Global Experience
Student Community

Join Your Extended Family

You and your fellow classmates come to Minerva from around the world to join a growing community. The student body at other American universities is drawn primarily from the United States, with unspoken quotas for students from other countries. At Minerva, there is no national, ethnic, or cultural group in the majority. Living within this incredible diversity fosters understanding that transcends borders, providing multicultural insight that will serve you long after graduation.

Though the student body is composed of a highly-diverse, international population, it is defined by a collective identity, with shared values and a unified sense of purpose. Together, you will develop a common intellectual language, a mutual understanding of how to think about — and approach — the world. This will become the basis for your collaborations at Minerva and during all your future endeavors.

As you travel to each of the seven residential locations, your tight-knit cohort will also establish weekly rituals, organize interest-based groups, and build enduring bonds of friendship. Each new place offers incredible opportunities and daunting challenges. Together, you will explore distinct cultures, encounter different viewpoints, and overcome difficult obstacles. From cooking communal meals to organizing study groups, public performances, and overnight trips, your cohort becomes like an extended family. 

Student holding Ingot
Legacies /

Student Legacies

As a new member of the Minerva student body, you will be assigned to a Legacy group. Your Legacy makes you part of a subset of Minerva students — and alumni — who share a series of secret rituals. These groups were established to enhance connections across cohorts, classes, and geographies, uniting you with the broader Minerva community.

Following convocation at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, a student examines his Legacy inscribed on the ingot pictured.

Photo: Bob Miller

Community Traditions

Some of the most meaningful and memorable interactions are those you will have with your classmates. Living and learning together, you will share moments of discovery, challenge, adventure, and elation. From discussions and jam sessions in your residence hall to bonfires at the beach, these moments are the fabric from which deep, lasting relationships are formed.

Communal Meals
Breaking bread as a community has become a welcome tradition at Minerva. A way for you and your classmates to socialize, food is also a powerful medium for cultural understanding. Every week, the 10:01 banquet marks the end of class assignments with an assortment of recipes from around the world. On other nights, you will share simple techniques for preparing healthy and delicious meals, or indulge in elaborate feasts. For example, the annual Friendsgiving feast — a multicultural take on the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. — is a time for you, your classmates, and local staff to celebrate together over a delicious meal.

Storytelling
Other regular gatherings in the residence halls involve sharing stories about personal journeys and perspectives. Each week, students, faculty, staff, and members of the broader community are invited to tell their unique tales of hardship, failure, resilience, joy, and triumph — often including intimate details — to broaden your exposure to different backgrounds and the richness of the human experience.

Jam Sessions and Dance Parties
Informal, musical interludes are a frequent occurrence in the residence halls. From improvisational jam sessions to impromptu dance parties, creating and listening to music allows you to relax and let loose. Whether releasing the stress of assignment deadlines, or commemorating daily highlights, these freeform celebrations are among the more memorable moments each semester.

Quinquatria
In honor of the ancient celebration of our Roman goddess namesake, Minerva hosts an annual gathering of students, faculty, and staff — many attending virtually — each March. This seminal Minerva event is a time to toast individual and collective successes, and bond as a broader community.

Jam Session
“Our community is special. Minerva students are creative, action-oriented, and open to change. We have people interested in so many things, including culture, programming, music, and much more. It is not unusual to see students come together for impromptu jam sessions in the hallways of the residence hall. It is an absolutely beautiful community of individuals, who learn just as much from each other as we do from our professors.”
Zichen Cui
Class of 2019
Shanghai, China

Photo: Bob Miller

Student-Driven Initiatives

When most students arrive at university, they choose from a prescribed list of clubs, teams, sororities, and fraternities. At Minerva, you define your extracurricular interests. In collaboration with your classmates and the Student Experience staff, you determine which activities you will participate in — or initiate —  and adapt them to the different cities and surrounding regions. Working together in this way builds a deeper sense of community with your classmates and meaningful connections to the places you live.

Micos
Student Micos — Minerva Communities — were devised as an improvement on typical college clubs. From language, literature, theater, economics, and philosophy to daily exercise, sports, meditation, yoga, and outdoor adventure, Micos provide a flexible structure for personal wellness, enrichment, and growth. Because they are led by students, Micos help you build key character traits, like curiosity, resilience, and accountability.

MiCos grid 2

Live Performances
You and your cohort will find inspiration in the resources available in each city. From open-mic nights and poetry slams at local clubs to formal productions, like the 2016 Body & Brain Monologues, you will have opportunities to perform — or stage — live presentations of your talents and creations.

Publications and Creations
As a Minerva student, you are also encouraged to develop your personal creative and analytical voice. Write a blog, record a podcast, illustrate a series, build a bicycle from raw components, or contribute to one of the many student-run publications. By the time you graduate, you will have produced and range of work that expresses your viewpoints and individuality.

As you travel the world with your cohort, you will share in life’s challenges and achievements, learning new perspectives, and forming friendships that will last a lifetime. These relationships are also the basis of a growing network of exceptional peers that will benefit you long after graduation.