Today I am writing about my experience as a transfer student! I’ll be sharing about the challenges, benefits, and pleasures I found in the process, and sprinkle some advice throughout this post for those who might be interested in transferring, too.
I was accepted to Biola during my senior year of high school.
I really wanted to attend Biola for the full four years, but my family decided it would be wiser for me to do my general education classes at a community college back home. So, I called Biola, and they changed my status from “incoming freshman” to “transfer sophomore.” This was like a place-holder, promising that my spot at Biola was secure.
While in community college, I really wished I was learning at a Christian school. Being taught by non-Christian professors was hard at times, because they taught from different worldviews than my own. It was challenging to see from their perspectives, and it was painful to write answers on tests that were totally contradictory to my faith.
However, having that experience taught me some valuable things. I learned how to respect all authority figures, regardless of how they talked about Christianity.
While I was attending a secular school, I would daydream about being at Biola. But now that I’m at Biola, I have a very deep appreciation for everything: the caring faculty, the chapels, the academics grounded in Biblical worldview, and like-minded students!
I also saved a lot of money! For this reason, I do recommend transferring.
Another thing that was tricky about transferring was moving from a college that operated on a trimester system to a college that operates on a semester system. This meant that each of my credits at community college was only equal to 0.667 credit(s) at Biola. So, that made me feel like I was “behind.” Another difficulty was that some of my general education classes ended up “falling through,” or not being qualified to take the place of a similar Biola class.
Now, I don’t want to go into too many technical terms and explain how to make sense of this and work around it. But I will say:
If you’re in the same situation, don’t worry!
Instead, communicate with your counselors at both your current school and at Biola. Don’t be afraid to call them and email them, again and again! It’s their job to help you. By communicating with both of my counselors and making sure they knew me well, my transfer process went smoothly.
I also advocated for myself and talked to my Biola counselor about some of those “fall through” classes. She went directly to the heads of the departments and to the Biola registrar’s office, and she got them approved for me! This saved me a lot of grief, time, and money.
Another bit of advice if you’re thinking of transferring: There’s this thing called the “Transfer Course Equivalency” tool. It’s on Biola’s website, and it can help you figure out what classes will transfer over from your school to Biola! If you’re transferring, make this tool your new best friend.
Something unique about my transfer journey is that I got to take a lot of online Bible classes, before even getting to Biola. I worked as hard as I could to get as many classes done before coming to Biola. I was able to find classes that would transfer, and I took them online from back home. This is something else I recommend if you’re considering transferring here. I got to really focus on some of my Bible classes from the comfort of home last summer!
Okay, now I’m done with the challenges and advice part. Now let me tell you about the joys of finally being at Biola! My long-awaited dream has finally come true! Having to wait two years before getting here was a test of patience, but it makes being here so much sweeter. It makes me want to really soak up my time here.
During my first week here (orientation week), I discovered that the faculty at Biola really loves and gets excited about transfer students. Multiple staff members have told me that they like transfers, because we have waited a while and worked really hard to get here. They view us transfer students as excited and motivated people.
I remember being nervous that I would be seen as “odd” for being a transfer. I wondered if I’d be treated differently or have a hard time making friends. But I have noticed that the faculty really seem to respect me and understand what hoops I had to jump through to get here.
I don’t think making friends has been especially difficult for me. In fact, I have made friends with people in every grade, including the freshman class who I arrived at Biola the same year as! I have classes with sophomores, since I’m taking lower level classes for my major. I have classes with juniors and seniors n my higher level major classes.
Being a transfer student has had its ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have done college any other way! It has been a character-building, strengthening time, financial blessing, and reminder to be grateful and soak up every moment!