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Finding Your Fit as a Transfer Student

Caitlin Burns from Arcadia U talked to five students about their decision to transfer. Read their stories and get inspired to find your best-fit college.

The decision to transfer can be challenging, with concerns about credits, friends, housing, and course loads—but it doesn’t have to be! Below is advice from students and graduates of Arcadia University who have found success after making the decision to transfer and finding their fit. They each have different backgrounds, interests, and stories, but they can all agree on one thing: finding a college that truly fits you, your needs, and your goals is important to any transfer journey.

Dorianne Feinstein

A member of Arcadia’s Class of 2018 who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and a minor in Music, Dori said finding her fit came down to three things: credits, location, and environment. Dori, who transferred to Arcadia from Susquehanna University, wanted a school that accepted her credits, had a welcoming environment, and was near a city with theater opportunities. Choosing a school near Philadelphia provided what she was looking for. Looking back, she can see how transferring gave her the chance to network with production companies and eventually apply for apprenticeships.

Within the campus community, Dori opened herself up to the opportunities available. She wrote for the University’s blog, participated in University- and student-run theater programs, worked at the Office of Career Education, and hosted prospective students for the University’s OverKnight program. “I’m glad I did transfer, but there were challenges,” Dori said. “I had to find what I needed to personally grow.” Her advice to other students thinking about transferring? Have patience and don’t give up, even when you don’t think things will work in your favor. “It might seem easier to drop a minor or change a major, but if you’re passionate about something, don’t be scared,” Dori said. “Use the resources at the school as much as possible, and don’t let opportunities pass you by.”

Related: Performing Arts Majors and Potential Jobs

Aliyah Abraham

As a single parent, Aliyah, a member of the Class of 2018 who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a minor in Pan-African Studies, was looking for a school that was close to home but would also challenge her to grow. After attending Montgomery County Community College, Aliyah was encouraged by her advisor to meet with Dr. Doreen Loury, assistant professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Arcadia. However, their paths didn’t cross until after Aliyah had accepted the offer to attend. “I [transferred] on a whim,” Aliyah said. “However, [it] enabled me to have a quality education and be close to my son as well as offered me a community that embraced me as a single parent.” 

Aliyah has also made an impact on campus. As a transfer student, she found there was a need for more African American organizations and programming. She founded Melanin in Action, a community service–driven organization that focuses on impacting Black lives. Through Melanin in Action, Aliyah organized a drive for Hurricane Maria victims, developed the collaborative “Breaking the Silence” event that initiated a dialogue about race and led to positive changes on campus, and brought the need for a campus food pantry to the forefront. Now she is a founding member and president of Arcadia University’s first Black Alumni Association. “I never meant to get involved, but I learned things about myself by doing so,” Aliyah said. “Don’t be afraid to get involved, and don’t let your age or the different stages of life hold you back from enjoying your opportunity.” 

Ryan Adalbert

Ryan, a member of the Class of 2016 who earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, didn’t find his fit the first time he transferred.  After meeting with an advisor at his new college on the first day, Ryan learned that many of the credits he had earned at Bucks County Community College wouldn’t be accepted at his new school. That afternoon, he called Arcadia University to discuss his credits and find out if his offer of acceptance was still open. Three days later, he was an Arcadia Knight. “The #1 thing I was looking for was that the transfer process was going to go smoothly,” he said. “No one wants to find out they need to take another year for a path they’re already on. [I wanted] a good, seamless transfer experience, and that’s what I got in the end.” 

Ryan said while he didn’t have time for extracurriculars since he worked 30 hours a week to support his family, the internship experiences he found at his transfer school helped him develop connections with classmates and advance in his career as a programmer—first to part-time work while he completed his degree, and then full-time work after graduation. He gives credit for his successful career start to his computer science and mathematics professor Ned Wolff, who helped him secure the internship. “I think about the fact that if I had stayed at my first transfer school, I’d still be in college,” Ryan said. “The best advice I would have is that all the work pays off. It’s an investment in your future, and I’m reaping the benefits of it now.”

Related: Are You Ready to Transfer? Planning for Your Future

Jessica Braun

A member of the Class of 2016 and now a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student, Jessica was looking to her future when she decided to transfer. After receiving her associate degree from Sussex County Community College, Jessica was looking for a school that could support her on the physical therapy career path. Arcadia offered opportunities for Jessica to build a relationship with the school and transition into its DPT program upon acceptance.  “I wanted to do physical therapy, and Arcadia offered more opportunities for undergraduate students to enter the DPT program,” she said. “It just seemed like the undergrad and graduate experience at the University would be beneficial to me with my background.”

Jessica said she was nervous about transferring because of the living and social arrangements—she had never lived on her own and feared not being able to make friends easily. However, becoming involved with campus activities allowed her to connect with classmates. As a physical therapist in training, she said the skills she learned in those extracurriculars have helped her transition into graduate school effectively and provided a better patient experience. “A lot of my leadership positions required me to speak with people I didn’t know, which has helped me work with physical therapy patients,” said Jessica, who cited an example of when she was president of the Environmental Network and the group wanted to reduce the amount of paper wasted on campus. As part of that process, she spoke with administration, faculty, and students to develop a solution. “I learned a lot about how to talk to people and connect with them,” she said.

Alexander Lorenz

A small school with a beautiful campus was what Computer Science student Alexander Lorenz, a senior at Arcadia, was looking for in a transfer institution. While searching for colleges in high school, Alexander was satisfied that Arcadia would meet his needs. After speaking with a transfer advisor, he felt confident that the school would accept the credits he had earned at Bucks County Community College. “Something you don’t think about when looking at campus environment is residence life,” Alexander said. “I would advise transfer students to visit the residence halls of their prospective school(s) and make sure the environment fits you.” Alex wanted to live on campus, but he was anxious because he’d never lived on his own. However, with the help of the Gaming Club, he made friends and found it easy to adjust. “Find something that you like and find an organization that focuses on that interest,” he said. “It’s easy to meet people when you have a common interest.”

Related: The Ups and Downs of the Transfer Experience

Making the decision to transfer is a brave decision because it’s certainly not an easy one. We hope these student success stories have inspired you to find your true college fit now that you’ve decided to transfer. It may seem like an overwhelming process, but knowing you’re transferring to a school that will support your goals and offer an amazing experience will make it all worth it in the end.

For more advice on going through the transfer process, check out our Transfer Students section—and if you think Arcadia University could be your college fit, click the button below to request more information.

Connect with Arcadia University! 

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