One of Kristin’s fave photos, giving a wave while standing on a second floor balcony in Oregon.

Kristin Vaillancourt transferred to UMD beginning Fall semester 2015.

Previously, she attended DePaul University from 2011-2012, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities from 2012-2013, and most recently attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College from 2013-2015 before enrolling at UMD last semester.

Kristin is currently majoring in Linguistics with a minor in Early Childhood Studies. Her favorite thing about UMD? The class sizes. Most of her classes have been about 30-35 students, which she feels is the perfect size for her learning style.

Here is Kristin’s transfer story!


Why did you come to UMD?
I already had a support system here in this area, so it made the transition much easier. I also really like that it’s easy to get outside and be in nature. UMD is also relatively close to home, so financially it was a good decision.

Kristin and her younger brother, Tygget at Gooseberry Falls.

What was your transfer experience like?
Honestly, it was pretty simple. UMD was the first time I actually had a transfer counselor help me through the process. Everyone was super helpful and everything went super smooth.

What was it like your first time on campus?
Well, I got lost a lot at first, but thankfully I wasn’t too overwhelmed. Most of the classes I took right away were for Liberal Education requirements and I showed up to campus determined to do well and ready to move forward towards obtaining my Bachelor’s degree.

Did anybody talk to you about internships or job shadow opportunities?
I plan to work with Career & Internship Services to find an internship for this upcoming summer. They’re a great resource and I can’t wait to start working with them.

Do you have an on-campus or off-campus job?
Yes, I work at the Duluth Area YMCA. I teach swim lessons, coach the swim team, and also lifeguard there.

Kristin, her fiance Will, and Tygett at the family cabin.

Have you thought about studying abroad?
I’m not sure yet, but if I do, I would probably do the trip to Spain since I already speak Spanish quite fluently. If I do it, then I would use those credits and add on a Hispanic Studies minor.

What has been your favorite class so far at UMD?
I’d say it’s a tie between Developmental Psychology and Interpersonal Communication. Developmental Psychology was great because of the class content. It was super interesting and I really enjoyed being able to conduct interviews and such. For interpersonal communication, I enjoyed the class the mostly because of the wonderful professor, Barb Titus.

Taking a few photos of the the lake at her family cabin this past November.

Who has been your favorite professor so far at UMD
Again, it’s professor Barb Titus! She is very personable and easy to talk to. It’s also really nice that she brings her experience to the classroom and makes her experiences really relatable.

What has been your most memorable moment at UMD so far?
I made the Dean’s List my first semester at UMD!

What was your biggest fear about transferring and going back to school? What did you do to overcome that fear?
As an older, more non-traditional student, I was nervous about living on campus. It was fairly late in the game and I was afraid of being paired with roommates that wouldn’t fit well. Once roommate assignments came out, I contacted my roommates and talked to them before we even moved in. They were all in their senior year of college, so it was nice to not be paired with an 18 year old. To overcome some of this fear, I made an effort to get to know my roommates through dinners and doing fun things together.

My other fear was making social connections. It’s not always easy to fit in on a new campus. Although I did not join the Connect P2P program, I was able to talk to people who were in my class whether it was before or after. I also made some connections with students through my work off-campus at the YMCA.

Kristin and her fiancee Will at Amnicon Falls earlier in February.

What would you have done differently when you were in high school and were looking at colleges?
I would have considered schools closer to home. It’s all in your personal preference, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing to go to college near home, if that’s what you want.

The second thing I would have considered more thoughtfully is financial aid. I’d advise any transfer student to look closely at their amount of financial aid, and to learn everything you can learn about financial aid. It’s a big deal, and the more you know up front, the better off you’ll be when you graduate.

Do you have any advice that you would like to share with other students who may be looking to transfer to UMD?
Make a plan! You need to know what you want, and don’t be afraid to be overly prepared. Use the resources (UMD has tons!) and have a plan for your program, as well as be able to understand the ins and outs of your academics and graduation plan.