Ask a Student

We encourage you to have ongoing contact with a current Bowdoin student, one who has first-hand insight and can tell you about the professors, the course load, campus housing, the social life, the ins and outs.

The students below are available via email at askastudent@bowdoin.edu.


Vanessa ApiraVanessa.jpg

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Major: Math and Anthropology
Minor: Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Campus involvement: Bowdoin Outing Club trip leader, Avant Garb (school fashion magazine) production manager, Harriet Beecher Stowe third grade math tutor

How I found Bowdoin: Coming from a small school in Dallas where there were about sixty people in my grade, I understood the hands-on differences small schools had, so I wanted to go to a small college. I started to look at liberal arts schools because of their size and because I knew they offered more academic freedom. Outside of academics I wanted to go somewhere remote that offered students a lot of opportunities and was seriously working toward inclusion. Overall, Bowdoin’s ability to fill these needs while offering a collaborative environment and a dedication to the common good put it at the top of my list. 

Email Vanessa


Benjamin BousquetBen Bousquet.jpg

Hometown: Mystic, CT
Major: History
Minor: English

Campus involvement: George J. Mitchell Special Collections & Archives, Hawthorne-Longfellow Library circulation desk, Bowdoin College Concert Band, admissions tour guide, history teaching assistant, programming chair of MacMillan House, fencing club

How I found Bowdoin: I knew early in my college search that I wanted a small, tight-knit community, so I looked through a variety of college guidebooks to find schools that fit this description. Through these, Bowdoin stood out as a place where I would be able to really grow as a student and thrive socially, so I came to interview and eventually stayed for an overnight visit. After that visit I knew Bowdoin was the ideal fit for me due to the collaborative nature of the students and the high levels of engagement I saw across campus.

Email Ben


Calder McHughCalder.jpg

Hometown: New York, NY
Majors: History, Government and Legal Studies

Campus involvement: editor-in-chief of The Bowdoin Orient (campus newspaper), admissions senior interviewer, history teaching assistant, former president of Helmreich House, club tennis, intramural basketball

How I found Bowdoin: Growing up, I was aware of and involved in the Chewonki Foundation, which is about a thirty minute drive from Bowdoin's campus. I always heard about this wonderful college down the road, but did not visit until I began thinking about leaving New York for a smaller community. Bowdoin was the first school that I toured, and although I wasn't immediately sure that it was the place for me, when I returned after being accepted Regular Decision, I saw how genuinely curious the students on campus were about me and it rocketed to the top of my list.

Email Calder

Giovanna MunguiaGiovanna.jpg

Hometown: San Salvador, El Salvador
Major: Economics
Minor: Government and Legal Studies

Campus involvement: Latin American Student Organization, Residential Life, International Student Association, BSWELL Coffin Elementary School volunteer, Intersection dance group, alumni caller, admissions tour guide, Moulton Dining Hall student assistant

How I found Bowdoin: My senior year of high school I still was not sure what I wanted to study, but I had prepared myself to go to school in the United States. After talking with my counselor, I got introduced to the world of the liberal arts education. I first found out about Bowdoin after doing a simple search on the internet—“Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the US”—and I was led to a long list by US News. After this, the next step I took was to look up Bowdoin in Princeton’s Review’s "The Best 378 Colleges" where I found a thorough description of Bowdoin’s academic environment and vibrant community. After stumbling upon the list, Bowdoin was consistently at the top of the best liberal arts schools, and with this, I decided to take my leap of faith.

Email Giovanna


Alex OntogtokhAlex.jpg

Hometown: Des Plaines, IL
Major: Government and Legal Studies
Minor: History

Campus involvement: programming chair for Reed House, Blogging Buddies, mentor for Brunswick High School, Asian Students Alliance, admissions tour guide, Student Admissions Volunteer Organization, Tea Club

How I found Bowdoin: I saw a Bowdoin pennant outside my college counselor's office and was intrigued by how to pronounce it. This curiosity led me to do some research on Bowdoin and by college application season, I was convinced that Bowdoin was the college for me. In the fall of my senior year in high school, I applied to Explore Bowdoin and spent three days at the College. By the end of the program, I knew Bowdoin was my home and applied to this wonderful school!

Email Alex


Julia O'RourkeJulia.jpg

Hometown: Marion, MA
Majors: English and Education
Minor: Government and Legal Studies

Campus involvement: proctor of Reed House and head RA for Residential Life, captain of the cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams, Bowdoin Orient editor, orientation coordinator, admissions senior interviewer, Admitted Students Weekend coordinator

How I found Bowdoin: It became clear to me throughout my college search that I wanted to be able to continue participating in sports in college without sacrificing my other interests and activities, so a Division III college seemed like the right fit for me. I also knew that I wanted to be in New England, so I wasn’t too far from home, so my dad took me to lots of colleges in the region. Throughout the touring process, I felt anxious and not excited. But after my Bowdoin visit I was eager and more hopeful. The people here were friendly, the campus and town were beautiful, and as cliché as it sounds, I had a feeling that this would be the place for me. Eventually, I decided to apply Early Decision!

Email Julia


Jenna ScottJenna.jpg

Hometown: Saco, ME
Majors: Government and Legal Studies, Education
Minor: Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Campus involvement: Residential Life proctor in Coleman Hall, chair of student organizations for the Bowdoin Student Government, producer of RISE: Untold Stories of Bowdoin Women, Masque & Gown theater troupe, Bowdoin Women’s Association, Residential Life college house selection intern, student digital media team member for the communications office, special projects intern for the Office of Residential Life, student activities event manager, McKeen Center Alternative Breaks

How I found Bowdoin: I like to think that I always would’ve found Bowdoin, but I will give credit where credit is due and say my dad is the MVP of my college search. I always knew I wanted a small, close-knit community where I’d be able to get meals with my professors, know almost everyone in my classes, and explore many of my interests, and so I largely figured I would go to a liberal arts college. However, being from Maine, I had always seen myself going out of state, not simply forty-five minutes from home. My dad was the one who pushed me to come to Bowdoin, driving me up on separate occasions for a short visit on our own, another time for a tour, and then again for an interview. He had said that it was perfect for me, and when I got to the campus, I immediately felt at home and knew that Bowdoin was where I wanted to be. I’m a senior now and while I hate admitting my father was right, he really hit the nail on the head and I’m forever grateful.

Email Jenna


Bridget SnowBridget.jpg

Hometown: Littleton, CO
Major: Anthropology
Minor: Asian Studies

Campus involvement: admissions senior interviewer, varsity women’s basketball, Special Olympics, MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program, off-campus study in India

How I found Bowdoin: When I decided I wanted to play a sport in college, I realized I wanted a balance between playing the sport I love and getting a good education, in addition to having time to pursue other activities—making a Division III school the perfect combination. I have lived in Colorado my entire life and, though I love my home very much, I knew that I needed to challenge myself and go to a school in a location that wasn't familiar and where I knew no one. When I visited, I knew within an hour that Bowdoin was my new home and I applied Early Decision. I have learned more in the past three years, both in and out of the classroom, than I ever thought possible.

Email Bridget


Dean ZucconiDean.jpg

Hometown: Larkspur, CA
Majors: Chemistry, Italian Studies
Minor: Theater

Campus involvement: Residential Life, admissions senior interviewer, intramural soccer, member, contributor to The Quill (campus literary magazine), Moulton Dining Hall student manager, bartender at Jack Magee's Pub

How I found Bowdoin: As I started my college search, a couple things were immediately clear to me: I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school because I knew that I thrived in smaller academic settings, and that I wanted to have the freedom to explore disparate departments during my time in college. Having lived and been raised in a town outside of San Francisco for most of my life, I also knew that I wanted to experience an area of the United States that was foreign to me. A high school friend who had ties to Maine initially put Bowdoin on my radar, and my high school chemistry teacher, who is a Bowdoin alumna, conveyed an outstanding enthusiasm about the college.

Email Dean