Hello from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, USA
Having graduated from KIS in 2012, I am now a 2nd year student (Class of 2016) at Gonzaga University studying Biology with a Research Concentration. At the end of my four years here I hope to attain the Bachelor of Science and become a marine biologist or teach in a university somewhere close to the ocean in the future.
Gonzaga is a small private Jesuit university located in Spokane, Washington. The Jesuits are members of the Society of Jesus, which is a Christian male congregation of the Roman Catholic Church. The things I like about Gonzaga is indeed the Jesuit philosophy that emphasize the development of the mind, body, and spirit. Similar to the IB, Gonzaga wants all their student to develop as men and women for others with strong academic capabilities and well rounded-ness in aspects other than academics.
Gonzaga place high importance in social justice and the student body are always engaged in different communities to improve their situations through volunteering programs and mission trips. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in. Some examples include student government, club sports, cultural organizations, residence life, intramural sports, Model United Nations, and much more.
Perhaps one of the most important benefit for going to a smaller university is the small class sizes between 10-50 students per professor, there is never a class with more than 50 students. This way, you get to know your professors personally and allow you to form a strong relationship with them which can help you with jobs and internships in the future. Gonzaga has around 4000 undergraduate students which is a very good size because you can easily recognize faces as you walk to and from class. The small campus size also makes it very easy to walk from your residence halls to classes and dining halls without ever needing any vehicle.
Academics apart, Gonzaga boast very strong school spirit around our Men’s NCAA Division I basketball games. The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been ranked in the 25 best basketball program in the US consistently in the last 15 years. On game days, our campus is filled with school spirit and it is not uncommon to see students line up ten hours before the game to ready to cheer on the Zags. The McCarthey Athletic Center (“The Kennel”) has 1,200 seats designated for the student section that is filled every home game. Students can attend all athletic events for free (included in tuition).
The only downside of being at Gonzaga is that the weather can be very cold with temperature in the winter commonly below freezing from December to March. However, the people here keeps you warm on heavy snow days (it’s actually not that bad!).
An advice I would give to any KIS student is to choose a university that accepts IB credits (granted that you score high enough in your HL courses) because these credits give you an advantage in registration for classes here at GU. I was able to transfer 16 credits from IB and am able to register for classes two days before any other students in my class who has no credits coming in to university. If you already got accepted by the university, concentrate on getting good scores in your HL classes because they matter much more than the SL since only HL courses can count towards your credit! Also, make sure that you are well-rounded and have an open-mind because there are so many new things you can do here!
Best of luck and I will always be one of the Wolves at heart! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Gonzaga University or studying biology!
Sarin Tiatragul (Putter)
KIS Class of 2012
IB HL: Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish B / SL: Environmental Systems & Societies, Mathematics, English A1)