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How long does it take to get to know a campus?


InquilineKea

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So I'm visiting Yale - and I'm not really taking any courses this quarter (I am doing some research though), so I can probably stay longer than most. I feel that several days is insufficient for getting to know the campus well - would 4-5 days be good? I may consider doing a dual PhD if I go there, so I'd need to get familiar with both the Astronomy and Geology departments, on top of the other stuff on campus (like the libraries and other amenities).

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This is so subjective, it depends on how much out of each of those 4-5 days you actually spend walking around campus, how much of the campus you cover, and how well you are paying attention to where everything is situated.

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There are two reasons why I know anything about the layout of my campus other than where to park and where I do research:

1) going to the health center/pharmacy/other medical apts/etc

2) going to my classes in another department

After a semester, I still don't know where most things are, and I sure as heck don't know the best way to drive anywhere. I guess I could explore more, but we have research to do, gosh darnit!

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Honestly, it depends on what you mean by "well". As a PhD student, you don't need to know where most things are on campus. After 3.5 years, I can honestly say that there's a whole section of campus I've never visited and others where I bike/walk by but don't know the name of the buildings. Things I can find: library, science library, my dept's building, the buildings where I've had classes, the buildings where the profs for the classes I've had have their offices, the gym, the health center, the registrar's office, the student union. That's pretty much it. And, if I wanted to learn about those things as a visitor, I could see them all in one day, via a campus tour plus walking around a bit with a map.

To me, the only reason to spend 4-5 days would be to get to know the city, figure out where you'll live, and/or job hunt for a partner. Otherwise, it doesn't take that long to meet faculty (even from two depts), walk around campus, and drive around the area. And really, hardly anyone ever wants to spend 5 days in New Haven.

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There's no reason why you would need to know the whole campus anyways. At my undergrad institution I knew several of the buildings super well, but didn't even go to the other side of campus. I tried to give my brother a tour when he started and failed miserably because he was in a different faculty than me.

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It depends upon how one defines "knowing."

For me, the priority is to obtain practical knowledge centering around my activities. The best places to park, the quickest routes to the libraries I use, an intimate knowledge of certain areas of the stacks, the quietest library in which to read, the locations of the most reliable copying machines, the most useful paths to walk when I want to encounter specific people (or to avoid others), the vending machines that keep sodas the coldest, the best places to get food/coffee, and the restrooms that afford the most privacy (because they will also be the cleanest restrooms).

HTH.

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