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Victorian Style Dorming

If you're totally ready to go away to college, but are dreading living in a "traditional/institutional" dorm, don't stress yourself to the breaking point just yet. There are colleges out there with more to offer than cell-block style. One such school is Champlain College, Burlington, VT. They set their students up in restored Victorian-era mansions!

These dorm mansions boast exquisite woodwork, unique architecture, cozy rooms, fireplaces, and magnificent views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. The rooms are outfitted in traditional oak furniture, consisting of a bed, dresser, and desk; depending on the room you receive, you can customize it to fit your personality. And, every room is different - one room is actually within a tower, so it has two floors. Imagine the decorating possibilities there!

Some rooms have private bathrooms that make dorming even more enjoyable, but you have to be an upperclassman to enjoy this life. They don't want to give you all the amenities right away!

Amy Croach, a senior at Champlain College, looked at other universities, and said they all made her "feel like [she] was in a hospital." It wasn't until she saw Champlain's innovative dorm offerings that she really felt 'at home.' "One of the main reasons I came to Champlain was the dorms," she admits, "but the academics made me stay."

Because the maximum number of students per floor is 12 - up to 40 in a house in all - the school's dorms make for more intimate friendships. "I feel like I'm at home. We have become just like a family," says Amy.

And, even though these rooms are located in restored Victorians, they have all the luxuries of a modern facility. Each room is equipped with private, fiber-optic phone lines for your PC, personal voice mail, and message-waiting needs.

Living Your Life at Champlain
Every semester, each group of students in Champlain College's dorms must complete a community service project. During the holiday season of Amy's freshman year, she and fellow dormers visited a nearby retirement home and celebrated the season with its residents.

All of Champlain's unique dorms are within walking distance to the library, and are located in the safe residential Hill Section of Burlington, VT. The college provides safety workshops, campus security staff, and outdoor phones for emergencies.

There are a variety of dorms available, from co-ed or single-gender to the Wellness House, which promotes mental and physical health in a substance-free environment. There is also an International House for international students and American students wanting to share cultural experiences.

Champlain offers courses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How is that possible? Students can enroll in courses in England, France, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vermont! There are also Web courses, in which students can earn bachelor's and associate's degrees.

Another bonus is that Champlain's tuition is one of the lowest among private colleges in New England. The college keeps its costs low by staffing 30 percent fewer staff/administrators than the national average.

Champlain places great emphasis on career counseling; 97 percent of Champlain graduates find jobs within four months of graduation.

Not just the college, but even the surrounding area of Champlain offers a multitude of benefits. Burlington, VT is ranked as one of the safest cities in America, and is close to a variety of attractions. The shores of Lake Champlain are within walking distance from the college and there is a seven-mile bike path that runs along the Lake. Also within walking distance is the Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor pedestrian mall that boasts shops, restaurants, live music, and relaxing cafes.

For more information on Champlain College, visit them on the Web at, or call 802-860-2700.

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