Culver Academies - Review #11

Read more details about Culver Academies on their 2018-19 profile page.
Culver Academies
5

About the Author:

College EnrolledThe College of Wooster
Home Town, State South Bend, IN
Years Attended Boarding School1
Activities During Boarding SchoolI was very busy during my Culver days. I spent the majority of my time in theater either performing in the musicals or working backstage, and on the speech team where I was a co-captain my senior year and participated all four years. I practically lived in the M&A building, or the Music and Arts building. I participated in Band, jazz band, performed with the orchestra on occasion, and even soloed my senior year with them. I also was Choir Vice President and Choir Prefect my senior year. I was able to take oboe, piano, and voice lessons. I was a founding member of the Girls Drill Team, which is the only military aspect of the girls school, which traditionally follows the British Prefect System. I also was active with the religious activities on campus, serving as the Protestant Prefect, and participating in Cordon Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The connections I made with the Christian leaders on campus still last to this day.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Going to Culver was one of the best decisions of my life. The academics are incomparable to those of the public schools in my area. The teachers are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their respective fields. The teachers become mentors to us, and the contacts you make with them last. The opportunities that Culver is able to provide is amazing...guest speakers and lectures, musical and performing groups, the wide array of sports, theater, musical, and speech opportunities completely shaped me and prepared me for college.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I am now a substitute teacher while I work on a graduate degree, and after working in a public high school, I have never appreciated what Culver did for me more than ever. The academics are on a completely different level, but they don't leave anyone behind. I grew so mature during my years at Culver. I can't imagine being in the same place as I am now if I had attended a public school in my area.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Besides accidentally walking into one of the barracks thinking it was the dining hall? I would recommend to every incoming freshman to take a breath, and realize you CAN do this! Don't be afraid to join clubs, but make sure you have personal time for your well being. That was something I struggled with. Also, realize the teachers are here for you. You don't become rich being a teacher, but they become rich in sharing their experiences and knowledge with you. Whenever there are guest speakers, lectures, and groups, take advantage of them! You never know the connections you'll make, or what you'll learn. You might find a new passion, or that guest speaker you introduced yourself to can be an asset as you look for a job as a college graduate.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The whole experience was just amazing. You can't tell people about Culver, you just have to experience it to fully understand it. The campus is absolutely stunning. Not many high schools are situated along a lake. The beauty of the campus doesn't even compare to any college campus I have visited, with maybe the exception of Notre Dame.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Definitely at The Shack, where you can get some fast food and play pool and video games. If you ever need a quiet moment away from people, just sit in the balcony of the chapel, the most beautiful building on campus. My favorite lake spots are the big bay windows on the 2nd floor of the Huffington Library, and the tree that leans over the water behind the Memorial Building. I highly recommend Benson!

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics are pretty progressive. There was always homework to do, but the school made sure you had time to get it done. We had 2 hours of CQ (military term for closed quarters) every week night where we were to do homework and groups could not schedule any meetings. The teachers are always available and willing to help, and there is the Academic Skills center open for peer and teacher tutoring. I loved the diversity of teachers and backgrounds. How often can you take American History from a retired British soldier, or band from someone who once played in The President's Own Marine Band?The academics really prepared us for college. I saw many college classmates struggle with writing their first essays and managing their time. My one problem was the fact that I was used to doing homework from 7:30-9:30 every night, and in college, all of a sudden I had meetings every night!

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Everyone has to participate in an after school activity, where it be sports, intramurals, theater, or speech team. I did not do competitive sports, but I did try sailing one fall. There are so many sports to choose from. It is not often that you can compete in crew, hockey, lacrosse, fencing, even polo! There is a great support for the sports teams on campus, especially in hockey where we have five teams and every year there are several students who go into Jr. Hockey. The whole school campus comes to the football games to support the team, and it is not uncommon for the boys and girls lacrosse teams to win state in the same year. The gym and respective facilities is spectacular, and not many schools can boast that we have two ice rinks!

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
This was my area. I lived in the Music building. I participated in every ensemble that was available during my four years there and took every class they offered. I even helped to convince the school to offer a Music Theory AP class. The faculty were incredibly supportive of my musical skills and helped to develop me into a fine musician that excelled in college. The theater program has been expanding and becoming more successful every year. I always enjoy coming back to see spring musical productions as an alum and am always impressed at the maturity and skills of the actors. The theater has recently been renovated and a beautiful and much need addition has been added. All I can say is that many colleges theater departments would be jealous of Culver's!

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are so many groups to join and the school really pushes student involvement on campus by offering an activities fair every fall. There are groups for different ethnicities, different academic groups, religious organizations, sports clubs, and even more. It's easy to get overloaded with extracurricular clubs, and I sometimes found it hard to manage all my activities, but it always worked out somehow.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life definitely prepared me for college. You learn how to live with other people, deal with conflicts, live away from home, and the friendships you make are truly unique. I loved my dorm, and I still consider myself a Bensonite! Each room is a double, but there are a few triples and quads on campus. There are little kitchens and community fridges in the dorms too so you can have some fun cooking parties with your friends. Each of the dorms are on the smaller side compared to colleges, around 40-50 girls each, and so you get to know everyone, not just a few people. Most people stay in their dorm all four years, like I did. The bonds within each dorm is strong, and there is a lot of dorm spirit!My favorite part about the dorm setup was the fact that there were international students in EVERY dorm, unlike my college campus, where the majority live in one dorm. One year, in my corner of the dorm, I was the only American--there was a girl from Russia, Japan, and South Korea. I also had the chance to room with a girl from Romania. What a wonderful experience!

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall is gorgeous! I was pretty disappointed when I first saw my college's tiny unappealing cafeteria. Culver's can hold the entire student and faculty population at once. The food is decent for high school. Because you live there, they definitely make sure you have real food to eat, not just the normal junk food pizza and burgers you have at typical high schools. They also try to incorporate some international foods as well. The cafeteria is only open during the meal hours, but you may walk in as many times as you want unlike most colleges, and you can eat as much as you want. There is no assigned seating, though the boys have to march in for certain breakfasts and dinners.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town of Culver is pretty small, around 2,000-2,500 people. But the downtown area is pretty adorable, with some amazing restaurants. Believe me, you'll never go hungry in downtown Culver. There are a few cute shops, and if you family comes into town, there's a wonderful marina where you can rent boats. There's a CVS in town where you can get toiletries and such, and a grocery store for your snack cravings too.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
This was where I grew the most as a high school student. I really came out of my shell and I made some wonderful friends. Because you live with your friends, you really learn how to work with each other. I was able to meet people from all over the world. I roomed with girls from Chicago, Texas, Romania, and South Korea, and one of my best friends in high school was from Bosnia. I learned about so many cultures and met people from all backgrounds.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
6:00 AMWoke up, showered, got dressed
7:00 AMbreakfast and got ready for class
8:00 AMclass all morning
11:00 AMlunch and class
12:00 AMclass
4:00 PMeither theater rehearsal or speech team practice
6:00 PMdinner
6:30 PMmeetings and extracurricular activities
7:30 PMhomework
10:15 AMlights out
Weekend
5:00 AMwoke up, showered, got dressed
5:30 AMspeech team breakfast
6:00 AMspeech team tournament all day (including time to travel)
6:30 AMarrive back on campus for dinner
7:30 AMschool dances, movie nights in the dorm, go to Beason (if you are a senior!)
10:30 AMback in the dorms to hang out with the girls
11:30 AMIn bed
Read more details about Culver Academies on their 2018-19 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Culver Academies Alumni #1
    Class of 2014
    5 Stars  
    Butler University
    We focused a lot on leadership. It was a military school for the boys and an english prefect system for the girls. We had leadership classes and in addition to our academics and sports, we. . .
  • Culver Academies Alumni #2
    Class of 2012
    5 Stars  
    Tulane University
    One unique aspect of Culver is the fantastic leadership program. The academics and athletics are great, but the leadership is what sets Culver apart from other schools. The boys' leadership system is military while the. . .
  • Culver Academies Alumni #3
    Class of 2011
    5 Stars  
    Columbia University
    I found Culver to be unique, in comparison to other boarding schools, for two main reasons: the Academy's setting and the emphasis placed on individual growth as a leader in one's community. Foremost, Culver's setting. . .
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