By Sagar Gaire
St. John’s College has two sister-campuses. Both of these campuses are located in very beautiful towns, one in Annapolis, Maryland and another in Santa Fe, New Mexico. St. John’s students have the opportunity to transfer between campuses for subsequent years. Since the two campuses are in two very different locations, one in the American southwest and another on the east coast, one can experience some differences in culture between these campuses, although the curriculum is the same.
The Santa Fe campus is in the foothills of Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It is about 2 miles from downtown Santa Fe, unlike the Annapolis campus, which is at the heart of the city. Most students live on-campus in both campuses. However, many students (upperclassmen) in Annapolis tend to live off-campus because of the convenient location of the campus.
Students are active on both campuses. There are a number of student-led clubs, study-groups and other organizations in both campuses. The Santa Fe campus has an amazing outdoor program, where students get the chance to hike and trek in the beautiful mountains and forests every weekend and during longer breaks as well. The Annapolis campus has a very active Intramural Sports program. I was amazed to see so many Johnnies participating in sports and other athletic activities. Personally, I loved playing intramural soccer a lot. The intramural program is not as active in Santa Fe campus.
Since the Annapolis campus is located in the downtown, it is easier for students to escape from their readings and get involved in the activities off-campus. There are a lot of amazing restaurants very near to the campus. Annapolis is a naval town. Students here are actively involved in sailing and rowing. I have enjoyed going to the dock and experiencing typical east coast weekend culture almost every weekend.
Santa Fe is very famous for arts, crafts and filming. The Historic Santa Fe Plaza was my personal favorite place to spend time during weekends. There are many galleries and museums around the plaza. Museum Hill, home to several important museums, is located within walking distance of the Santa Fe campus. The annual Indian Arts Festival brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to Santa Fe every summer. The view of the Santa Fe sky during the sunset is unparalleled.
Both campuses are beautiful in different ways. One can even notice different kinds of people in these two campuses, which I think is because of the location and culture of each place. I took an opportunity to transfer from Santa Fe campus to Annapolis for my junior year since I wanted to experience the program in a slightly different environment. Since we have the opportunity to experience both cultures and to meet new people while studying the same curriculum, I highly recommend the students to consider transferring for at least one year.
Stay tuned for Part 2 which will feature an interview with another student who has transferred campuses.