Why I Came to Franklin

Class of 2017, this post is dedicated to you all! Because exactly one year ago, after much deliberation, I sent in my deposit and officially committed to Franklin College. Choosing any college is a major life decision and can be quite scary! But for me, coming to Franklin was one of my best decisions and I hope through sharing my story that I can help you all in making your own "big decision."

Let's start at the beginning of my senior year of high school. That fall I visited several colleges on the east coast, but still was unsure. By January 2012, I applied to nine different colleges: one in my home state of Utah, two in Southern California, three in the Washington D.C. area, one in New York City and two international schools. At this point the anxious waiting began. After getting multiple emails from Franklin, I applied on a whim for early admission. By January I had already been accepted, but I still didn't really envision myself attending, it just seemed too crazy and surreal! So I waited to hear back from all the other schools. I got a few yes's a few no's and then all of the sudden it was decision time and I had to think hard about what I wanted in a school. For some people it was an easy choice—one of my roommates always knew she wanted to come to Franklin College (as her father is an alumnus). But for me, the decision was far from easy as it took much time, thought, and research. In the end I decided on Franklin College for three main reasons: the strong sense of community, the travel opportunities and the liberal arts education.

From the moment I sent in my application, until I arrived for Orientation week, Franklin consistently impressed me with their personal touch. I loved opening up the mailbox and finding a new letter from them. The sheer amount of different packages, envelopes, postcards, etc. that I got every week became a bit of a running joke in my family. But all kidding aside (as an obsessive planner) I really appreciated being kept up to date at every step about what I needed to be doing and what to expect.

Other universities I applied to only sent me a brief letter of acceptance and then were silent. I had a feeling that all the mail was only a taste of the bond in the Franklin community. And I was beyond right! All that mail turned into a fun Facebook group for accepted students, which turned into an open forum for questions, which yielded online friendships that came to fruition the second I got on the group flight from JFK to Switzerland. And of course once I arrived on campus the sense of belonging in the Franklin community only grew stronger. I always knew that I wanted to go to a school which had a bonded community, but once I arrived in this foreign country away from all my family and friends I realized that having that community is more of a need than a want. Our community is so unique as well—not only have I made life-long friends with my peers, but one of the things I love most is that even professors and staff are part of our "Franklin family".  We are an extremely diverse bunch (geographically, culturally and academically speaking) but a major emphasis of Franklin is accepting the differences and encouraging intercultural exchanges. My peers have already taught me so much, I am absolutely stoked for another three years of this.

Academic Travel was a huge selling point for me. I had never been to Europe and the thought of exploring new countries for two weeks every semester (as part of my tuition!!) was pretty irresistible! The above photo is of my dorm room wall. This giant map of Europe sits over my desk and is an incredible reminder of how fortunate I am to be here, and a great motivator for those not-so-great days. (In case you are wondering, the pink flags are where I have gone this year, the dark orange are places I'd like to go, and the light orange flags map out my academic travel for Fall 2013!) I am absolutely enchanted with Europe and the ease of travel here. For what I would pay back home for a plane ticket to California from Utah, I am able to fly to a foreign country, spend the weekend exploring, and be back before class on Monday. I typically go on two independent weekend trips every semester, other students just stick with Academic Travel (which is still incredible!) and yet others are taking off every weekend. It is all about finding a balance between travel, schoolwork, and opportunities within the community. Honestly, just walking the 15min downtown is a traveler's treat! The city of Lugano is beautiful, and the lake is absolutely breathtaking, if you don't believe me check out this postThe fact that I can walk 15min and immerse myself in a foreign language, Italian food, and European culture is just not possible at the other universities I applied to. In fact, many of their universities touted their study abroad opportunities whereas Franklin is four years abroad + a solid education + four weeks of travel a year. Pretty incredible, right?

During my senior year in high school I took 5 credits of classes at my local university in addition to my high school workload. I loved my class but it also reinforced my desire for a) a liberal arts education b) small class sizes and c) a school that encouraged a cosmopolitan mindset. Ultimately Franklin fits best into all three of those categories. I love the liberal arts foundation wherein students are encouraged to explore a wide range of subjects that interest them. The small class sizes was another important element for me, I knew that I didn't want to be just another nameless face in a 100+ class held in an auditorium. I wanted to be able to engage directly with professors, build a relationship with them and my peers through class discussions and engaged learning. At Franklin, the average class size is about 20-25 students with language and higher level classes being even smaller. The final thing I wanted in a university—that Franklin goes beyond exemplifying—was a cosmopolitan mindset. As an International Relations major and someone who considers themselves a world citizen my favorite part about the education I receive at Franklin is its global spectrum.

Does this sound too good to be true? That's what I thought. Throughout my senior year I got dozens of emails a week from a wide range of colleges encouraging me to apply. I was skeptical of any college that tried to sell themselves to me. But I promise you that Franklin is a real school. Of course, like any college, it has its flaws. But overall, Franklin turned out to be my diamond in the rough. I have found that very few people ever intend to come to Franklin, we all have our own weird stories of how we got here. Whether it be a postcard, an email, a friend of a friend. We all come from such diverse backgrounds, such different life stories, yet somehow Franklin finds its way to us.

Today I am a world apart from where I was a year ago, both literally and figuratively. I am so thankful I came to Franklin and although I fully recognize that is not for everyone, I am 100% confident that coming here was the right decision for me. Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have for me about my journey to Franklin and I promise I will answer them in another post soon!


  1. Hello Jessica,
    I feel like such a stalker but I have already read many of your posts twice! I also have my story in how I found about Franklin College and I now plan to apply next fall. (I'm still only a junior) I just wanted to know how you prepared to attend Franklin and international school where things are so different and how you were able to convince your parents to letting you go so far? As soon as I told my parents and some friends they stated that I was crazy for thinking of going so far to a foreign country and that it would be crazy expensive to study in Europe. Please tell me that I'm not crazy for considering Franklin College! I also plan to major in International Relations so any advice or anything you have to say would be great. I hope to continue to read your amazing posts that always excite me to know that such opportunities actually exist.
    Thanks for writing such an AMAZING post,
    Ana-Flor Bernal

  2. Hello Ana-Flor Bernal!
    First off, I am glad to hear that you are considering Franklin! As far as preparing for the transition, in all honesty no course or book will ever really prepare you. It is all about having an open mind, patience, and a willingness to interact with different cultures! I am lucky to have such supportive parents to let me go far! But I think what convinced them most in the end was that in many ways it was not so different from me going to school on the east coast. yes it is a different time zone, but we still talk via skype, facebook, sms, etc. And I am home for winter and summer breaks. You are definitely not crazy for considering Franklin! And I hope to see you on campus in two years!

  3. Hello Jessica,
    My name is Hamsa Raman, I am a rising senior from North Carolina. Franklin University is my NUMBER ONE!! choice of university. Is there anyway I could contact you by email or facebook/ instagram to find out more information?
    email: raman.hamsa1@gmail.com
    facebook: Hamsa Raman
    instagram: itshammysa
    I hope to get in touch with you soon.


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