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A merit-based college: What is the admissions test?
The admissions test for Collegio Nuovo consists of simply a written essay and an interview. For the written essay, applicants are provided with a prompt, the topic not necessarily related to the area of study they will choose for the academic degree. In this portion of the admissions procedure, applicants have the opportunity to express themselves and their personal interests, with a prompt quite similar to the one they have to complete to earn their high school diploma.
Regardless of an applicant’s performance on the written essay, she is also be given the opportunity to participate in an interview. Unlike the written essay, the interview focuses specifically on the applicant’s area of study. In these interviews, applicants share their interest and understanding of their particular area of study. All interviews are held at Collegio Nuovo, in a calm and relaxed setting with a faculty member of the University of Pavia. In the interviews, applicants will be asked questions related to their field of study, but are not expected to know beyond the high school level.
How difficult is it to manage the work-load as a student at Collegio Nuovo?
While Collegio Nuovo students are held to high academic standards, the college itself is an environment that helps its students excel in their school work. The college provides a nurturing environment and a supportive community consisting of both students and staff.
As a Collegio Nuovo student, you will be surrounded by and live with other women in various and overlapping areas of study. Because of the rich community at Collegio Nuovo, your classmates will have the chance to also become your close friends at the College. In these friend circles, you will form study groups, share study tips, and support each other to succeed during the school year. The environment of the college motivates its students achieve academically; the support and motivation within the Collegio Nuovo community is reflected in the college’s statistics, as last year Collegio Nuovo boasted a 98% student-retention-rate.
And the Institute for Advanced Study, ... the IUSS? What is it?
The Institute for Advanced Study, of which the Collegio Nuovo is among the founding members, is the third Italian higher education and research School.
IUSS fulfills, since 1997, an advanced teaching and research model successfully implemented by other prestigious institutions in Italy, like the Scuola Normale Superiore and the Scuola Sant’Anna in Pisa.
Due to the completeness of its education and training fields, which allows a strong interdisciplinary approach, the mission of IUSS is that of contributing to the growth of a small number of selected students enrolled in the Colleges in Pavia. The Institute is also committed to scientific progress by preparing young researchers and developing scientific research programs, thanks to its PhD Programs and Research Centres.
Collegio Nuovo undergraduate students have to opportunity to be enrolled at the IUSS School through the admission test procedure held each year in September. If selected, they receive also a grant every year. Currently approximately 40% of the Collegio Nuovo student community is enrolled at the IUSS.
Girls, girls only? Will it be difficult to live at a college only for women?
Because Collegio Nuovo was designed for women only, all of its services and facilities- including the dining hall and its delicious meals- are inspired by and designed for women’s needs. And although the residence halls are all-female, male visitors and friends are welcome at Collegio Nuovo!
As a Collegio Nuovo student, your needs as a woman are cared-for and respected. Furthermore, within the community at the college, there exists a strong camaraderie amongst students, one unique to women’s college, which allows you to make real, true, and lifelong friendships with other women from Italy and abroad.
Collegio Nuovo seems a bit far from the center of the city. Will this be a problem?
Because Pavia is a true university city, Collegio Nuovo’s location is not an inconvenience at all! It is located next to many new academic and university buildings. In the area around the college, there are three other colleges and university residences, as well as the new University sports facilities and olympic swimming pools (indoors and outdoors!).
Science and medicine students have easy access to facilities, as the science and technology building as well as the medical facilities are all within the neighboring buildings of the college. And for those students who study the humanities, the city center can be reached in a short 15 minutes by walking, biking, or by bus.
I’m nervous about the idea of college. What will my experience be like at Collegio Nuovo?
It’s understandable to be nervous; life as a college student can sound like a very serious - and perhaps difficult - lifestyle. However, as a college student at Collegio Nuovo, you will be given an experience unlike any other – one that will also provide you with a wide range of freedoms and opportunities.
As a college student, you will be put in the best of care – with access to complete facilities and services. The Board at the college dedicates itself to ensuring that all facilities-- including the library, study rooms, TV rooms, gym, dorm rooms with private bathrooms, free internet, as well as the delicious meals in the dining hall -- are available for your use.
Students of Collegio Nuovo are free to explore the city of Pavia and other colleges of the university during their free time, and are given a magnetic key to access the school’s entrance afterhours. However, while there is no curfew at the college, all guests of the college must leave by h23:00.
When you think about college-life at Collegio Nuovo, you can think of American and British colleges where your personal freedoms are acknowledged, embraced, and well-respected.
And from an economic standpoint? What about financial aid?
Collegio Nuovo works to help all students enrolled through the admission test, considering that no student covers all the cost for her room and board: the College either waives the fees entirely or applies subsidized rates. The students not receiving full aid will pay in proportion to their family income. For the 2013-2014 academic year, the cost ranges from 530 to 1050 Euros per month – 10 months, altogether. This fee includes the cost of housing, meals, internet, cleaning and all the little upkeeping services... in any city, it is really hard to live in an apartment for less! Also consider all the cultural and networking opportunities available to you by living in a College!
What else does Collegio Nuovo offer?
In addition to the accommodations at the college, there is a rich cultural, academic, and athletic life at Collegio Nuovo that you can only find on this campus. Many scholars and outstanding leading figures in their field, from sciences to arts, make visits to the college to speak for lectures: look up here. Recently, the college hosted the celebrated Nobel Laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini as well as bestselling authors and journalists such as David Grossman and Beppe Severgnini.
Because the college was founded upon a mission that involves strengthening an international community, students here are encouraged and supported, also through scholarships funded by the Collegio, in their study abroad interests. With its expansive, diverse, and ever-growing study abroad program, Collegio Nuovo provides excellent and unique opportunities for its students to travel to other universities. In fact, about 60% of the students in the college will study abroad during their academic experience. Every few years, for example, the college sponsors a student to study at Barnard College of Columbia University – one of the top ten universities in the world. Students of Collegio Nuovo have taken part also in the annual meeting between Western and Islamic students at the Dubai Women’s College. And due to the international-mindedness of the college, Collegio Nuovo also welcomes many international students to study at the college. To know a bit more please look up here.
Additionally, the recreational facilities provide a space for athletes to compete in team sports on campus. On campus, students can also enjoy a beautiful garden – for studying... and for catching a bit of sun! And because Collegio Nuovo is part of the larger University system of Pavia, students are able to enjoy the social life and parties of the University community in the city of Pavia.
Can my parents be reassured?
Absolutely. The college itself is an environment that enables and encourages freedom and independence, but it also is home to a community that takes care of you – about as well as your own parents! There is always someone to call or contact if you need advice for studying, if you are ill with a fever, or if you break your bike! Collegio Nuovo becomes very quickly a second home to all of its students. Collegio Nuovo welcomes you for a visit at any time of year!