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I applied to 10 colleges and ended up choosing Smith for two primary reasons. First, Smith's campus school is a great resource for my major in elementary education. Second, I knew I did not want to be isolated on a campus, and Northampton offers many cute shops and good restaurants.

As soon as I arrived at Smith, I experienced how friendly the professors are. They really encourage you to come to office hours and are happy to help. The workload is very manageable if you use your time well.

The houses are my favorite aspect of Smith. As opposed to dorms, the house system places an emphasis on community, and I've met people from all over the world. My neighbor is from Paraguay; she helped me with Spanish last semester.

In high school, I felt like I was growing through my friends. Smith has given me the opportunity to get to know myself, which has been an invaluable experience.

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What drew me to Smith was the fact that I could swim competitively and get a great education. I'll be a tri-captain of the swim team this year. Another pull was the STRIDE program that allowed me to do research as a first-year student. I was concerned about Smith being a women's college, but when I visited, I saw how much fun the students had.

The open curriculum at Smith has allowed me to pursue a rigorous science major and complete pre-med requirements while exploring other areas of interest. I received a Smith Undergraduate Research Fellowship as a sophomore and spent the summer researching under the guidance of Kevin Shea, associate professor of chemistry. I want to do an honors thesis as a senior. First, though, I'll be spending a semester of my junior year in Cordoba, Spain. I made a great choice coming to Smith.

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I'm a French major and a Spanish minor who is also fulfilling premed requirements. I've been told by professionals and graduate school admissions staff to do what truly interests me as an undergraduate rather than what looks good on an application or resume. So, I am studying languages, and I'm a leader in a number of campus organizations.

Last summer I was in Seattle for the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, which is geared toward minority premed undergraduate students. That was one of my great Smith experiences. In January, I traveled to the Dominican Republic with a group of UMass nursing students to work in the maternity ward at a public hospital. In the fall, I'll go to Geneva for my junior year.

I love Smith but I know it isn't the right choice for everyone. I think, though, that if you are self-directed, it's a place where you can really blossom.

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I'm the first person in my family to attend college, so the search process was new to me. I never intended to go to a women's college and only visited Smith while looking at a nearby school. But I loved the campus, the atmosphere and the people I met. I immediately knew it was the place for me.

It makes such a difference to be studying science in a single-sex environment. Students support each other, and Smith offers many opportunities for hands-on experience. After taking Professor Stan Scordilis's cell biology course, I began doing research with him. I spent a summer at Smith studying stress protein localization in muscle.

I participate in debate and Smith Spirit. I'm also the treasurer and social chair for the most amazing house on campus, Scales. Smith is empowering -- it's a privilege to be here.

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The Museums Concentration

The Museums Concentration draws on the educational resource of the Smith College Museum of Art's collection of more than 23,000 original works of art, on the expertise of its professional staff, and on the exceptional academic programs of Smith College and the Five Colleges that support learning in this area

Visit the Museums Concentration site >

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Rally Day Hats Tradition

The origins of Rally Day can be traced to a series of annual celebrations of George Washington's birthday, the first of which was held at Smith College in February 1876. Over time, these celebrations evolved from essentially social dinners or receptions into daylong college events. The addition of a "rally" to the day in 1894 was eventually reflected in the name Rally Day, first used in 1906. The celebration is now held annually on the third Wednesday in February.

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Spice it Up

When Kathy Zieja, director of dining services, sought to add some authentic spices to international dining nights in response to student requests, she brought in the experts. Esther Hong '11, whose parents are from Korea, assisted with Korean cuisine; Martin Carrera, owner of La Veracruzana restaurant in Northampton, consulted on recipes of Latin America.

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Distinguished Teachers

"Smith College has traditionally emphasized the importance of dynamic, diverse and interactive teaching in imparting the principles of the sciences and liberal arts to its high-achieving students," says President Carol T. Christ. "The college considers the teaching of its students to be among its most essential objectives as a leading institution of women's education." The Kathleen Compton Sherrerd '54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching is a visible symbol of Smith's commitment and dedication to superior pedagogy.

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Mountain Day With The Noteables

The Noteables celebrate Mountain Day a capella style.

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Smith Teas - Steeped in History

The tradition of Friday afternoon tea, where students mark the end of a busy week with snacks and tea, stretches back more than 100 years. Nanci Young, Smith College archivist, has been delivering tea talks about the history of the student houses since 1998, when she first arrived at Smith.