St. John’s College: Live the dream in Santa Fe
Image courtesy of St. John's College

“Fascinating, fierce, one-of-a-kind institution.” – Frank Bruni, New York Times columnist and best-selling author

Through a comprehensive and interdisciplinary curriculum based in the liberal arts, St. John’s College has for centuries been nurturing young talent in inclusive, thought-provoking settings to produce versatile graduates ready for the next step in adulthood. Ranked 5th for its elite faculty and teaching by US News and World Report, the college is undoubtedly among the nation’s best, characterized by small class sizes, personalized attention and the engagement of thoughtful debate.

The St. John’s curriculum is unique in the fact that classes cross multiple subject borders, with learning outcomes firmly set on the most influential texts and ideas that have evolved out of Western civilization. From reading the musings of Plato as a freshman, to examining Einstein’s most astounding revelations, to conducting highly-focused laboratory experiments with the help of texts from pioneers like Archimedes and Galileo; St. John’s students start to refine both a creative and critical mindset from the very moment they walk through the door.

Above all, St. John’s hosts a lively student community across two vibrant city campuses – one in Annapolis, Maryland, and the other in New Mexico’s Santa Fe. Here, students from every global region engage with the brilliant members of the faculty who teach across all disciplines within the curriculum, while life both in and out of the classroom make for an active and unforgettable international student experience.

“The international community at St. John’s is big,” says Pavitra Antony, a current international student at St. John’s Santa Fe. “This helped me a lot in becoming a part of the community. Sometimes, I get together with the other international students to cook dinner together,” she adds. “We take turns trying out the cuisine of different countries, and also get to know a lot more about each other’s cultures. The bonds I have formed in these gatherings…have become really important to me,” she concludes.

And with St. John’s Santa Fe lying in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the iconic Rocky Mountains, students can bask in the spectacle of the sun-kissed aspen forests, soaking up the sunset alongside friends on the college campus green. But the world beyond St. John’s is also worth its weight in gold…

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Santa Fe is cited as the cultural capital of the southwest. Fondly named The City Different, this place really does have something unique to offer wanderers of its streets. Downtown Santa Fe and the historic city plaza sit a mere bike ride away from campus, along with Museum Hill and Canyon Road – a wonderful two-mile stretch of galleries, and restaurants so fine and diverse they’re bound to satisfy any hungry palate.

Interestingly, Santa Fe also boasts an unusually high number of artists per capita, adding a cultural vibrancy and distinct creative flair to local student life. Meow Wolf, for example, is a popular and nationally-acclaimed arts production company that permanently resides in Santa Fe. Creating a range of immersive, multimedia experiences that immerse people of all ages in an exciting world of imagination and storytelling, Meow Wolf presents an exciting realm of inspiration St. John’s College students can use throughout the year.

With its dynamic music, visual art and literary scene, dedicated students can apply what they learn in the creative classroom setting in fun and engaging real-world contexts, helping St John’s produce global graduates already imbued with valuable social, cultural and political perspectives.

Image courtesy of St. John’s College

Here, students spend four memorable years hiking, canoeing, swimming and generally discovering through the institution’s notable Outdoor Program, with the rugged mountain backdrop serving as the ideal stomping ground for any keen explorer. The twisting trekking trails circle down to St. John’s, giving students a path to the great outdoors that’s literally on their doorstep. With the scenic mountains as your backyard, what’s there not to like? From carving through the fresh snow fall of the Santa Fe Ski Basin or the Taos Ski Valley, to camping nearby in the Santa Fe National Forest – there’s never a dull day when taking a break from the books.

Intent on producing versatile students with the ability to thrive outside campus, the school provides an outstanding extra-curricular portfolio you can get sucked into. With lively music groups that include everything from madrigal singers to chilled out lunch-time jams, to photography club, art club, language study groups, and everything in between, life here will be so enriching you won’t ever want to leave.

“I really like living on-campus because it feels very inclusive,” says Anh Hai Do, another St. John’s Santa Fe student from overseas. “Going to class, the dining hall, the gym, and other facilities on-campus is easy and convenient. Because of the small campus size, I also feel safe and involved in the student life,” she says. “Another perk of living on-campus is that there are few places that offer amazing views of Santa Fe’s nature. Being able to watch the sunset from the campus’ location was definitely one of my favourite things about living [here]!”

But the action doesn’t stop there because the holistic St John’s education experience means special attention is also paid to the health, well-being and general fitness of all those on-campus. No matter what your ability or previous experience, St John’s Santa Fe has something to suit your needs and lifestyle, with the Student Activities Center (SAC) hosting a wealth of athletic options. The SAC boasts a full-size gymnasium, two racquetball/squash courts, plus an extensive exercise and free-weight training room to break a sweat and pump some iron.

Image courtesy of St. John’s College

Regularly scheduled activities include basketball, soccer, volleyball, intramural games, fitness classes, meditation, yoga, Zumba, and even martial arts. Equipment for tennis, racquetball, squash, pool and table tennis are also available for students to check out, because really, what’s a little healthy competition between roommates and friends?

“One of the many striking features of St. John’s College, however, is that there is no typical St. John’s graduate: St John’s graduates pursue all manners of career,” the Faculty notes. “They become authors, winemakers, musicians, filmmakers, teachers, astrophysicists – whatever they choose!

“St John’s draws students from all 50 states and some 20 foreign countries,” it concludes. “The diverse backgrounds and experiences they bring to the College deepen and enrich their shared investigations.”

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