The Transfer Experience: Common Questions Answered by Current USC Students

It’s that time of year when transfer students who applied to USC hear back about their Admission decision. If it’s good news you received, you likely have many questions about what it’s like to join the USC community as a transfer student. I was able to connect with a couple current USC students, Ellen and Anna-Sofia, to talk with them about their experience.  

Will: Thank you both for agreeing to chat with me. I’d like to start with probably the question I get the most: where did you live? Was it hard to get housing?  

Ellen: Getting university housing was a relatively easy process for me. I filled out the USC housing application and I was assigned to an apartment in Troy Hall, which is a graduate housing building off-campus, but the first-floor houses new transfer students. It was an amazing experience to be with people who were also new to USC. 

Will: That’s awesome Ellen. Did you live in USC housing too Ana-Sofia? 

Ana-Sofia: I never lived on-campus so I can’t say much about getting housing. I was offered on-campus housing but decided to live with some friends off campus. 

Will: Makes sense, Ana-Sofia. I’m glad it worked out for both of you! My next question is another really common one, that I think a lot of students may be afraid to ask. Did you struggle or feel overwhelmed when you started at USC?  

Ellen: At times, I did feel like I didn’t belong because I wasn’t used to the environment at USC, and even though I felt like this in the moment, in retrospect transfer students don’t really stick out. There’s always something to do on campus, and everything felt so new and fast paced.  

Ana-Sofia: My first month or two at USC were very nerve-racking as it was my first time leaving home.  Never in my time at USC have I felt like I stood out for being a transfer. All students are extremely supportive of one another no matter when they got to USC. 

Will: I appreciate your honesty and that you ultimately felt welcomed at USC . I’m curious, looking back now, where did you meet your closest friends? 

Ana-Sofia: I made some friends through my classes, labs and discussion. But I also joined multiple clubs and a sorority which helped me build a stronger network of people both inside and out of classes.  

Ellen: Because of the nature of my major, we all spent a lot of time with each other anyways, so it was a great starting off point in making friends. Outside of my major, I joined a couple of clubs, like Pan African Student Association, where I met friends as well. There’s also a Transfer Student Community, which is a club that I’d recommend for transfer students to meet and connect with each other! 

Will: You both just reminded me. I totally forgot to ask about your majors. How about you tell us what you study at USC, what it was like signing up for classes, and whether or not you changed your major ever? 

Ellen: I am a Film & Television Production major. Academically, my first semester coursework wasn’t too dissimilar than the work I was doing at my community college. I mainly struggled balancing my academic and social life because living on a college campus was new to me, but it just takes some time to find your own perfect balance. 

Since a lot of my classes are taken in a sequential order, I really didn’t have to struggle to figure out what classes I was taking every semester. I did pick up a minor in Entertainment Industry after my first semester, which was a super easy process because it was in the same school as my major and many of my major requirements overlapped with the minor. 

Ana-Sofia: I study Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in the Keck School of Medicine. Registering for classes for the first time was extremely stressful as I had no idea how to register but thankfully the staff that was there on the day of orientation were helpful navigating through the process. I switched my major my second semester at USC and found it incredibly seamless and easy. 

Will: It’s nice to hear that the folks at Orientation were so helpful. I always tell my students they can reach out to me if they need help picking class but both of you both make it sound like you were well taken care of. We’ve been chatting for a while, but before we sign off, can you give our newly admitted students one piece of advice?  

Ellen: Don’t be afraid to get out there! USC is a big campus with a lot of students, and it can be overwhelming at times, but USC is also a very social campus. You’ll find your niche eventually. Enjoy your time, the opportunities, and the environment USC provides! 

Ana-Sofia: Leave all doors open for opportunities or friendships. By being open minded I made some of my best friends here as well as landed an amazing internship.    

Will: Amazing! Thank you both so much for your time and advice. I hope you have a good and restful summer. Fight on! 

Ellen: Fight on! 

Ana-Sofia: Fight on!