Emma Willard School - Review #1

Emma Willard School

About the Author:

College Enrolled Northeastern University
Home Town, State (Country) Wynantskill, NY
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School I was a member of the Dance Company for three years and took Advanced contemporary dance classes all four years. I was a part of amnesty International and "Emmasaries" (the student-alumni relations group) and I worked in the Development Office and during Reunion as a student worker. I was a tour guide all four years and was one of the Head Tour Guides my senior year.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Emma Willard is especially good at facilitating discussion based classrooms using the Harkness Method. I am finding now that I am in college classes that are all large lectures that Emma Willard's teachers were especially receptive to promoting the asking of and being especially encouraging in answering questions from students.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I grew so much as a person in my four years at Emma. I am exponentially more confident in myself and my brain and I wouldn't trade that for anything. I made so many friends and learned so much about friendships, cooperation, and being a good listener.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would try to make more friends with boarding students and would spend more time in the dorms if I had to do it over. Most of my friends are day students.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The people at Emma are what make it truly special. The community is unparalleled in kindness, openness, receptiveness to individual concerns and issues, and making lifelong friendships is common.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Sit outside while the weather is nice! Enjoy the beautiful campus.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Although there is a ton of work, the teachers are what make Emma really special. All of our faculty members are wholeheartedly committed to their students and so treat students with respect. A high standard comes along with this respect, however, and students are expected to act accordingly and consistently put forth complete and thorough work. Teachers know all of their students by name and will recognize when you are having a bad day and will reach out and expect you to reach out too if you need help. Teachers are extremely accessible by email and in person in their offices or during dorm duty.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Although I did not personally participate in any athletics, I have many friends who had a wonderful experience with them. The PE program at Emma is especially flexible and allows students a variety of options (ex. dance, yoga, zumba, frisbee, tai chi, practicum) to complete their physical activity requirements besides participating in a team sport.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The visual arts, theater, music, and dance programs at Emma are especially excellent. The instructors are top notch and truly are experts in their relative fields. I participated in dance and the visual arts and both programs offer a huge variety of classes for all levels from beginning to advanced. Many students who think they are terrible dancers or artists or singers end up joining an art class, dance class, or join choir and end up absolutely loving it so much that they pursue higher level courses.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are tons of clubs at Emma. Everything from clubs about celebrating diversity to particular environmental and social issues such as animal rights, human rights, and women's rights to name a few. I loved that I could easily participate in multiple organizations and that you can always try something out for a while without being committed to it forever.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a day student at Emma but the dorms were always a fun place to hang out with friends during the school day or to stay over with friends on weekends. The dorms are actually really nice compared to many of the college dorms I looked at and are cleaned regularly. There are lots of ways that girls personalize their dorms and the Peer-Eds, Proctors, and Houseparents are especially warm, welcoming, and helpful.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall at Emma was AMAZING! The amount of choice is phenomenal and all of the dining staff work really hard to make sure students are happy by conducting surveys and being open to suggestions. Pretty much anything you could want, you could ask and you would receive!

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Troy is a little gem of a city. Even though it is a little rough around the edges there are still a ton of cute little cafes to explore and an awesome farmers market! Troy/Albany is extremely unique! Tons of great take-out too.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved the lack of cliques and importance of sisterhood at Emma. Ring sisters and sister class bonds are very important and it is encouraged that you hang out with a wide variety of people. A lot of people are friends with everyone.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Emma Willard School Alumni #1
    Class of 2014
    5 Stars   12/27/2014
    Northeastern University
    Emma Willard is especially good at facilitating discussion based classrooms using the Harkness Method. I am finding now that I am in college classes that are all large lectures that Emma Willard's teachers were especially. . .
  • Emma Willard School Alumni #2
    Class of 2014
    5 Stars   8/14/2014
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Emma Willard's home on Mount Ida is in itself one of a kind. The moment you step on campus, you enter a different world of gray stone walls and unbridled passion. Emma Willard's small, close-knit. . .
  • Emma Willard School Alumni #3
    Class of 2010
    5 Stars   9/24/2013
    Dartmouth College
    One of my favorite parts about Emma Willard was the round table method of teaching. All humanities classes were taught around a round table, so that all of the students could see one another. Teachers. . .
  • Emma Willard School Alumni #4
    Class of 2005
    5 Stars   9/24/2013
    Marymount University
    EWS is unique in that it enables the students to find what they love and pursue it as much as possible. There is no typical Emma girl and that is what makes the school so. . .
  • Emma Willard School Alumni #5
    Class of 2000
    5 Stars   9/24/2013
    Davidson College
    Emma Willard is truly a magical place where girls develop academic interests, become more self aware and form lifelong friendships. While an girls school isn't for everyone, it truly helps girls develop into unique. . .
  • Show more reviews (4 reviews)
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