When a student can learn about a college and feel its a place that will help them adapt to a new environment and offer the major they want... then that is definitely a college to consider going to. That is the case for Felipe Estefan. “My name is Felipe Estefan. I am originally from Bogotá in Colombia and I am currently in Hobart and William Smith Colleges up in Geneva New York and I actually hadn’t heard of Hobart and William Smith college, but my vocational counselor told me about it and last minute while putting together a list of universities to apply to I added it the list without paying it much attention,” he says. “But when I did apply it was certainly the place where they paid more attention to my application and they helped me throughout the process and I felt that if they were so receptive to what my needs were during the application process they would also be that way when I actually come here so I decided that I would come here and I am very glad about my choice.”
As for Felipe's major, he knew that pursuing a degree in media studies was the right thing for him. “I am a sophomore here and my major is media and society. I decided to come to the United States because I wanted to pursue studies in media and I felt like it was a great opportunity to go away from my country,” he says. “Media in my Colombia is very influenced by media here in America and of course there has been a lot of development in media studies here and that is why I was so interested in coming to do my studies in that area here.”
Felipe says he also likes the fact that the media program gives the students an opportunity to contribute to the program so it will be beneficial for them. “What I love about me majoring in media and in general studying at Hobart and William Smith is that as a student you get to shape up a lot of what the program is going to be like,” he says. “There’s some seminars, internships to study abroad and pretty much you determine the course that the major is going to take. It is pretty much focus on analysis of media and the focus that I want to give it specifically is media and the entertainment industry.”
While learning all that he can about the media, Felipe says he loves to listen to music and he loves to write as well. The two together he says go hand-in-hand for him. “I think music and writing have a lot to do with each other. A lot of what really makes me like a song or like a particular record has to do with the lyrics so I do pay attention a lot to that part of it and I do like to write a lot,” he says. “I have been in a couple of writing classes here and I also keep a journal and I write all the time and I do feel like it connects a lot with my love for music,” he adds. “It has helped me a lot with my media studies it definitely has because writing allows me to express my ideas and it is harder when what you think doesn’t necessary reflect in the paper as you want it to be. So being clear about my ideas and what people want me to deliver in a text and also having the tools to do so has been really a great part of what I have learned here at Hobart.”
Overall, Felipe is enjoying his college experience at Hobart and William Smith College. He says there he can represent his country and for that he is very proud. “I’ve had what I consider to be a very characteristic experience here at Hobart and William Smith. First of all the fact that it is so up north I think has helped a lot and in terms of my experience I feel like if I had been maybe somewhere more south I could have just been another Colombian or another Latin American,” he says. “I feel like up here being Colombian is something that I can really assume and I am responsible for showing people what my country is about here more and also because as great as Hobart and William Smith is the community of international students is sadly very limited so I feel like the experience and the bonds that are created between international students here are very interesting and really add a lot to the life here,” he says. “But then again I think that a university or a college is not a location or a place. It is a community and that is what really makes Hobart and William Smith great. If it wasn’t for that I don’t think I certainly would be here still. So I think its been great to be here at Hobart and William Smith.