As you have noticed from the title, I am not your typical UVa student. My name is Assad, and I am a rising third year studying Architecture and Economics. I hail from two places, Jersey and Jordan, (yes, Jordan as in the other side of the pond). Need I say more?
Architecture has always been a passion of mine. My parents were slightly worried when I started drawing blueprints as a six-year-old instead of playing video games, but that interest has evolved and blossomed into a career, and I love it! One major thing you need to consider in terms if applying to Architecture schools (if there are any aspiring architects out there reading this blog) is whether you want to look at four-year programs or five-year program. Dear old UVa offers a four-year undergraduate program, which means that you would have to attend two more years of graduate school to become a licensed practicing architect (I will talk more about that in my next post). However, the positive thing about four year programs is that they tend to be less rigorous and allow you to explore other academic and non-academic areas that spark your interest, while still preparing you for a future in Architecture.
Even if we don't have too many architects reading, I am sure all of you out-of-staters and internationals can relate to my experience. Coming from a small high-school with a graduating class of 70 students, UVa was rather intimidating at first. We have 13,500 full-time undergraduates here and about 22,000 students in total. So, you can imagine how big of a transition UVa was for me. However, the initial intimidation: completely out-of-place. For those of you who have already visited, you have observed how friendly, helpful, and enthusiastic people are around here. And the reason behind that is not solely to entice you and convince you to come here, but it is absolutely genuine and heartfelt. As far as I know, everyone here is doing something they love and if they still don't know what they love, UVa helps them discover that. A great advantage of being in such a major research university are the number of opportunities available for you here as a student. As such, you will definitely find your passion here and you will enjoy every moment along the way.
So stay tuned for more to come about life as an international student, the study of Architecture at UVa, the Jefferson Public Citizens, and the broad range of involvement opportunities at the best place on Earth! (yes, I am absolutely biased)