College review: Bates College

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Bates is a small (1753 students) liberal arts college located in Lewisburg, Maine – a working class town surrounded by gorgeous natural terrain. Bates feels they attract students who are constantly in search of knowledge, in a happily intense way. Bates College is about 45 minutes from Portland, an artsy and fine food-oriented, seaside city. Free shuttles are available to Boston or Portland, so students can easily get to Bates from either airport.

Bates is dedicated to the forming of community, and one of the ways they do that is by providing only one dining hall, The Commons, where EVERYONE on campus eats, studies, visits, and collaborates. The atmosphere in that hall is lively and the food is fantastic, compared to most campuses. (we eat everywhere!) Apparently, they have even won awards for their food. Food is available until 2 a.m.

Housing is guaranteed all 4 years, with apartment style living/Victorian style houses available for sophomores and older. There are 2 fireplace lounges on campus, a good place to study or hang out. We liked that each door of the dorm rooms had the name of the student, along with their hometown, a feature that would likely spark conversation and connections. Bates has JA’s (rather than RA’s) which are Junior Advisors who help students get acclimated to life in college.

They serve as “big brothers/big sisters” rather than as disciplinary figures in the dorm, and at the beginning of freshman year, they plan a lot of outings such as apple picking and attending concerts. They also aid freshmen with academic choices and other insider knowledge. Seems like a strong mentoring and support system for new students.

Bates College is a writing intensive school as they believe all students, no matter their interest or major, need to learn to write well. Very academic school, but they seem to attract students who like to have fun too. They have a 4-4-1 schedule, so their one month short-term class
comes in April. (most schools seem to have 4-1-4 with January term). A lot of students use that time for internships, travel abroad, or just to take a class they have been curious about. Winter Festival at Bates seems like a blast; the puddle jump for example involves cutting a 10’
hole in the ice, and students jumping into it…..yikes! Bates College is a D-3 school, so a huge percentage of students participate in sports.

Call us at (818) 207-0263 to learn more about what Bates College has to offer.