3 Reasons Why I Chose JWU

Before graduating high school, many students know where they want to attend college. For me, finding my perfect school was more of a journey. I love JWU now and wouldn't want to be anywhere else, but it wasn't always my first choice. Here is my story.

During my senior year of high school, I decided to attend a different college because I didn’t know much about JWU so I never applied. I ended up studying at the other school from the fall of 2019 to spring of 2020. Once I decided I no longer wanted to go to my previous institution, I was having trouble figuring out where I should go.

As a result of the pandemic, I had been spending a lot more time in my house and had gotten into cooking. One day, I was looking up a recipe online and an ad for Johnson & Wales’ culinary program showed up. The next thing I knew, I was looking through their other majors and filling out an application to join the school. When I got my acceptance letter in the mail, I knew that this was where I wanted to go. There are three main reasons why I decided to attend JWU.

1. I love the Providence area.

One of the main reasons I chose to attend JWU is because I wanted to go to school in Providence. I am from Boston, which is not too far from here, so I have visited the city a couple of times. One of my favorite aspects of Providence is that it is a college town. The fact Providence is mostly made up of students like myself makes me feel more comfortable navigating the city.

The other day, I took a walk with my friend and we just explored the city: We looked in the shops, checked out some restaurants, and took in all the scenery downtown. Providence is a beautiful and artistic city with a lot to offer.

There is art all around the city; buildings are painted with huge murals and there are sculptures scattered around. JWU students love Providence because, along with it being a college town and an artistic area, Providence also has many exciting events and attractions like the annual WaterFire festival in the fall. JWU is also within walking distance of the historic Federal Hill. Federal Hill is an iconic staple in Downtown Providence. It is home to many Italian restaurants and cafes and is a very vibrant and beautiful area to walk around. Federal Hill is also commonly referred to as "Little Italy."

Reflection of the word "Providence" and skyline in downtown window

2. There are multiple campuses, and you can study from either one.

An interesting aspect of JWU that separates the school from most other universities is the fact that it has multiple campuses in different states. JWU is not only in Providence, Rhode Island, but also in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having other campuses gives students the opportunity to study in different environments. If your major is offered at another campus, you can take your classes at that campus for a semester. (Right now, there is obviously some limitation with that because of the pandemic, but once cases start this fall and people get vaccinated, I imagine this will be easier to do).

I was interested in this aspect because I love traveling and visiting unfamiliar places. I have never been to North Carolina before, and the fact that I have the choice to study there as well as in Providence excites me.

View of Charlotte Campus

3. The Design Your Own Major program was a perfect fit.

My last reason for joining JWU is one of the most important factors to me as to why I chose to go to JWU: the Design Your Own Major program. I am generally a pretty indecisive person, and I enjoy studying many different subjects. Because of this, I didn’t know what major I wanted to join when I applied for JWU. I just knew that there were aspects of many that I loved and felt I had to do. The problem was that if I chose one major, I wouldn’t be able to take all the courses that I was interested in. That’s when I found the Design Your Own Major program.

This is a major that was made to help ambitious students like myself, who find themselves interested in studying from multiple areas. Being able to take aspects from existing majors and create my own curriculum makes me feel more in control of my education.

My experience in this major has been overwhelmingly positive. It was incredibly easy for me to create a major and a course outline with the help of my Interdisciplinary Studies professor, Wendy Wagner. The support I got from her throughout my first semester has helped me feel confident about my major.

Fall on the Providence Campus

Although JWU was not a part of my original plan when going to college, I am so glad to have found my way here. The reasons listed above are not only the reasons I chose to go here, but they are also the reasons I choose to stay. I am grateful for the experiences I have had at JWU, and I’m excited to continue making memories throughout my next couple of years here.