• The Southern Sense: July

    Atlanta on the 4thSummer in the South is an undulating mix of delicious food in your belly, great music in the parks, and lightning bug shows in the backyard. The pace of life seems to slow down, perhaps due to the hot temperatures, and communities never miss a chance to get together for a festival, pool party, or backyard cookout. There is truly an endless supply of entertainment. Feel free to check out some of our previous posts about Emory’s nearby neighbors, Virginia Highland and Decatur, our top restaurant picks for the best Southern victuals, and great places to visit in Georgia beyond Atlanta,   

    If you’re visiting Emory University this month, we encourage you to take some time to get to know our home city. Below are a few events happening here in July.

    “July 4th Pied Piper Parade” in Decatur. Saturday, July 4.

    There are lots of different ways to spend your 4th of July in Atlanta, and yes, almost all include fireworks and BBQ. If you’re not feeling largescale downtown gatherings, then I recommend settling down in the great neighborhood of Decatur for the afternoon and evening. Amidst fireworks and live music, you can get great food at any of the local Decatur restaurants surrounding the parade route.

    “Movies in Central Park 2015” at Atlantic Station. Every Thursday through August 13.

    I’ve been watching great films (current and classic) outdoors around Atlanta as far back as I can remember. The venue and movie genres might change each summer, but the love our community has for mass picnics and movie screenings in our to-die-for summer evening weather has not changed and probably never will. During the month of July, you can catch Independence Day, Casablanca, 101 Dalmatians and Airplane! on the Atlantic Station lawn. Local restaurants around the lawn are offering in-house discounts and picnic-style to-go orders on Thursday evenings to make your experience even better.

    “The Atlanta Street Food Festival” in Piedmont Park. Saturday, July 11.

    We take our food in the South very seriously and firmly believe it should be available to all and as accessible as possible. Thus, we are all about the food truck movement. Join tons of Atlanta natives in celebrating what’s great to eat down here in one of our favorite local venues, Piedmont Park. Tickets are just $12 and all proceeds go to The Giving Kitchen Charity. Be prepared to stay longer once you’ve tasted the food and heard the live music. Bring a blanket to sit on, just in case.

    “Atlanta Ice Cream Festival” in Piedmont Park. Saturday, July 25.

    Yes, only in the South would you find an entire festival dedicated to just ice cream and its “healthy” consumption. While learning about health and fitness from professionals, enjoy activities throughout the day, including ice cream competitions, live entertainment and of course, more ice cream.

  • The Southern Sense: June

    1 GA on my mindI was doing an evening program for Emory University in Connecticut last week and found myself answering questions about that mysterious part of the Southeastern region known as the “Deep South” and Georgia’s own culture as a state located right in the center of that region. If people have never visited the Southeast, they may expect a homogenous culture with a few stereotypes thrown in for good measure (cue the trash-strewn trailer parks and desolate farms often seen in movies) surrounding the progressive and multi-cultured city of Atlanta. One of my happiest responsibilities these days is telling people how much more there is to the state of Georgia, which encompasses gorgeous mountain towns, historic cities, and breathtaking island beaches, all within just a few hours of Atlanta. We like to think that all of this and more is what inspired so many to sing about Georgia being on their minds.

    2 MountainsOne of our best small towns in the mountain region is Ellijay, which was featured in the most recent Garden & Gun as one the top “ten sweet and soulful Southern hideaways” and lies only an hour and twenty minutes north of Atlanta. Replete with unique boutique-style retail, charming B&B’s, and locally-owned restaurants emphasizing farm-to-table meals, Ellijay won’t take long to give you a sense of contentment and ease. The Garden & Gun article talks at length about all of the outdoor activities available in the area, from hiking to kayaking and tubing, but don’t leave without checking out the Whistle Tree Pottery Shop, where you can watch artists throw the pottery that will eventually appear on the shelves for customers to paint. Also, grab a meal at the Martyn House, which offers great coffee and free concerts. And if you are looking for another great mountain town with a larger variety of restaurant and retail options, Blue Ridge is just 20 minutes north of Ellijay and has its own outdoor recreation and beautiful views.

    3 SavannahSavannah, just three and a half hours from Atlanta, has just as much to offer as Atlanta in the way of Southern hospitality and far more in the way of historic architecture. In fact, Savannah’s entire downtown area is considered a National Historic Landmark, one of the largest landmarks in the country. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Bonaventure Cemetery, renowned for its beautiful statues and monuments. It may look familiar if you’ve seen or read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was set in Savannah and used one of the cemetery’s iconic monuments as a front cover. Your visit should also include Forsyth Park in the historic district, interspersed with massive Spanish moss-clad oaks, and Leopold’s Ice Cream, the city’s favorite ice cream parlor (Founded by the three Leopold brothers who immigrated from Greece, the shop is now owned and run by a son, Stratton Leopold. Stratton is perhaps better known today for producing many Hollywood blockbusters, including Mission Impossible 3 and The General’s Daughter).

    If you think Florida has the best and only beaches in the Southeast, then you haven’t visited Georgia’s Golden Isles, just four and a half hours from Atlanta. Made up of a cluster of four barrier islands off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia, the Golden Isles are among Georgia’s best-kept secrets. For a more “developed” island experience with retail and restaurants and a scenic lighthouse (of course), there is Saint Simon’s Island. You can find some of the best steak around at Bennie’s Red Barn, and be sure to head down to the Pier Village to catch the sunset and watch the local fishermen pull in everything from crabs to sharks and sting-rays. For a nature preserve and historic island experience, there is no place better than Jekyll Island, my personal favorite. You can take tours and even stay in the historic Jekyll Island Club, originally built in 1886 by a group of U.S. millionaires who valued the island’s privacy and used the club as a winter retreat. Stringent nature preservation acts have maintained the scenic beauty of the island and its wildlife. Make sure to visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and take its Turtle Egg Tours through the Jekyll dunes. Meals can be had at several restaurants across the island, but my top recommendations are Latitudes 31, which offers panoramic views of the famous Marshes of Glynn, and the Courtyard at Crane, which is part of the historic district and housed in one of the original millionaire’s cottages.

    If you are in the state of Georgia, we hope you get to know some of our great neighboring towns and cities. We have no doubt you’ll come to love them as much as we do. If you’re in Atlanta visiting Emory University this month, then we hope you’ll have a little bit of time to get to know our home city. Below are a few events happening in June to make your visit even more memorable!

    “Summerfest” in Virginia-Highland. Saturday, June 6 – Sunday, June 7.

    5 SummerfestThis is hands down my favorite festival of the summer! There is something for everyone throughout this weekend extravaganza—artist markets, live music, and food and drink aplenty. The main music stage is in John Howell Park. But I’ll let you in on a resident secret – the live music actually starts on Friday, June 6th at 8PM (till 11PM) with the Acoustic Street Party Concert, located at the Virginia-Highland Island (main street intersection next to Murphy’s), featuring some local groups as well as widely known musicians. Restaurants located around the Island, including Murphy’s, La Tavola, and Taco Mac, extend their outdoor seating up to the stage so you can enjoy the music while you eat. Parking is always a bit of a challenge (getting familiar with those free neighborhood streets, like Orme Circle and Amsterdam, is a good move). But if you’re up for biking to the festival, Summerfest is partnering with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition on Saturday and Sunday to offer free, secure bike valet parking at the Virginia-Highland Church. You can also use MARTA to get the festival.

    “The Belmont Stakes” at Belmont Park, New York. Saturday, June 6.6 Belmont

    Ok, so technically not taking place in Atlanta but I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to take a break from whatever you are doing on Saturday evening to watch the final leg of the U.S. Triple Crown because you might get to see history being made! For those that did not see the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, we have a new Triple Crown contender this year in American Pharoah, who is the current favorite for the Belmont (If you haven’t already heard the story, the misspelling of pharaoh is purposeful since the name and exact spelling were a result of the owner’s social media contest to name his Derby contender). As mentioned in our Derby Day entry, thirteen horses have fallen short of a Triple Crown victory in this very race since the last Triple Crown winner in 1978. Some say they just don’t make horses, especially racers, like they used to, but others attribute the dry spell to bad luck and coincidence. The only way to pick a side is to watch the race and see what happens this year. The race is tentatively slated to start at 6:30PM on Saturday, June 6th and you don’t want to miss it!

    “The Fox Theatre Block Party” at the Fox Theatre. Sunday, June 7.7 Fox Theatre

    This event is being hosted by the Fox as a “Thank You!” to the entire city of Atlanta for supporting the arts and making sure the Fox stays open for future generations. For those that have never been, a visit to the Fox Theater is a must! The Fox Theatre has been an intrinsic part of Atlanta’s culture and the city’s work to promote the arts since its construction in 1928. It has served many purposes over the last almost 90 years, but this famous building in Midtown has always been lauded for its architecture, character, and hospitality for artists in a variety of industries from all around the world. This theatre is regularly recognized for its excellence in the arts by the likes of Billboard, Pollstar, and Rolling Stone magazines and is consistently ranked as one the top three theatres in North America. It plays host to more than 250 shows and a half a million visitors each year! If you can’t make it to the Block Party but still want to see the Fox, you can go on one of the many tours offered through its ballrooms and performance center.

    “Tunes from the Tombs” at Oakland Cemetery. Saturday, June 13. 8 Oakland Cemetary
    Oakland Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta (founded in 1850) and one of the few areas of the city to survive Atlanta’s burning during the Civil War. It also stands as one of the most honest depictions of Atlanta’s fraught history throughout segregation, war, and progressive rebuilding, all of which can be traced in aspects like the blatant separation of the burial grounds in the older areas of the cemetery, the variety and evolution of tombstones and grave markings, and the multi-generational Atlanta families and prominent city leaders whose grave sites include exquisite statues and fine words in honor of their legacies to the city. It is a hauntingly beautiful place (no pun intended) near the heart of downtown Atlanta. During this particular event, the cemetery will be hosting an all-day music festival, featuring performances throughout its six acres of monuments and gardens. There will be a variety of food trucks and drink vendors throughout the grounds, as well as complimentary tours of the cemetery and fortune-telling.

    “Light in the Garden” at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Available through October.9 Botanical Garden

    Those who have read some of my previous blog entries know that I love events at the Atlanta Botanical Garden! Whether your thumbs are green or not-at-all-agriculturally inclined, a visit to this gorgeous venue, located at the edge of Piedmont Park in the heart of midtown Atlanta, will always be memorable and fun. This 30-acre plant sanctuary includes rose gardens, an orchid center, an edible garden and bar, the famous Storza woods with its canopy walkway, and much more. There is always an art exhibit or two in the gardens throughout the year as well. Right now the garden is playing host to Bruce Munro’s largest light exhibition in the entire Southeast region. It is best viewed at night but day-time visitors can still enjoy a nice stroll through the gardens, which offer some of the best views of the Midtown skyline and surrounding park area.

    ‘Til next month!

    Farish Jerman 11C*
    Senior Admission Counselor
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

     * Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.

    Picture credit:


  • The Southern Sense: May

    image010I think it should be clear by this point that Southerners love any excuse to get together, eat good food, and tell stories. While I realize ours is not the only region that does this, I like to think that Southerners do it with a widely recognized and appreciated gusto and style. Otherwise, why else would they call it “Southern” hospitality? With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that we love the month of May for its lovely weather, plethora of festivals, and Derby Day! If you are not familiar with celebrating the Kentucky Derby, then let me assure you that it is not just for horse racing fans and aficionados. It is for anyone that enjoys an excuse to dress up, pull out old family recipes, and share in a regional community event.

    image025Derby parties of all kinds are a staple in Southern cities during the days surrounding the Kentucky Derby. I remember my parents, relatives, and neighbors throwing Derby parties when I was growing up that would start in advance of the race itself and last well into the evening. The men wore Seersucker suits and bowties while women wore sundresses and huge hats. This has long been the traditional Derby celebration attire, and to this day it is still the required attire at the race itself, as well as at many local Atlanta restaurants that host Derby parties. Ironically, the “main event” of these parties, the race itself, only lasts a few minutes each year, thus inspiring its moniker, “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” leaving the rest of the evening to conversation, conviviality, and of course, eating the aforementioned great food. I think these community gatherings are part of why this event has become widely valued in the region, even by those who care nothing about horses or racing the other 364 days of the year. There is a sense of tradition and consistency to the way this event is recognized and celebrated, and it is another occasion to bring together friends and family.

    image016Lest you think Derby Day celebrators and participants take this whole thing a little too seriously, wait until you see the names people give their horses racing in the Derby! Just to give you a flavor for this year’s contenders, we have Dortmund, Frosted, Materiality, Danzig Moon and many more. Audacious hats are still a strict tradition but these days, a lot of women make their own Derby hats, whether for a party or a hat contest. Men defy the fabric color wheel with suits and socks in colors that should just never been seen together. Mint leaves that were harder to find than a good pair of jeans are muddled with skilled hands (for those that don’t get this reference, mint leaves are used in the famously traditional Derby drink, the Mint Julep, and become a prized commodity in the days leading up to the race). Pimiento cheese and deviled egg recipes are compared with critical culinary eyes, and tales of past Derby parties and races are recounted with zest and nostalgia.

    image014But all of this comes to a stop at 6:24PM on Derby Day. Yes, that is when the race starts. Not 6:15 and not 6:30, but quite literally 6:24PM. Don’t ask me why. And for the next few minutes, all Derby goers and watchers hold their breath with the hope that this year’s race will be the beginning of history in the making. As some of you may know, the Kentucky Derby is the first of three races that make up the Triple Crown. Winning all three races is considered the greatest accomplishment in the equestrian sport. Let’s hope we have a tough Derby winner this year because there has not been a Triple Crown victory since 1978, although 13 horses since then have won the first two races, only to fall short in the third. Perhaps 2015 is the year for a new Triple Crown! So wherever you end up this weekend and whatever you are doing, just remember that the 141st running of the historic, annual Kentucky Derby horse race will be this Saturday evening, May 2, at 6:24PM. 

    If you find yourself in Atlanta or another Southern city during the upcoming Kentucky Derby weekend, I recommend finding yourself a happenin’ Derby party to attend. If you’re at home, you can plan your own Derby party with expert guidance from the Kentucky Derby coordinators, themselves. If you’re visiting Atlanta during another part of May, fear not, because there are plenty of great events taking place throughout this entire month. I’ve highlighted a few below that I hope will make your visit to Atlanta and Emory University even more memorable!

    image029“Grant Park BBQ” in Historic Grant Park. Friday, May 8-Saturday, May 9.

    Grant Park is another of Atlanta’s great neighborhoods (similar to Virginia-Highland from last month’s entry) steeped in history and tradition. Atlanta residents who call this neighborhood home are some of the city’s most active members in conservation and sustainability efforts. Don’t miss a chance to experience a variety of homemade BBQ from Atlanta’s proud citizens in the much anticipated BBQ competition. There will be two stages hosting live musicians throughout the entire event, an Artist Market with over 60 vendors, and plenty of activities for all.

    image030 “Sweet Auburn Springfest” in the Sweet Auburn District. Friday, May 8-Sunday, May 10.

    Informally known in the city as the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., this single avenue is home to much history and activity, including this festival, which is one of the largest outdoor festivals in the Southeast. The entertainment includes local and well-known musical and dance acts as well as a walking tour through the district, which includes many historic sites, like the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Plenty of food and drink are available at the renowned international food court as well.

    image027 “Atlanta BeltLine Jamboree” in Washington Park. Saturday, May 16 from 2-8PM.

    If you are not already familiar with the Atlanta BeltLine Project, then I am excited to introduce you to Atlanta’s most recent internationally-watched initiative! Inspired by the master’s thesis of the Georgia Tech student and native Atlantan, Ryan Gravel, this project is revolutionizing the economic development, transit, and housing of the communities it is connecting in its circuit around the Metro Atlanta area. In just the span of a few years, the BeltLine has become a household name, a regular destination for locals and tourists alike, and beloved part of our community landscape. So with that in mind, I encourage you to check out this inaugural event taking place on the Westside Trail Corridor. There will be entertainment of all sorts, live music, food and drinks. No better way to spend a nice May day!

    image034 “Atlanta Jazz Festival” in Piedmont Park. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24.

    Widely recognized as one of the best annual events in Atlanta and an absolute favorite for residents, this is a can’t-miss festival if you are visiting Atlanta over the Memorial Day weekend. Starting at 7PM on Friday and running well into the night on Sunday, there will be multiple stages around the park hosting famous Jazz legends as well as new, up-and-coming musicians. Similar to many other Piedmont Park based festivals, there will be a traditional Artist Market if you are looking for some new collectibles. There will also be a variety of food and drink offered throughout the park. A tip from me to you: parking can get hairy around Piedmont Park during this busy weekend so Uber is a great option for getting to and from the festival. You can also use MARTA (Atlanta’s public transportation system) since both the Midtown station and the Arts Center station are about equal walking distance to the park.

    image033 “Decatur Arts Festival” in downtown Decatur. Saturday, May 23-Sunday, May 24.

    Hopefully our March entry on Decatur has you intrigued and excited about what this great area of Atlanta has to offer, so there is no better time to visit and see for yourself than during this beloved annual festival! Music, art, food and drink make for a great introduction or (revisit) to this unique neighborhood.

    ‘Til next month!

    Farish Jerman 11C*
    Senior Admission Counselor
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission

     *Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.

  • Making the Big Decision

    Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.47.04 PMAs the May 1 admission response deadline approaches, some of you still have a major decision on the horizon. Those of you who are admitted but not yet committed are probably feeling a mix of anxiety, confusion, and hopefully a tinge of excitement, too. Clearly, this is one of the biggest decisions you have needed to make so far in your life, and you should be commended for taking your time and focusing your energies. (And they say, “getting in” is the hardest part!)

    So how do you choose? How do you make this big decision? What is the value of an education at one institution compared to another? What is the right choice? The perfect fit? Asking others these questions is acceptable, but in the end, it is you and you alone who must make the choice. This decision-making process challenges your ability to self-analyze your personal priorities and preferences while forcing you to attempt to predict the next four years of your life. And not only does this choice impact those next four years—your school will become your alma mater and an important section of your resume.

    OK, that last paragraph probably just added to your stress level. So let’s change gears for the rest of this post and provide the best possible assistance we can for tackling this decision. If you can approach your decision-making process with an organized game plan and clear mindset, you will hopefully find the right choice will illuminate itself. Our advice falls into four categories:

    1. Self-Analysis

    Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.48.46 PMDetermine what is it you want/need and then research all the aspects behind the decision. Self-analysis is crucial before deciding which college to attend. Ask yourself the critical questions, and be honest with yourself when it comes to the answers:

    • What kind of a school do I want to attend for four years? Location? Atmosphere?
    • What kind of student body am I looking for? Do I think I will mesh well with the current students?
    • What kind of academic opportunities will be available to me as an undergraduate, and how am I looking to be educated?
    • Same question, but relate it to extracurricular options. Which is more important: strong academics, an active social life, or a mix of both?
    • What about the faculty? Are they accessible? Can I see myself learning from them? Do I want to learn from them?
    • Will I learn? Will I have fun? Will I be challenged? Will I easily engage? Which of these matters most?
    • Will I be proud in four years to call myself an alumnus of the school?
    • Will I / can I make a difference?

    If you visited your final choice schools it is probably easier to answer these questions. If you didn’t visit, you can conduct tons of research via websites and social media to get a feel for the school, its student body, and the faculty. Comparing what you value with the attributes of each school that remains on your list will aid you greatly.

    1. Make Pro/Con Lists

    For some, Pro/Con lists are tedious or laughable. Trust us. They work, especially for this kind of decision making. Make lists for each school you are still considering. It is time for you to really start thinking about fit. No school is perfect, so make sure to be as detailed listing strengths as you are listing weaknesses.

    Not only is this the time where you can catalog your personal opinions about each school; it also becomes a study in what characteristics you find most important. If you did a self-analysis, now is the perfect time to match the list of qualities you want to your opinions about what each school has to offer. Location, size, friendliness, professors, extracurricular offerings, cost, academic opportunities, etc. List everything from the most important detail to the most insignificant. Nothing is too ridiculous to be included on these lists—consider it a personal brain dump that in the end will bring clarity, focus, and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. All in all, this is your compare and contrast system, and it should help.

    1. Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.48.29 PMDisregard Statistics and Rankings

    Though rankings and statistics are quite helpful as you first start thinking about colleges and as you decide where to apply, in all honesty, numbers can be manipulated to prove any point you want. To make your final decision, throw U.S. News out the window and avoid side-by-side number comparisons of schools. It is time to focus on the intangibles. Each of the schools that have admitted you offer amazing opportunities. This is not an apple versus orange versus kiwi decision, but rather a gorgeous green apple versus a shiny red apple versus a delicious yellow apple. Numbers do not predict whether you will be happy for the next four years, whether you will be challenged, or whether you will be stimulated. The top schools are all top schools. It now comes down to fit, and a percentage, formula, or statistic does not determine fit.

    1. Take Advice with a Grain of Salt

    Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.46.40 PMWe strongly encourage you to make sure to avoid hearsay, conjecture, myths, and rumors—they often are far from the truth. Every person sees every college differently. Do your own analyses; get information directly from the source, and avoid biased comments. Value your personal conclusions over all others. There is no cardinal rule that says if you read it or heard it; it must be 100% true. Consider everything—both overly positive and overly negative comments—with a grain of salt. Constantly question the source, and consider the agenda of the person feeding you information. Ultimately your own personal conclusions will be the best guide.

    Clearly you need to talk with others about this decision. Your family may be the top of the list. Your college counselor or respected teachers are other great sources. Friends can be helpful, but their advice could also be worth little. Make sure to gather information from the schools themselves. Avoid anonymous sources. In the end, filter through all the information you have compiled to make the best decision for you.

    Still Stumped?

    Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 7.49.02 PMIf all this advice fails … just choose Emory. You can’t go wrong.

    Seriously though, if you remain confused at the end, go with your gut. We hope you will choose Emory University (wink, wink). Whatever your choice, understand one last important concept—one of the hidden truths of college admission is that once a student commits to a school they begin to mold their choice into the perfect school. So whatever school you’ve chosen will become your perfect college experience. These four years are what you make of them, so go out there and be successful.

    Best wishes!

  • This Week on #AskanEagle

    If you follow our Instagram account, you’ve probably noticed that this month we’re doing #AskanEagle. Admitted students from both Oxford and Emory College have submitted their questions, and we’ve been out on campus getting answers! Here are the answers from this week’s questions. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and see more videos throughout April!

    Harlan Cutshall – Falmouth, Maine (Senior)
    What are the biggest differences between studying for high school and for college?

    In college, I start studying for my tests a lot earlier than I started in high school – I start studying about a week out, or so, in advance, rather than a couple days before. I go over material and make sure I’m as comfortable with it as possible, and that’s worked well for me so far and it’s what I’d say for people moving forward into college.

    Noreen (Sophomore)
    Do Oxford students spend a lot of time on the Atlanta campus?

    Hi! My name is Noreen. Oxford students can spend as much time on the Atlanta campus as they’d like. It’s up to the students here to decide. They have shuttles available, but it’s up to you as to how involved you want to get on either campus.

    Jake Tegtman – Wellington, Ohio (Junior)
    What is the Emory Farmer’s Market?

    Every Tuesday, a bunch of local vendors come and set up in front of Cox Hall, on the bridge, to sell produce and other organic foods. It’s always worth a stop!

    Noah (Sophomore)
    What should I expect at Oxford orientation?

    At orientation, there are a lot of fun events planned. You also register for classes and can take shuttles to Wal-Mart in case you need to pick anything up. The most exciting thing is you get to meet your [hard to hear] group where you’ll meet a lot of your friends for the next few years.

    Joan (Sophomore)
    Is it possible to explore Atlanta without a car?

    There is a shuttle that takes you out for free to explore Atlanta – such as, the High Museum of Art, Botanical Gardens of Atlanta, and the Mall of Georgia. For me, personally, I enjoy going to Lenox Mall with my friends to do some shopping.

    Maggie (Sophomore)
    Can students study abroad while at Oxford?

    To answer your question, no, you cannot study abroad while at Oxford. However, you can take summer or winter abroads with Emory, and you can take classes that study abroad during spring break, AND you can study abroad your Junior and Senior years at the Atlanta campus.

  • Honest talk about Oxford College

    0042306-13kh-f018-_raw_ (1)Oxford students complete their first two years in an idyllic liberal arts setting in Oxford, GA, about 45 minutes to the east of the Atlanta campus. (Learn more here and here.) As admission staff, we are often asked about the transition Oxford College students make to the Atlanta campus as juniors.

    We wanted to address misconceptions about the transition Oxford students make to Atlanta honestly and openly. We asked Maddie Clifton 14OX 16C*, an Oxford student now at the Atlanta campus as a junior, to share her personal experiences.

    Misconception #1: Students only go to Oxford because they didn’t get into Emory College.

    That’s not true at all! Students 0100101-14KH-F228-_RAW_choose to go to Oxford for a myriad of reasons
    but it is mostly for the small community. Because the campus is small, I never had a class over 25 students, and my smallest class was 8. I had the opportunity to get to know my classmates and professors really well and on a very personal basis. Also, because there are only freshmen and sophomores on campus, it is really easy to get leadership roles early on.

    When you attend Oxford, you really do get the best of both worlds. You get the small liberal arts intensive education your first two years on the Oxford campus while learning great leadership skills. And your second two years you get to attend a larger research-based university and get all of the perks that come with a name like Emory!

    Misconception #2: Oxford students only hang out with other Oxford students on the Atlanta campus. They don’t integrate well into the Emory community and are not as involved on campus.

    False! Oxford students come to the Atlanta campus already with a tight group of friends from Oxford, but they often get very involved in different campus life initiatives, too, at Emory. At Oxford, students get the opportunity to get hyper-involved and become the presidents of organizations only as sophomores. When they make the transition to the Atlanta campus, they already have leadership experience and are eager to get involved again.  It’s not uncommon at all for an Oxford student to be on the executive board of a club here in Atlanta. I myself have joined a sorority, became a tour guide/admissions fellow, joined the Student Alumni Board, and the women’s Club Volleyball Team and have a lot of new friends through all of these outlets.

    Misconception #3: Oxford students don’t have the same academic opportunities as juniors and seniors when they get to the Atlanta campus (ie: internships, research, study abroad, etc.).

    All undergraduate students have theScience at Oxford same opportunities to apply to different research, provided by the school. Often students also find research opportunities through individual relationships with professors, and when you are at Oxford in a class of only 20 students, it is incredibly easy to approach your professors and ask if they are conducting research and if they want a student worker to assist.

    Misconception #4: Oxford students don’t ever get accepted to the Goizueta Business School.

    Plenty of students from Emory and Oxford are accepted to the business school. The acceptance rates are actually about the same for Oxford students and Emory College students. Both applicants are held to exactly the same standards and which school you attended is not a factor being considered. Students who are accepted to the business school are expected to have a high GPA, take certain prerequisites, and also be involved on campus.  While I did not apply to the business school, I have a lot of friends that applied, and the majority of whom were accepted and love it there.

    Maddie Clifton head shot

    Maddie Clifton
    Political Science & Interdisciplinary Studies double-major
    Savannah, GA



    * Emory University uses these abbreviations to designate graduation years. For example, Maddie was at Oxford her freshman and sophomore years, finishing in 2014 (14OX). She is now at the Atlanta campus, Emory College, where she will complete her junior and senior years, graduating with her bachelor’s degrees in 2016 (16C).

  • The Southern Sense: April

    Want to experience an area of Atlanta that’s been key to the flourishing “intown” scene? Welcome to Virginia-Highland, arguably Atlanta’s most well-known intown neighborhood. While there is debate, even among Atlanta natives, about where the neighborhood’s boundary lines stop and start, there’s little argument that as Atlanta has continued to grow, this little unassuming neighborhood continues to faithfully embody what is great about this city and life in the South.

    image004I’ve been looking forward to this entry since I started this blog last October. If you’re just joining us for the first time, you should know that this entry comes as Part II of last month’s blog, which included a quick explanation of how to visually understand Atlanta’s metropolitan sprawl and an introduction to Decatur, one of many delightful, walkable neighborhoods surrounding Emory University. I’m really excited to continue by introducing you to another nearby neighborhood, my home-neighborhood in fact, Virginia-Highland.

    image001Practically named after the intersection of its two major streets, Virginia Avenue and North Highland Avenue, which make up the center of the neighborhood, this area is considered by many in Atlanta to be where one should spend evenings, weekends, and the rest of life. Honestly, it was really a stroke of luck that I got to grow up in this wonderful pocket of Atlanta, since my parents moved to the area long before it became the “cool” place to be. As a result, I grew up down the street from the largest park in Atlanta, Piedmont Park, around the corner from the start site of the internationally-watched community project, the Atlanta BeltLine, within easy walking distance of Trader Joe’s (one of only two in the city!), the local movie theater, and a plethora of non-chain retail shops and restaurants.

    image006Century-old Craftsman bungalows, huge trees, and sidewalks line streets that wind around parks and local businesses, and that’s just the aesthetic appeal. Walking through the neighborhood is an intimate community experience as friends and families fill front porches spilling over with the sounds of music and conversation. Every block brings familiar faces and the latest news. If you fell in love with the eccentric, tight-knit town of Stars Hollow in the hit TV show, Gilmore Girls, then you will understand exactly why the residents of Virginia-Highland love the community and culture of their neighborhood. (If you don’t understand this reference at all, you are absolutely missing out. Luckily for you, Gilmore Girls is on Netflix now – say goodbye to your weekend!)

    Like the townspeople of Stars Hollow, Virginia-Highlanders are very fond of their community, especially the more unique members. For example, we go all out at Halloween, so much so, that people from other neighborhoods drive to Virginia-Highland to see the elaborate pumpkins carvings and the house-by-house entertainment. One of my more dedicated neighbors dresses up in a hooded cloak and skeletal mask and spends the entire evening playing Rachmaninoff’s ominous “Prelude in C Sharp Minor” on the grand piano just inside the entrance to his house. It is absolutely eerie and chilling. When you approach the front door, he slowly picks up an ancient candelabra and hobbles to the door, extending a bowl of candy. Many a kid has fled without even taking the candy or just had a meltdown on the front porch (just goes to show you that Classical music has not lost its touch).

    Right around the block from that house is a woman who tells fortunes through her elderly Pomeranian. This little dog tends to give very optimistic or very pragmatic fortunes. Each year I am assured of a subsequent year of adventure, excitement, and success in my endeavors. A few years ago, my friend, who arrived on his competition-style road bike to meet me at the Fortune Teller wearing shorts and t-shirt on one of the coldest Halloweens in recent years, was told he would never live long enough to win the Tour de France if he didn’t start dressing appropriately for the weather. Bottom line, that dog knows what’s up.

    image007Similar to Decatur, Virginia-Highland is known for “mom and pop” coffee shops. Neighbors will argue about where the best coffee can be found, but my favorite place is San Francisco Coffee, a non-chain that roasts its own coffee and is so popular it has two locations just a mile apart in Virginia-Highland. You can’t go wrong with either one, but I am partial to the one on the north end of North Highland Ave., with its walls lined with the work of local artists and its large bay windows open to the street. I’ve been hanging out there since I was old enough to drink coffee, and if the foot traffic in and out on a daily basis is anything to judge by, it’s become a staple in many other lives as well.

    image009Part of what makes Virginia-Highland so special is the collection of restaurants around the original name-sake intersection, many of which have been around for decades and contribute greatly to the sense of tradition and history in the neighborhood. Although their menus are very different, they are united in their dedication to lots of patio seating, which adds enormously to their attraction, because the only thing we love more than eating great food is enjoying it outdoors in the beautiful weather we are lucky to have the majority of the year. Murphy’s is my favorite in terms of food and atmosphere, and although its current location is a few blocks from its quirky, original spot, Murphy’s has been a destination point for locals and tourists alike for over 30 years. Right across the intersection is Moe’s & Joe’s, opened in 1947 by two brothers back from WWII, which continues to serve up diner staples and local favorites to this day. Next door is George’s, celebrating its 54th anniversary this year, and widely recognized as offering one of the best burgers in Atlanta.

    It probably won’t come as a surprise at this point that Virginia-Highland is also home to many of the city’s best festivals. We will seriously have a festival in honor of anything and everything – seasons, flowers, fruits, vegetables, holidays, etc. You name it, we probably celebrate it. One of the best festivals, the Dogwood Festival, is taking place this month, so be sure to check it out below. If you are in town visiting Emory University, we hope you’ll stop by Virginia-Highland. Your taste buds, ears, and imagination will all be glad you did, because you’ll leave with a true sense of how life is lived and loved down here. To make your visit even more memorable, we’d like to share some exciting things happening in the city this month!


    image012“Barenaked Voices” at Emory University. Friday, April 10, 2015.

    Yes, this is an a cappella concert (as implied by the title) but before you dismiss it as something just for a cappella fans, you should know that this is one of the most popular annual events at Emory University. All six undergraduate a cappella groups and the Emory University Concert Choir have been coming together for just one night a year for over a decade to celebrate making music. What’s most impressive is that all of this music is arranged, choreographed, and performed by Emory undergraduates from all different academic areas (including, but not limited to, the Arts), all with a love of music. Each group does an individual set, and then they come together to perform a grand finale to a packed concert hall of over 1,100 people. All donations go to supporting Active Minds at Emory and the Emory Helpline. Check out the still-talked-about finale from BNV 2010 featuring Michael Jackson’s iconic hit, “Man in the Mirror,” (starts at 0:38) arranged, choreographed and performed by Emory undergraduates.


    image016“The Atlanta Dogwood Festival” in Piedmont Park. Friday, April 10-Sunday, April 12, 2015.

    This festival, honoring the beautiful blooming Dogwood trees of this season, first started in 1936 as a single-day event of music performances by the likes of the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Symphony, in an effort to raise awareness and support for the beautification of the city. These days, this famous festival has something for everyone—artist markets, live music, and food & drink aplenty! With two different stages on either side of the park, there is ample opportunity to hear all kinds of music, from local groups to widely known musicians (past performances include famous jazz singer Roberta Flack and famous country music artist Sara Evans). The artist market winds its way around the park with everything from paintings to sculpture, jewelry to clothing, and much more. And let’s not forget the food! Whether you’re craving carnival food (funnel cake!), hot dogs, BBQ, or farm-to-table meals from the Food Trucks, you’ll have no trouble finding something to munch on while you listen to music. I’ve been going to the Dogwood Festival my whole life, and it never disappoints; so make sure you don’t miss it if you’re in town that weekend!


    image018“Atlanta Blooms!” at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Available all month.

    Whether your thumbs are green or not at all agriculturally inclined, a visit to the gorgeous Atlanta Botanical Garden, located at the edge of Piedmont Park in the heart of midtown Atlanta, will always be memorable and fun. This 30-acre plant sanctuary includes rose gardens, an orchid center, an edible garden and bar, the famous Storza woods with its canopy walkway, and much more. There is always an art exhibit or two in the gardens throughout the year as well. Right now the garden is welcoming the arrival of spring with a variety of garden and season-inspired events. You are also welcome to visit outside of events to enjoy a nice stroll through the gardens, which offer some of the best views of the Midtown skyline and surrounding park area.


    image020“Inman Park Festival” in Inman Park. Friday, April 24-Sunday, April 26.

    As the adage, “When in Rome…” implies, the best way to get to know a city is by doing what the locals do. Well, the Atlanta Journal Constitution just listed this neighborhood festival in “10 Things Every Atlanta Resident Should Do” so you should definitely stop by! Similar to Virginia-Highland, Inman Park is another one of the eclectic neighborhoods interspersed throughout the city. It’s also about a mile away from Virginia-Highland, so it’s easy driving distance and even easier walking distance now that the neighborhoods are connected by the BeltLine. Like the Dogwood festival, but on a smaller scale, the Inman Park Festival has plenty of music, food, and entertainment to take you through the whole weekend.

    ‘Til next month!

    Farish Jerman 11C*
    Senior Admission Counselor
    Emory University
    Office of Undergraduate Admission


    *Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.

  • #Emory2019 #Oxford2019 Reflections

    It has been more than 36 hours since our Regular Decision admission notifications were posted to OPUS. We thought we would post a short update on what has transpired since and share some pictures. The activity online after our decision release tested our servers for a number of hours. Thankfully all is up and running now and our admitted students can access the Admitted Student Website and wait-listed students can access the Wait List Response site. If you are still experiencing log-in issues please email us at admission@emory.edu.

    On Friday the admission teams from both Emory College and Oxford College spent the day stuffing admit packets. We had hoped to get them in the mail late Friday but a few small snafus postponed the mailing. Our teams will reconvene on Monday to finish the process and the main USPS center in Atlanta will have a visit from a UHaul packed with mail bins on Monday afternoon. We know our admitted students eagerly want to get their hands on their packets, but do know there are a ton of resources you can access through the Admitted Student Website. Thanks for your patience.

    Though the release of decisions is a huge milestone for any Admission Office, the work does not end. The next five weeks will be extremely busy as we welcome thousands of visitors to campus. For the admitted students, we have a variety of unique visit opportunities so we hope you are planning an April visit. If you can’t visit campus make sure to get engaged with our virtual visit options and stay connected via social media. We look forward to seeing and connecting with all the new #Emory2019 and #Oxford2019 students.

    Best wishes!


    Bins of mail of Emory College, Oxford College, and dual Emory/Oxford admit packets waiting to be sealed and mailed. A big task for this coming Monday.


    We’ve got a ton of boxes to recycle, but that is because so much good news is hitting the mail.


    Our celebratory cookie cake which was a nice midday snack during a busy Friday.


    So so so many letters to sort.

  • Regular Decision Notification Day

    The day has finally arrived. At 6:00 p.m. ET, this evening (Thursday, March 26) Regular Decision admission notifications will be released. Once decisions go live on OPUS, a nearly 8-month process comes to a close and the Class of 2019 comes into focus.orientation

    Starting back on August 1 last year when the Common Application went live, a record number of students submitted applications to Emory University. As the applications were steadily submitted throughout the fall, our admission counselors/advisors trekked across the world meeting prospective students and applicants, while back home our Operations team kept up with the processing of application materials. As the weather got colder and the holidays approached, the admission evaluation process began. First came the QuestBridge matches in early December and then the release of Early Decision I notifications on December 15. Scholars news was released at the end of January, and then Early Decision II notifications went live at February 12. As spring arrived, the admission evaluation processed moved to the intense and deliberate committee reviews.

    Most of you reading this have patiently awaited your decision and are probably counting down the minutes until 6:00 p.m. As you prepare to receive the news (or reflect on the news you have already received), we hope this blog provides some assistance.

    Reminder: How Decisions are Released

    Full details and answers to frequently asked questions about the Regular Decision notification release process can be found here: Regular Decision Notifications Update. The short version is decisions go live at 6:00 p.m. ET through your OPUS account. Decisions are not released over the phone or through email.

    The anticipation is building as we get ready to stuff admit packets!

    What is Going on in the Admission Office Today?

    We closed yesterday with decisions finalized for both Emory College and Oxford College. Today is the day that everything is reviewed. Got to make sure all the proverbial “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed. With thousands of decisions being released for two separate schools and multiple websites to update, you can imagine there are a lot of steps to complete before we feel comfortable pushing the button to release decisions. In addition, our staff will prepare our admit letters and packets, which we will stuff and mail on Friday.

    Some Advice as your Prepare to Receive Your Decision

    Attempt to keep yourself distracted today. Try not to constantly look at the clock. Pursue activities that you enjoy and will keep your mind off of 6:00 p.m. More importantly, after you receive your admission decision, our strong suggestion is that you walk away from your computer or put down your phone or tablet. Go spend time with your family and friends. No matter what decision you receive, get out of the cyber world. This is a major milestone in your life to share first with those closest to you, those who have been there since the earliest moments of your life and who will be there forever. Your family is not Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Your family is not this blog. Share this experience, your thoughts, and your emotions, in the real world first. The virtual world will be there later.

    Know that the entire admission staff appreciates all of our applicants. Thank you for allowing us to get to know you through the application process. We know it’s not always easy, and we hope that you found it worthwhile on a personal level, regardless of the admission outcome. As we’ve holistically reviewed each and every applicant, we’ve been encouraged by who you are and who you strive to be.

    Post-Decision Advice for Those Not Admitted

    Please know that we understand how difficult receiving such news can be. We do not take pleasure in not offering admission to students, especially to those for whom Emory College/Oxford College is a top choice. Please do not receive this news as a judgment of your value or your abilities but rather understand the competitive nature of applying to a highly-selective institution. We are confident that there is a college that will be uniquely enriched by your presence on their campus next fall, and you will have an amazing undergraduate experience.IMG_1065 (1)

    Post-Decision Advice for Those Wait-Listed

    The main takeaway is that this decision was not a “no.” We encourage you to log-in to the Wait List Response site linked in your decision letter and spend time reviewing the answers to the frequently asked questions. We know you probably have many questions, and that site will provide you with detailed answers.

    Post-Decision Advice for Those Admitted

    Sincere congratulations! You should feel great pride in this accomplishment. Make sure to login to the Admitted Student Website linked in your decision letter and review all the content available to you. We strongly encourage you to plan a visit, which you can register for under the “Events” tab. Remember, you must post your enrollment decision no later than May 1. Check back tomorrow for further details about the release of admit packets.

    Best wishes to all!

    Emory Entrance

  • Regular Decision Notifications Update

    Regular Decision admission notifications will be released at 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 26. The last eight months have been a whirlwind of activity to get to this finish line. The Emory College and Oxford College Admission Committees continue to work diligently in committee to finalize the classes by March 26. With a record-breaking applicant pool, there have been many diligent conversations in our office about each applicant, and we look forward to welcoming the rest of #Emory2019 and #Oxford2019 in just a few short days.

    How will decisions be released?
    Decision notifications will be posted online through your OPUS account. At 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 26, log-in to OPUS, scroll to the bottom of the Student Center main page, and locate the Admission section on the left side. When available, you will find a link to “View Online Decision.” If you applied Regular Decision to both Emory College and Oxford, both of your admission notifications will display.

    What is OPUS?
    OPUS (Online Pathway to University Students) is the online portal where students track the status of their application materials and receive their admission decisions. Our OPUS Explained blog entry provides an overview of navigating this system. If you have not yet registered for an OPUS user name and password, you will need to do so in order to check your notification online. If you have any difficulty, please contact Emory’s IT Service Desk at OPUSHELP@listserv.cc.emory.edu directly for help.

    Can I receive my admission decision notification in another format?
    Decision notifications are only released through an applicant’s OPUS account. We do not send admission decisions via email, and we are unable to release decisions over the phone.

    Why are decisions posted at 6:00 p.m.?
    We believe that such important news should be experienced in the context of family. We also do not want students to receive admission news in the middle of the school day. We understand that this time does not work for all of our applicants, including many international applicants, but 6:00 p.m. ET is a time when the majority of our applicants are available and with loved ones.

    Anything else I need to know?
    If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to post a comment to this blog entry, tweet us @emoryadmission, or email us at admission@emory.edu.