Student blog: opportunity and adventure at the Florida Institute of Technology

Students at the Florida Institute of Technology, ranked at number 17 in the world’s best small universities, explain how the university provides unique opportunities for them.
January 25 2016


Florida Institute of Technology Miller Building

See the Times Higher Education World’s Best Small Universities 2016 table here.

Aaron Martes, a forensic psychology student, on the benefits of a small campus:

If I had to describe my top three favourite things about studying at a more intimate institution, it would be family, opportunity and adventure.

When the entire campus becomes your family, you learn about the numerous opportunities available to all students beyond studying. Whether your interest is dancing, scuba-diving or surfing, there are numerous clubs and organisations out there. In other words, a smaller institution offers you a greater opportunity to incorporate the things you are passionate about in addition to your studies. I've had the good fortune to travel to both surfing national championships and leadership development institutes, all thanks to Florida Tech.

With the combination of university activities and your newfound international family, you can go just about anywhere. I've had the pleasure of travelling to Caribbean islands and Central America during my time here. Fittingly, even in other countries you'll meet your friends from university. While in El Salvador, I came across Oscar, one of the Florida Tech trolley drivers (yes, our school has its own trolley system). So whether you are looking for rigorous courses, a home away from home, or a place to pursue your passions, Florida Tech has it all.  

Florida Tech may be a smaller-sized institution, but the resources and opportunities for students seem truly limitless.


Kevin Hudgins, an aspiring astronaut, says that small universities encourage constant growth:

If size mattered, the elephant would be the king of the jungle. The road to success is always under construction: the smaller the road is, the farther it can be built. Small universities have the privilege of growth. Growth is a rare and powerful engine that ignites ambition into practice, and speeds towards the discovery of full potential.

I chose to attend the Florida Institute of Technology because it was a small university. It has always been my dream to be an astronaut. My ticket to space is the tremendous aptitude for growth that small universities such as Florida Tech can offer. Florida Tech embraces innovation and entrepreneurship with a unique international mindset. 

Class sizes are small. Living in a different country is intimidating. There is no doubt that international students feel more comfortable learning in smaller classes. As a domestic student, I can also learn about my classmates and about the many countries they represent in these smaller groups. Students who learn together form teams together. Boulders are not moved individually, but with teamwork!

Beyond studying, attending a small university narrows the college experience to a single-growth mindset. The faculty and staff look after their students more vigilantly; they learn students’ names and take an interest in their lives. They make sure students eat healthy food in the dining hall. They make sure students respect quiet hours so that everyone can get enough sleep. Most importantly, they promote events to bring the entire university together. This is all possible in the tightly knit environments of small universities. Florida Tech is one body of faculty, staff and students. Every action that is taken on campus is purposefully meant to grow students into professionals.

Growth is the thing that separates small universities from the rest. Teaching “growth mindsets” to future leaders is the only way to provide a college education today: never succeed to be the grandest, but never fail to grow even grander.


Allie Wood, studying communication, says that students create their own families:

I grew up in a small town surrounded by other small towns and went to a small high school that interacted with other small high schools. My childhood was spent playing sports against other teams in South Jersey and playing those same people in high school. Everyone knew each other.

At Florida Tech, students create their own families. There are a multitude of diverse organisations on campus so that everyone can feel connected to campus. Once you join a club or organisation, you meet people that have different interests, but those interests intrigue you and you find yourself joining in and meeting even more new people.

This makes it is easier to make friends on a small campus because everyone has some kind of connection with each other.

If you think that you don’t meet people on a small campus, you’re wrong. By the time your first semester has finished, you would think that you have met or seen all of the student population. But, because Florida Tech attracts many international and transfer students, you will meet new people every semester.

Another plus with going to a small university is that the grill man who makes the best breakfast sandwiches will remember your order, and the Starbucks staff know your order and name, even if it’s on your ID card.

The Florida Institute of Technology is ranked at number 17 in the Times Higher Education World’s Best Small Universities 2016 table.

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