As an engineer at my school, I was required to take certain classes for engineering and certain core courses with everyone else. All freshman were required to take a writing seminar for one semester. I was required to take 36 classes throughout my 4 years, and then common courses for engineers (Gen. Chem, Organic Chem, Multivariable Calc, Differential Equations, etc.). To graduate everyone had to pass all of their required courses and take certain electives in different fields of study, as well as write a senior thesis their final year. Everyone was assigned an advisor each year - freshman were assigned to the dean of their residential college, and upperclassmen were assigned to a professor in their major. Class sizes varied - the largest at 200, the smallest at 12. Most were right around 40 however. Professors were highly accessible - most with office hours several times a week, and were very notable in their respective fields, many with Nobel awards. Students were not generally competitive with each other - I never observed any malicious behaviors. But they were very competitive with themselves and most were so driven that they always wanted to push themselves to do better. Most students worked in teams or groups whether mandated on certain projects or voluntarily as part of a study group. Study abroad opportunities were plentiful, as long as you organized your course schedule for the 4 years and spoke with your adviser, it was possible to study abroad. The workload however was intense. Often you had 40 pages of reading to do per class per day, and with a grueling engineering schedule and lots of lab courses in the afternoon and evening, it was hard to find the time to do all the problem sets, lab reports, and reading that was required while still attending all your classes.
Quality of Life
Housing is decent and close to everything (10-15 minute walk) and the cost of living is okay for the area since Princeton and NJ is pricey in general. The campus is beautiful!!! From the architecture to the landscaping to the artwork, the campus is beautiful. The facilities are well manicured and maintained, the libraries are plentiful and well equipped, and the food is outstanding (Shrimp and Brie at Sunday Brunch and Made-to-Order omelettes daily)!