Minnesota, United StatesRanked among top 30 universities in US
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (U of M) is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest campus within the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest student body in the United States, in terms of numbers. It’s also a fantastic university, which is quite clear when you consider how hard it is to get into it.
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Although University of Minnesota is pretty much a city by itself (they have bars, cafes, coffee shops, everything!), there’s also a lot to do in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. Since the college is right next to Downtown, students are just a short bus ride away from a plethora of time-wasting opportunities. Of course, you can also go hiking, or take a bike-ride by the lake. There’s plenty to do, but there’s not much more once you get out of the twin cities. The nearest ‘big’ city would probably be Kansas City, and that’s a good 400 miles away.
The magnificent campus of the University of Minnesota is spread over roughly 2700 acres of land. Though it is a pretty old school, constant rebuilding and renovation means that all the buildings are architecturally and technologically up to date. The campus is state of the art, with well maintained classrooms and athletic facilities which would put many Olympic stadiums to shame. They have a fantastic library system, which has over 3 million volumes in all. There is excellent sports infrastructure for students which include all sorts of grounds and recreational facilities.
As for living, well most grad students tend to live off campus, since it’s far more convenient, and definitely cheaper (if you manage to stuff in as many roommates as legally permissible). The most popular areas are Dinkytown, Como Avenue, and Stadium Village. These places allow students to live in close proximity of campus, and thus, they are convenient places for college students. However, because these places are always in demand, it gives the landlords a way to exploit and over-rent the housing. Most of the houses are rundown and in need of renovation, but the rent is not any less
Oh, it’s terrible. Winters in the Twin Cities are biting cold, and the worst part about them is that they never seem to get over. It’s perfectly normal to witness snowfall during spring break, and even when ‘summer’ does come along, it just doesn’t manage to stay. A couple of feet of snow isn’t considered odd during winters, so you can imagine how bad it would be. All in all, the weather here isn’t meant for everyone, and it’s common for students to fall sick and go into depression because of the general gloominess. It’s highly advisable to get LOTS of clothes, so that you can dress up in layers on a daily basis (yes, you’ll need to).
Where University of Minnesota lacks in location and weather, it more than makes up in terms of academics. It’s one of the toughest universities to get into for a reason, and that reason is probably the fact that it has some of the finest professors in the country. Students manage to maintain excellent rapports with their teachers, but the one thing they might take some time to get used to is the large sizes of most classes. Individual attention is nearly impossible in a class of about 200 students, but professors still take out time for students if they go to them during office hours with doubts.
This is where a major problem lies. But honestly, if you make it to U of M, funding should be the last thing on your mind. It’s terribly difficult to get, but fortunately the fee isn’t too high.
Now, this highly depends on the course you’re pursuing. U of M is very highly regarded for Electrical Engineering, which is why the jobs and internships you get in these fields are absolutely fantastic. Even for other courses, jobs are pretty good, though they might not come too easily. There are multiple career fairs, though, so it’s all about being good enough to prove yourself.
Since University of Minnesota is such a huge university, it’s tremendously easy to find people who you’ll get along with. There are a number of schools in the campus, and there’s ample time to get familiar with a variety of people. You’ll find a good mix of students here, though the Asian population would outweigh the others by a margin in most Graduate programs.
There’s a million things to do at U of M. If the campus itself didn’t provide enough opportunities to have a good time, the areas of Dinkytown and Downtown certainly will. A fine selection of bars, cafes and restaurants ensure that you’ll have your plate full with things to do, at all times.
Definitely one of the best universities for Electrical Engineering, and not too far behind when it comes to the other courses as well. The weather is a HUGE minus point though, so you better be sure before you take a leap of faith.
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