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“You know you are from Rochester when…. you can travel from Egypt to Greece in under half and hour” – unknown
It is easy to submerge yourself in the RIT bubble and spend four years on the campus without checking out the surrounding areas. Over this holiday break I have traveled from western New York, to the Adirondack Mountains, to New York City. Rochester is located in an awesome part of the state and it is easy to get around by car, bus, train, or plane. The city of Rochester is a quick 20-minute commute; Buffalo and Syracuse are an hour away; the Adirondack Mountains can be reached in less than 3 hours; and New York City is roughly 6 hours.
(Left: took the train to NYC; Right: skiing at Gore Mountain, 3 hours from RIT)
I am guilty of not taking advantage of the RIT opportunities of exploration. The university offers a variety of unique classes that allow students to check out the surround areas. One of my sorority sisters is taking a course in museum history, which includes weekly trips to different museums in Rochester. During spring break students can explore the historic Adirondack Mountains by registering for wellness classes that involve camping, skiing, and snowshoeing. I had my first field trip last week for my sustainability course, we checked out the Monroe Waste Water Treatment Facility… not all that glamorous, but it got the class off campus and into the city.
My advice to incoming students is to use RIT as your home base for the next 4-5 years. Explore the area and take advantage for the exploration courses offered. This may be your only time living in western New York (especially those of you who are international students, or from different states). If you have the opportunity to study abroad, take it. If you cannot figure out a way to leave the country, then use your coop blocks to explore the country and different cultures, similar experience without a language requirement. My last coop block was in Burlington Vermont, home to flannel, skiing, and an intensely environmentally conscious population. Next quarter I will be switching coasts and moving to California to check out what Silicon Valley has to offer.
The RIT degree can be complimented by SO many cultural opportunities – check it out and let me know where you go and what you see!