Maryland, United StatesRanked among top 30 universities in US
Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland. Consistently ranked as one of the top universities for research in the world, JHU is a universal favourite for its medical, biotech engineering and biomedical engineering programs. A little fun fact – more than 33 Nobel Prize winners are in some way associated with the university, either past/present professors or alumni.
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A major reason why JHU is what it is, is probably its absolutely fantastic location. Baltimore is a mid-sized city, but there are a million things you can do here. And although you’ll definitely find enough to keep you busy, you can always make the short trip to Washington DC, or the slightly longer trip to Philadelphia.
Johns Hopkins University is built on a nice 140 acre campus, and once you reach it after driving through Baltimore, it just doesn’t feel like you’re still in the midst of the city. Make no mistake, this is a good thing. The campus is very modern and has all sorts of state-of-the-art facilities, but it also has a peaceful atmosphere thanks to the lush greenery everywhere. JHU is known for its research, and all the libraries, laboratories and research centers more than do justice to the Hopkins name.
As a grad student, you would probably want to live off-campus, just like almost everyone else does. Fortunately, there’s a multitude of options available for off-campus accommodation, just that you have to be willing to do some looking-around. Apartments and row-houses are quite easily available, and pretty accessible from the university campus as well. The rents in Baltimore are quite low as well (between $500 and $900 per month), and it becomes even more affordable if you decide to live with a couple of roommates. Popular areas students normally choose to live in are University Parkway and Charles Village, though you can live just about anywhere and still have good accessibility to everything around. Of course, it’s important to give some importance to safety; muggings aren’t totally uncommon, so you’ll be well-advised to not roam around aimlessly in dark alleys in the middle of the night.
Baltimore has a ‘subtropical’ kind of climate. But without getting into details of what that means, let’s just say that Indians won’t like it too much here. Winters get awfully cold, and summers don’t really do justice to the word ‘warm’, by Indian standards. The average July (hottest month) temperature is about 24 degrees Centigrade, while it’s quite common for winter temperatures to go well beyond the zero mark. Rainfall occurs throughout the year, though it’s never really torrential. Winters experience some amount of snowfall, and it’s advised to carry a good few layers of clothing.
Students are pretty pleased with the academics at Johns Hopkins. In fact, that’s probably the main reason why they joined it. JHU is regarded as the best in the world for medicine, and that is perhaps why even the biomed and biotech engineering courses are so impressive. Although the quality of the professors cannot be questioned, students always complain that they are more bothered about their research than actually teaching in classes. This makes the professors slightly unapproachable at times, but then again they are willing to go out of their way if you build a good rapport with them.
Since it’s a private university, they aren’t terribly generous with freeships, but fortunately you can get excellent Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships at JHU.
Since the college is so well known for its medicine-related fields, most of the people you’ll come across are those typical ‘I have donated my life to saving other lives’ types. Okay, not really – it’s not THAT bad. But well it isn’t too great either. You’ll find a nice, healthy ratio of males to females, but don’t expect to see supermodels. Most students are really studious, and perhaps too sincere. But having said that, you can still make some good friends, no doubt.
What you can (and should) do off campus will probably interest you more than what you can do on campus. Baltimore is a nice city with some wonderful bars, and a number of other things to do. If you come from a bigger city, though, you might be slightly put off by the lack of constant activity. Fret not, anyway – Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Ocean City and New York City are less than four hours away.
If you’re a Biomed or Biotech engineer, JHU should certainly be your aim. If you aren’t, well it’s a good university anyway.
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