Transferring can be inherently difficult. Transfer students all over the world have common issues when moving to a new place with new people and new schooling curriculum.
The most common issues faced by transfer students are a lack of connections both professional and personal, a lack of knowledge of both the campus and the surrounding area, and being thrown in a room for a year with people they do not know. Not having a vehicle can also make this a fairly difficult transition.
While all transfer students around the world face these common issues, here on the Saint Leo University campus there are a few more issues that some of the transfer students have noticed.
The first experience transfer students have when moving to the Saint Leo campus is orientation. The orientation is primarily geared towards freshman, which is understandable but it pushes transfer students to the wayside.
What Saint Leo fails to recognize is that transfer students who have already attended some sort of collegiate level schooling do not want to go through the whole orientation process a second time if they can avoid it. For a transfer student coming to Saint Leo, this just seems to be a waste of their time if not repetitive at best.
Many transfer students feel that they would be better off not going to orientation due to the fact that they feel they do not learn anything important through this process.
There should be a separate orientation, or something like it, for transfer students. Something like a shortened version of orientation or a “how to” basics meeting for the most important things students need to know how to do.
To help transfer students transition more smoothly into the university, Saint Leo University may take into consideration some things they could do to better prepare their new pupils.
The university could have small optional tours of the campus to figure out where things are or just give out a map, which pinpoints key locations.
On the other hand, with the technological side of things, students should be taught how to use the appropriate websites upon receiving their laptops. The freshman may have been taught what to do but upon arrival, transfer students were told to leave and come back “later or tomorrow.” This means that those who were turned away were not instructed on what to do and had to figure it out on their own.
As a transfer student, one receives an older more outdated laptop, which many find to be unfair. Just because a student decides to come in at a later time does not mean that they deserve less than that of the other students coming into the university.
Many transfer students feel that the trips during orientation were the only good thing that came from the whole process. Overall, some individuals found orientation to be a helpful experience whereas others did not.
Sophomore business undecided major, Is’ra Saadat says, “The transfer process was smooth and Saint Leo did a wonderful job with grouping the transfers together and it was very easy to make friends that way.”
On the other hand, Junior international tourism and hospitality management major, Mary Cait Denning says, “I liked the transfer program in general but I didn’t care for being mixed in with the freshmen so much considering how much younger they were. I also was not a fan of getting older laptops just because I transferred, it didn’t seem fair in my opinion.”
Another struggle that transfer students face is fighting for funds against other students. Transfer students can earn a transfer scholarship but often struggle to find funds other than this.
The competition for scholarships and other funds are often listed where transfer students do not know to look. A lack of knowledge of the websites and policies makes it hard to meet deadlines and qualifications.
Housing is a whole different ball game. As a transfer student you have no idea which building is which and where you should live for being an upper-level student but just coming in. It is difficult to pick a place to live between the pricing and not knowing who you are going to live with and how clean they are.
Trying to get housing was a difficult process but overall with the help of residence life, it was not overly painful.
Another issue that has come to the attention of many is how difficult it is to transfer in coursework done at another university prior to attending Saint Leo. Many classes have a curriculum, which is strictly followed. This means that it is inherently difficult to swap it out with a class that one may have already taken.
For some students, this means that they may have to stay longer just because they could not transfer coursework.
Many transfer students have noticed that the general education requirements just add to the list of classes that extend their years here.
For those students who are unaware, it is possible to test out of some classes as long as you score above a set number. A collection of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams can help students graduate on time or ahead of time. For more information on this speak to your advisers.
The main thing transfer students have a problem with is being mistaken for a freshman. Yes, it happens. People do not like it when they feel like they are being downgraded after having put in hard work to get where they are now.
It is hard to walk around on such a small campus and not be asked if you are a freshman when someone sees a new face.
Transfer students struggle in and out of the classroom. Being a transfer student and walking into some upper-level courses on the first day, students are immediately faced with the assumption that they know what to do.
The professors automatically think that if you are in an upper-level course that you have been here for years and know all the policies and procedures whereas you sit there and think to yourself, “What are they talking about?”
In this case, the best thing to do is just speak to your professors and let them know your situation. The professors here are fairly flexible and understanding. They were in your shoes years ago and can often relate to what you are saying.
Not all transfer students feel this way and not all experiences as a transfer student here at Saint Leo are bad ones. Some experiences are better than others.
As a current student at Saint Leo who had recently transferred here, I believe it is the best decision I have made in a long time.