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Hey All! This blog serves to provide a student perspective to the University as you go through the application process.Veronica Mercadonoreply@blogger.comBlogger288125
Updated: 32 min 56 sec ago

In the Audience: The Fralin Museum of Art

August 19, 2014

In the Audience

The Fralin Museum of Art
by Andrew BaratAlthough the Fralin Art Museum is not a performance group here at UVa, which is what I have been mostly writing about, it is still a great opportunity for anyone interested in art to check out.  The Fralin is located right on Rugby Road, so very close to the Academical village and right near the other arts buildings we have at the University is free.  Exhibits are held throughout the year and give a wide range of studio art types from paint to sculpture and many different takes on the medium as well.Admission to the museum is free and they are open Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00.  Tours are given to elementary school groups, organizations, and senior groups so feel free to hop on one of these guided tours or even volunteer to be a docent at the Fralin and lead the tours yourself.  I am excited to check out the exhibit this semester called Realms of Earth and Sky (which will be open from August 29th to December 21st of 2014) to see the museum's collection of Indian art.  With all the exhibits and tours the museum offers it is definitely a place students should take advantage during their time at UVa.
For a look at their upcoming and current exhibits as well as more information on the Fralin Art Museum check out their website.

My Date with CVille: Carter Mountain

August 18, 2014

My Date with CVille
Carter Mountain
by Jared Morgan

Want to get into nature? Looking for some fresh produce? Hoping to hear some live music? All of these things and more are available to you at Carter Mountain. This orchard, frequented by locals and students alike, has mountain views, fruit picking of all kinds, and even concert series.

This past Thursday I went out to their Sunset Series which features live music every Thursday evening through the end of September. There's food, an ice cream bar, an old-fashioned country store, and some really good chicken salad. Students and family's filled the Carter Mountain's decks and surrounding hills for the event.

Aside from these usual Carter Mountain Orchard offerings, though, was a chance to see the sun set over Charlottesville and the surrounding mountains. It was a little weird not to be looking at a band performing while they play, but I don't think they blamed us! Just as UVa students always try to make those sunrise hikes at Humpback, a sunset at Carter Mountain is a can't miss. Also don't forget the apple picking, pumpkin picking, and other events going on throughout the year! (And, really, try the chicken salad.)

Follow Friday: Part XII

August 15, 2014

Follow Friday
Part XII: See Our @UVa_Summer Instagram!
Don't forget to follow @UVa_Summer and search the hashtag #UVaSummer on Instagram! To view the Instagram in your browser, click here.

Don't forget to also follow other UVa Instagram accounts, like @UVaDeanJ (reposted below)!

"These students are still showing school pride all the way on the UVAlps! #UVaSummer"8.11.14

"Have you followed @uvadeanj at the Office of Admission yet? She has great pics of #CavDog! 'Just a few more weeks until the #UVa Grounds are bustling again! #UVaSummer #Charlottesville #Virginia"8.13.14

Hoos in Charge: A How-To Guide

August 14, 2014

Hoos in Charge

How to Start a CIO
by Belen Osman
I've told about a bunch of ways to get involved in the great student organizations we have here at the University but let's you get here and realize we don't already have a club or organization you're interested in joining- what do you do? Well fear not, we have a solution! UVa allows students to start their own CIOs, which are Contracted Independent Organizations. A CIO exists and operates independently of the University and manages its own affairs. So lets say you arrive at the University and realize we don't have an organization for Netflix lovers, you can start the Official Netflix CIO and enjoy binge watching with your fellow Netflix addicts. 

So how exactly do you start a CIO? The Office of the Dean of Students advises that you first note and consider the following things before creating a new CIO:
  • Do other organizations currently exist that might address similar interests or a similar purpose which you hope to achieve with your new CIO?
  • The organization’s main officer as well as at least 51% of the members of the CIO must be full-time, fee paying University students.
  • Each CIO must maintain a constitution and save it on atUVa. A constitution template is provided in the registration if you do not have one prior to the submission process.  
Once you've done that, here are the very easy steps to start your new CIO:
  • Visit atUVa to submit your organizations information
  • The Vice-President of Organizations for Student Council and the Office of the Dean of Students will review your submission. *Club sports require a third review from the representative of Intramural-Recreational Sports.
  • The Vice-President of Organizations for Student Council will meet with the organization to discuss the CIO.  After meeting with the organization, the VPO will present the organization to the Representative Body of Student Council for approval. * The time for this process can vary depending on meetings, constitutional corrections, use of the University’s name, and meeting with the VPO.
  • Once a CIO has been approved, the President will be notified via atUVa messaging system.  CIOs will need to attend a Treasurer’s meeting and HOO’s In the Know? New CIO Workshop.  *Emails will be sent out to new CIOs about meeting times.
Then you're all set! For more information, visit the Student Activities Webpage

#WeAreAllUVA: Socioeconomic Diversity

August 13, 2014


Socioeconomic Diversity

by Wyatt Moorer

Socioeconomic diversity is a large goal among UVA in its admissions process in attracting a diverse class of students. UVA is committed to providing 100% of demonstrated need through its financial aid programs. AccessUVA helps in evaluating family's specific financial needs. Financial aid is provided through a combination of grants, work study, and loans. UVA is consistently ranked in the top three amongst best value public colleges for its efforts with financial aid. For more information about AccessUVA be sure to check out its website here:

Hawa Ahmed helps lead a panel for UFUSED at UVaThere are also students groups dedicated to promoting and raising awareness for socioeconomic diversity and how it impacts student's day to day life. For instance, the student group UFUSED at UVA (United For Undergraduate Socioeconomic Diversity) helps advocate for students in need of financial assistance to attend school. Also significant portions of funds in the annual class giving campaigns are donated back to AccessUVA. The University Bookstore is a non-profit as well donating all proceeds to financial aid services. 

Hoo's Abroad? Niki in Valencia!

August 12, 2014

Hoo's Abroad?
Niki in Valencia!
by Veronica Mercado

Niki Shumaker (CLAS '17) in Sevilla, Spain, in the royal alcazar.
Today we're going to find out more about study abroad in one of UVA's flagship global programs, UVA in Valencia. According to the Hispanic Studies in Valencia, Spain website, this program has "been created through the University of Virginia, which is responsible for the quality of the courses offered. All grades, transcripts, and credits earned in the UVA Hispanic Studies in Spain Program are accredited and forwarded by the University of Virginia to any other American institution of higher learning."

Niki Shumaker, a current second year in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Foreign Affairs with a minor in Business Spanish, just returned from the summer program in Valencia. This upcoming fall she will be interning with the Office of International Studies as a Study Abroad intern, helping other students take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities UVA offers!
What made you choose this place?
I chose Valencia because it offers courses for my Business Spanish minor, but in addition to that I have been studying Spanish since kindergarten, yet felt that I was missing out on truly understanding the culture. I think that one of the most important things in my life, especially as a Foreign Affairs student, is not only reading about other cultures, but to truly appreciate and experience them. I think this is the only way to truly understand cultures different from my own. Since I had always planned on minoring in Spanish, it was very important to me to take the opportunities available to do just that and really understand the roots and daily routines of Spanish life.

What classes are you taking?
I took Business Spanish (3040), Translation (4040), Business Practices of the Spanish Speaking World (4050), and Spanish Economy (4713). 
  What was the biggest learning experience you have had?
The biggest learning experience I had while in Spain was how to accept that studying abroad is not being a tourist; it is much more rewarding than that. However, that means learning that your life will be filled with new patterns and eccentricities, and that you should not only learn to live with these, but to celebrate having them. It means having new favorite foods because you won’t have your favorite foods from home. It means having a new favorite place to run because you won’t have your favorite path in your neighborhood. It means replacing your cup of coffee with a shot of espresso with varying amounts of milk, and replacing your car with a bus or the metro. Instead of resisting these changes, the most important thing is to adapt, thrive, appreciate, and enjoy them.

Office Hours: Professor George Gilliam

August 11, 2014

Office Hours
Professor George Gilliam
By Chelsea Marcelin

Another Professor who teaches in the College of Arts and Sciences is Professor George Gilliam. Professor Gilliam teaches in the Corcoran Department of History here at U.Va. and has been teaching at the University for 12 years now! Aside from history, Professor Gilliam likes NASCAR. In fact, In 1989 he published the “definitive” book on NASCAR. He says, "That is far from the craziest thing I done in my life!"

Want to learn more about Professor Gilliam? Let’s hear what he has to say about his experiences as a professor at UVA:
How you became involved in your field:“I was born! Everyone who is born has history; I decided to explore my own history, and the historical context into which I was born. I practiced law for almost 30 years before returning to the University of Virginia to study, and to teach, history."

Favorite thing about UVa:"The very bright and curious students, and the outstanding faculty. "

Funny Story/Memory from a class:"About five years ago, a student appeared at my office hours in about the 3rd week of class and announced, “I’m not getting it.” When he told me he wanted to “get it,” I suggested that we meet for one hour every week so I could review his lecture notes ad then we’d discuss the readings. By Thanksgiving, he proudly told me that he discussed all of our sessions with his girl friend, and that she thought he had “become a history buff.” He ended up doing fine in my course, became a history major, and graduated with his class. I considered that a victory not only for him but for the history department."

Want to take a class with Professor Gilliam? He is well known in the College and history department for teaching the American History survey, seminars in Southern Progressivism, History of Virginia until 1865, and the sequential course the History of Virginia 1860-2010. He even began a new class this summer called Viewing the South, which examines the changing way the American South has been depicted in films and short stories over the last 100 years! Check him out!!

Saturday Q&A: Roommate Selection

August 9, 2014

Saturday Q&A
Frequently Asked Questions from Our Tours...
Every week we'll post answers to prospective students' questions. Some will be FAQs from tours, like this week, and others will be responses to comments and emails received via this blog. If you have a question about a post we've covered previously, comment to ask us for more information. Have we not covered it yet? Email us at and we'll reply with an answer!

Can you talk a little about the roommate selection process?
You are required to live on Grounds during your first year here at UVa, and although you can apply to live in a single room, a majority of students will indeed be living with a roommate. There are three ways you can go about choosing a roommate and as a first year student, getting the “perfect” roommate might be high on your list of priorities, but research actually shows that regardless of how you pick your roommate, the overall success rate is just about the same.

When choosing a roommate, you can pick someone that you already have a relationship with, someone that you meet and get to know on-line or you can simply choose to allow the University to randomly assign you a roommate. If you already have a relationship with a someone coming into the University, all you have to do is put their name down on the housing application and, granted he/she puts your name down as well, you two will be matched up to share a room. Nowadays, many students choose to meet and get to know other incoming students over social networks like Facebook and Twitter, maybe meet up once or twice, and ultimately choose to room with one another.  Lastly, students may also choose to allow the University to match them up with another first year student based on their living preference. If you decide you want to be randomly assigned a roommate, you will fill out a survey that will ask you about your study habits, living preferences, (are you a morning or night person?), etc., and based on your answers, you will be matched up with a student with similar living habits.
Regarless of whether you're living with your best friend of 6 years or a brand new person, living with a roomate is such a valuable experience to have, as you're bound to pick up a few life lessons about compromise and communication along the way, and its helpful to know that you're living with someone going through many of the same changes and experiences you are as a first year student.
--Belén Osman

Follow Friday: Part XI

August 8, 2014

Follow Friday
Part XI: See Our @UVa_Summer Instagram!
Don't forget to follow @UVa_Summer and search the hashtag #UVaSummer on Instagram! To view the Instagram in your browser, click here.

Don't forget to also follow other UVa Instagram accounts, like @UniversityOfVirginia (reposted below)!

"Did you catch movie night in Scott Stadium this weekend? They showed #Frozen! Now I just want to build a snowman... #UVaSummer?"8.4.14

"Repost from @runnersloveyoga: "We spelled out #UVA at popup yoga tonight! #wahoowa #yogaclass #outdooryogis #yogaflow #yogagram #runnersloveyoga #doyogarunfaster #universityofvirginia" #uvasummer"8.6.14

"#tbt to that time there was a grand two story dome room from 1895-1970 before it was restored back to Jefferson's original design"8.7.14

Hear Us Shout & Roar, Recreation Centers and Opportunities

August 7, 2014

Hear Us Shout & Roar

Recreation Centers and Opportunities
by Wyatt Moorer

If organized sports aren't for you, no worries! UVA has a lot of resources for casual sporting and exercise. There are four main gyms on grounds: the Aquatic and Fitness Center, Slaughter Gym, Memorial Gym, and the North Grounds Gym. Each has state of the art exercise equipment and facilities. An interesting fact is that the AFC (Aquatic and Fitness Center, picture on left) has the largest hot tub east of the Mississippi River. Many of the gyms will have pick up basketball games, times to swim, etc.

Also, in terms of outdoors fitness, UVA has a lot of great running and hiking trails nearby. There's also several outdoor soccer fields, tennis courts, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, and more. We also have several rivers, lakes, and quarries within driving distance. Finally, during the winter time, Wintergreen ski slopes are available to avid skiers and snowboarders.

For more information about some of these rec centers and resources, take a look this web page!

Let's Get Traditional: The Good Old Song

August 6, 2014
Let's Get TraditionalThe Good Old Song
by Will Bennett

The Good Old Song is the official song of the University of Virginia and is the favorite song of many students that attend the UVa. The Good Old Song is sung at several occasions throughout the year, including Rotunda Sing and Lighting of the Lawn, but it is most commonly heard at football games at UVa. After the football team scores, all of the UVa students and fans in the stadium will link arm-in-arm, sway from side to side, and sing the Good Old Song. The Good Old Song is also sung at the end of football games, and sometimes at the end of some of the other games for out other varsity sports teams. It is sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, and a copy of the lyrics is provided to all accepted students when they attend Days on the Lawn. The chant in the song's lyrics, "Wah-Hoo-Wah," is the unofficial fight chant of the University.

The Good Old Song was originally written in 1893 and was written by several UVa students. The song was originally written as a way to welcome home the football team from victorious games, and since then has come to be used for many of the general and athletic events around Grounds. The origin of the "Wah-Hoo-Wah" cheer in the song is unknown, but it had been a part of student life at the time of the writing of the Good Old Song. One of my favorite memories from my first-year at UVa was the first time that I ever sang the Good Old Song at a home football game. To think that for over a hundred years, students at UVa have been linking arms and singing the Good Old Song together is truly remarkable.

In the Audience: Arts Madness

August 5, 2014

In the Audience

Arts Madness
by Andrew Barat

Every year, UVa Arts puts on a multiple day event called Arts Madness.  During this time there are performances and showcases for all kinds of arts groups grounds, seminars on certain forms of art and even a graffiti wall.  The whole point of this event is to get the UVa community involved with all its artistic opportunities and showcase what students have done at UVa.  The showcase that happens during the event is a great way for artistic groups to show off what they can do, and events like the poetry slam give those who want to an outlet to express themselves they might normally get during the year.
During my first year, First Year Players was one of the groups who got to perform for this event.  I was lucky enough to be able to be a part of the songs we chose to perform and I also got to see other groups perform as we waited to go on and after we performed as well.  There was a fashion show, dance performance and an acapella group all performing on this one stage for anyone who wanted to come see a sample of the arts in our community.
Whether it's to perform with a group, showcase a talent, or just preview the arts, Arts Madness is a great event to get to for anyone interested in the arts at UVa. If you want to see past schedules of Arts Madness, click here for the UVa Arts site for the event.

My Date with CVille: Go Take a Hike

August 4, 2014

My Date with CVille
Go Take a Hike
by Jared Morgan

What gets a college student out of bed before noon on a weekend? No, the answer isn't brunch (this time). Instead, it's a tradition for friends and student organizations across U.Va. Anyone who drives into Charlottesville can tell you how picturesque some of the views are, but you haven't seen anything until you've hiked Humpback at dawn.

Just a half hour drive outside of Charlottesville, Humpback offers awesome views of Blue Ridge Mountains at the cost of an enjoyable, not-too-hard hike to the top. Students make their way up there as a way to bond off Grounds for a change. Lots of student clubs like arts groups, athletic groups, Greek organizations, and more make a tradition out of the trip. Many groups also wake up before dawn in order to make it up the mountain before sunrise. Seeing the sun rise from the top of the mountain is a can't miss moment for U.Va. students.

Pack some water bottles, a granola bar or two, and bundle up (it's colder than you'd think that early, even in the summer!). Make your way to Humpback for an unforgettable U.Va. experience!

Saturday Q&A: AP, IB, and Dual Enrollment Credit

August 2, 2014

Saturday Q&A
Frequently Asked Questions from Our Tours...
Every week we'll post answers to prospective students' questions. Some will be FAQs from tours, like this week, and others will be responses to comments and emails received via this blog. If you have a question about a post we've covered previously, comment to ask us for more information. Have we not covered it yet? Email us at and we'll reply with an answer!

Does AP, IB, or dual enrollment credit transfer at UVa?
Parents and students often wonder how and if UVA accepts credit for AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses that many students take during high school. UVA does a great job at offering credit for those three areas of classes.
For AP credit, UVA takes mostly 4s and 5s. You can send in your scores to the University via the Collegeboard website. You may also send in scores during the admissions process if you would like our counselors to see how you have done on them over the years. A list of the scores UVA will accept for credit for AP classes can be found at this link: . Similarly, for the IB programs UVA will take higher level scores. Which scores and what courses they accept credit for with respect to IB programs can be found here: .
UVA will also accept varying levels of dual enrollment credit depending on the institution in which it was taken and which classes were taken. Acceptance for dual enrollment will be evaluated on a case by case basis. For more detailed information on how dual enrollment credit works, please visit:
--Wyatt Moorer

Follow Friday: Part X

August 1, 2014

Follow Friday
Part X: See Our @UVa_Summer Instagram!
Don't forget to follow @UVa_Summer and search the hashtag #UVaSummer on Instagram! To view the Instagram in your browser, click here.

We're prepping for August, which means more students on grounds in just a few short weeks! Expect more and more pictures!

"A special shoutout from @superalexisss, Class of 2015! 'Hoos in Dublin! UVA meets UCD @uva_summer #uvasummer"7.29.14

"Great tour today with @chelmarrr and our new awesome friends from collegiate directions! Thanks for a great day! @uvasummer"7.30.14

Hoos in Charge: College Council

July 31, 2014
Hoos in Charge
College Council
by Belen Osman

College Council Trick or Treating on the LawnI already told you a little about Student Council and Class Council, but I definitely can't forget about College Council! While Student Council serves the entire student body and Class Council caters to the specific needs for each individual Class, College Council serves the entire student body of the College of Arts and Sciences, across all of its majors and across all years. College Council works with faculty and administrators to provide the best academic experience possible for all College students through programs, academic advising, and funding. The Council works to serve as peer academic advisers, foster student/faculty relations, strengthen College identity, and solidify relations between the College of Arts and Sciences and its alumni. 

College Council Event for 1st yearsThey hold events like the International Career Resources Information Session for students interested in international jobs and internships, "Life After Politics" to showcase potential career paths for Politics Students, and a S'mores Social to ease students of midterm study stress. To get involved in College Council, you can apply to be a department representative and represent your major within the Council or simply just apply to join the Underclassman Committee during your first or second year.

More to come soon!

#WeAreAllUVa: The campaign

July 30, 2014
We Are All UVa campaign
by Hawa Ahmed  Greetings from beautiful Charlottesville! This post is dedicated to the #WeAreAllUVa campaign, in which my blog series is a namesake.
Created by students, #WeAreAllUVa was done in solidarity with the I, Too, Am Harvard photo campaign. This was a movement to give voices to African-American students at Harvard College. These voices, often unheard, depict stories of racism and strife as the students came of age.The campaign became so popular that the students were invited to a session at the White House.   #WeAreAllUVa sought to challenge diversity by featuring not only stories of African-American students but of students all across the University's many different multicultural groups. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, prospective students, and even Charlottesville community members shared their experiences. As words cannot do it justice, here are some pictures and links to the #WeAreAllUVa website.


Hoo's Abroad? An Overview of Study Abroad at UVA

July 29, 2014

Hoo's Abroad?
An Overview of Study Abroad at UVA
by Veronica Mercado
Niki Shumaker (CLAS '17) in Peñíscola, Spain.
We've heard from a number of students who have shared their personal experiences regarding studying abroad as undergraduates at UVA. Now, maybe you're interested in experiencing all that a global education can offer. Let's go through some frequently asked questions regarding study abroad.

During the past academic year (2013 - 2014), how many students went abroad?

1617 undergraduate and 645 graduate students went abroad.

What if I am an engineering student (or pre-med, or engineering)? Can I still go abroad?

Yes! Included in the top 10 most popular majors studying abroad this past year were Commerce, Biology, and Systems Engineering. Even if your course requirements or the way your schedule works out makes it inconvenient for you to go abroad for an entire semester, January Term and Summer Session are both great options to consider if you want to have some sort of study abroad experience. 

What if I want a more intensive program? Is there any way I can have a more fully-immersed global experience?

Absolutely. If you are looking to dive straight into a new culture, you should consider an exchange program. UVA has long-standing exchange programs with many countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, India, Israel, Canada, Brazil, and Australia, among many others. This past year, 114 students studied abroad through an exchange program.

How much does it cost to study abroad?

Your federal and institutional aid that you would have during a normal school year or semester carries over to your time spent abroad. Expenses such as tuition and fees, transportation, housing, meals and the costs associated with obtaining a passport or visa are eligible for aid.With all that said, keep in mind that costs will vary from program to program, as cost of living and exchange rates factor into the final price.

How do I get started?

If you think you definitely want to study abroad, the first thing you should do is complete the Education Abroad Workshop. This is a PowerPoint presentation hosted on UVA's study abroad website that covers almost everything you will need to know about studying abroad. Safe travels!

Office Hours: Stanley Stepanic

July 28, 2014

Office Hours
Professor Stanley Stepanic
By Chelsea Marcelin

The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest school at the University of Virginia, so there are a vast range of classes and Professors that teach in the College! One very popular professor in the College is Professor Stanley Stepanic. Professor Stepanic works in the Slavic department and he has been with the University for 9 years now! Professor Stepanic achieved national fame form a young age, actually, when he discovered a mastodon tooth in his parents yard! He says, "The primary reason was that the news refused to correct their mistake that a $50 find was not worth $100,000.  Once the bigger number got out there, I was all over the place.  To this day I will occasionally have people who say, "hey, weren't you that kid that...did you sell it?"  The answer is no, unless I ever need $50."

Want to learn more about Professor Stepanic? Let’s hear what she has to say about his experiences as a professor at UVA:How you became involved in your field:“Personal interest in Eastern Europe and the occult."

Favorite thing about UVa:" The wonderful, classic campus."

Funny Story/Memory from a class:"I remember when I was a TA, it was during Halloween.  My students convinced me to dress up as a Ghostbuster, and they were to dress up as ghosts (two of them), run through the classroom, and then I was to 'bust' them.  That day I was merely a fool!"

Want to take a class with Professor Stepanic? He is well known in the College for teaching 2nd-Year Russian, and his most popular class Dracula!

Saturday Q&A: Rotunda Renovations

July 26, 2014

Saturday Q&A
Frequently Asked Questions from Our Tours...
Every week we'll post answers to prospective students' questions. Some will be FAQs from tours, like this week, and others will be responses to comments and emails received via this blog. If you have a question about a post we've covered previously, comment to ask us for more information. Have we not covered it yet? Email us at and we'll reply with an answer!

What is the construction going on at the Rotunda?
The Rotunda is the building at the heart of Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village. Designed as a half-scale model of the Pantheon, this "Temple of Knowledge" was purposefully placed at the center of TJ's original grounds to function as UVa's first library. It also served as a classroom and special event space.

Today, the Rotunda is used for very similar purposes. It still functions as one of the University's many libraries, a student study space, an administrative building for meetings of UVa's governing Board of Visitors, and a special event space where residence halls, student organizations, and special guests can have "Dome Room Dinners" in the top story of the building. Renovations to the building are currently underway to make sure it can serve students and the UVa community in these capacities for many more years to come.

The project should be complete in the Spring of 2016. The to do list for the next two years includes renovating staircases, elevators, and replacing the crumbling capitals at the tops of the exterior columns. All of this and more should be completed so that the project only effects the first year of UVa's Class of 2019. The Class of 2020 and beyond should have no problem at all. By then, the Rotunda with its more historically accurate and up-to-code interior and exterior will be open for all to enjoy.

Want more information about the Rotunda and the renovation? Visit!

--Jared Morgan