Finding the right fit at a university or college isn’t always a given. Sometimes, even after all the tours and interviews, it takes a start in the wrong place to understand exactly what you need to make it right.
We spoke with two Cobbers, Lauren Richardson ’19 and Matthew Engum ’18, who began their college journeys at other institutions and asked them to share their reasons for coming to Concordia and what they learned about that transition in the process.
Why did you decide to transfer?
L: I transferred to Concordia because my old school was way too big for the experience I wanted. My class sizes were about 500 students and I had an incredibly hard time learning in an environment like that. I knew I needed smaller class sizes with more one-on-one connections with the faculty.
M: I decided I wanted to transfer because, at the time, I was unsure of my major and was a bit of a homebody. My parents moved back to Fargo, so I felt the need to switch schools to pursue a different major as well as being closer to home.
What were you hoping to find at Concordia and how did you settle in once you got here? Did you find what you were looking for?
L: I have almost completed one year at Concordia and it is exactly what I was looking for. I have close relationships with students and faculty, it’s easy to get involved in great organizations, and the small college community is great for gaining connections and experience. Concordia has everything I was looking for in the college experience.
It took me a solid month to settle in. When I got here I was worried that everyone would already have their friend groups. I was right in a way, but people are so welcoming at Concordia that they let me join in. I also love how the teachers want you to succeed and they will do anything to help you. That was another thing my previous school lacked and I am so happy Concordia has such awesome faculty.
M: I was hoping to find a school that allowed its students to explore and flourish in whatever activities they enjoyed. That includes the classes they take, the clubs they participate in, and the events they go to.
Concordia has that freedom to explore and it really helped me to settle in. I was able to find my niche pretty quickly and begin thriving in the activities I enjoy. Overall, I definitely found what I was looking for in a school and have enjoyed my time at Concordia.
Tell us about your transition to Concordia. Was it an easy switch from your previous institution? How did Concordia help you transition?
L: My transition to Concordia could not have gone better. I’m originally from Fargo, but I started my college career at San Diego State University and even though I loved San Diego, it wasn't the right fit for me.
The faculty at Concordia were such a big help in my transfer process. They always responded so fast to any questions I had and they were so helpful in making sure I did all my paperwork correctly.
The biggest help was figuring out how to transfer my classes and sign up for new ones. I was so used to how my other school functioned that learning how to navigate the new process was difficult, but the faculty walked be through every step. Also, it was so nice that they helped me but didn't treat me like I was a brand new student. I was scared enough that I was going to have to start over – I didn’t want to be treated like a beginner.
M: My transition to Concordia was really quite easy. The registrar took most of the classes I took at Purdue for credit here at Concordia, which allowed me to jump right into my studies and figure out what I wanted to do as a major. Socially, the student body is really receptive about meeting new people and I was able to meet quite a few new individuals during my first week at school, which allowed me to easily branch out and find more friends throughout my first year here.
For students like Lauren and Matthew looking for something different from their college experience, there are a thousand reasons that transferring to a new school might be the best option. And while no school can be perfect for everyone, at Concordia we can guarantee that you’ll find the support you need to find out for yourself.
Eric Lillehaugen '11 is a content specialist and CMS administrator for Concordia College.