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A Day in the Life of a Santa Clara University Student

Many high school seniors now have their college acceptance letters and are getting ready to make some important decisions about where they’ll spend the next four years. While visiting a campus is a great way to learn a thing or two about the school, undergraduate applicants who have been admitted to SCU can actually experience a day in the life of a college student through the University’s ShadowSCU program. The Undergraduate Admissions Office pairs the students with a current SCU student for an overnight stay, exposing them to all the different opportunities of the University.

Differing from the usual campus tour, ShadowSCU allows the “shadow” to sit in on classes they are interested in and spend a night in the dorm room of the student they are shadowing. With the SCU student serving as the shadow’s guide around campus and someone to answer any questions that may come up, there is no set schedule for the shadow’s visit. Like a real SCU student, each shadow gets to decide how to spend their time on campus. More specifically, each shadow gets to decide when and where to eat, what to do at night, and what classes to attend. The possibilities for each shadow’s visit are endless. 

“It’s our job as shadow guides to show the admitted students all of the available opportunities that pertain to their interests,” says James Hill III, SCU sophomore.

The key responsibility of shadow guides is to help shadows envision themselves as students at Santa Clara. The shadow guide is expected to talk with each shadow about what it means to be a Jesuit school and discuss how that plays into the aspects of student life. The rest of the time is devoted to whatever the interests of the shadow may be. To take full advantage of their time on campus, shadows are encouraged to do some research and identify some things they want to see and experience before coming for their visit.

Hill credits ShadowSCU as one of the reasons why he chose to attend Santa Clara and as a reason why he wanted to give back by becoming as shadow guide. Hill has already had three students stay with him.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions typically has between 150 and 175 students take part in the ShadowSCU program, with 70 percent of those students who participated in 2009–10 ultimately enrolling at SCU.

The ShadowSCU program runs January through May, and is available for admitted undergraduate students who wish to better understand what life will be like as a Bronco.


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