Thursday, July 26, 2018

Transfer Myths Busted

Questions I get all the time: What is it like being a transfer student? Was it hard leaving your first
school to come to UVA? Why did you transfer to UVA?

Never fear, curious world- I am here to answer any and all questions about the UVA transfer experience!
I want to begin by saying that everyone’s transfer story is incredibly different; people transfer schools
for a plethora of different reasons and they have varying experiences with adjustment and integration.
I will touch on these experiences while also sharing my own transfer journey with you all and I will be
doing so through the method of myth-busting. Let’s bust some transfer students myths!

Myth #1: Transferring colleges is an uncommon occurrence, making it difficult to transition from
one school to another.

Though transferring may not sound like a familiar phenomenon when you’re in high school,
according to the Princeton Review website, about one-third of all college students transfer
schools every year. UVA is a prime example of the commonality of transferring; we have a very
large transfer community here. In fact, transfer students take up about 4% of the undergraduate
student population and has a vibrant presence in our clubs and organizations. This made my
transfer process much easier, since I had a lot of people who could relate to my experience and
could join organizations that worked to further enhance the transfer experience.

Myth #2: Transfer students are at a disadvantage socially because they didn’t get to live in
first-year dorms and forge meaningful friendships in their first year.

It is true that the first community you find in college is typically through a dorm or aspect of residence
life during your first year. This is especially true at UVA, where the first-years live in a concentrated
area of grounds and create great cammarderies in their living spaces. Choosing to live off-grounds as
a transfer student definitely made me nervous, since I knew I would not have this community to fall
back on. However, I quickly realized that getting involved in the numerous close-knit organizations
available on grounds will help you to find your “people” just as much as a dorm would. Though I felt
like I missed out on something in the first few months here, as soon as I joined CIOs that I was
passionate about, I caught up socially with everyone else pretty quickly. Now I feel like I have as
great a college family as anyone who lived in dorms. Depend on those CIOs, they won’t let you down!

Myth #3: Transferring makes graduating in four years difficult/impossible.

Perhaps at other schools, but not here! UVA’s four-year graduation rate is 87%, much higher than the
national average and this includes transfer students. Credits easily transfer to UVA from other schools
 and the administration is well-versed in the transfer credit process. I know I will be able to graduate
in four years and every other transfer I know will as well. This is not to say that there won’t be
occasional case-by-case situations but overall, graduating in four years is still the norm for UVA
transfer students.

Myth #4: Transfer students can’t study abroad.

Wrong! They absolutely can. Our International Studies Office does a great job at making study
abroad opportunities accessible to all students, especially transfer students. Our UVA direct credit
programs let students go abroad with UVA faculty and take UVA classes, so transfer students don’t
have to worry about the headache that is more transfer credit. Those classes taken abroad will go
directly onto your transcript and into your GPA. However, if you are ever worried about not fitting
in your credits and study abroad in four years, you can go during the summer or during a January term.

Myth #5: It is more difficult to join CIOs (clubs) at UVA when you are a transfer student.

Overall, I had a very easy time joining CIOs as a second-year. But that is not to say there aren’t a
select few organizations that try to recruit mainly first-years. These, however, will be a small majority.
I even joined a student-run theatre organization called First Year Players even though (if you can’t tell
by the name) they cater mostly to first-year students. Most organizations with this type of mentality
usually have an exception for transfer students. This turned out to be very beneficial for me because
I made lots of first year friends who were going through similar adjustment periods like myself.
Don’t worry too much about this though; a majority of CIOs will see transfer students as a valuable
voice in their organization.

Myth #6: Integrating into the UVA social life will be difficult because there is a negative stigma
about transfer students on grounds.

This one was probably the biggest misconception I had about the transfer experience. Terrified I would
be judged for being a transfer, I was very careful about who I told in my first few months. But I quickly
realized that this trepidation was completely unnecessary. Instead of being stigmatized, I found that many
people were impressed with my decision to transfer, noting that is takes a lot of drive and initiative to
do so. I felt that I was warmly welcomed into the Wahoo community and I promise that you will too!

Well future Hoos, I hope these mythbusters were informative and helpful. If you have any questions
about the transfer experience, feel free to reach out to me at ! Good luck and
go Hoos!

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