Shuttling from early morning varsity team practice on the tennis court to a class in Jewish philosophy, Michael Bohnen smiles as he takes in the bustling street life around him.
It’s the New York college life he envisioned growing up in Toronto, Ontario, and so much more. Michael comes from a family of doctors, so it’s no surprise that he is on the premed track at Columbia. And, as a junior in Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, he is an active participant in the Jewish life that has always been an integral part of his identity.
“The Joint Program is everything I hoped it would be,” he says. “I get to study Jewish philosophy and then walk down the block and take a premed class. And then I get to pursue my third passion—tennis.”
Varsity tennis at Columbia requires several hours a day of practice during the week and on weekends. And then there is the heavy load of courses in the premed program. Michael loves his Jewish studies courses as well, especially ones that integrate his interests, like a class on Jewish medicine in the Middle Ages. When he does get a little stressed, he particularly appreciates the warmth of the residence hall culture: “It can be a really comforting atmosphere,” he says.
“I wanted a college experience that would put me in New York, allow me to pursue intensive Jewish and premed studies, and play tennis. There is only one place I can do all that, and that’s List College.”