Horned Frog Blog

Musings from the TCU Admission Office

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Faculty Feature: Summer Study Abroad in Ghana, West Africa

Every other year, TCU students are provided a golden opportunity to spend three weeks in a region of the world with which students are not too familiar – Ghana, West Africa. Led by Professor Komla Aggor, the Ghana study-abroad program is a 3-credit interdisciplinary program designed for all majors.  Core credit is given for Cultural Awareness and Global Awareness, and  Religion and History students can apply the credits (or additional ones) toward their major or minor. Two seminars are held on the TCU campus to prepare students for the trip, and in Ghana students are TCU Blogimmersed in a wide variety of intellectual and hands-on activities aimed at enhancing their sensitivity to multiculturalism and issues of global significance. Here is a sample: Seminars – African music and dance workshop – Workshops on African ceramics and textile production – Excursion to ecological sites – Communal service – Guided tour of Trans-Atlantic slave forts – Panel discussion with high-school and college students. The program site is the University of Ghana in the capital city of Accra. The Ghana program opens horizons and prepares participants for success in a globalized community on the look-out for graduates capable of working in harmony with people from different cultural backgrounds. Here is a sample of what the 2014 program participants have said:

“I absolutely loved this program. At times it was difficult, however, what I got out of it was worth so much more. Even only a few weeks after the program I see the trip affecting my daily life. It was an amazing trip.” (– Allegra Hernandez)

“This was such an eye-opening and amazing experience, one that I will never forget. The trip will definitely leave an impact on me for the rest of my life. The most outstanding value of this program was learning to embrace another culture and letting go of assumptions previously learned. Also, even though you may be from a different culture than someone when it comes down to it, we are all connected in some way.” (–Missy Williamson)TCU Blog

“I was very pleased with the Ghana Summer Study Abroad Program. This program gave us some amazing opportunities, to have experiences that normal tourists don’t normally get to have (like seeing a nuclear reactor). There are so many false stereotypes associated with Africa that can be eradicated by people being willing to open their eyes to a different culture or just by sharing true experiences with others.” (–Rachel Rebagay)

“I really enjoyed the program and I think the outstanding value of it is my knowledge that Africa is developing. Africa is not one big safari with cheetahs and lions and rhinos running around. There are not starving children on every street corner or nasty puddles of water from which people drink. Most importantly, the program allows students to see that people, especially children, are universal and although we come from different cultures and places, there are certain similarities that we all share as human beings.” (–Kaitlyn Upton)

Students interest in the program should contact Dr. Komla Aggor, k.aggor@tcu.edu.

TCU BlogDr. F. Komla Aggor is a professor and the department chair of the Department for Spanish and Hispanic Studies at TCU.

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Ask the Counselors: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give for students as they are searching for colleges? (Part 2)

The college search process can be an intimidating one. In a previous post, some of our counselors shared some pieces of advice to help students find the best fit for them. Check out a few more thoughts from the rest of our staff!TCU Blog

Beatriz Gutierrez
The college selection process can be daunting. The more colleges you visit the better idea you will have about what it is that you are looking for. If you are not able to visit as many college campuses, check online as many colleges and universities offer a virtual tour. Also reach out to our students. They are always willing to talk about their school. 

Alexis Olympia
Visit several different types of colleges! Research and visit big, small, medium-sized, in-state and out-of-state, rural and urban campuses to get a better feel of what environment is going to be best for you! Ask a lot of questions during your visit!

Karen Scott
Tell your kids to use their own email address on all college correspondence/applications. Oh yes, and remind them to check their email every couple days!

John Andrew Willis
Visit every college you are seriously interested in ideally during the fall or spring semester on a day class is in session. No amount of technology supplants the human element of “feeling” a college out in person.

Michaela Bradshaw
Be diligent in your search for external scholarships and in your efforts to be competitive for institutional scholarships. Everything you do to assist your family in handling the financial component of the university experience will give you the flexibility to attend the school that is a best fit for you.

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Student Submission: The Summer of Frog Camp

This summer has been a whirlwind. I have had the pleasure of serving on the Frog Camp Director Board, which has been incredible for so many reasons, but here is one of them. During each Frog Camp, I get to meet a portion of the incoming freshman class, and I get to relive my own camp experience as I watch the campers engage in the different Frog Camp activities, and most importantly, make great friends.

Directing Frog Camp Paris was definitely a highlight of the summer.

Directing Frog Camp Paris was definitely a highlight of the summer.

Three years ago I arrived at Colorado Springs airport to check in for Frog Camp Alpine and I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but once camp started, I was hooked on the idea of being a Horned Frog. I met one girl at Orientation who happened to go to that same Frog Camp, and we have remained good friends to this day. That is what this summer has reminded me of. Throughout every step of TCU, I have made amazing friends and lasting connections.

But being a Frog Camp director hasn’t just been a walk in the park. When I went home this summer to stay with my family, all of our family friends kept asking me what I was doing this summer to prepare for the real world. At first, I was a little skeptical because most of my friends have what most people would recognize as “normal” internships, so they had trouble understanding why I was working on a camp staff during my last college summer. But truthfully, being on the Director Board has taught me more about myself, and leadership, than I would have learned from any internship. I don’t say that to bash on internships by any means, but what I am saying is that throughout college, TCU students learn something different about their personal identities, and are able to make personal decisions from that knowledge in an environment that allows them to make mistakes and learn from them.

The summer wouldn't have been nearly as successful without having the rest of the Frog Camp Director Board.

The summer wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without having the rest of the Frog Camp Director Board.

Frog Camp has just been one piece of an amazing last college summer. I have had so many great experiences that are hard to put into words. As I’m sitting here writing this, I am praying that my legs don’t cramp up again because last night I played in a soccer game with over fifteen of my close friends, and five people who I had never met before on TCU’s intramural fields. It was incredible! A few people who played came straight from work, but were relieved to unwind from the day by kicking the soccer ball around. There were guys and girls from different Greek organizations and all sorts of walks of life, but it didn’t matter, we were all having a blast playing soccer with fellow Horned Frogs.

I have made relationships at TCU that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. I couldn’t be happier that I have been able to attend this fine university, and I will proudly state that I am a Horned Frog for the rest of my life.  TCU Blog

Michael Walton is a senior Business major from Fort Worth, Texas. He is involved in Frog Camp, Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, and Neeley Fellows.

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Ask the Counselors: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give for students as they are searching for colleges? (Part 1)

While getting admitted to a university may be each student’s focus at a certain point in the process, first they have to figure out to which universities they want to be admitted! Searching for the right college can be an intimidating process with so many different colleges around the country, so here are some tips for how to find that needle in the haystack.

Kyle Cochran
Visit tons and tons of schools. The more schools you visit the more of a gauge you will have for what you do like, what you don’t like, and where you can truly see yourself thriving.

Visiting campuses is essential in the college search process. Don't forget the photo ops!

Visiting campuses is essential in the college search process. Don’t forget the photo ops!

Heath Einstein
Ask questions of those who are not hired by admission offices to give you the “right” answers.

Caitlin Provost
Never be afraid to ask questions! You will want to make sure that the college you choose will truly be your home-away-from-home for the next four years. So ask whatever is on your mind and follow your heart. If you do, you will surely find the best fit for you!

Sara Sorenson
Shop around. Figure out what you like and don’t like, but realize that every school has great characteristics. The most important part is discovering the characteristics that are more important to each student’s learning environment.

David Stein
Get on campus. We’re all going to show you pictures of attractive, diverse people sitting in thought-provoking poses in front of our most gorgeous buildings, but you’ll never know how it’s actually like at a school until you spend time there.

Margaret McCarthy
My best advice is to begin the college search process early, and visit a variety of college campuses to get a feel for what fits you best.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and utilize your admission counselor as a resource along the way!

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Student Submission: An Open Letter to the TCU Class of 2018

In a few weeks, you will embark on the greatest adventure of your life so far: COLLEGE. And not only are you going to a college, you are going to the best college in the country, the world, even the universe.

“I think you’re being dramatic, TCU isn’t ranked #1 in Newsweek or CollegeWeek or whatever other college ranking website I’ve seen on Facebook,” you’re thinking.

The improv group Senseless Acts of Comedy is one of the many student organizations on campus.

The improv group Senseless Acts of Comedy is one of the many student organizations on campus.

I’m not being dramatic, I’m in love. Imagine me twirling around saying “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!” like Elf. That’s how I feel when I talk about TCU.

So as a fanatic student of Texas Christian University, I would like to welcome you to the Horned Frog Family. Odds are you are starting to feel those pre-going-off-to-college nerves. I was the only person from my high school going to TCU and I knew one person (barely) from my hometown going too. I remember in the week before I left for school, lying awake at night thinking, “How am I going to make friends? Am I going to eat alone at the cafeteria? How do I find my classes? Will anyone laugh at my jokes?”

Let me give you 8 (of the hundreds of) reasons to be excited, not nervous, about going to TCU.
1)We are all already obsessed with you. We sophomores, juniors, and seniors, already love you. Whether you’re about to join our sorority, fraternity, YoungLife group, Step Club, Improv group, Hall Crew, Student Government program, Admissions program, we are so excited to welcome you in them. If you’ve already been to Frog Camp, you’ve seen this. You’ve seen the investment your facilitators put into you and how the entire goal of camp is getting you immersed into the community even before your first day. The community of TCU is no joke, we take care of our own and we’re here to help you.

Three of TCU's professors were named in the top 300 in the nation by The Princeton Review.

Three of TCU’s professors were named in the top 300 in the nation by The Princeton Review.

2) You are not just a number. The average class size at TCU is 27, and the student to faculty ratio is 13:1. Your professors will know you, will help you, and will want the best for you. Every single professor I have had thus far, has known my name within the first 2 weeks of class. I had a professor that gave us all his phone number and told us to text him if we ever have questions or want to set up a time to go over a test. I’ve had multiple professors who are happy to go through every test I’ve taken with them. I’ve had professors who have worked with me diligently to pull up a grade after bombing a test. You are not a number to them, you are a valued student.

3) Whatever you want to do, we have it. I mentioned in my first point a handful of things you can get involved in. Guess what? There are hundreds of other things. Don’t want to do Greek life? Awesome, half of TCU isn’t Greek. Want to relive your high school athletic glory days? Make an intramural team. Allergic to gluten? First of all, I’m so sorry, bread is so good. Secondly, we have a Gluten Freedom club. You’re an atheist going to Texas Christian University? We’ve got Free Thinking Frogs club just for you. There are so many options here you won’t know what to do with yourself.

5) TCU is so dang good looking. White brick buildings, fresh flowers constantly, there’s no way you can’t love it. We even remodeled our library just for you guys. You’ll forget you’re nervous about your first day of class because you’ll be so enchanted by the splendor that is Texas Christian University.

Guys. It's Real.

Guys. It’s Real.

6) Chick-fil-A. On. Campus. This may the source of your Freshman 15, but just throw away the dream of avoiding that right now.

7) Free stuff, all the time. Concerts, food, games, puppies to hang out with. There will be times when you walk out of your dorm room, and a camel will just be chillin’ in The Commons for no reason. Or giant hamster balls, free Starbucks, tacos, who knows what will be there this year. It’s like Christmas every day.

8) Chancellor Boschini will say hi to you if you wave at him. He’s the coolest.

Those are just a few reasons why you should be excited about starting school in a few weeks. Obviously you’ll still be a little nervous, and you should be. But don’t be worried. Soon enough, you’ll find half of your wardrobe is purple, you’re calling people you have known for 3 weeks your best friends, and you won’t know how you’re even going to be expected to leave Texas Christian University, your new home.

So start packing up your clothes, gathering the hundreds of containers your mom got your from Container Store, and saying goodbye to your dog. Because even if you don’t think you’re ready, TCU is so ready for you.

TCU BlogMadelyn Carter is a sophomore Political Science and Business double-major from San Antonio, Texas. She is involved in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Neeley Fellows, Frog Camp, TCU Ambassadors, Frog Aides, and the John V. Roach Honors College.

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Ask the Counselors: What is your favorite Fort Worth restaurant? (Part 2)

In a previous post, some of our admission counselors shared some of their favorite places to grab a bite to eat in Fort Worth. It was tough to narrow it down to a few choices, but here are some more favorites from our office staff.

The Woodshed Smokehouse is a favorite of the TCU community and is a just a few minutes from campus right on the Trinity River

The Woodshed Smokehouse is a favorite of the TCU community and is a just a few minutes from campus right on the Trinity River

Margaret McCarthy
My favorite restaurant is Woodshed Smokehouse, which is on the Trinity River near TCU’s campus.  The food is amazing, and there is a ton of (dog-friendly!) outdoor seating.  They also have great live music almost every night.

Victoria Herrera
Los Vaqueros as they offer authentic Mexican food with a Fort Worth cultural flavor.

Beatriz Gutierrez
I love McKinley’s Bakery. It’s near campus and one of my favorite places to get a quick lunch or grab brunch with friends. They have salads, sandwiches, and some of the best strawberry cake!

Magnolia Avenue is home to many of Fort Worth's best places to eat, listen to live music, and hang out with friends.

Magnolia Avenue is home to many of Fort Worth’s best places to eat, listen to live music, and hang out with friends.

Alexis Olympia
Lili’s Bistro is hands down my favorite place to eat in Fort Worth! I always like to support the locally owned restaurants in our great city! Lili’s is a small, charming spot that offers delicious food with many healthy options. I have been there several times when the owner came by our table to say hello and asked how we were enjoying our food! I love the Gorgonzola fries!

Sara Sorenson
Yucatan Taco Stand is definitely one of my favorite places in Fort Worth. Located on Magnolia Ave, the whole restaurant has a relaxed vibe and will normally have some kind of live music performing as well. The tequila lime chicken tacos are the best.

John Andrew Willis
The Woodshed. Located less than a mile from campus on the Trinity River and owned by local celebrity chef Tim Love, the Woodshed represents so much of what makes Fort Worth awesome. They serve many different meats and innovative dishes, all in a rustic, laid-back outdoor-indoor environment.

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Ask the Counselors: What is your favorite Fort Worth restaurant?

TCU’s home of Fort Worth hosts countless restaurants that Horned Frogs quickly learn to love. Whether they are seeking Texas barbecue, traditional Tex-Mex, a good burger, or anything else, there are tons of great places to check out. Our Admission Counselors shared a few of their favorite options and what makes them so special. Check them out!

Reata has one of best rooftop patios and provides a great view of downtown Fort Worth, in addition to great food.

Reata has one of best rooftop patios and provides a great view of downtown Fort Worth, in addition to great food.

Kyle Cochran
I love Reata, which is a Texas-inspired steakhouse downtown. It is unique take on fine dining and it has an awesome rooftop patio, which is perfect place to hang out at night.

Heath Einstein
I’m a huge fan of Mexican food, so my favorites depend on what I’m looking for at a particular moment in time. If I need a quick bite close to campus, I’ll grab a burrito from Fuzzy’s. If I’m looking for a fun evening with great atmosphere, you’ll find me at Joe T. Garcia’s in the Stockyards. But if I want the best Mexican I’ll be at Mercado Juarez Café.

Joe T. Garcia's is a beautifully landscaped restaurant and a great option for anyone wanting some traditional Tex-Mex.

Joe T. Garcia’s is a beautifully landscaped restaurant and a great option for anyone wanting some traditional Tex-Mex.

Caitlin Provost
It’s hard to narrow it down to one! When I’m in town, I like to head out for Tex-Mex. Joe T’s and La Familia are my favorites. The tacos at Yucatan and Fuzzy’s are also tough to beat. I also eat at Lili’s for a great burger.

David Stein
I’m going to pick a less-touristy place. Sam Won Garden is a Korean restaurant pretty close to TCU that’s pretty amazing. I had never had Korean until college, but now I can’t stop eating at this place!

Karen Scott
Cane Rosso has amazing Neapolitan style pizza. It’s the real thing. Plus, it’s on Magnolia Ave, which is becoming a cool place to hang out in Fort Worth.

Jill Sangl
Railhead BBQ: The chopped brisket is incredibly tender and the fresh cut fries are abundant. However, the reason to go to Railhead is to get the to-go cup that proudly states “Life is too short to live in Dallas.”


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