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Back in the Homeland

****Sorry for the delay – busy since coming back from my last interview! So I’ll give an update on what I’ve been doing since then!Last week I was at UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson. If you’re from NJ, you know what I’m talking about. Otherwise, it’s a medical school in my home state! It was nice to take the plane into Newark Airport and be picked up by my parents. It ALSO was nice to catch up on my sleep in my own bed for the night! There’s something about the sheets you have at home that you can never replicate in a dorm. And then you can wake up whenever you want the next day, which always helps! I got to have a lazy morning, and then headed up to New Brunswick to the hotel – the Hyatt Regency! What nice accommodations!

So I went to bed after trying Ethiopian food (interesting…you don’t use utensils, but it’s not as messy as you’d expect!) and hanging out with some of the current medical students. I woke up at 7:30 AM (relatively late for interviews) to THIS outside of my window!

Well, by this point, you all know what comes next. 5 interviews, tour, lunch, and an info session later I wrapped up the session at UMDNJ. They have really nice hospital facilities – recently built with a really cute Children’s tower (there’s even a giraffe that figures out your height!). There’s also a lot of graduate study options there – you can do your PhD at UMDNJ, Rutgers (the state university of NJ), or Princeton (explanation needed there?). It’s definitely one of the unique aspects of the program.

However, I’d like to point out that on all of these interviews, one aspect really makes me miss my "home" at Caltech – the SIZE of these places! I look at the undergrad campuses for the schools I visit (many of them nearby or continuous with the medical school), and I am in shock! They’re so LARGE! It really reminds me how lucky I am that Caltech’s such a small place. Not just in saving me steps to run to class when I’m late, but also in my interaction with such a variety of professors and students in such a condensed atmosphere! I walk 5 minutes and I’ve gone from biology to chemistry to geology to engineering! And I walk down the hall of my House and I see MechE’s, Biologists, Mathemeticians, you get the picture… It’s amazing to have such CONCENTRATED talent! Not knocking the other schools, they have great resources too (and there are advantages to size), but I think being small and having the ability to go out and get what you want to make YOUR education the best for you makes Caltech unique.

…just thought I’d add my thoughts on that matter! 🙂
But I will say, one thing you won’t get at Caltech is fall :(. That’s OK, though, because I got to see some at home!!

Where am I going next, you wonder…? The City (New York, if that wasn’t clear at first) – NYU!

Andrew Freddo ’10

Chemistry and Biology, Class of 2010

My name is Andrew, and I am beginning what looks to be a busy and exciting senior year! I’m originally from New Jersey, and always try to give my friends here at Caltech a taste of my East Coast roots. Outside of my chemistry and biology classes, I enjoy cooking (Italian food, of course!), giving admissions tours, writing food reviews with fellow blogger Dannah, and catching up with my favorite TV shows. Academically, this year will truly be a culmination of my first three at Caltech. I am currently applying for combined MD/PhD programs (also knows as MSTPs ? Medical Scientist Training Programs). In addition to juggling my sets and exams, I’m going to be visiting many schools around the country to interview for their programs. I’ll definitely be logging lots of frequent flier miles, snapping lots of pictures, and learning a lot about medical and graduate school!