The 411 on College and Life Around Campus
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4 Stages of Studying Abroad
What to expect
Don’t be alarmed when dozens of sorority girls come running through the door screaming, dancing, and cheering. After they’ve finished their chants, you’ll have the opportunity to talk with 2-4 girls for about 5 minutes each. The rush chair will usually make a speech and facilitate an activity before you leave. Keep track of all the houses you liked and note the ones you didn’t love.
What to wear
It’s never a bad idea to overdress. For this round, dress like you’re going out to a nice lunch with your friends. Wear dark jeans or solid-colored shorts, a nice top or sweater if it’s cooler outside, and flats or boots. Don’t overdo it with jewelry and avoid revealing clothes like low cut tops or short shorts.
What to talk about
You’ll only have a few minutes with each girl so stick to small talk. Be prepared to talk about yourself a lot. It will be a similar chat with each girl, but seem just as excited to talk about your major and hometown for the 5th time as the 1st.
Depending on your school, the second round could involve a few different things. It could be a philanthropy presentation, a craft, or a skit, but almost always involves a house tour. By now you should have narrowed down your choices and cut out the houses you don’t love. Don’t tour houses you have no intention of joining, it’s a waste of your time and theirs. Visit a few houses a day and keep track of your favorites. Don’t forget to ask about pricing and other questions you may have.
In general, each round gets more formal. Wear something a little nicer like a skirt and a nice top or a casual summer dress. You can wear wedges or flats and keep to limited jewelry.
Much like in the first round, you’ll be talking a lot about your hometown and what you want to study. Try to inject some fun facts and information about yourself that will help the houses remember you.
Not all schools have a skit round, your school may have a philanthropy round instead. In some cases, this round comes before the house tours. In the skits, several of the sorority members will put on a funny performance. This is a good way to get to know the personality of each house. Keep ranking your favorites and make cuts to narrow down your search.
For round three, dress like you’re going out to a nice dinner: a nice sundress or a dressy top and pants with wedges or heels. You can get a little more formal with your jewelry for this round and dress up your makeup!
At this point, you’ve learned a little more about each house. Shift the conversation from yourself to the houses. Ask questions about their experience with greek life, what philanthropy events are their favorite, etc. The answers to these questions will help narrow down your choices.
While the first three rounds are fun and laid back, round 4 is a little more serious. It is essentially a one-on-one interview with several of the sorority members. This round is all about traditions, values, and principles. They may give you the history of the house and provide more insight about it during a ceremony. At the end of the day you “pref” your houses, meaning you mark 2-3 of your favorites and a computer system will place you into a house.
The dress code for the preference round is semi-formal but it’s standard to dress it up a little more. Wear something that you’d be comfortable wearing to a wedding rehearsal or a classy event. Finish off the outfit with a nice pair of heels and some sparkly jewelry.
By now you should have a good idea of your top choices. Talk to the other girls about what you loved most about their sorority. Talk about how you’d be a good addition to the group and do your best to remember and reference names from the house and talk about how it was great to get to know them all. Be personable, but be yourself!
No matter what round you’re in, there are 5 topics to avoid: boys, booze, bible, ballot, and bids.