Did you know Illinois State University is the No. 1 destination for transfer students in the state of Illinois? With 34¬†percent of Illinois State students transferring from other colleges and universities, we’re known for being a transfer-friendly institution.

In this Q&A, the Office of Admissions asks transfer student and chemistry major Sam Kempel about his experience at Illinois State:

Why did you transfer to Illinois State?

I decided on ISU because they provided a lot of opportunities for me. ISU has an amazing undergraduate research program that is really helpful in preparing a solid resume and, of course, teaching future chemists how to conduct themselves in the laboratory. The staff were also a key influence.

How is ISU different from your previous college experience?

Illinois State is incredibly different from my community college. One of the biggest differences is the research opportunities here. At my community college, I could only participate in research if I was a member of the honors program. However, at ISU, professors are willing and excited to take new students into their research groups.

Did you run into any pleasant surprises when you transferred to ISU?

I think the faculty pleasantly surprised me. I had no idea what to expect, but the chemistry professors and the teaching assistants here have been incredibly helpful. For example, just the other day I was able to have an hourlong conversation about the American Chemical Society with a professor that doesn’t have me in any of his classes. He genuinely wanted to help me, and that is something that I really respect about the faculty at Illinois State.

Do you have any advice for future transfer students?

Start talking to your professors. It can only help you. I was nervous, and I didn’t go to my professor’s office hours as often as I should have my first semester, but after making a conscious effort this semester, I have found office hours incredibly rewarding.