fun if you venture outdoors. though the term ‘outdoors’ doesn’t exactly do justice to the convenient walk to a million bars right outside the ASU campus. There’s something for everyone, be it casual bars, romantic restaurants, pool parlours, wild drinking places, very wild drinking places, or extremely wild drinking places. ASU is known for its party scene, and there’s a very valid reason why – Mill Avenue next door has next to everything you could ask for.
Don’t be fooled by the overhyped and overstated notoriety of Arizona State University, unless that’s what is drawing you there. It’s a good school, and one you’ll never regret going to.
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