6 Quick Insights from The College Tour at St. Edward’s Episode
St. Edward’s has opened its iconic red doors in season four of The College Tour — a TV series that gives virtual tours of colleges across the country — to give an inside look at the private, liberal arts university located in the heart of Austin, Texas.
Ten outstanding students, each at different points in their college journey, lead the tour, sharing their successes and challenges, as well as how they are making the most of their college experience.
These students want others, especially those preparing for college, to know that St. Edward’s is a welcoming place with incredible educational and service opportunities.
The full 30-minute episode is now available on Amazon Prime, IMDb and The College Tour at St. Edward’s webpage. Here are 6 quick insights from the episode with personal stories from the students who know it best:
1. Location, Location, Location
In the first few scenes, The College Tour host Alex Boylan shares that St. Edward’s is perched on a hilltop with a gorgeous view overlooking downtown Austin. The university is just a few miles from Austin's trendy SoCo district and an incredibly vibrant downtown. But as viewers quickly learn, the city is more than just a picturesque backdrop, it provides learning and professional opportunities, inspiration and an array of fun and engaging activities.
Carla Pineda: "Not only is there inspiration and resources everywhere you look, but you get to live in one of the most exciting and beautiful cities with a great combo of nature, art and a strong job market. I love hiking at Zilker Park, paddle boarding at Lady Bird or Barton Springs, and of course walking down SoCo and grabbing pizza at Homeslice. St. Edward’s supportive and diverse community has helped me grow professionally and personally in many ways. I have gained a knowledge and a passion for PR, all while having a blast in the live music capital of the world."
2. Undergrads Get Cool Internships and Do Impactful Research
At St. Edward’s, undergraduates are prepped and ready to dig into a variety of research opportunities on-and-off campus, as well as take advantage of internships in Austin. In the episode, one student interested in policy and advocacy shares how she participated in research and interned at the State Capitol, while another student talks about the coveted internships she landed at several innovative Austin companies.
Meriam Elawad: "I’ve interned for Environment America, MOVE Texas in their Civic Leadership Program, and most recently, for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Here, I helped create policy recommendations to help winterize water systems across the state. This past summer, I was funded through St. Edward’s Hook Fellowship to do research on soil sequestration in the Hill Country grasslands. My research partner and I are currently working on getting our findings published in an academic journal. Had it not been for the one-on-one relationships with my professors at St. Edward’s, I would have never thought something like this was possible, especially in undergrad."
3. One-of-a-kind Support System
The St. Edward’s community has become a home away from home for many students. In the episode, students share how this sense of community both comforts and empowers them to reach for opportunities that allow for self-discovery.
Sierra Sweeney: "The moment I stepped onto this campus, it felt like home. Not only was the campus gorgeous, but everyone was so welcoming, and it felt like faculty and staff genuinely wanted me to be happy here. My freshman year, I joined the cheer team and lived on campus. Living on campus made my transition from home easier because I had more opportunities to make friends and get involved. I am a bit of a worrier and I do get anxious sometimes, but I found a great support system here. I am having tons of fun and finding my footing."
4. Commitment to Equity and Justice
Students who choose St. Edward’s are drawn to the university’s mission and commitment to equity and justice. All who attend receive an education of the mind and heart. In the episode, several students in The College Tour talk about what motivates them to give back to their communities.
Lalo Carrillo: "I grew up in South Texas and was raised by two first-generation Mexican Americans. Living close to the border, I saw the healthcare disparities present in Mexico compared to the U.S. These disparities, alongside my family’s experiences as migrant farmworkers, gave me the desire to become an emergency medical technician to use my skills to help underserved communities."
5. All Faiths Welcome
As a Catholic university, our Holy Cross values are the north star that guides our mission and community. These core values include a focus on equity, inclusivity and diversity that promotes a welcoming community. One student shares how this interfaith environment, which includes 42 faiths represented on campus, has helped him to forge meaningful connections with fellow students.
6. It’s a Wrap!
For the students in The College Tour at St. Edward’s, the episode was an opportunity to shine a light on the issues and topics that matter to them — from healthcare equity to diversity in policy-making — as well as an opportunity to showcase the university that is helping them to realize their goals. Throughout this episode, these 10 students inspire people from all backgrounds to set out on their own journey to find the right college that will position them to achieve their dreams. Hope to see you on the hilltop!
Meet the entire cast of The College Tour in this behind-the-scenes video.