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DD wants to go to study in the States

(22 Posts)
2busy2sitdown Fri 29-Apr-11 00:10:37

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PrinceHumperdink Fri 29-Apr-11 08:57:15

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nottirednow Fri 29-Apr-11 09:05:45

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emskaboo Fri 29-Apr-11 09:18:12

When I was at Georgetown (on a year exchange) the full time UK students hadn't done SATS but had their A levels accepted and if they had good grades got college credit enabling them to shorten the length of study.

Why does she want to go there? I found it very culturally different, the drinking culture/attitude to sex and relationships was very different and I found it less relaxed and more judgemental which seemed to lead, perversely, to more not less risk taking behaviour. There was a problem with date rape and dating violence (but this may have been college specific).

Academically I liked the wide choices available and the fact that you didn't have to choose your Major immediately. My roomate's major was decided by her final two course choices in her last year. I found it much less rigorous than my home university, Sussex, and I managed to get a 3.9 GPA with much less effort than I would have believed possible! I did have a bit if an initial shock returning to Sussex and being forced to think at a higher level a bit of a shocker!

nottirednow Fri 29-Apr-11 09:25:25

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mummytime Fri 29-Apr-11 09:37:42

Definitely contact the fullbright commission, there is also a guidebook from the Good School people; its not totally up to date but will help. SATs are a prerequisite for most colleges, and some will give credit for A'levels.

She also needs to realise that only a few US places give financial aid to those from the UK, and that those tend to be highly competitive to get into.

bebemooneedsabreak Fri 29-Apr-11 09:45:25

It takes longer in the US to get a similar degree than in the UK, money will be an issue as will healthcare. (some Uni. offer relatively free, informal healthcare to students for non-major things like colds, sprains, birth control, but you really need to make sure there is some coverage for accidents and serious injury or could be paying....)

2busy2sitdown Fri 29-Apr-11 16:37:46

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nottirednow Fri 29-Apr-11 18:25:16

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mummytime Fri 29-Apr-11 19:12:51

She really needs to look at the whole philosophy of US education as you do not go to study a specific subject, although you may start knowing what subject you want to major in. However you still have to do a wide range of subjects, and may change what you finally major in after you get there.

She will have to convince in her essays and possibly interview, that she really does want a liberal arts education.

2busy2sitdown Sat 30-Apr-11 01:26:19

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bebemooneedsabreak Sat 30-Apr-11 15:50:13

UK SATs and US SATs are slightly different from what I've understood.
US SAT is one very big test which is timed (takes total 3 hours aprox) which you have to sit and covers all disciplines you get a grade for each discipline and then overall... you take it Junior year of High school (so about 16yo) and they get attached to your grades and sent off to the universities you choose for a cost of about $5 a copy...
They can be used to get into universities (as a leverage thing) when the grades are not 'quite' what the university requires.

Applications to universities also cost money to send in... and only if you choose that uni do you get 'reimbursed' for the cost of the application (it gets subtracted from your tuition the first semester . (so you cannot really send out dozens because it would cost you loads)

Honestly if you're doing a science based course it will take you FAR less time doing it in the UK...from what I understand it's what 4 years to get a masters??? in the US it's 4 years general work (not working with your field of study hardly at all) to get bachelors and then at least 2 years of specific work (and typically also side work as a TA for a professor) as well as needing to produce a thesis at the end of time or you do not get the degree...
Degrees earned in the UK hold far more weight in the academic world than those earned in the US (from what I've been told be various science people I know) because you specialise far sooner and actually work in the field far sooner than you do in the US...thus when you want to do a doctoral degree you get through that too far quicker!

bebemooneedsabreak Sat 30-Apr-11 15:52:35

P.S. American -now living in UK so not completely clear on UK schooling system or Uni system- went to Uni (in US) 10y ago now...

2busy2sitdown Sat 30-Apr-11 21:29:14

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educate Fri 27-May-11 12:18:48

There are many misconceptions about U.S. higher education in this thread. I graduated from Harvard not long ago, and work as a university applications consultant. Based on my own experiences, I can tell you the following:

- All students are required to take either the SAT I or the ACT, plus the SAT IIs, in order to apply to college. The SAT I covers Writing, Reading Comprehension and Math, and the SAT II Subject Tests are offered in a wide range of disciplines. The ACT is less popular, but some students prefer it as it covers Science. You can take these tests a number of times, and most colleges will only consider your highest scores. The SAT scores are not attached to your permanent academic record, and you can take the exam anytime during high school, although colleges usually will not accept exams taken after the first few months of the year in which they want to start university.

- It usually takes four years to finish an undergraduate program. However, there are two-year Associate Degree programs offered at Community Colleges, and longer programs for more specialized courses at some universities.

-Most universities charge application fees. However, there are fee waivers available to low-income families. And most universities do not reimburse even if the student is admitted.

-Not every university requires a thesis.

-Even though most undergraduate courses in the UK would take a shorter time to complete relative to their equivalent in the US, this is not necessarily a plus for the UK choice. I personally cherished my college years, and I am sure they will be some of the best of my life. I would not have wanted to shorten my time on campus. Also, with the rising levels of unemployment, it is still hard to get a good job, and most people are trying to maximize their time in school.

-In terms of the prestige of US vs. UK degrees, it varies depending on the university and the field. If your daughter wants to work in academia in the US, then a US education will serve her better, and vice versa.

-Most universities' financial aid programs give priority to domestic and even state residents. However, the best universities (Harvard, MIT, etc.) benefit international and domestic students equally, and even the highest-earning families receive some help.

An option that your daughter can consider is attending Morvarian of Muhlenberg for a year. During that year, she can get straight A's, take her SAT IIs and build a good extracurricular record. Then she will be able to transfer to a better college.

2busy2sitdown Fri 27-May-11 15:43:21

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educate Sat 28-May-11 00:46:28

-Even if your daughter can succeed academically in college, she might have a tougher time facing all the social challenges of university life, where most students will be at least 20.

-Transferring to good colleges is harder than getting into them as a first-year, since there are fewer admissions spots available for transfer students. However, if you significantly improve your academic and extracurricular record during your first year in university (i.e. improve SAT scores, take SAT IIs, develop extracurricular leadership, get straight A's, etc.) then you will have a better chance than you did while you were still in secondary school.

If your daughter is OK with going to the UK for her A levels, then I advise her to do so and strive to really distinguish herself. Being abroad will also count in her favor, since colleges value diversity of experiences.

If you would like more personalized advice, you can contact me at guiacolleges@gmail.com

2busy2sitdown Sat 28-May-11 21:23:00

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educate Fri 03-Jun-11 15:23:28

This is a great summer admissions workshop that could help your daughter enhance her candidacy for competitive universities:
www.foreignstudents.com/apply-yourself

2busy2sitdown Sat 04-Jun-11 23:22:16

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catepilarr Mon 27-Jun-11 10:19:42

i have always wondered, what subjects does one actually study an a us uni in the first years, before they actually specialise in thei chosen field?

educate Thu 14-Jul-11 11:45:44

it depends on the university. sometimes the only required courses are a foreign language and a writing course. other universities require new students to take a full range of introductory courses. however, students can generally choose to study courses in their field of interest starting on their first year.

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