March 2, 2012

Ohio University


Hi, this is Jennifer, Jenny's guest blogger, writing about my trip to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, with my daughter Rosa. Rosa is an aspiring photographer and we went to Ohio University to look specifically at two photography programs. Ohio offers photography majors in both their School of Visual Communications, which is part of the Scripps School of Journalism and offers majors in photojournalism and commercial photography; and in their School of Fine Arts where they offer a B.F.A. in photography.


Athens is located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. It is a beautiful, although somewhat remote, area of Ohio. Ohio University is the oldest college/university in the old Northwest Territory. Founded in 1804, it is the reason for being of Athens and Athens is completely a college town. The campus is beautiful. There are lots of old trees and red brick buildings with lots of lovely old Victorian homes scattered around the campus serving as fraternity or sorority houses or campus offices. There is a business district adjacent to campus with bookstores, coffee shops, vegetarian and ethnic restaurants, a movie theater and,

naturally I suppose, a multitude of bars.

We spent a day and a half on campus and everyone we met was friendly and absolutely delighted to talk about the school. We spent considerable time with both of the department heads of the programs Rosa was interested in and they both were very willing to discuss her interest in photography and why she wants to pursue it at length. I have been on many college tours and it is rare to get that kind of personal attention.

Ohio University has about 20,000 undergraduate students. The student body is small enough so that there is a feeling of community, but large enough to offer a wide range of academic majors, loads of clubs and extracurricular activities, and lots of opportunities for internships and foreign study. The school is Division 1 in most sports and also has many club teams. There are three separate buildings for athletic activities: a new gym with a rock climbing wall and an indoor track, a natatorium with an Olympic size pool and an ice rink.

For the most academically advanced students, Ohio University offers the Honors Tutorial College which is based on the Oxford and Cambridge tutorial system. If students are admitted to this college they are basically free to design their own course of study and to pursue it with individual guidance from professors of their choice.

I loved Ohio University, but unfortunately my daughter did not. While she appreciated all of the individual attention she received, I think it is just too far away from home for her. I, however, think that it is a gem of a school.

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