2016 Transfer Students vs. U of I

By Emma Li





Transferring from one school to another can be exciting but also nerve-wracking and stressful at the same time.

Two transfer students, Zoe Pawelczak and Radia Mchabcheb, discuss how they feel about attending the University of Illinois. The two officially become a part of the Illini family this fall.

Both in their junior year, Zoe majors in creative writing and Radia is in psychology. Zoe transferred from Marquette University, Milwaukee, and Radia transferred from DePaul University, Chicago.

Emma Li: How did you feel about the campus when you first came to U of I?

Zoe Pawelczak: I was a bit overwhelmed by the campus, but overall I was astounded by its beauty.

Radia Mchabcheb: It is a really big campus, and it is so far away from home, so it was alright. I wasn’t super excited though.

EL: Now it is already the fourth week of class, what are the differences that you have noticed compared to your old school?

ZP: It is a lot bigger so there are a lot of groups of different people, which I like a lot. I feel like there is a club for everything, which is really cool, and there is a lot going on around campus. A lot more social interaction.

RM: The classes are a lot bigger here, so it is easier to get lost. Not so much like physically getting lost, but in the crowd you don’t know your teachers as well as you do.

EL: Do you think transferring to this school makes you more competitive when you graduate? Why?

ZP: It has a good ranking and a lot of things to prepare you for your career. There is a really big career center in the English building and a lot of fairs and internships. They really help prepare you for the workforce.

RM: I think so. A big reason is that I know a lot of people graduated from here. When I used to babysit, there were people that would be like “Oh my God, I used to go to U of I.” and they are like “Oh yeah, you get the job because you go to U of I. “I think it is crazy. Everybody knows U of I and it is a really good research school. It has got a good name to it.

EL: What do you think the school can do better for transfer students?

ZP: I feel like transfer students have a different experience coming into school than freshmen do, and I like that Marquette has a specialized program. It makes it a lot easier to meet other transfer students. And I think they should do that here. Freshman and transfer are totally different. It will be cool if they had team building activities just for transfer students. And not just meet transfer students in your college but also meet transfer students in all the colleges.

RM: Trying to make meetings your advisor a little bit easier. As a transfer student, I have to figure out what credits do I still need to graduate and depending on where do you come from. Not all credits are able to transfer. It is hard for the first couple of weeks to get time with them because they are all focusing on freshmen.


As for me, I transferred from Green River College, Auburn, Wash. and now I’m in my junior year studying broadcasting journalism. Before coming to campus, I was amazed by the size, ranking and the enrollment information that the school provides on its website. According to Division of Management Information, U of I has a total of 33467 undergraduate students for fall, 2016, while the Enrollment Services at Green River says it has 9921. The numbers do not really show me anything other than U of I have more students until I finally got to see the crowded campus in person. During the day, students would rush around between buildings either by walk, bus or with their bikes. Not to mention the dreadful waiting lines at lunch time. I would say transferring to U of I is challenging. Figuring out the accommodation, meal plans and class registration before arriving on campus are the easy parts. The hard parts are to find the location of the buildings, balance the time between studies and meetings of major-related organizations. Even though transfer students are new to the school just like freshman, most of us will graduate within two years and then we have to prepare ourselves to enter the career field, which can give us a lot pressure.


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