BreannaBreanna Balleby

Whether you have been at OSU for one year or five years, you’re living in this beautiful town called Corvallis. To most, it may seem pretty simple: a college town with approximately 50,000 residents that has a quaint downtown. As a resident of Corvallis since 2004, I’m here to share some insider-tips that may help you become a true Corvallian.

First of all – here’s a fun fact. Many OSU students don’t realize that they make up the 50,000 total residents of Corvallis. So, if you consider that there are just about 26,000 students at OSU, you’ll soon realize how Corvallis might be smaller than you originally thought. For those of you who haven’t been here over the summer, just imagine what this town that’s built for 50,000 people is like when almost half its population is on Summer Break! Speaking of summer in Corvallis, that would be one of my top suggestions. If you’re here taking classes or doing research over the summer, I suggest you wander through the Saturday Farmer’s Market downtown and check out the Red, White, & Blues Festival when Independence Day rolls around.

My next tip about Corvallis would be that, while it is a small community, it’s probably bigger than you realize. In other words, there is more to Corvallis than just campus and downtown. Many of you may walk wherever you need to go, especially if you don’t have your own vehicle. This is a great benefit to living in a closely-knit community, but means you may or may not make the effort to explore outside of these areas. So of course, my biggest suggestion to you all would be to explore a new part (or as much as possible) of Corvallis. This could mean going to a park you haven’t previously visited or maybe exploring a section of one you hadn’t known about before. Check out this list of all the parks in Corvallis and surf around the Corvallis Parks & Recreation website for even more info about other local opportunities. I personally recommend visiting the old train engine and dinosaur bones at Avery Park, just an example of how unique Corvallis is! In addition to these parks, I highly recommend taking a hike on Bald Hill. It’s close, there’s multiple paths and trails, and you can see Corvallis from a completely different view.

So if Corvallis has so much to discover, how can you best explore it? That brings us to one of my most important Corvallis tips: the Corvallis Transit System (CTS). Believe it or not, the public transportation system here in Corvallis is free! Seriously. Granted, it may not always be on time, but even if it’s late…it’s not like you’ve lost anything, and you probably had the chance to stand outside and breath some fresh air while waiting for the bus, right? Basically, I encourage you all to use this service. Whether you find the bus helpful for your commute back and forth between school and home, or for going downtown, or to check out one of those parks, or simply to “get lost” in a new area of Corvallis. If you’re looking for a study break, plan a mini-excursion on one of the bus routes and walk through a new park or part of Corvallis you haven’t visited before!

Lastly, for those looking to know more about downtown and what it has to offer, I definitely suggest visiting the public library, the Majestic Theatre, and the Darkside Cinema. You’ll never have another humdrum weekend when you take advantage of all this local entertainment available to you! Not only does our public library have books, they have a wide selection of DVDs, CDs, and various events throughout the year. Stop by the library to get your library card, and borrow away! In addition, there is often a play or concert showing at the Majestic Theatre. In fact, the Majestic is celebrating its 100th year anniversary! Check out the next event that may interest you, but realize these events are popular. For example, The Sound of Music, which is currently playing this month at the Majestic, is already sold out! Finally, the Darkside is the only independent and locally-owned cinema in Corvallis! It shows many independent films and even has tickets as cheap as $6! Sometimes, the Darkside even teams up with OSU and hosts film festivals that are free!

Hopefully, you’ve discovered something new about Corvallis. And if you already knew all of these tips, then good for you, yet I challenge you to go out there and find your own new thing about Corvallis. There’s a reason this town is so great, and you just have to take advantage of what’s already being offered to you to see why!

MorganBreannaBy Morgan Willer and Breanna Balleby

Did you know that your degree can consist of more than just your major? Did you know that here at OSU, you can major in a discipline you’re passionate about and enhance your overall degree through the University Honors College, the International Degree Program, and/or the Education Double Degree Program? My fellow College of Liberal Arts Ambassador, Morgan, and I would like to share what these programs are and how we are involved with them!

To start off, the University Honors College (UHC) is a great opportunity for students who are looking to enrich their degree as well as their college experience. Students in the UHC work towards their Honors Baccalaureate, meaning they graduate with an Honors version of their degree, by working on 15-30 Honors credits and eventually completing their Honors thesis. All UHC students are able to take small (capped anywhere from 12-24 students!) Honors classes, partake in the many UHC events and activities such as the annual Fall BBQ and faculty-led book clubs held over Winter and Spring breaks, meet with their Honors advisor in addition to their major advisor, be a part of the University Honors College Student Association that plans everything from social events to service projects, print for free in the student study lounges, and so much more! I love being a part of this smaller, academically-minded, and welcoming community within OSU!

If Honors sounds intriguing to you, be sure to check out more at the UHC website and if you think it would be a good fit and are eligible to apply, then I encourage you to do so. The Honors College accepts applications on a yearly basis for all students so make sure you are aware of the dates to apply! For more information on the UHC, stop by the office in Strand Agricultural Hall 229. In addition to being a CLA Ambassador, I am also a UHC Ambassador, so feel free to contact me or any of my UHC Ambassador peers with any questions you may have for a current student!

Additionally, we have a very unique program here at OSU — the International Degree Program! This program allows students to major in their discipline of choice as well as International Studies. Something that is important to note is that the International Degree, and the International Studies major, must be connected to your primary major. So for example, I am majoring in English, and I am also majoring International Studies (as well as minoring in French). In other words, by attaching the International Studies major to your primary major, you are working to internationalize your degree. Students in this program work towards the International Degree by studying abroad for at least 10 weeks, gaining fourth-year proficiency in a foreign language, taking additional culture classes, and completing a thesis.

The International Degree Program is by admission as well, so I encourage you to look into this program if you are interested in becoming more internationally competent and traveling abroad! For me, the International Degree is the perfect way to add that additional dimension to my degree and has helped me to experience so much more than I might have without it (like studying abroad in France in Summer of 2013, being able to communicate in French, and realizing the importance of a global perspective)! Check out the International Degree and Education Abroad office located in University Plaza (1600 SW Western Blvd) if you’re interested in learning more.

I’d also like to mention that Honors and the International Degree work rather well together. The UHC is highly supportive of experiential learning (like research, internships, and study abroad). On top of that, both programs require a thesis project, and no, as a student in both of these degree programs, I don’t need to complete two theses. Instead, I can work on one thesis that encompasses the requirements of both programs! Kind of cool, right?

Let me remind you that if you’re looking for a student perspective, I am happy to answer questions about the University Honors College and the International Degree! Feel free to contact me via email at For now, Morgan has some expertise to share about the Education Double Degree:

Do you have a passion for lifelong learning? How about a gift for motivating others? Do you enjoy working with people of all ages? If you’re nodding in agreement I want to know you if you’ve ever considered teaching.

Being an educator is one of the most difficult, but one of the most rewarding careers out there. It takes passion and drive to encourage passion and drive within your students. But if you can keep up with your students and inspire them to grow, then you will have a rewarding career ahead of you.

Here at OSU we have the Education Double Degree which gives you the opportunity to combine your major with a degree in Education. For example, I’m a History major and will be graduating with a History degree, but I will be graduating with a complementary degree in Education. Your first degree gives you knowledge in a content area, and your second degree in Education will give you methods and strategies for teaching your content. In addition to the two degrees you will earn a state of Oregon teaching license. Possible endorsements include Social Studies, Language Arts, Spanish, French, German, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Integrated Science, Basic Math, Advanced Math, Health, and Family and Consumer Sciences. Those are a lot of possibilities for you to choose from!

If you’re unsure about Education as a major you should visit the advising office in Furman Hall 104 and talk to the friendly ladies operating the front desk. They would love to talk to you about all the opportunities open to you. Another option would be to take an entry level TCE class, like TCE 219 Civil Rights and Multicultural Issues in Education. It’s a long title, but an interesting and potentially perspective changing class. If you’d like to know more about my personal experiences with the program you can contact me as well at my OSU email