Yale University, founded in 1701, is the second oldest Ivy. It’s located in New Haven, Connecticut, in between New York and Boston. Hence, if you’ll find yourself missing the big city life, trains to New York leave New Haven Union Station every 30 minutes, take 2 hours to get to Manhattan, and cost $17.50 one-way.
Yale is famous for many things. First and foremost, of course, for its incredible academics. Yale has produced 5 US Presidents, including Bill Clinton, 65 Nobel prize winners, 31 living billionaires, 19 Supreme Court Justices, and too many Senators and CEOs to name. Even more exciting is the fact that Yale boasts a very tight community, and many of these famous alumni come back to teach at Yale after wrapping up their professional careers or, at the very least, as guest speakers in lectures and seminars. Moreover, Yale places tremendous focus on undergraduate students, working hard to maintain an especially low student-faculty ratio, and having its rock-star Nobel prize-winning Professors teach bachelor students in seminars of 10-15 people. Some of our Yale mentors, in fact, have been fortunate enough to partake in such classes with Nobel prize winners like Prof. Robert Schiller, Prof. William Nordhaus, former President of Mexico, Prof. Ernesto Zedillo, and a famous investor and pioneer of endowment investing, Prof. David Swensen. You won’t find that sort of exposure at undergraduate level anywhere else in the world!
A lesser-known academic program that’s unique to Yale is Directed Studies. About 10% of incoming Yale undergraduates apply and get selected, and then spend most of their first year reading close to 100 of the greatest works of the Western canon, ranging from Plato to Kant. The course also entails extensive essay writing. While DS is extremely rigorous, it produces incredibly well-rounded intellectuals, well-prepared for any future academic and professional challenges.
Yale especially stands out in social sciences and the humanities, but is also quickly coming up in the sciences – for example, it has the strongest quantum computing department in the world, based upon various rankings and industry talk. Yale’s outstanding School of Drama, which boasts Edward Norton, Meryl Streep and many other world-famous stars as alumni, greatly contributes to the booming campus arts scene by putting on plays, musicals, comedy improv events and in a myriad of other ways. These are, usually, Broadway-level performances, and they’re free – so you’ll never be lacking cultural stimulation.
In terms of campus life, Yale functions under a residential college structure, similar to that of Oxford or Cambridge. This model allows students to build a much stronger relationships and community within the residential colleges, and not get lost in the vast university community. Colleges often compete among each other, hosting annual competitions and games, which are great fun. And all colleges unite to compete against Yale’s long-term rival, Harvard, culminating in the annual Harvard-Yale games, known simply as The Game.
Finally, Yale has the strongest student club infrastructure among any university. One would be remiss not to mention Yale’s secret societies, such as Skull and Bones, Book and Snake, Scroll and Key, and a handful of others. They’re shrouded in mystery and legend, and not without reason – for example, Skull and Bones, inviting only 15 students to join its ranks each year, has produced numerous US and foreign presidents, famous business people and leaders in other fields. In the basement of its mansion, known as the Tomb, the CIA was born. Oh, and they also have a private island! Some students have chosen Yale over Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and other schools specifically for the chance of joining these exclusive societies.
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