University of Florida (UFL)
Founded in 1853, the University of Florida (UF or UFL) is a public research university located at Gainesville, Florida. While the university is commonly known as the number one party school in the US, it’ s also pretty famous for its academics. This little combination, along with the fact that it isn’t too hard to get in, ensures that UFL is a hot favourite among Indians.
Although Gainesville isn’t really a ‘big city’, it’s certainly not a tiny village either. It was recently voted the 9th best college town in America, perhaps because of its extremely student-friendly nature. There’s enough to do, and it’s pretty self-sufficient, so to speak. Of course, if you need a breather, you could always make the hour long journeys to Jacksonville or Orlando, and Miami is never too far (though it would take a good few hours to get there).
Infrastructure and Residing options:
The University of Florida is built on a lovely 2000 acre campus in the heart of Gainesville (Well, naturally, considering that the school IS the heart of Gainesville). It has an excellent library system with 3 main libraries, which together have over 4 million volumes between them. The university has excellent recreation centers, with state-of-the-art facilities for all kinds of sports and games. Oh and the lecture halls, auditoriums and laboratories and pretty dazzling as well, of course.
Living on campus can become slightly uneconomical – the charges are about $5000 per year, plus a hell of a lot of other charges. Most grad students do the sensible thing and choose to live off campus, where they can get more (privacy, space, freedom) for less. There’s one major stretch where the majority of students live – between Archer Road and Williston Road, near Oaks Mall. The rent could range from around $600 to $1000 per month, depending on the size and the location.
Wasn’t Florida known for its weather? Summers are warm and sunny, but never hot. Winters are cool and more than bearable. It rains a lot, though, and it’s imperative that you carry an umbrella with you at most times.
- Aerospace Engineering
- Agricultural and Biological Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Electrical & Computer Engineering
- Environmental Engineering Sciences
- Industrial & Systems Engineering
- Materials Science & Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering Sciences
Faculty and Pedagogy:
Now, you wouldn’t normally expect the faculty at a public university to be out-of-the-world nice, but there’s something about UFL that brings the best out of even the most stone-hearted professors. As long as you take some initiative and make some efforts, professors are more than willing to help you out.
As far as the learning process is concerned, well it’s fun but it’s taxing as well. UFL has a reputation as a top university, and you ought to expect the workload to do it justice. So yeah, deadlines need to be met and classes need to be attended regularly, but all in all it’s an enjoyable process.
Being a public university, UFL is nice enough to charge a tuition fee of about $30,000 for 24 credits. Total tuition fee would come around $33,000.
Not only is the fees low, but they’re also pretty generous with financial aid. Many students get some kind of scholarship, the amount increases with the quality of your profile.
Since University of Florida is one of the better colleges around, it certainly shouldn’t be a problem getting a pretty-high-paying job once you’re here. Where you get placed naturally depends on the course you’re doing, but more often than not, you can expect to get picked up by one of the top players in whatever field you’re specializing in.
Crowd and Campus Life:
Well, one thing that needs to be mentioned is that everyone loves partying. Nerds would feel terribly out of place here. There are a lot of tanned, and rather dirty, people everywhere. But well you get used to it. And if you’re Indian, you probably are already.
When it comes to hangout out outdoors, there are just two major areas – Downtown Gainesville and University Avenue. But boy are they major! You just have to walk down the streets here to know that they’re absolutely buzzing with hundreds of parties at any given time of the week. Some of the favourite bars and restaurants are 8 seconds, Rue Bar, Café Gardens, Crispy Kreme, and The Swamp.
- Chris Malachowsky - Co-founder of nVidia Graphics
- Preston McAfee - Currenet Vice-President at Yahoo! Research
- M.S.Ananth - Current director at IIT,Madras
For someone with a good profile, UFL is perhaps a Safe university to apply, but that’s where the ‘safety’ ends. Florida is notorious for its crime scene, though students say that they’re quite safe in and around the campus. Having said that, the college is excellent, and the crime scene really isn’t ALL that bad, so breathe easy.