The 411 on Worcester

Tran Greetings from good old Worcester!  I’ve been in the office the last two days but spent the rest of my week prior traveling around to Worcester schools.  Though not as exotic a travel territory as my other colleagues who have been to the Windy City and fascinating Europe, I must say that I loved my travels nonetheless because it gave me a great opportunity to really explore Worcester.  Before this, all I really knew of Worcester was Holy Cross and a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Dakao on Park Avenue which my husband and I regularly frequent.  There are lots of differing views on Worcester, some good and some negative, so I thought I’d offer my take on Worcester in case you weren’t at all familiar with the city or have questions about it.

First of all, Worcester is now the 2nd largest city in New England (we beat Providence recently who we’ve been neck to neck with for this prize slot behind Boston which will probably remain #1 for many more years to come) and with being the 2nd largest city, there are lots of resources and opportunities available.  But I think it’s one of those cities that these resources and opportunities are not readily visible and you have to do some searching and digging for them.  If you were only glimpsing Worcester from the highway, it would be easy to think that Worcester is run down with lots of industrial buildings.  But take a closer look and you will see that it has a lot more to offer.  There are numerous cultural offerings throughout the city including a wonderful art museum (that I have yet to visit, but have heard many praises for!).  There is a vast array of restaurants offering cuisines from Vietnamese (my personal favorite) to Mediterranean to African to American.  There are a number of cultural festivals that take place throughout the year as well such as the African Cultural Festival and the Blackstone Canalfest, which is a street festival with music, food, dance, art, etc.  There is a great deal of diversity in the city with a huge variety of ethnic groups represented.  So for those of you who are already culture junkies, Worcester is a treasure trove and for those of you eager to explore different cultures, Worcester is equally exciting.

As a large city, Worcester has many needs.  That presents HC students with many opportunities to practice one of the tenets of the Jesuit tradition: men and women for others.  Students are able to be very involved in service and tap into a lot of different service areas from working with children to public health to athletics.  These activities also serve as wonderful learning opportunities as well.  In addition, students are able to get academic year internships in the city that range from working in business areas to the sciences to education.

All in all, I feel like Worcester is a great backdrop for a college environment because you are able to apply what you learn in the classroom immediately by simply leaving campus for a moment and venturing into the city.  And Worcester is currently going through a great deal of revitalization so it’s an even more exciting time to be here because you can be a part of that.  So I invite you to take a closer look at Worcester, especially in person if you can.  Worcester gets a bad rap sometimes and I feel it’s the product of negative first impressions.  But as they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.  So I encourage you to do some digging and really explore all that Worcester has to offer.  Here are some links that you can use to start your exploration of Worcester:

Tran Kim-Senior
Assistant Director of Admissions
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment

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