VOLUME 4 ISSUE 2
College town Louisiana v. city living stateside guide
Working on campus
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As summer draws to a close, preparations are underway to start the new academic year 2010. For those about to start their studies in America, turn to our ‘Lifestyle’ section for a guide to making friends through extra-curricular activities on page 14. Another handy article on the art of socialising is the A-Z urban dictionary on page 12 where you can learn the phrases and expressions your American classmates will be using.
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Aside from lifestyle issues, studying a new academic system will be an exciting challenge. An American education offers a huge variety of subjects for you to try alongside your main area of study. Find out more about what a Liberal Arts education involves and which classes you can take in our ‘How to’ section on page 52. Depending on your visa restrictions, you may wish to get a job when you arrive on campus, learn more about the different roles open to you on page 34. If you are still researching your options for studying in the USA then we have a wealth of information for you, contributed mainly by those who actually live and study in the states. Get a balanced view on the pros and cons of living in a city or in a college town on page 18 and find out why you should consider studying at a State School from a student’s perspective on page 38. More information on the types of colleges you can apply to can be found in our ‘Schools’ section. Turn to page 36 for a breakdown of the benefits of attending a two-year college and learn why private high schools are a great option for early preparation to study a degree in the US on page 44. A detailed account of the varying prominence of religion in faithbased schools provides interesting reading on page 40.
Contributors Kyle Dugger, USA
Now you’ve narrowed down what type of college you might like to attend, what about those all-important program choices? Learn how studying an MBA can diversify your skillset on page 56 and get an insight into where one of the fastest-growing programs can take you in the Games industry on page 58. With a job placement record of 100 per cent, programs in Golf Management provide the ideal solution for those who want to build a career around the game they love, details on page 60. Access to these courses would not be possible, however, if you are not sufficiently prepared for academic study taught in English. If English is not your native language, turn to page 48 for advice on how to prepare for an English language proficiency test. At Studying In America we are very keen to give international students a flavour of the different cultures that can be found in America’s widely varying geography which is what the ‘Location’ part of our magazine is all about. In this issue we look at the city of Charleton in North Carolina on page 22 and the state of Louisiana on page 24. Take a virtual roadtrip through Wisconsin on page 26 and find out what the New York stretch of our Route 1 journey has to offer on page 29. Once again, we are delighted to have The Chronicle of Higher Education introduce our magazine with a special news section dedicated to bringing you the latest information on university education in the USA. With all this and much more, you should consider extending your search for information on study opportunities in America by visiting our newly improved website, www.studyoverseas.com.
Tom Miller, USA
In the meantime, if you like our magazine, then why not subscribe? Studying in America is also available as an E-magazine, which is sent directly to your E-mail, free of charge. It really is that easy, so log onto our website and subscribe today. We hope you enjoy this issue of Studying in America and wish you the best of luck on your journey to the USA, you won’t regret it!
Dana Grahler, USA
Emily Crane, Editorial Manager Studying In America STUDYING IN AMERICA 01
Volume 4 Issue 2
S Contents AMERICA
Working on campus
For international students in the US
Know your ABC’s
Getting involved outside of the classroom
College town v. city living
Jobs for students
The urban alphabet
Two-year college benefits
The state school experience:
Keeping the faith
How different could they be?
An inside look at Holy City
Why does Charleston deserve “Best City”?
Hot on the trail of an American original
The U.S. Route 1 trek continues
02 STUDYING IN AMERICA
What’s to know?
Education at a religious school Early preparation for US study
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52 Choosing your options
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For a liberal arts education
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© Sandringham Publishing Ltd. 2010 All material appearing in this magazine is the copyright of Sandringham Publishing Ltd. and cannot be copied, electronically stored or reproduced, except for the sole purpose of individual careers advice. S R Media Ltd. disclaim any responsibility for opinions expressed, which are those of the author/s. The publishers receive all contributions and materials with gratitude, but cannot be held responsible for any damage, loss or failure to return; whether by ourselves or our agents. FREE INFORMATION SERVICE The SR Media Information Service is an exclusive, free service, designed specifically for our readers. Simply by filling in one application form we will be able to put you in touch with institutions all over the globe. Use the application forms at the very back of this publication, to start off your overseas study experience.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 03
A SPEciAL SEcTiON
English Tests Vie for a Growing Market By Aisha Labi
few years ago, a student from Russia showed up on the campus of the University at Buffalo to begin training for the tennis team before the academic year started. She spoke such poor English, however, that she was unable to communicate with her teammates or coaches. Yet, like thousands of other foreign students at Buffalo, she had passed a test confirming her language proficiency. The university alerted the Educational Testing Service, which had administered the test, and the company began an investigation. Within a few days, officials on the State University of New York campus had received a letter saying that the student’s score was no longer valid. The university was able to tease out a few more details, learning that her elevated score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or Toefl, had apparently been obtained with the help of a ring of Russian specialists in fraud. She was kicked out of college and sent home. Such cases, although rare, illustrate how high the stakes are for the hundreds
of thousands of people who take the Toefl and similar exams each year, for the colleges that accept them, and for the organizations that offer the tests. Careers, reputation, market share, and money are all on the line. These tests will only gain significance in the coming years, as the number of internationally mobile students continues to grow. In 2008, 2.9 million students attended higher-education institutions outside of their home countries, up 66 percent in less than a decade. The United States and Britain attract the largest share of foreign students, with 21 and 11.5 percent, respectively, of the global total. But English-speaking countries aren’t the only ones snapping up students fluent in the language. Many European and Asian universities now offer courses and degree programs in English as a way to attract international students. English-language tests are being more widely used not just by educators, but also for immigration purposes and by employers and professional organi-
zations. So for test-takers, these exams can hold the key to life-altering opportunities. The two longtime leaders in the field, the Toefl and the International English Language Testing System, better known by its acronym, Ielts, have each sought to broaden
“For test-takers, these exams can hold the key to life-altering opportunities.” their reach in countries where the other has been dominant, and to enter new markets. They continually revise and improve their tests, and highlight their differences in their sales pitches to students and colleges. There is also a new entrant in the market. Last year Pearson, the media conglomerate that publishes the Financial Times, joined the field, billing its new Pearson Test of English, or PTE Academic exam, as a response to a need for a test “that will more accurately measure the communication skills of international students in an academic environment.”
The Players The 800-pound gorilla in the United States is the Toefl. Its owner, the Educational Testing Service, is a nonprofit organization that also owns the SAT, the GRE, and other standardized tests. The Toefl remains the most commonly used test among American colleges, virtually all of which accept it. The exam tests four skills—listening, reading, speaking, and writing—and since 2005 has been available in an online version, which now accounts for 96 percent of the tests administered. Eileen Tyson, director of client relations at ETS, emphasizes that it is “a missionbased organization,” guided by a goal of “providing access and equity to opportunities for education,” as well as opportunities to provide fair testing. “We try to keep the test fee low in areas where students don’t
04 STUDYING IN AMERICA
have the ability to pay,” she says. Even so, ETS is fiercely competitive about its product and guards certain data with the vigilance of a company focused on the bottom line. Ms. Tyson says that 24 million students have taken the Toefl since its inception, in 1964, and that it remains the most widely available test of English proficiency, administered in 4,500 test centers in 165 countries. She will not, however, disclose how many students take the test each year, saying that “the actual numbers are proprietary.” She is similarly guarded about revenue, although she notes that the price of the test ranges from $150 to $225, depending on the country in which it is taken. Ms. Tyson may not be willing to reveal specifics, but the trends she describes make clear that ETS’s expansion plans are focused on regions in which Ielts has been dominant. The number of Toefl test-takers in China, a key market for any test provider, rose 30 percent in the past year, driven both by increases in the overall number of test-takers as well as by ETS’s growing share of the market there. The number of Toefl test-takers in France increased by 25 percent, partly thanks to growing interest among French students in studying abroad. And ETS increased its numbers by 13 percent even in Australia, where Ielts is so prevalent that its test is the sole proof of English proficiency that the Australian government accepts from non-native speakers for immigration purposes. ETS may be the biggest player in the biggest academic market in the world, but Ielts claims the title of largest test provider globally. Beryl Meiron, executive director of Ielts International, says 1.49 million candidates took its test in 2009. The test is offered at 700 testing locations in 130 countries. Ielts is owned in part by the University of Cambridge’s testing organization, Cambridge ESOL, a nonprofit that says it is Europe’s largest testing group. The British Council and IDP Education Australia, which promote their countries’ universities internationally, also have stakes in the test. Because of Ielts’s history, its test is more common in countries with strong connections to Britain, such as Australia and Canada, but in recent years it has moved aggressively into the United States as well. Well over half of all American institutions now accept its test. In addition to being the test of choice for Australian immigration, Ielts is also used by British and Canadian immigration authorities.
Ielts was the first to use the “four skills” approach, which was subsequently adopted by ETS and is now also being used by Pearson. Like the Toefl, it costs less in poorer regions, with prices ranging from about $140 to about $215.
The Pitch Unlike the Toefl, the Ielts test remains a paper-and-pencil exercise, which is then graded where it is given. “What we’ve found is that a lot of students and applicants prefer to take a paper test, because it’s a clear measure of English-language proficiency rather than computer skills, especially if people are using an unfamiliar keyboard,” says Ms. Meiron. Toefl officials disagree. Because most of its testing is online, results can be sent back to ETS, where they are evaluated by multiple scorers. “We know that the test result will be more valid and more reliable if there are multiple scorers,” says Ms. Tyson. “By taking the scoring function out of the test center, there is no possibility that the scorer will know the student.” Such arguments are common between the two groups, with one provider labeling as a drawback what another pitches as a selling point. For example, the Toefl is taken in its entirety on a single day, which Ms. Tyson says can benefit students in poor countries, who often have to travel to take the test and incur transportation and lodging costs. Taking the Ielts is also often a one-day event, says Ms. Meiron, but in some countries it is spread over two days, which she describes as a concession to local cultural preferences. Pearson, which began offering its English-language test last year, has moved quickly to penetrate the market. The PTE Academic is already recognized by some 1,500 universities and institutions worldwide, says John de Jong, vice president for test development at Pearson. The test is offered at the company’s more than 50 testing centers, in 44 countries, and is likely to become more widely available as demand increases, he says. Flexibility is one of the key selling points. The test, which costs about $150 to $210, can be scheduled on short notice and offers a speedy turnaround time, promising scores within five days. Students, who are often racing to meet application deadlines, place a premium on speed. Institutions, too, value efficiency. “I remember many occasions when colleagues at universities complained about how long
it took before they could get the students in and get results,” says Mr. de Jong. Ms. Tyson, of ETS, which guarantees scores within two weeks, offers a counterpunch: “We could whittle it down even more if we were willing to do only automated scoring, but we have concerns” about quality.
The clients It is left to universities and the students who take the tests to assess the competing claims. Institutions in key markets are being approached by the testing entities. In the United States, colleges working to expand their international recruitment strategies may find that adding Ielts to their roster of accepted tests is a way to reach students in countries where that test is more common. The same holds true elsewhere. The University of Amsterdam, which enrolls just over 2,000 foreign students out of a total of 30,000, accepts both the Toefl and Ielts tests. “Students are coming from all over the world,” says Jasper Faber, a project manager in the university’s office of student services for foreign students. ETS and Ielts each have their own main markets, so “using just one of the tests isn’t going to cut it.” Larger institutions with global name recognition may not feel the need to cater as much to marketplace demands. The University of Southern California, for ex-
ample, enrolls more foreign students than any other American institution and accepts only the Toefl. Jerome A. Lucido, vice provost for enrollment policy and management, says the university does not feel “a pressing need to look at a variety of other exams.” In part that’s because it is large enough to have developed its own screening system. Students who do not score high enough on the university’s own English-language test must enroll in intensive classes at USC’s language institute.
Continued on next page STUDYING IN AMERICA 05
ThE chRONicLE OF hiGhER EDUcATiON
The Pearson test was developed in conjunction with the Graduate Management Admission Council, which represents leading graduate business schools. Business schools have led the way in the new test’s acceptance. The University at Buffalo accepts both the Toefl and the Ielts and is evaluating whether to broaden acceptance of Pearson’s PTE Academic test, which for now is being used only for admissions to the M.B.A. program. Steven L. Shaw, director of international admissions, says students who present PTE Academic scores over the next few years will be asked to take the Toefl (at no extra charge), if they haven’t already, once they arrive on the campus so that the university can collect data on how the test measures up against better-known exams. As for students themselves, with so many institutions accepting a broader range of tests, it is often up to them which test to take and which scores to submit. In fact, much of the actual marketing of the tests is aimed directly at the students.
Questions and pleas for advice about which tests are better, easier, and more accepted are a prominent feature of many online forums popular with international students.
Security Measures Some test-takers, of course, are tempted to try to ace the exams by unethical means, like the Russian student at Buffalo. As a
“Much of the actual marketing of the tests is aimed directly at the students” result, the testing companies are racing to stay ahead of not only one another but also potential cheaters. Pearson photographs test-takers and takes a palm-vein measurement, which Mr. de Jong says provides a
Saving Money, One Batch of Granola at a Time By Andrea Fuller
o Cleveland, executive chef at Middlebury College, was concerned about the rising price of granola from a local supplier three years ago. His response: Get students to make the granola instead. The college already had students working in the bakery, and a group of them were enthusiastic about the idea. Now the “Granola Gang,” as it’s called, works four days a week, hand-mixing and baking oats with other ingredients. As a result, Middlebury saves $27,000 annually. And that helps it purchase other local products. “You have a finite food budget,” Mr. Cleveland says. “Any savings you can make in one area kind of allows you to branch out into another.” Middlebury isn’t the only college to come up with creative money-saving measures as budgets tighten. At Marquette University, an office-supply swap saved an estimated $10,000 last year. In the swap, departments and other offices donate and shop for unused office supplies. The swap 06 STUDYING IN AMERICA
is intended to support sustainability as well as to save money. Jenny Alexander, director of purchasing, says departments can post pictures and descriptions of unused furniture and equipment for exchange on Marquette’s Web site. “All employees should look at ways to utilize campus resources to their fullest,” she says. “It’s a natural activity for the purchasing department to try to find the most value for their constituents.” Other colleges are coming up with creative cost-cutting. Frank Mezzanini, vice president for business affairs at Saint Leo University, in Florida, says it came up with $250,000 worth of savings this year through an annual review of expenses. Among the changes: eliminating water coolers throughout the campus ($24,000 in savings), doing away with personal printers ($107,000), and
higher level of security than fingerprints do. The company also takes a voiceprint. ETS employs a range of measures to ensure the validity of its results, including statistical analyses conducted after the tests are administered, to detect any anomalies. Incidents like the Russian fraud case are highly unusual. At Ielts, Ms. Meiron says, the company relies on stringent protocols, requiring candidates to present a valid current passport as identification and training test-center staff members in facial-recognition techniques. Administrators also conduct spot audits. Mr. Shaw, of Buffalo, emphasizes that the university’s admissions process is “holistic,” with all the components of an application taken into account to gauge whether a student is likely to succeed academically. With international applications booming language-proficiency tests are likely to be weighted even more heavily by some, raising the stakes even more in an already high-stakes field.
conforming text-messaging plans to actual usage ($9,000). Two years ago, Miami University, in Ohio, formed a program called Leveraging Efficiencies and Aligning Needs, which convenes focus groups to discuss potential cuts in spending. Ideas that have been adopted include asking students to cut off their steam heaters over winter break ($66,000 in savings), and no longer offering bottled water in campus hotel rooms ($16,000), says Marijo J. Nootz, a director of the student center. “When things really did get tight, we were already in the midst of this,” she says, “which was a good thing.”
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Study Maps 5 crucial Steps on the Path to a 4-Year college By Peter Schmidt
t does not really matter how you get to and through an airport; as long as you buy a ticket, clear security, and make it to the gate on time, you pretty much are assured of a spot on a plane. The process of enrolling at a four-year college is similar, a new study suggests, in that the completion of a few key steps can make all the difference in determining whether a student gets a seat in an entering class or is left behind. Specifically, there are five crucial steps to getting ready for a four-year college that have been completed by about 95 percent of the students who enroll in such institutions in a timely manner and that have been partly skipped by just 5 percent of those who manage to enroll soon after high school, according to an analysis of federal data presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association. The necessity of two of the steps—attaining minimal college qualifications and actually applying to a college—is obvious. But many educators might not be aware that students who fail to take the SAT or ACT test and who lack bachelor’s degree aspirations at two key junctures—in both
08 STUDYING IN AMERICA
10th and 12th grades—will find the odds of attending a four-year college soon after their graduation from high school stacked heavily against them. “Missing any one of these crucial steps can be a big problem for students,” said the study’s author, Daniel Klasik, a doctoral student in education at Stanford University who works at Stanford’s Institute for Research on Educational Policy and Practice. The good news, Mr. Klasik said in an interview, is that completing all five steps is such a strong predictor of college enrollment that it can help offset the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage. By focusing on getting students through what a paper summarizing his findings describes as a five-step “college application gauntlet,” high schools, colleges, and public-policy makers can help ensure that many more students will have access to a four-year college education.
The importance of a Schedule As things currently stand, the paper notes, at least four out of five students either entertain the possibility of attending a four-year college, take the SAT or ACT, or attain minimal academic qualifications for
college, but just two out of five end up enrolling in a four-year institution soon after their graduation from high school. Mr. Klasik based his study on data from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002, a nationally representative federal survey that tracked students who were in 10th grade in 2002 through college and into the work force. His analysis took into account students’ socioeconomic and ethnic background and how much their completion of one step of the process of getting ready for college had influenced their prospects of completing other steps down the road. A key insight driving Mr. Klasik’s analysis was the idea that the decision to attend a four-year college is not one students make once, but one they need to make several times. Another belief, which he described as validated by his analysis, is that students need to stick to a fairly rigid timetable in doing what is necessary to enroll in a four-year college. The importance of their staying on schedule, he said, “is not given enough attention” by people in the field. His analysis found that students’ completion of some steps—such as taking the SAT or ACT or filling out college applications—appeared to be strongly positively correlated with their completion of other steps down the road. That said, the sorting process his paper describes is somewhat inefficient, more closely resembling a slalom course in which skiers keep at it after missing do-or-die turns than a spelling bee in which failing to get through Round 1 precludes participation in Round 2. He found, for example, that 11 percent of the students in his data set who had applied to a four-year college had not earned the minimum qualifications. Among the students who took college entrance exams, 12 percent had not expressed a desire to attend college before. Among other college-preparatory steps that Mr. Klasik examined, meeting with a college counselor or college representative was not absolutely essential, but did appear to substantially increase a students’ chances of both completing other steps and eventually enrolling in a four-year institution. After taking differences in family income and other student characteristics into account, his analysis found that applying for financial aid appeared to increase a student’s chances of attending any four-year college, while reducing a student’s chances of attending a college that was highly selective.
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For Rent, Textbooks By Jill Laster
t’s been a tough decade for college bookstores.
While much of their revenue comes from T-shirts, hoodies, and shot glasses, bookstores have still felt the pinch as students turn to flourishing online competitors to buy cheaper print books or digital texts. Now campus bookstores are faced with yet another challenge: More and more students want to rent textbooks, not buy them. A small but growing number of students are renting textbooks for iPads and Kindles through online e-book sellers. But many more students are looking to rent print textbooks. The bookstores themselves are starting rental programs of their own or tapping into the resources of large textbook companies. The National Association of College Stores estimates that 200 to 300 of its 3,000 member stores offered rentals last fall. By this fall, the group estimates, 1,500 stores will rent textbooks. The idea of renting textbooks is nothing new. Some colleges have offered the service since the mid-19th century. Until recently, though, says Charles Schmidt, a spokesman for the association, many stores avoided rentals because of the high start-up costs, not least the need to buy a number of books and find a place to house them. And faculty members have resisted rental programs because they often require professors to adopt the same editions of course materials for at least four to six semesters. Online competition and rising student demand for cheaper textbooks are pushing colleges to overcome those hurdles, Mr. Schmidt says. “For a lot of kids, it’s the first time they’re swiping a credit card or writing a check for something three digits. ... This is another way for us to say we care.”
Renting to compete Bowling Green State University’s bookstore began a rental program on a modest scale in January 2008, with just three of its 2,500 or so textbook titles. Two of the books were used in large survey courses, but Jeff Nelson, the bookstore’s director, says operating on so small a scale has presented challenges. He and his staff members had to put in
10 STUDYING IN AMERICA
a lot of hours figuring out policies, procedures, systems, and accounting, as well as storing the 700 or so books involved in the program. There still isn’t much faculty interest, although rentals are presented to all professors as an option each semester. The bookstore earns less profit on rentals than on sales because it takes several years to pay off the purchase cost of each book. Mr. Nelson also says book rentals typi-
“When they first had a ‘textbook.com’ boom in the industry, there were a lot of doomsayers who said the brick-and-mortar college bookstores are a thing of the past.” cally don’t yield as much in savings to students as one might expect. If a new book costs $100, the same title might cost $40 per semester to rent and $75 for a used copy, with the possibility of selling it back to the store for $50. The experiment has paid off anyway, the director says, either because students don’t want to risk being unable to sell a book back or because they like the upfront savings of renting. In 2009 textbook rentals at the store represented more than $38,000 in sales and saved students nearly $58,000 over the cost of new textbooks. In the same period, the store sold $10,000 worth of e-books, with 244 titles represented, saving students a total of $5,000 compared with the price of new textbooks. Mr. Nelson expects the store, which offers nine titles for rental now, to offer 10 to 20 times that number in the fall as it joins with three major used-textbook sellers. Bowling Green sees a strong rental program as a way to compete with students’ other rental options, such as BookRenter.com and Chegg.com, which have gained momentum in the past few years. Chegg, which uses the mail to send and receive print materials, says it offers
more than 4.2 million titles and reaches more than 6,400 institutions. “When they first had a ‘textbook.com’ boom in the industry, there were a lot of doomsayers who said the brick-and-mortar college bookstores are a thing of the past,” Mr. Nelson says. “It really didn’t turn out that way, but the competition has still grown, so we as bookstores really have to find a way to compete.”
it Makes a Difference While the percentage of students renting their books is still relatively small, many more are intrigued by the option but don’t have a place to rent, according to a recent survey by the National Association of College Stores. Of the 500 students who responded to the survey, in May, 12 percent had rented textbooks. About half of those who hadn’t done so said they would consider it if the option were available to them. Jenna Roney, a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, has done research on student opinions on textbooks as part of a state student-government organization. The biggest concern for students buying textbooks, she found, is cost. Ms. Roney, who majors in biology and chemistry, spent $111 renting textbooks from Chegg in the spring semester and
calculates that she saved $240. For her and the students she has surveyed, she says, every saved dollar counts. “A hundred dollars might not seem much in the thousands that we’re paying, but it makes a difference,” she says. The Follett Higher Education Group is another major bookseller getting into the rental market. Follett and Barnes & Noble, between them, manage nearly 1,500 campus bookstores nationwide. Follett began testing rentals on a few campuses in the fall, expanding to 27 in the spring. Thomas A. Christopher, the company president, says the experiment was a success. Now about 400 institutions have signed up to use the company’s new Renta-Text program. The college bookstore of the future will be a “bookstore of choices,” where students can readily rent textbooks or buy new or used copies in print or digital format, Mr. Christopher says.
Made to Last? Rentals may be an imperfect, short-term solution to students’ high textbook costs,
says Nicole Allen, textbooks-campaign director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups, a network of advocacy groups for college students. One better long-term option, she says, is the open-access textbook, which is essentially the free, self-published
“it’s the first time they’re swiping a credit card or writing a check for something three digits.” equivalent of a textbook. Several companies, like Flat World Knowledge Inc., offer open-access texts. “When it comes to solving the problem of textbooks, there are things to do to reduce costs for students now, and things you do to reduce costs for students in the long run,” Ms. Allen says. “Textbook rentals fall into the first category.” Albert N. Greco, a professor of marketing at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business Administration who
Bizarre college-Entrance Questions: Discuss
ll Souls, a graduate-only college at the University of Oxford, is doing away with a tradition that has existed for nearly a century: the single-word essay question. According to the Guardian newspaper, “The task has defeated even the most brilliant of minds in requiring them to open an envelope, inside which is a card with a single word — for instance, innocence or morality — and to write coherently about the subject for three hours.”
Applicants for All Souls’ prestigious graduate fellowships must also perform well on four other, more typical exams, but it is the one-word question that has long intrigued people. Crowds are said to gather outside the exam hall to learn which word has been chosen. Past questions have included “novelty,” “water,” “miracles,” and “bias.” “We have dropped it with some regret,” says Sir John Vickers, head of All Souls. “It was the part of the exam where everyone did the same thing, but experience shows that we get more insight into candidates’ abilities when they are free to choose from question papers.” In face-to-face interviews with undergraduate applicants, Oxford’s tutors continue to pose odd questions: “How many aeroplanes are flying above Oxford at this moment?” and “What does it mean for someone to take another’s car?” A BBC News article once described how an interviewer, who avoided eye contact
studies the textbook market, calls the rental model a transitional one that will fall out of use as interest in digital texts rises. A survey by the National Association of College Stores found that digital course materials accounted for only 2 to 3 percent of textbook sales at stores that offer them, although that figure is expected to rise to 10 to 15 percent within two years. Mr. Greco anticipates that the textbook market will be 95 percent digital by 2015. That doesn’t mean the end of the college bookstore, though. “It won’t disappear,” he says, “because people continue to need insignia products and software. You’ve seen a college bookstore—they sell everything but submarines.” The College of Wooster’s bookstore enlisted the aid of an undergraduate marketing class to help redesign its bookstore. The students recommended that it use signs to highlight nontextbook services such as dry cleaning, package shipping, faxing, and report binding.
and expected a female applicant, had startled a male applicant by addressing him as “Jane.” In the United States, any discussion of provocative essay questions leads to the University of Chicago. At the top of the list of this year’s entrance-essay questions: “How did you get caught? (Or not caught, as the case may be.)”
“At the top of the list of this year’s entranceessay questions: “how did you get caught? (Or not caught, as the case may be.)” Another asks applicants to describe something they’ve outgrown and tell what has taken its place, and still another calls on them to pose a question of their own. “If your prompt is original and thoughtful then you should have little trouble writing a great essay,” the guidelines state. “Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk and have fun.”
STUDYING IN AMERICA 11
Lifestyle AMERICAN LINGO
s C B A r u o Know aylphabet The urban
12 STUDYING IN AMERICA
By Kyle Dugger
As most international students know or learn, language is about more than grammar, phonetics, and syntax. The English language is also peppered with examples of idioms and expressions that can be difficult to understand. How many of these phrases could you figure out without the definition?
A little bird told me
– means someone doesn’t want you to know who told them something.
Birds and the
bees – refers to human
oing Dutch – when a group goes out and everyone pays for their own bill.
Half-baked – means
No skin off my back
– means you don’t care because it doesn’t affect you, “let him go work in that factory, no skin off my back.”
foolish or stupid.
In bad taste – means
dd man out – an unusual or atypical person, someone apart from normal.
Crack of dawn – means
Jack of all trades – a
oker face – to show no expression, as in, “he can’t read my poker face.”
very early in the morning, right when the sun comes up.
person who is talented in many areas.
Drag – a boring
Knock on wood – a
disappointment, as in, “this party is a drag.”
phrase said to cancel out bad luck, as in, “I’ve never failed a test, knock on wood!”
be very silent and stealthy.
Rock the boat
– means not to worry about losing something that was easy to get in the first place.
Lift – a ride, as in, “Sara gave me a lift home.”
Fifth wheel – someone
Make a pass at
Skeletons in your
romantic attempt, also, to “hit on” someone.
disturbing secret from the past.
out of place, as in, “it was two couples and me, I was a fifth wheel.”
someone – to make a
Under the weather – to V
anish into thin air – to disappear without a trace.
et blanket – someone who keeps others from having a good time, a “buzzkill”.
Quiet as a mouse – to X marks the spot – the – to disturb an otherwise peaceful situation, “when we decide where to go out to eat, don’t rock the boat, Bill.”
Easy come, easy go
grain of salt – to not take something too seriously.
not feel well, to be sick.
reproduction, as in, “his dad finally gave him the talk about the birds and the bees.”
something was rude or vulgar, too far.
Take something with a
closet – a shocking or
exact location of something, as in, “take Clay Avenue down to Brown Street, and X marks the spot.”
es man – a person who tries to be liked by agreeing with everything that is said.
Zonked out – to fall asleep,
as in, “I stayed up so late studying for finals that when I sat down on the bus I just zonked out.”
STUDYING IN AMERICA 13
Getting involved outside of the classroom Article by: Tom Miller
Making friends can be hard for international and American students alike and for many students, itâ€™s their activities outside the classroom that define their university experience. 14 STUDYING IN AMERICA
When you first get on campus it can be easy to feel unnoticed, especially if you’re starting your academic career in large lecture classes as many freshman do. It might be easy to gravitate to other students that share your culture or background, but by doing so you’d be depriving yourself of new and exciting things. International and American students are faced with a similar problem: how do you go about making friends? It seems like it should happen naturally, but if you’re not making friends on your dorm floor it might be time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
of this include photography club, outdoor adventure groups, student newspapers, basically anything that exists so students can get together and do something.
Religious groups: Similar to cultural or interest groups, religious organizations on campus gather students of similar religious backgrounds to partake in activities or events. These groups are not hostile to other religions. Christian organizations like Campus Crusade for Christ exist alongside other groups like the Muslim Student Society. Frequently members of different religions will form a campus interfaith group.
An overwhelmingly broad term, an extracurricular activity is basically anything you do at a university that is unrelated to your schoolwork. Student newspapers, student government, ballroom dancing, intramural athletics, and literally hundreds of different interest clubs are all examples of extracurricular activities. This broad categorization can be broken down into a couple different types of group:
Cultural clubs: These groups are designed to promote different cultures on campus. The group might host events with cultural food and entertainment or speakers related to the group’s interests. These groups help increase minority representation on campus and give students of different backgrounds a chance to interact with each other.
Interest clubs: Instead of focusing on cultural issues, these groups focus on topics. Environmental, political, and social issues are popular topics for these clubs. These groups might stage rallies, campus events, and weekly meetings to address a particular issue.
Activity clubs: Clubs centred on an activity or hobby are a great place to meet people with similar interests or learn a new skill. These clubs might arrange workshops or group outings. Good examples
Intramural athletics: One of the most popular events on campus, intramural athletics cover a wide range of team and individual sports. Students can form or join teams and compete against other students. Most universities offer an incredible range of sports including popular sports like basketball, football, and soccer alongside more niche sports like ping-pong.
Fraternities and sororities: A fraternity or sorority is an organization made up of men and women who share similar ideas. They are commonly referred to as a Greek letter organization because of the fact that fraternities and sororities take their names from letters in the Greek alphabet. Fraternities and Sororities are often single sex and initiatory organizations. Students have to be inducted to a fraternity or sorority, students can rarely just chose to join a Greek letter organization without having been offered an invitation. The most commonly known Greek organizations are social fraternities and sororities. Students who join these organizations typically live together in a large house and must compete for a spot. Academic Greek organizations are also common. Students in academic fraternities and sororities do not live together, although they still must be invited in.
All of these groups exist, but that means nothing if you don’t try to find them. Groups often host meetings at the beginning of the semester for interested students, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to join later in the semester. At first it might seem difficult to break into a club, but persistence is key. Depending on the size of the club it might be difficult to get noticed. Student media organizations are highly regulated places, with numerous positions for students. You might have to start off at a lower position, but if you continue to work overtime people will recognize you and your work. In a more specialized situation you probably won’t run into that. If you’re an international student a good club to check out might be a culture club related to your background. From there other members of the club might be able to point to things you’d be interested in. You never know what you’re going to get out of a specific situation, so its important to always keep an open mind. That being said, don’t be afraid to quit one club and try something new. If you came to school with student paper set in your mind and you realize you hate writing for it, then quit. There are lots of different clubs and there is no reason to do something you don’t enjoy.
Starting your own club
If your university doesn’t offer something you’re interested in then you might have to start the club. Starting a club can be exciting and also a great way to meet new people. Chances are if you are interested in something, so are other students and starting a club could be a great way to meet those people. Starting your own club also means that you’re in charge. For some students that power lets them realize their ideas, and for others it can be a bit too much to handle at first. Either way, it’s always good to know that if something doesn’t exist you can help create it.
Common clubs at American universities Student democrats and republicans: These are two student groups that represent the two major political parties in the United States. Students in these clubs participate in election campaigns as well as hosting events throughout the year to raise awareness to different political issues. There are also other student political groups that reflect smaller parties in the US. Student honor society: This is a group for students accepted into a university’s honors program. These students raise money for different causes and represent honours students at various functions. Student volunteer groups: These organizations exist to raise money for charity through fundraisers and events. There might be several different opportunities for volunteer work on campus through faith-based groups, social work, or with a club that doesn’t specialize in volunteering. Student media: Many colleges and universities have a television station, radio station, or newspaper. Many have all three. These media outlets produce real content and act as a learning lab for students who want a future in the media. Multicultural organizations: The groups will help people of different backgrounds interact and get representation on campus. Groups for international students are also common.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 15
o n Re Largeenoughtochallenge… Smallenoughtocare…
OfficeofInternationalStudentsandScholars 120FitzgeraldStudentServices Reno,Nevada89557 USA Phone:775Ͳ784Ͳ6874 Fax:775Ͳ327Ͳ5845 firstname.lastname@example.org www.unr.edu/oiss
Establishedin1874,the UniversityofNevada, Reno(UNR) isafully accreditedpublic university.TheUniversity hasalongtraditionof academicexcellenceand ithasbeenconsistently listedintheU.S.News WorldReportamong “America’sBestColleges.” TheUniversity’s16,800 studentscomefromall overtheUnitedStatesand representmorethan75 countries.
Studentscanchoosefrom worldͲrenowned programsleadingtomore than70undergraduate andgraduatedegrees offeredinthecollegesof businessadministration, engineering,liberalarts, science,agriculture, biotechnologyandnatural resources,education, journalism,andhuman andcommunityservices. Conditionaladmissionis availabletointernational undergraduatestudents.
16 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Location UNR islocatedfourblocks northofdowntownReno onahilloverlookingthe cityandmajesticSierra NevadaMountains.The campusis30minutes fromworldͲrenowned LakeTahoeandafourͲ hourdrivefromSan Francisco.RenoͲTahoe areaoffersspectacular hiking,biking,rafting, skiing,andkayaking. Themild,dryclimate boastsanaverageof300 sunnydaysperyear.
ReasonsStudents SelectUNR • UNRishighly recommendedbyother internationalstudents. • Tuitionandlivingcosts areaffordable. • International undergraduatestudent scholarshipsandgraduate studentassistantshipsare availabletointernational students. • UNRislocatedinasmall andfriendlyenvironment withbigcityattractions.
Volume 18 Issue 2
Educational Courses and Programs Worldwide
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Turn your college thinking
inside out. Inside the classroom, outside the classroom at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, you’ll engage in every aspect of your college experience. •Located in mid-Missouri, halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City •Nearly 1,000 students from 24 states and over 60 countries •36 majors, 34 minors and 12 pre-professional programs •Westminster competes in 13 different sports as a member of NCAA Division III Forbes magazine, ranked Westminster College as one of the 50 Best American Colleges, the only Missouri university named in the top 50. Learn more about us at www.westminster-mo.edu, email us at email@example.com or call our Admissions office at 1-800-475-3361.
F U LT O N , M I S S O U R I
STUDYING IN AMERICA 17
Lifestyle URBAN OR RURAL?
College town v. city living How different could they be? Article by: Kyle Dugger
populations of locals, students, and teachers, college towns are viewed as a community where it’s not uncommon to run into someone you know on the street.
Sights and sounds of the town
College towns The people As its name might imply, college towns thrive under a high population of young adults and college students. Often, these students form the majority demographic of the area, meaning that the lifestyle, housing, music, and culture of the area all pander to youthful and often liberal ideas and politics. With over 600,000 international students studying in the US, college towns are also renowned for being diverse cross-sections of unique cultures and non-conformity. Although American cities in general are not intolerant to diverse forms of self-expression or religion, college towns are thought of as being particularly accommodating to new ideas. Despite housing large
18 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Local music and large concerts, guest speakers, art exhibitions, clubs, sports: if university students love it, then it’s bound to be an integral part of a college town. In most cases, college towns are known for featuring active nightlife opportunities and other recreational activities either sponsored by the university or inspired by the university students. Due to the diversity of college town populations, events are likely to range from free salsa dancing classes to philosophical debates over Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” Usually, these events are discounted or free for university students.
Housing and transportation The housing situation in college towns is a major point of difference with big cities. Usually, student housing in a college town is concentrated close to or on-campus, in university dormitories or sponsored apartments, or in student dominated neighborhoods close to campus. Consistently, college towns are communities locally contained, and student housing is almost always within walking distance or a short bus ride of classes. In many American college towns, universities sponsor their own public transportation systems that students may use free of charge.
In the United States, a college town is a well-known expression describing a city that is characterized completely by its university. Generally, these medium-sized towns offer a higher population of young people, an increased amount of cultural events and recreational options, and better public transportation than other towns of their size. For international students, the difference between living in a college town and an average city might be unclear, but most Americans realize that the two spectrums are very different worlds.
dominated by university life. New York or Los Angeles, for example, might be more isolating for student relationships, but the cities offer a tremendous amount of contact with successful and accomplished people.
Sights and sounds of the city From museums and sights to famous architecture and cuisine, big cities definitely offer a plethora of events and activities for students. Although not necessarily sponsored by or explicitly for college students, city life is often still characterized by late night events and big-ticket attractions. Often, the balance between college towns and city recreation is a trade-off, as cities offer more famous or professional attractions but might not make specific accommodations for students on genre or price.
City living The people For international students looking to live in cities not characterized by their universities, there are some big differences from college towns. Of course, in bigger cities, students will still be able to find a rich diversity of people and cultures. However, big cities tend to have less of a community focus, meaning that finding other students with similar interests could be more of a proactive task. Since city living is defined less by the surrounding university life, the population also tends to be more diverse in terms of age, featuring a more common distribution of families and non-student households. City living does have advantages, including the diverse amount of work opportunities and professional businesses which tend to frequent areas less
Housing and transportation The biggest difference between living in a college town and a more average city is the student housing offered by each. Although many city universities might offer dormitories or on-campus living for students, a large number of students will still be located in apartments and houses off-site. Due to the higher cost of living in some larger metropolitan areas, many students in city universities choose to live outside of town and commute to classes. It is not uncommon for students who choose city living to be more widely dispersed than those in college towns. The other side of this balance is that city apartments and homes arenâ€™t marketed explicitly to students, and might be of a higher quality or more discreet design. Along the same lines, most US cities offer competent city-based public transportation, although outside of college towns it might not be targeted specifically at university students. It might be more acceptable to own a car in a city rather than a college town, in order to travel larger distances with ease.
The verdict While college towns and city environments both offer very different strengths and weaknesses to their respective students, itâ€™s clear that both also struggle to achieve the best of both worlds. While students might receive more discounts and community feelings in college towns, they also lose the off-campus appeal and big-ticket attractions of the city. Ultimately, the decision of where to study is a matter of individual preferences and a studentâ€™s personal choice of what makes a university right for them.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 19
GREETINGS FROM DEPAUL, THE LARGEST CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY IN THE UNITED STATES, LOCATED IN THE HEART OF CHICAGO. AWA R D S A N D R A N K I N G S
L I F E AT D E PA U L Q
Many of our academically rigorous, experience-based programs are internationally recognized. Nearly all classes are taught by faculty members, not teaching assistants.
In the 2009 edition of “The Best 368 Colleges,” Princeton Review ranked DePaul No. 1 in the U.S. within the Great College Town category.
Throughout the curriculum, DePaul incorporates the resources and learning opportunities of Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city.
DePaul ranked No. 10 in the Diverse Student Population category, marking the sixth consecutive year that DePaul has been ranked in the nation’s top 20.
You will be supported by our qualified international staff members and our strong network of international student organizations.
The February 2010 BusinessWeek magazine ranked DePaul’s undergraduate business program second among programs in Illinois.
Go to depaul.edu/internationalstudents to meet some of our 1,200 international students and read about their experiences.
Office of International Admission Telephone: +1 (312) 362-6542
Web: depaul.edu/international E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD Student, Developmental Biology Program Every year many international students join the Washington University in Saint Louis (WashU) Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS) PhD programs. Why do they prefer WashU instead of other universities’ graduate programs? I would like to share my experiences at WashU to answer this question. First, the scientific atmosphere is exceptional at WashU. DBBS is the umbrella that offers 12 different PhD programs and is home to more than 400 world-renowned faculty members and thousands of graduate students and post-docs. The faculty members and scholars come from 49 different countries, which indicates the welcoming environment for international researchers. The other advantage of DBBS programs is the opportunity for collaborative research and integrated education between biological science programs and medical school. There are training programs called “Pathways”, which allow students to explore
different specialized areas of interest in medicine. In these specialized courses, students are trained to learn details of the subjects and shadow medical doctors. In addition to that, the DBBS umbrella provides a variety of mentor and lab options for PhD training. Students can work with any faculty in any sub-department as long as the faculty member approves it. Second of all, the social atmosphere is very appealing for international students. Many students and faculty members from different parts of the world come here not only to share their expertise but also to develop more skills in their specialized fields.
Diverse national origin and ethnicity provide different flavors from different cultures. Faculty members, many of which are international, are “Top 10” in their research and enjoy sharing their knowledge with students. Also, DBBS provides a warm environment that makes you feel like you are a part of this community. More importantly, everyone in the community is welcoming of any culture and friendly towards internationals. Lastly, there are financial benefits. The stipend that the University provides for graduate students is more than enough to live comfortably in Saint
Louis. Although, Saint Louis is one of the major cities in U.S., living expenses are reasonable. In short, as a graduate student, you have the advantage living in a cosmopolitan city, yet in affordable means. In summary, scientific reasons, advantages of social environment and financial benefits make WashU – DBBS an exceptional place to get your PhD degree. I really enjoy being a part of this community. WashU will promise you an extraordinary environment for training and help you to develop your skills. You will have your training in a world-class lab with world-class researchers.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 21
Location CHARLESTON, S.C. Aerial view of Charleston
An inside look at the Holy City
Why does Charleston deserve “Best City”? Academic opportunities The Holy City is also home to the acclaimed College of Charleston, the only college in America to offer an undergraduate program in Discovery Informatics. The college also offers 25 custom and diverse interdisciplinary minors. Just moments from downtown Charleston and only 20 minutes from some of America’s finest beaches, the College of Charleston boasts an impressive academic opportunity all contained within a famously scenic and excitingly cultural campus.
South Carolina Charleston
Article by: Kyle Dugger
Voted 4th “Best City in America” by Travel and Leisure Magazine, Charleston, South Carolina, is home to historical architecture, worldrenowned music and arts festivals, and a unique opportunity to experience a culture as diverse as it is American. 22 STUDYING IN AMERICA
The best of both worlds Charleston is heralded as the fastestgrowing metropolitan area in the state of South Carolina. In fact, with a population of just over 100,000, Charleston is already the second largest city in the state. However, that doesn’t mean the people of Charleston have forgotten their historical and small-town roots. Close to the Atlantic coast and endowed with an abiding reputation of diverse culture, the city enjoys a warm climate and rich variety of architecture, cuisine, music, and recreation, all connected by an intimate and closely-knit community. The city is also known for an adamant dedication to the protection of its history, evident in the preserved churches and historical buildings that silhouette the evening skyline.
In short, Charleston is a town seated comfortably in two worlds, with all of the sights and sounds of a metropolis and all the hometown friendliness of its small, colonial roots.
The Holy City Charleston is a city steeped in both history and culture. Famous for its meticulously preserved churches and captivating architecture, Charleston has been dubbed the Holy City because of its enduring reputation of religious tolerance and diversity. Specifically, the Holy City is a longstanding bastion of African-American Gullah culture, which travelled to America with the slave trade in the 19th century. Celebrated today, Charleston’s Gullah influence is evident in festive displays of music, crafts, cuisine and storytelling around the city.
Furthermore, the city is also headquarters to both the Art Institute of Charleston and the Charleston School of Law, two universities with major programs directed at more specific interests.
Climate For fans of warm summers and mild winters, Charleston is the place to be. Characterized by average winter lows no colder than 5-10° C (4050° F), the Holy City is known for a tropical climate and beach-friendly weather. It rains frequently in the city, especially during the summer months. Snow is incredibly rare.
Those sights and sounds, and getting to them Fortunately for travellers, Charleston is home to South Carolina’s mostfrequented airport, Charleston International. In 2009 alone, Charleston International serviced more than a million passengers. From the airport into the city,
Historical U.S. Custom House, Charleston
Charleston High Rise
passengers can ride the Charleston International airport shuttle for just $12 a person. The city is easily navigated by a prolific public transportation system of buses and cabs. The Holy City also boasts an innovative Rack and Ride program, which allows riders to rack their bicycles directly on city buses. Due to the excellent weather and proximity of things to do, most people in Charleston find it unnecessary to own a car. Once visitors reach the city, they can experience any of several world-famous attractions, including the Spoleto Festival USA, a major
performing arts festival which features lauded performances of both music and theatre. The city is also home to the Charleston Museum, the first museum ever built in the United States, which regularly features exhibits on colonial and Civil War America. Thanks to the large population of young people and College of Charleston students, the city offers a plethora of jazz clubs, sociable bars, and live music open late every night of the week. University students are also given free access to the local rock climbing, camping, swimming and kayaking available in Charleston’s scenic James Island County Park.
Fact File: Charleston, S.C. Charleston is home to the
Arthur Ravenal Bridge, the longest cable-stayed bridge in the western hemisphere. Charleston is quickly becoming a prime locale for technology careers and houses such corporations as Blackbaud, Modulant, CSS and Benefitfocus. Marjabelle Young Stewart, a famous American expert of etiquette,
named Charleston the “best-mannered” city in the United States. “The Charleston,” a dance move made popular in the 1920’s, derives its name from the city of Charleston. You can check out the dance here: http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=339ixMtHrVk &feature=related The popular American film The Notebook (2004) was filmed in Charleston.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 23
Bordering Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana rests on the outskirts of the American south. Louisiana’s rich history of ethnic and artistic diversity has made it a hot spot of tourism and commerce.
Louisiana stateside guide Article by: Tom Miller
the next 200 years, New Orleans and Louisiana developed a unique position in American culture thanks to its incredible diversity.
Hurricane Katrina and the road to recovery
The Bayou state A state with a unique history, Louisiana is one of America’s cultural landmarks. Home to a diverse population, the state has long been known for its mix of European, African, and American culture. The city of New Orleans is an iconic American city with a long history of supporting the arts. Famous musicians like Louis Armstrong, along with artists, writers, and even chefs have made New Orleans their home and it’s this mixture of culture and history that has attracted students, businesses and tourists alike to the state of Louisiana. 24 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Unique New Orleans Although not the capital city (that’s Baton Rouge) New Orleans is one of America’s most famous cities. Known around the world for being the birth place of Jazz music, the home of Cajun and Creole cooking, and the location of Carnival or as it is more commonly known, Mardi Gras. These attractions have earned New Orleans the reputation of being America’s “most unique city”.
The city of nearly 400,000 people rests near the Mississippi river, a location that made New Orleans an important place throughout American history. New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana joined the United States in 1817 with the Louisiana Purchase, an event that New Orleans played a deciding role in. A few years after being purchased into the United States, Louisiana was made a state in 1822. Over
More recently Louisiana dealt with one of the worst Hurricanes in U.S. history, Hurricane Katrina. Since 2004 when the storm hit, New Orleans has been steadily recovering from the historic hurricane. By 2007, major professional and academic conferences along with sporting events had returned to the city and in 2012 Tulane University in New Orleans will host the National Collegiate Athletics Association Final Four basketball tournament, one of the most important sporting events in the country. Another important sport for New Orleans is football and for many Americans the New Orleans Saints victory against the Indianapolis Colts at the 2010 Superbowl was a sign of the progress New Orleans and Louisiana had made in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The University of Louisiana Monroe
A place for everyone Like New Orleans, Louisiana as a state is a place of incredible diversity. Today the state is home to a large number of people with African, Hispanic, Asian, and European ancestry. Louisiana’s current Governor, Bobby Jindal, made history by being the first Indian-American governor as well as being the youngest governor in the country. Along with different ethnic groups, Louisiana has a great amount of linguistic diversity. As an effect of its mixed heritage about 5 per cent of the population continues to speak French or Cajun French and 2.5 per cent speak Spanish at home and large number of other dialects are spoken less frequently.
Education in Louisiana As well as being a supporter of the arts, Louisiana is also home to a number of academic institutions. Tulane, Loyola, and Louisiana State University are all national recognized for their academic programs. Located in New Orleans, Tulane University is a private school well known for its architecture programs. Recently a pharmacy professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe was awarded over $400,000 from the National Institute of Health. Academic institutions in the state offer students opportunities and a competitive education. Along with four-year universities, Louisiana supports a number of community colleges and two-year programs, offering students of every ability and income level an opportunity for an education.
Mardi Gras across the state For many Americans, when someone says Mardi Gras they instantly think of New Orleans, but that doesn’t
mean the rest of the state isn’t just as festive. All across Louisiana cities throw massive parties to celebrate “Fat Tuesday”. Where Mardi Gras in New Orleans is for adults only, the Krewe of Centaur, a parade held in Shrevport, Louisiana, is a family friendly affair attended by several thousand people each year. The parade is actually the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the state. The celebration covers the entire state and offers something for everyone.
Climate Known throughout the U.S. for its humid climate, residents of Louisiana experience long summers and short mild winters. Since the state borders the Gulf of Mexico, rain falls throughout the entire year. During the school year, students at Louisiana schools enjoy an average temperature of 70 degrees.
At the University of Louisiana at Monroe, you’ll receive an excellent education in one of the most aﬀordable universities in America. Oﬀering nearly 100 accredited degrees at the Associate, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate levels, ULM will prepare you for a bright future.
Things to do in Louisiana Although Mardi Gras draws thousands of people to Louisiana every year, the state is full of things to do any day of the year. As far as free attractions go, the Gulf of Mexico is at most 200 miles away from any point in Louisiana, so people looking to enjoy warm sunny days at the beach are able to do so year round. For those looking for sports, New Orleans is home to a professional football team, the Saints, a professional basketball team, the Hornets, as well as a minor league baseball team, the Zephyrs. Another popular place to travel to is the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo which houses over 500 animals from around the world. Although some of these attractions can be expensive, they make excellent day trips.
Come to ULM where a warm climate and a warmer welcome awaits you!
ulm.edu/enrollment/international STUDYING IN AMERICA 25
Travel around Wisconsin Granite Peak Ski Resort The Door Peninsula St. Norbert College campus FAST: Fiberglass Statue Mold Yard Riverview Park and Waterworld The Circus World Museum “House on the Rock” Summerfest
Article by: Kyle Dugger
Historically home to Indians, French explorers, fur trappers and traders, there’s more to see around Wisconsin than just a few excellent universities. From Lake Superior in the north to the Mississippi river bluffs in the southwest, Wisconsin is a state of rich geography and many different sights and sounds. If you’d like to experience the American thrill of exploration or just enjoy a weekend away from studying, grab some friends and hit the road. Just remember that getting there is half the fun. 26 STUDYING IN AMERICA
The southeast Summerfest
Location: Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee The world’s largest music festival, Summerfest would make an excellent destination for a road trip across “the badger state”. Featuring 11 stages and over 700 Summerfest, Milwaukee, photo courtesy of 360-degree Images different bands, Summerfest is an 11-day music festival that brings in up to a million visitors a year. Historically, the event has featured such headliners as Johnny Cash, the Doors, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder. In 2010, Summerfest will be headed by artist Tim McGraw. Beyond music, the festival boasts fireworks, comedy acts, and shopping opportunities. Distance from Summerfest to the Door Peninsula: 175 miles, 3 hours and 36 minutes by car.
The Door Peninsula
Location: Eastern Wisconsin, Door County Famous for its majestic views and apple and cherry orchards, the Door Peninsula separates the southern part of Green Bay from Lake Michigan. The area is also popular for its numerous natural harbors and prolific Cana Island Lighthouse, Door County, photo courtesy of Donald S. Abrams limestone. The name of the area, the Door Peninsula, is derived from a dangerous strait along the shore that is littered with shipwrecks from seafarers past. However, by car the Door Peninsula is still a scenic getaway and an affordable road trip destination.
The northeast St. Norbert College campus
Location: De Pere, Brown County Consisting of 93 scenic acres along the Fox River, the St. Norbert College campus is famous for beautiful scenery, especially during autumn. When the leaves change, students organize a festival on the banks of the river, complete with fireworks, food, and live entertainment. For a quiet weekend, St. Norbert students need look no further than their own campus, and the view is worth a trip to De Pere.
The southwest “House on the Rock”
Location: South of Spring Green, Iowa County One popular stop for Wisconsin tourists is House on the Rock Infinity Room exterior, Spring Green, Wis., photo courtesy the House on the Rock, an architecturally TravelWisconsin.com famous mansion that sits upon Deer Shelter Rock, a column of stone nearly 60 feet in height. Opened in 1959, the structure came into existence out of a dispute between two architects, Alex Jordan and the famous Frank Lloyd Wright. As the story goes, Jordan idolized Wright and showed him some building plans he had been working on. Wright insulted the plans and called Jordan incompetent, prompting Jordan to design the House on the Rock out of spite. Today, the structure features several exhibits from 19th century America and also houses the world’s largest carousel.
Distance from the House on the Rock to Sauk County: 25.8 miles, 38 minutes by car.
Granite Peak Ski Resort
Location: Wausau, Marathon County With five different terrain parks, 15 jumps, a pole jam, a wall ride, and 17 different jibs, the Granite Peak Ski Resort prides itself on being the best skiing experience in Wisconsin. The resort boasts on-site rentals and lessons, and beginner runs for new skiers, as well as jumps and advanced courses for seasoned snow shredders. For an adventurous getaway complete with on-location lodging and cuisine, try a road trip to Granite Peak.
The Circus World Museum
Downhill Skiiing, Granite Peak, photo courtesy of RJ & Linda Miller
Distance from Granite Peak to the Fiberglass Statue Mold Yard: 115 miles, 2 hours and 30 minutes by car.
FAST: Fiberglass Statue Mold Yard
Location: Sparta, Monroe County Sparta, Wisconsin, home to the Fiberglass Animals, Shapes, and Trademarks co. (FAST), is an unusual little town, most likely due to the presence of several elaborate sea monsters, sculptures, and other creatures that reside there. The town is home to the FAST’s mold yard as well, a graveyard of old molds strewn with the remains of hundreds of ornate fiberglass creations. The yard is open to the public. From giant dogs to the heads of mythical heroes, the FAST mold yard is an intriguing site for any curious traveller.
Location: Baraboo, Sauk County The Circus World Museum is another popular stop for Wisconsin tourists, featuring not only exhibits and displays of circus artefacts, but also live performances in the summer months. Housed in Baraboo, the hometown of the famous Ringling Brothers Circus World Museum, photo courtesy of Andy Kraushaar Circus, which later merged with Barnum and Bailey, the museum was first established in 1884. The Circus World Museum also plays an integral part in the Great Circus Parade, a traditional celebration that travels across Wisconsin, from Milwaukee back to Baraboo.
Riverview Park and Waterworld
Location: Wisconsin Dells, in Sauk County For an adventurous weekend away from campus, try exploring the Riverview Park and Waterworld on Highway 12. With go-karts, Woman on waterslide at Riverview Frisbee golf, and three 50-foot water slides, Waterworld Waterpark, Wisconsin Dells, photo courtesy of Trumble Photography Riverview promises an affordable good time to students and families alike. The park features regular discounts and promotional events such as Dollar Days, where Wisconsin residents can receive admission for only $5.00.
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26 STUDYING IN AMERICA
ROADTrip ROUTE 1
Hot on the trail of an American original: The U.S. Route 1 trek continues
New York City, New York We leave before dawn in order to cram as much as we can into this leg of the trip. We realize it’s hard to travel on an empty stomach, so we turn towards Harlem for some traditional NYC eats. Harlem has long been known as a major African-American cultural center. In fact, it was home to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s which created an unmatched outpouring of African-American artistic expression, including jazz. The late night culture of hungry jazz musicians also gave rise to the creation of an NYC favorite: chicken and waffles. First served at Well’s Restaurant, this combination was served when it was too late for dinner and too early for breakfast.
We order up steaming plates and eat the combo as it was meant to be, getting chicken, waffle, maple syrup, and peach butter all in one amazing bite. Next it’s off to Harlem’s Apollo Theater, where countless AfricanAmerican artists have gotten their start. Serving as the cultural center for black musicians for generations, the Apollo initiated the careers of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, James Brown and Lauryn Hill. Touring the Apollo is exciting, since I may just be walking beside the next big music star!
Jersey City, New Jersey Jersey City’s Liberty State Park is definitely a trip highlight. A green haven in the middle of the city, it
Article by: Dana Grahler
Leaving New England behind us, we venture headlong into the heart of Route 1. Our hunger for travel drives us straight towards the Big Apple: New York City. We’ve got all the excitement we can handle since we’ll also hurdle through Jersey City and Philadelphia in one stretch. We’re ready for anything as we gear up for some of America’s best cities.
has stunning views of the Statue of Liberty in the background. After snapping a few photos, we hop aboard the park’s ferry service to Ellis Island. Here we see what it was like for the 12 million immigrants who came to America from 1892 to 1954. It seems amazing that over 100 million Americans today can trace their roots back to Ellis Island immigrants!
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania After learning about our ancestors, it’s fitting that we head towards the City of Brotherly Love, home to a wealth of American history. A prime example is Independence Hall, where the debate and signing of Declaration of Independence took place.
Philadelphia is also home to the symbolic Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell was first used in 1752, but it hasn’t had much luck! Upon its first toll, it cracked. A series of repairs followed, only to see the bell crack severely in 1846, rendering it useless. However, throughout its lifetime, the bell tolled to mark several historic occasions, including the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence and to commemorate the inauguration and deaths of several important presidents. Seeing this great American symbol of liberty makes me thankful for another great day of traveling historic U.S. Route 1. Keep watching for more Route 1 adventures as we travel through Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland!
STUDYING IN AMERICA 29
Ke Zhao, China As implied by the name, Central Michigan University (CMU) is located in Mount Pleasant, a city in central Michigan. In general, Mount Pleasant is a typical college town and one can expect and enjoy living a quiet and relaxing small-town life here.
One reason I love Mount Pleasant is its clearly defined seasons and variety of scenery. The campus of CMU is one of the most beautiful campuses all over America. In spring, flowers of various colors are everywhere, which might render one refreshed and joyous. In summer, it is full of green trees, fresh air and sunshine. One can find jogging people everywhere. Yes, people here lead a healthy life and have the chance to join various kinds of sports, like rock climbing and even skydiving. In fall, leaves turn red and you will love the view. There is also plenty of snow in the winter and you will really enjoy your winters here.
programs here. Students can always find their interest here and the interdisciplinary interaction is intense.
CMU was founded in 1892. The non-traditional education and good reputation attract students from different countries to choose this university to pursue their dreams. There are over 200 academic
Sometimes, words just fail describing. You will enjoy your overall â€œCMU experience". We are proud of CMU and we would like to welcome you to our campus.
30 STUDYING IN AMERICA
What I love most is the diverse culture of CMU. Many students are from various countries with different cultures. This should be a valuable and amazing experience for every student. The people that work in the international students department are helpful and friendly. Their heartfelt consideration for international students makes us feel at home. Also, I have to mention the food choices here. There are intimate and exciting restaurants nearby with a variety of cuisines. Do not miss them!
Central Michigan University Over 70 graduate degree programs
At CMU, you will work closely with outstanding scholars and faculty mentors to complete a tailored graduate degree program plan that meets your needs.
Ƚ Accredited Ƚ Quality academic programs Ƚ Flexible graduate program plans Ƚ State-of-the-art library resources Ƚ Convenient classrooms and schedules Ƚ Modern technology and research facilities Ƚ Close access to faculty and student services
CMU’s 480-acre campus is a warm and friendly place, and students enjoy nearby shopping, dining, and recreation facilities.
Graduate Assistantships (research and teaching) and Graduate Studies Fellowships are available Tuition reduction programs might also apply
Central Michigan University College of Graduate Studies 100 Foust Hall Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
+1 (989) 774 - 4723 +1 (989) 774 - 1857
CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity within its community (see www.cmich.edu/aaeo).
STUDYING IN AMERICA 02
Scholarship noticeboard For international students in the US Compiled by: Kyle Dugger and Tom Miller
By Rachel Stark
Brandeis University Global Leadership Award
Amount: Up to 60 pe r cent of tuition cost Description: The Bra ndeis University Globa l Leadership Award rec ognizes excellent applicants of other na tionalities who apply to Brandeis Internati onal Business Schoo l. Candidates must be from the field of international relation s, economics, business management, or fina nce. The deadline for submission is Februa ry 15. http://www.brandeis.e du/global/ prospective/learn/fun d_degree/ scholarships.html
01 STUDYING IN AMERICA 32
id tudent A S l a n io t Interna Grant 00 dent Aid
$1,3 al Stu Amount: : The Internation 00 per year n o 1,3 Descripti ) awards up to $ nal students G A tio S a (I rn t Gran ) inte has dent visa tu pplicant a (s n -1 a F e c to n O ion to . s is le m ib elig n for ad o ti a who are c li ISAG p d an ap uest the st submitte ity, they can req u n o licati m ers the Univ . Completed app arch 15. M n o y applicati school b ns/ ed to the /questio be return .biola.edu/grad w w http://w alfaq/ on internati
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12,50 s Amount: $ d encourage ts : This awar n an o lic p ap r fo Descripti n cooperatio al n g o n yi ati d rn u inte lab st year in a US spending a ues. The iq n ch te nce vacuum scie on offers an award to dati students. Welch Foun d graduate an l s al n io ss profe elchann.htm .iuvsta.org/w http://www
John B. Tsu
Scholarship Amount: 75 per cent tuiti on waiver Description: This waiver schola 75 per cent tuition rshi to Master’s st p award is given udent applic ants with undergraduat e GPAs of 3.5 or above for study in North America to ea rn degree in elec trical engineer a Master’s ing, compute engineering, r software engi neering or an MBA. Studen ts from any ba ckground are eligible for th is award. http://www.it u.edu/
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$2,4 dent of Amount: give a stu To : n o ti d as an p Descri e (define origins who n heritag a li nic o th g e n o M c olian ’s Republi l of Mong individua f Mongolia, People n) an io o Un n is a citize er Soviet .S. or the form e studies in the U of China u s rs u rd a p w to to ity 0 opportun them up to $2,40 g in y. it rd by awa a Univers rg/ at Indian expenses .mongoliasociety.o w http://ww 007102917.htm /2 n o ti c se ?q=
Internation al Jesuit Hig h School Sch olarship Amount: ½ tuiti
on costs Description : Students w ho will enro at Marquett ll e directly aft er completi of senior se on condary stud ies at one of selected schools may apply for an Internati onal Jesuit H igh School Scholarship. These awar ds are competitive and cost of tuition are valued at half the per academ ic awards are renewable an year. The d subject to normal term s and conditi ons. http://www .marquette. edu/studen ugrad/schola t/ rships_jesui t.shtml
UC Global Scholarship
Amount: $1,000-12,000 Description: The UC Global Scholarship awards between $1,000 and $12,000 per year to qualifying international students. It is renewable for the duration of a Bachelor’s degree program (up to 12 quarters of study or 216 quarter hours). The most common award amount is $5,000 per year. http://www.admissions.uc.edu/ international/finance/scholarship.html
Henry and Chiyo Kuwahara Creative Arts Scholarship Award: $1,000 - 5,000 Description: The Henry and Chiyo Kuwahara Creative Arts Scholarships are available to Japanese students in creative or performing arts who present an excellent creative Japanese-American experience. Professional artists are not eligible. The deadline for submissions is April 1. http://www.aie.org/scholarships/detail. cfm?id=9823
The Smith College Grant
Amount: Varies Description: The Smith College Grant is a need-based merit awarded to female non-US citizens attending Smith College. http://www.smith.edu/future/cfr/ resources.php
l ternationa Dayton In larships Merit Sc5,0h0o0-25,000
Amount: $ rsity of : The Unive Description offering meritow Dayton is n nding ds to outsta ents ar aw d e bas ud st r e al transf internation n. o gi from any re du/ .udayton.e http://www admission/
ship holar c S rship SAPAt: $750 APA Schola erican
S un Amo tion: The e Sino-Am th rip als c Des sored by rofession ort for n P p o l p a p u s c s ti is s g aceu offer ludin Pharm tion, and fields, inc lied p ia y Assoc dy in man mistry, ap , e g u US st matics, ch ngineerin y. e e g , h y lo t g a io lo m , bio d microb /new/ e c n g scie e, an aweb.or ultur agric www.sap // http: rship.htm schola
Wesleyan Freeman hip Asian Scholarsual ly
Amount: $35,000 ann yan Freeman Description: The Wesle ilable to Asian ava is ip Asian Scholarsh covers and nts de stu al on internati tion at tui rs yea r the full cost of fou s of eld fi All y. rsit ive Un Wesleyan for ine adl de e study are eligible. Th 1. y uar Jan is submission .edu/ http://www.wesleyan al_students/ on nati ter admission/in freeman.html
The H e Scho aly l a r sh Amou nt: $2 ip
,000 Descr ip Schola tion: The H e r stude ship is an a aly nts inv ward for olved Touris in m emph studies wit Travel/ as h http:/ is on the tr an /www a .asta.o vel industr y. rg/
NAWIC Founder’s Scholarship
Amount: $500-2,000 Description: This scholarship is awarded to international students in a construction-related field, including majors in engineering, architecture and design, or town and country planning. The deadline for submissions is February 1 annually. http://www.nawic.org/nawic/NFSF. asp
STUDYING IN AMERICA 33
Money STUDENT JOBS
Working on campus Jobs for students Article by: Tom Miller
For many students, a campus job is a great place to earn some many and make friends. Students who work for universities have access to a wide range of jobs, from doing research in a lab to working at a cafeteria.
Can you get a job on campus? Depending on your visa status you might not be eligible for workstudy, or employment at all. It is very important to know what your visa restrictions are. If you violate the terms of your visa you could be deported and ejected from your institution, so it is crucial to understand how your visa works. Another thing to consider is that international students are not eligible for federal work-study because international students are not eligible for funding from the US government. With that in mind, there are options for international students to work on campus.
How to get a job on campus After you’ve double-checked your visa restrictions, it’s time to start checking out places to get a job. The great thing about working for your university is the flexible work scheduling. Jobs are typically catered towards students both in terms of hours required for the week and actual hours of work. You shouldn’t have a problem balancing your classes and your job. As is increasingly common, applications will be more accessible online than on paper. Start off by checking out your university’s website for job listings and applications and then try to arrange meetings in person or over the phone.
Types of jobs on campus Depending on your university’s size there might be hundreds of different jobs available at any given time. Here are some of the most common jobs open to students.
34 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Cafeteria Worker: One of the most common campus jobs, working in a campus cafeteria involves many of the same tasks as working at a regular restaurant. You’ll prepare food and maintain the dining area. While it’s not the most glamorous job, the hours are usually very flexible and jobs are accessible. Library Assistant: Campus libraries are a great place to check out for jobs. As a Library Assistant you’ll be tasked with re-shelving books, helping other students find the books they need, and checking out materials. Since libraries are most commonly used when students are not in class, you might be required to work in the evening and on the weekend. You’ll probably get paid minimum wage for each hour you work. It might not be the most lucrative job, but its trade off for the flexible hours. Tech Support: If you’ve got computer skills this could be the job for you! You’ll help other students install new software, set up their internet connections, and anything else they might need help with. Depending on your university, you might work on a larger team or by yourself. Pay could be minimum hourly wage or higher based on your qualifications and responsibilities. Research Assistant: This can be a hard position to obtain outside of work-study, but if you’re majoring in a field that conducts experiments or does lab work being a Research Assistant is a great way to get real world experience. In some areas, like Psychology, you might be able get paid to be a test subject in an experiment. In order to work as a Research Assistant you’ll need to
Things to know about working in America No matter whether you decide to work inside or outside of your university, there are some basic things you should know about your rights as a worker in the United States.
1. The minimum wage is $7.25 for every non-tipped position in the
have good standing in your major area and having a good relationship with your professors might be the best way to get into a lab. Pay could be a form of fee remission for more in depth projects or by the experiment. Resident Assistant: One of the most time intensive jobs on campus, being a Resident Assistant means you’re on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You’ll live on a dorm floor and help the other students on your floor adjust to college life by planning floor programs and outings. You might also be tasked with making rounds through the dorms to make sure no one is breaking any rules or doing anything dangerous. Resident Assistants are usually awarded a small stipend for their work, but they live in the dorms free of charge.
Opportunities for graduate students Finding work is a different story for postgraduate students
than it is for undergraduates. Graduate students are often hired to work as Lab Assistants and Teaching Assistants as a part of their financial aid package. In some subject areas a graduate student might even teach a low level class on their own. As far as research goes, graduate students are often required to write a thesis as a part of their degree and working in a lab can be an integral part of the graduate education. The terms of each job vary by program and university. A teaching assistantship might last for the duration of the degree or for only a semester. Graduate students are more likely to receive some from of tuition waiver or small stipend than a monthly check because graduate work and research programs are typically not hourly positions. You might also have to fill out a separate application when you arrive on campus for these kinds of jobs.
United States. In the US certain positions traditionally receive money directly from the customer. Waiters, waitresses, taxi drivers, delivery drivers, and hair stylists are examples of jobs that receive tips to supplement their income. As a result of this, those types of jobs have a much lower minimum wage: $2.13, as long as that wage combined with their tips totals at least $7.25 an hour. It is considered very rude not to tip someone in one of these professions, unless the service was absolutely horrendous.
2. No adult in the United States can be forced to work more than 48 hours a week on average over a period of 17 weeks. So while you might work more than 48 hours one week, you cannot be forced to work more than an average of 48 hours a week. You can opt out of this by signing a written agreement between you and your employer and you may cancel at any time.
3. Sexual harassment is a serious issue in the United States. Workers have the right to work in a non-hostile work place. A hostile work place could mean suggestive jokes or comments as well as physical gestures. US labour laws equally protect men and women and if something happens while at work you should not hesitate to file a complaint.
4. Employers cannot discriminate based on race, gender, national origin or sexual orientation. Jobs often proclaim themselves as “equal opportunity employers”, despite the fact that no company in the United States could be anything other than an equal opportunity employer.
5. The above rules are federal labour regulations, but it is important to remember the US is comprised of 50 states each with their own differences. Some states have a higher minimum wage and others allow employees to be fired without a reason. Before accepting employment in an area make sure to research your rights on and off the job.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 35
Two-year college benefits
What’s to know? Article by: Kyle Dugger
For most international students, the choice of where to study overseas is a decision of tuition costs or major programs, or even comes down to a university’s social scene. However, one other factor most students forget is time. In the US, students have many options for pursuing Associate’s degrees or preliminary secondary education at a number of different two-year universities. 36 STUDYING IN AMERICA
What’s a junior college? They are called many things: community colleges, junior colleges, and two-year universities. In the United States, the junior college is an educational institution that has existed since the 1970’s, offering students Associate’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates in different fields which might not require a full four years of study. These universities are called community colleges because they often attract students from the local community and tend to be smaller than state schools. However, that doesn’t mean a twoyear university might not be the right choice for an international student. In fact, it is often easier for international students to enrol in community colleges based on the shorter time spent studying, which simplifies the process of providing proof of financial aid for a visa. Community colleges might also appeal to students who are not ready to make a four-year commitment to study in a foreign country. Generally, students graduating from community colleges go on to complete their Bachelor’s at a larger school, or enter the track to the workforce by one of three common degree paths.
Career education Students who attend community colleges in the career education
program usually plan to join the workforce with an Associate’s degree after just two years of study. Popular Associate’s degree major programs include Engineering, Nursing, Applied Business, and Fine Arts. Although most of these majors offer opportunities to continue studying beyond an Associate’s degree, these programs are designed to produce qualified and hireable graduates in just two years time. Transfer education Students pursuing transfer education at a community college are students who wish to fulfil their undergraduate general education requirements at a smaller, and often much more affordable two-year university. Once their two years are up, students then transfer to another university, taking their community college credits with them. In general, this is a very simple process if the two universities are within the same state. Community colleges that are accredited by the state can almost always transfer
credits to any other state university, whereas nationally accredited schools sometimes have trouble with transfer credit. To be safe, you should always double-check any plans for transfer credit with your university first. For many students, this method of study enables a more gradual transition to the college atmosphere while still pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in their selected field.
Industry training education Industry training refers to college courses that are company and jobspecific, and occur when a business has hired the university directly to prepare hireable candidates for jobs within that company. For example, an auto body company that wants to hire qualified and certified welders might commission a community college to create a program that suits their individual needs. Common programs in industry training include Design and Draughting Technology as well as technical courses in professional maintenance.
Benefits for international study Prove less financial aid on your Tier-4 For most American student visas, international students are required to show evidence that they can pay for their study in its entirety. Obviously, this can prove difficult for some students who might not have four years worth of tuition in their bank accounts. For these students, two-year universities mean two less years of study, and four less semesters of financial aid to prove.
Explore overseas study with less commitment to time Like most international students, you might worry about whether studying overseas will be right for you. By attending a community college, international students can commit to spend only two years overseas, just in case studying abroad isn’t a good fit. International students who excel in American universities and wish to continue their studies can transfer to a four-year college to complete a Bachelor’s diploma.
Experience smaller classes and get more individual attention In almost every case, community and two-year colleges are smaller and quieter than most four-year universities. For international students, this means professors have more time for individual students and that class sizes are smaller and more discussion-oriented. Many community colleges have specialized programs to help international students excel in this new classroom environment.
At Lake Land College,
you’re a person, not just a number. • With a low student-to-instructor ratio, you’ll receive personal attention from Lake Land faculty members that you may not find at a four-year institution. • We offer a wide variety of Associate degrees and will provide you with assistance in transferring to the four-year college or university of your choice. • Lake Land offers an Intensive English Language Program for non-native English speakers who do not have adequate English proficiency. No TOEFL required for admission! • Lake Land helps you meet Americans and make new friends, through student organizations and our “Adopt a Student” program, where international students are matched with a family within the community.
Phone: (217) 234-5382
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The state school experience Article by: Tom Miller
I knew I was going to Indiana University from the time I was old enough to know what a college was. My mom had gone there and for her, IU was the only place for me. When it came to time to start looking at schools I did my best to weigh my options, but ultimately I wound up at IU, just as my mom had predicted. You can get a great education anywhere, but there are some key differences between state and private schools. For many students the decision on which school to attend often comes down to money, which is an unfortunate reality of the college search. Class size, quality of programs, and scholarship offerings can also play a big role. Private schools tend to cost more and have smaller classes; a trade off that attracts a huge number every year. For me, what IU lacked in terms of class size it made up for in its lower cost and opportunities. State schools like IU capitalize on their large student bodies, typically offering more classes in more subjects. IU has about 40,000 students, 32,000 of which are undergraduates. Some state schools are larger than that, Ohio state has 41,000 undergraduate students and other state schools are smaller, but in general state schools have higher enrolments than private schools. Being one out of 40,000 can be intimidating and itâ€™s easy to be concerned about getting lost during the application process.
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What I’ve found is that large universities offer students plenty of opportunities to get involved on campus. Those make the university seem much smaller. I joined several clubs and played intramurals my freshman year. Those experiences helped me quickly make friends, and before I knew it I had a network of professors and friends on campus. A great benefit of the large student body is the amount funding that exists for clubs, intramurals, and academic programs. Chances are if you’re interested in something, there’s an outlet for it on campus. Smaller private schools often promise students direct contact with professors and administrators, something many students don’t think they’ll have access to at a large state school. In my experience, professors are eager to meet with students interested in their work
regardless of what school they’re at. I frequently meet with professors in and out of my major and I’ve never had a problem getting in touch with a professor. For professors, a huge part of state schools is their research. A complaint critics sometimes make against professors at state schools is that they are more concerned about their research than their students. I won’t say that I’ve never encountered a professor who was less than interested in their students, but they are the exceptions. In general, students have access to professors who are both relevant in their field and excited about teaching their students. Schools like Ohio State, Indiana University, UCLA, and University of Michigan are some of the most well known schools in the nation. You don’t have to graduate from Harvard or Princeton, to have a prestigious degree. State schools have some of the best professional
and academic programs in America and their reputations are based on this success. To say that state schools are for weaker students is simply not true. In my eyes, what state universities have to offer is the financial backing of the state government along with alumni donations. While the size can be a bad thing for some people it’s important to remember that the larger the university the bigger the chance that people who share your same interests will be there. Many small private schools have only a few ethnic students and do not offer them the same resources they might find at a larger state university. State schools are places of incredible diversity. Since the schools are funded by tax dollars, state schools go to great effort to recruit and encourage minority students to attend. Where a small
private school might have four minority students, state schools have thousands. Minority students often find themselves surrounded by people from similar backgrounds, sometimes for the first time in their life. This diversity can help ease the transition from high school to college and it is one of the great benefits of attending a large university. In the two years I’ve been at IU I have had one great experience after another. Some of the things have been specific to IU, but the majority of them could have happened at other excellent state funded schools. The diversity, the wealth of programs and activities, and the atmosphere that surrounds life at a state college are unbeatable. I’ve never been denied an opportunity at my state school and I’ve never been told to settle for anything less than the best.
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Keeping the faith Education at a religious school Article by: Tom Miller
For students and parents looking for an alternative to the lifestyle commonly associated with large state schools, faith-based universities can be a good choice. Christians founded some of Americaâ€™s most well known universities and that history is what continues to draw thousands of students to private religious universities every year. 40 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Religious universities in the US The Christian church has a long history in the United States. Many of the first Americans were Christians who fled persecution in England for a life in the new world. Early Puritans were well-educated and held degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. It was these men who founded Harvard, America’s first college. Today Harvard is no longer associated with religion, but the school’s founding established the tradition of the private religious liberal arts college. Well respected schools like Notre Dame, Marquette, Loyola, Wheaton, and Pepperdine are continuing the tradition of faith-based liberal arts education. Faith plays a different role at each of these schools. Depending on the college experience you’re looking for you might find that some faith-based schools are too strict or too liberal, so it’s important to understand the role of faith on campus before you get there.
Different types of faith-based schools In the US, saying a school is faith-based could mean different things to different schools. There are essentially three different kinds of religious schools in the US: evangelical universities, non-evangelical universities, and schools with connections to religion. Evangelical schools have extremely strong ties to Christianity and faith is an integral part of campus life and school policy. The term evangelical does not necessarily refer to a specific branch of Christianity; it is used to indicate the visible presence of religion on campus. At many evangelical universities it would be hard to attend if you were not Christian. Schools like Regent University; founded by famous televangelist Pat Robertson, have Christianity at the center of both student and academic life. Non-evangelical schools like Notre Dame and Marquette continue their connection with faith, but students are not expected to share the faith with the school they attend. These universities make it clear in their mission statements that they are looking for students from any background. Schools like Harvard are the least religious, universities founded as a religious school that no longer associate with that religion. Faith is not connected to the university’s mission statement and aside from its historical connection to faith, the university is not religious.
Going to a non-evangelical religious school If you decide to go to an institution connected with faith, but not immersed in it, you can expect to encounter people of different backgrounds. Notre Dame is the most well known Catholic college in America, yet only 52 per cent of the
school’s faculty are Catholic. The school is not controlled by the Catholic Church and students of all faiths are able to attend the university openly. Students are not required to go to mass or church of any variety during their time at the university. There are a large number of schools who follow the same strategy as Notre Dame. Students are encouraged to engage in discussion, both in terms of academics and faith. “I have a ton of friends at school who are different denominations of Christian, atheist, agnostic, and other religions,” said Joey Klinker a junior at St. Louis University. “I definitely think that the school does a good job at keeping the church and education separate. It’s kind of nice, too, that we are technically affiliated, because then we can talk about religion in class. The professors and students recognize the flaws that the church has and discuss them.” That doesn’t mean that faith is totally invisible at these schools. The university president might be a priest or church member, as is the case at Notre Dame, and the board of trustees who oversee the university could also be predominantly Christian. School policies on alcohol consumption and other social topics might be more conservative than at a state school. Some faith-based universities maintain single gender dormitories and don’t allow for guests of a different sex to spend the night. These conservative stances are an extension of the university’s connection with religion. Religion might also influence the campus layout. Many faith-based universities have large churches on campus, and faith-based activities might be more supported than they would be at a public or unaffiliated school. “There are occasional prayer services and some of the teachers will integrate religious teachings or prayer into an assignment,” said Nick Ferran a sophomore at St. Francis University in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Attending an evangelical school Schools with a much stronger connection to faith also demand more from their student’s faith. An evangelical school like Bob Jones University or Regent University is explicitly aimed at Christians. Spiritual growth is an integral part of the college experience at these schools and student life is heavily involved with faith-based activities. These universities hold conservative values and attitudes about social issues and activities. Since Christian faith is deeply connected with the school’s mission statement, students are expected to hold these same values. It would be extremely difficult to attend an evangelical university and not be a Christian because of the deep ties between Christian faith and university policies and attitudes.
Benefits for international study Notre Dame University: Located in Notre Dame, Indiana just north of South Bend, IN, Notre Dame is the nation’s leading Catholic college. Notre Dame has long been known for its successful football program, which was the centre of the film “Rudy”. Despite its connections with Catholicism, Notre Dame is home to students of different faiths and beliefs.
Brigham Young University: A Mormon university system, BYU has campuses in Idaho, Utah, and even Israel. Mormonism is an integral part of the university’s mission statement and the Mormon Church directly funds the school. The university president has always been a member of the Mormon Church.
Marquette University: A Catholic school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Marquette is a well-known Jesuit liberal arts school. Students and faculty of all faiths are welcome, but the school maintains its Catholic character. Students are encouraged to practice faith, but it’s not required. In 2009 CNN named Milwaukee one of America’s great college basketball towns, thanks to Marquette’s athletics program. Regent University: An evangelical university founded by famed conservative Christian Pat Robertson, Regent University has a national reputation for its faith-based education. The school has faculty comprised of graduates from Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins and other prestigious universities. Regent’s law school has seen students defeat Yale and Harvard law schools in national moot court competitions. Harvard University: Founded by Puritans in 1636 as a seminary and college. It wasn’t until the 1870s that Harvard began to distance itself from Christianity. Harvard was one of America’s first colleges and it set the example of the religious university in America. Today Harvard has no affiliation to any religion, but it continues to be one of America’s top institutions.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 41
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PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOLS
Private education Early preparation for US study Article by: Tom Miller
For many students and parents, private schooling offers an alternative to government funded public schools. According to the 2000 US census, about 5 million students enrolled in private primary and secondary schools. Despite the higher cost of a private education, parents are drawn to the religious values or superior academics offered by area private schools. For international students, private schools offer an excellent preparation for an academic career in the US. What is a private school? Since the earliest days of compulsory education in the United States, there has been a debate about the role of private schools in the community. The first private schools in the US were Catholic schools which were created in response to a perceived Protestant control over the public education system. Since those first Catholic schools a number of different types of school have appeared, some religious and others unaffiliated. Private schools exist to offer communities an alternative to their public system and thus are eligible for limited governmental funding. Government funding for religious schools is highly regulated and difficult to obtain which is why students have much higher tuition costs than a traditional public schools.
The benefits of a private education Despite the higher cost of
44 STUDYING IN AMERICA
attending a private school, students at private schools have access to some of the best teachers and programs in the nation. The National Assessment of Educational Progress administered in 2000 revealed that private school students tended to perform better than their public school counterparts overall and students in private high schools performed better than their public school peers in the critical areas of math and science. These impressive test scores are a result of strict academic standards. Private schools require an average of three years of mathematics compared to nearly 2.5 required by public schools. Perhaps the biggest advantage private schools have over traditional public schools is their smaller class sizes. Private schools tend to have fewer students in their classes and more crucially, private schools have a lower student to teacher ratio than public schools. 36 per cent of private schools have a student teacher ratio of 1 to 10. Having fewer students per teacher means that students get the attention they need to succeed academically. This might be one of the reasons why students who graduate from private schools are more likely to graduate from college with a Bachelorâ€™s degree. According to the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, â€œFourth Follow-upâ€? from 2000 shows that 56 per cent of private school students completed a form of higher education by their mid twenties, compared to only 26 per cent of public school students. For many parents the choice to send their child to a private school has more to do with cultural and social ideas than it does with academics. Parochial private schools offer their students an education with a strong religious background. Catholic schools teach students
traditional academics, but with a large amount of theology and moral ideas inserted into everyday education. Since religious schools are connected to a specific religion or church, those religious ideas have a direct influence on what is taught in the classroom. Since its widespread acceptance in the rest of the world, the theory of evolution remains a hot topic in the United States and some religious schools avoid teaching the subject or teach a form of creationism instead.
The benefits of a private secondary education for international students For international students, attending a private school in the US can be an excellent way to prepare for college. Boarding schools like the Emma Willard School for girls and the Lyndon Institute offer international students excellent academics and the opportunity to live in the United States. International students might find it easier to attend boarding schools that have experience working with international students than a traditional private school. 14 per cent of the student body at the Lyndon Institute is international and about 25 per cent of the girls at Emma Willard are international. Other institutes like The Webb schools, the Patterson school and Wasatch Academy all have a significant number of international students. These private boarding schools accept students from around the world and they might be able to give you advice on securing a visa and travelling to the US. Private boarding schools often have excellent academic reputations and attending one can give you the edge over competitive students. For international students attending a private school that understands their needs can make a huge difference in their education.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 45
S O U T H W E S T E R N A CA D E MY “In 8th grade, I learned more about writing in one year than in my entire life. When I received a perfect score, the teacher was so proud of me.”
“We provide something our students would not get in other schools: the small class size, time and patience to work through issues with the students.”
Southwestern Academy oﬀers you Something unique and Special. It’s more than a place to maximize your learning, explore new interests, develop new talents, and prepare for the college of your choice. It’s also a place where you’ll belong. Our close-knit community of students and teachers provides a warm, supportive environment and personal attention. Coming from all over the United States and around the globe, up to 200 students arrive at Southwestern Academy each year to attend grades six through 12. By graduation time, they have prepared for college, expanded their cultural horizons, and made lifelong friendships. They have found a place to belong. Maybe it’s your place, too. CHALLENGING ACADEMICS Southwestern Academy is a place where you can ﬁnd your ﬁt, both academically and socially. The classes are small, from eight to 12 students each, so you won’t get lost in the crowd. You’ll be able to work to your highest potential in classes that are grouped by achievement instead of age. The caring faculty is dedicated to your success. Together, you and your teachers will work hard to prepare you for college…and beyond. TWO UNIQUE CAMPUSES Southwestern oﬀers two distinct environments for you to learn and grow. The San Marino Campus is the picture of historic elegance, set in a safe suburb near Pasadena and metropolitan Los Angeles. In the neighboring state of Arizona,
Beaver Creek Ranch Campus is a nature lover’s paradise just outside the stunning city of Sedona. Because the studies are coordinated between campuses, students can spend a week, a month, or a semester at the other campus without missing any classes. Southwestern Academy is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES Whether you’re interested in painting or hiking, music or volleyball, Southwestern oﬀers exciting opportunities. Creativity is nurtured in a wide variety of arts and music courses, while sports and outdoor activities keep your body as active as your mind. With many diﬀerent clubs, leadership opportunities, and community service, you’ll ﬁnd your place.
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Since 1993 Layton Christian Academy (LCA), one of the largest evangelical Christian schools in Utah, has been educating domestic and international students in grades K-12. The school is within 45 minutes world-renowned snow skiing and a day’s drive of Denver, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
The school has hosted international students for years, graduating students from countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela. International students are either hosted in private homes or in the school’s residential boarding homes. LCA is known for its well-balanced high school program offering 15 varsity sports, speech and debate, music, college credit courses, and an emphasis on character and spiritual growth. The school espouses diversity, with students from many countries and various religious and
Find out more
ethnic backgrounds. This diversity is reﬂected both in the school’s student body and in its faculty. The school is accredited with several organizations and regularly sees its graduating seniors get accepted to high-quality universities. Many of LCA’s international students choose to stay in one of our residential boarding homes. Boarding home students pay a fee that includes tuition, regular school fees, housing fees, and most food costs. Boarding student fees also include standard weekend and holiday activities and transportation to and from the Salt Lake airport.
Layton Christian Academy | 2352 East Highway 193 | Layton, Utah 84040 Phone: 801-771-7141, ext. 540 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.lcaeagle.org
HOWto ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST
How to prepare for your English Language Test More than just flashcards Article by: Kyle Dugger
Each year, nearly 600,000 international students, 4 per cent of college students, choose to broaden their horizons and pursue study in the United States. If those studentsâ€™ first language is anything but English, however, then American universities will need more than just an academic record on the student, they need passing scores in English proficiency. Which test is the best to take, and how long or how hard should you study? 48 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Why standardized English testing? In today’s professional and academic atmosphere, communication is as important as any other vocational skill. In order to study effectively or convey ideas efficiently, students need to be able to communicate with their peers, professors, and co-workers. Universities are aware of this, which is why standardized English testing is a necessary section of the enrolment process for international students whose first language is not English. Different universities hold varying standards, but for the most part this testing can come in any of three forms: the Test of English as a Foreign Language test (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and more recently, the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). In order to pass your English Language test, the key is to be prepared. Each test offers several books, CDs, and sample tests, but with so many prep materials, which is best to ensure you pass your test?
Test prep All three English Language tests offer sample tests, preparatory materials, and even online referrals to some programs meant to strengthen comprehension in foreign students. However, for some test takers, these materials still aren’t enough. According to Chinese international student Hing Chan, relying solely on materials meant to pass the test is a common mistake. “I did read a lot of books [to help me prepare],” said Chan. “[but] I wasn’t really fluent in English at all. Learning English in China was like learning a foreign language like Spanish in an American high school setting.” Like most international students, Chan struggled with adopting English fluently enough to pass a Language test, but he does have some hard-learned lessons for his fellow students.
Foremost, Chan warns against using translator and dictionary programs. “I had a little electronic translator that helped me translate words when I was reading,” said Chan. “But I found out that was a terrible idea because I was relying on that thing too much, so I stopped using it.” Chan also said that reading American literature was a major stepping-stone in understanding certain terms and expressions. However, according to Chan, the most integral tool for learning English is using it in good oldfashioned conversation. “I had no idea what my [American] friends were talking about because of the different slang and usage of words,” said Chan, who like many international students, felt alienated by the language gap when first coming overseas. “Being around my peers and also being that terrible at speaking English actually encouraged me to get better so I could communicate effectively.” As most experts suggest, Chan believes excelling on the English Language test is a combination of not just taking the practice tests and studying, but also utilizing the language and immersing yourself in conversation. The process is demanding and time-consuming, however, the pay-off is success in not just the TOEFL or Pearson test, but also in whatever professional or academic setting English communication might demand. “I’m not quite sure what happened,” said Chan, “but I became fluent enough in English that I started thinking in English instead of Chinese [when I needed to]. It’s sort of hard to explain, but it’s almost like I flipped a switch overnight. All the reasoning, information processing, and all the functioning part in my brain got switched to English.” Chan is currently at Anderson University, studying Math and Music Education.
Breaking down the tests The TOEFL The TOEFL is the oldest English Language test, and is most commonly administered in a form called the Internet-Based Test (iBT), although a paper form is available (pBT). In most countries, students can take the iBT within one to four weeks of scheduling, with results released within 15 business days. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each designed to appraise a student’s command of versatile English: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The iBT is scored between 0 and 120 points. The pBT is administered at fixed intervals, six times a year. The three-hour test consists of four sections: listening, structure and written expression, reading comprehension, and writing. The pBT is scored between 310 and 677 points, with the writing section scored separately between 0 and 6.
The IELTS Over 2,000 academic institutions in the United States, in addition to most other North American universities, accept the IELTS. It is generally administered up to 48 times a year at over 500 test locations in 121 countries. The exam consists of four modules, listening, reading, writing, and speaking, and lasts two hours and 45 minutes for the first three sections. The fourth section, speaking, is appraised independently and can be taken anytime within seven days of the test date. IELTS scores are calculated based on a nine-band scale, which ranks students from 9 (Expert User) to zero. Results are usually available 13 days after the test date.
The PTE Academic The Pearson Test is the newest and most innovative of the English Language tests, and tests students by having them interact via computer with real-world English language scenarios. The test consists of 20 unique items, measuring students’ command of listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. Unlike the TOEFL and the IELTS, the PTE is unique in that it provides universities with an unmarked voice recording of students, which assists universities in appraising true English ability. Another unique element of the Pearson test is turnaround time, with results returned to students usually within five business days. The PTE is administered in over 34 territories worldwide and lasts no more than three hours over a single test session.
Submit your results Your TOEFL, IELTS, and Pearson test scores can all be forwarded to your university straight from the test site. Usually, just ask a test administrator or fill out your university’s information on the test website to ensure your results will be forwarded to the right place. At the end of the exam, TOEFL offers to forward your scores to four universities for free. IELTS will forward them to five, and Pearson sets no limit to the amount of institutions that can receive your information. Should you need to forward your TOEFL or IELTS scores to additional schools, wait for your results and utilize the additional score-reporting feature online.
STUDYING IN AMERICA 49
HOWto ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST
A good way to keep your English Language testing organized is to make a timeline and not miss deadlines. For example, if you were applying to university for the Fall 2011 semester, you could follow the timeline below. Remember, the sooner your scores are submitted, the better. Always contact your administrator for exact deadlines and procedures.
October 11 – Deadline for completing the TOEFL for the fall 2011 semester October 13 – Deadline for completing the IELTS for the fall 2011 semester October 25 – Deadline for completing the PTE Academic for the fall semester
50 STUDYING IN AMERICA
November 1 – Priority deadline for enrolment applications for the fall semester (when application materials, including TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson results should be received by your university)
April 1 – General final deadline for overseas enrolment
August 23 – Official move-in day August 30 – First day of class at an American university
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STUDYING IN AMERICA 51
HOWto CHOOSE CLASSES
Choosing your options For a liberal arts education
Article by: Tom Miller
American students often study numerous subjects at the same time, frequently spending less time on their major than on other subject areas. Highly specialized schools do exist in the U.S., but the tradition of American liberal arts education is a long standing one initiated by some of the most prestigious universities in the world. 52 STUDYING IN AMERICA
A liberal arts education For many international students the idea of a liberal arts education can take some getting used to. The term “liberal arts” refers to the fact that students are required to take different classes across different subjects. In places where education is highly focused on a specific subject, taking classes in unrelated topics might seem strange or maybe even ill advised, but in the U.S., educational variety is a highly respected quality in a student and in a school. Harvard, Princeton and Yale are not only some of America’s premier institutions, they are also great examples of liberal arts universities. Students in the US are expected to have a wide range of knowledge upon graduation from a university and for the majority, general education requirements are where students explore subjects they might not have otherwise. A general education requirement is a class or set of classes a student must take in order to receive a diploma. Subjects like math, history, political science, and the natural sciences are commonly required for students to take. In the US, it is not unusual for a business major to have taken several biology classes or viceversa.
Common problems Students from other countries enter the United States in a unique position depending on the type of schooling they received in their country. International students might be farther ahead than their American counterparts in some areas and behind in others. Unlike other nations, the US does not have a set of standardized practices for education. Education is compulsory from ages 5 to 18, but American students could have vastly different experiences based on where they live. So while international students might not feel prepared for their academic career in the US, many of their
American peers are also facing the same problems. Universities and colleges spend a great deal of time and money educating their students about how to study for classes and how to balance their schedules with extracurricular activities. First year college students especially sometimes struggle to make the adjustment from high school to life in college. American students typically take a variety of classes during their primary and secondary education, but they don’t have access to the range of topics available in college. Many American students struggle with choosing a major because they are constantly being exposed to topics they may have never encountered before. Popular majors like political science, linguistics, and philosophy are not traditionally available outside of colleges and universities. International students who have been given a highly focused education might feel overwhelmed by the range of classes available, but their peers are having the same struggles. Haruna Kobayashi attends university in Japan, but spent her third year in the US. “The most important thing is to make friends,” she said. “My friends gave me a lot of help with my classes, but also with adjusting to life in America.”
you’re dealing with an unfamiliar educational system.
The benefits of general education requirements General education requirements exist to ensure that every student is able to comprehend different subjects at an equal level. If a student cannot test out of a required subject with either a subject offered by the college or a test offered by a private company like the Advanced Placement test, SAT test, or the International Baccalaureate Test, they are obligated to take it. Since schools across the US have varying curriculum, colleges cannot expect every student to come in with similar background knowledge of various subjects. The other aspect of the liberal arts education that surprises many international students is the practice of taking elective classes. It is not uncommon for a student to take weight lifting or scuba diving or even basket weaving. Students typically do not take a lot of elective classes in a subject unrelated to their areas of study,
but taking a few totally unrelated classes is a common practice. Universities often encourage students to take classes in a subject they know nothing about to see if they enjoy the subject or not. It’s not uncommon for American students to change their major several times before they graduate and while most students wouldn’t change their major to basket weaving after taking a class on it, they might be inspired to study astronomy or folklore after filling a general education requirement in the area.
A flexible education American students often change prospective careers during their education and many students prefer a liberal arts education to a professional degree because of the broad range of skills it provides them with. Instead focusing their education on a particular trade, students are able to learn a skill set that allows them to succeed in a range of jobs. It might seem odd at first to see students taking classes in racquetball, but it’s just a healthy exercise in the liberal arts.
Some international students on the other hand have no problem at all taking classes in the US. Sevil Mahfoozi obtained her undergraduate degree in Iran before pursuing her Master’s degree in Journalism at Indiana University. “The number of courses being offered might be a bit more at IU than in Iran but there isn’t that much difference,” she said. “The education system is very strict in Iran, especially in public schools. You have to work really hard for your grades.” Those skills Sevil developed in her home country helped her succeed in the US. Having good study habits goes a long way, even when
STUDYING IN AMERICA 53
HOWto CHOOSE CLASSES
Advice exchange with Haruna Kobayashi Haruna Kobayashi is currently a senior at Nanzan University. After spending her third year abroad at Indiana University, she returned home to finish her degree in International Studies.
Tips for success Make friends: Having a support network of friends not only makes it easier to study for class work, but also to adjust to life in the US. Living in a dormitory makes it easy to study with people, so donâ€™t be afraid to ask for help from students living on your floor. Classes and your dorm floor are great places to make friends. Having great friends on campus can make a big impact on your success in class. Go to oďŹƒce hours: In Japan I never went to office hours, but I realized how beneficial they were while I was in the US. Professors and associate instructors are great resources. Every time I saw a professor during their office hours I learned a lot and I always felt welcome to come back another day. Use academic resources: At IU I frequently utilized the Writing Tutorial Service offered in my dorm. American professors expect different things in an essay than Japanese professors, and the students at the Writing Tutorial Service centre were able to give me a lot of great advice on how to format and write my essays. They helped me with the content of my essays and were able to help me develop my English grammar, as well. Plan Your Schedule: I had a lot more homework in America than I did in Japan. It can be crazy! I had to really stay on top of my work to keep up with the class. It can be very difficult, but the system definitely makes students prepared for the work world. I had a lot of deadlines to deal with, but I never dealt with them alone. During my time at IU I was almost never alone, whether it was studying in the library with a friend or working on a project at my dorm, I tried my best to work with other students.
54 STUDYING IN AMERICA
A sample liberal arts degree Something to keep in mind when planning your classes is that certain courses often count in two areas. For example your second concentration might be Mathematics, so you would fulfil your Math requirements while fulfilling your secondary area requirements. Minimum total credit hours for a degree: 123 Required number of credit hours required outside of your degree: 65 Number of hours at upper course levels: 40 Number of required English hours: 6 Number of Mathematics hours required: 6 Number of Foreign Language hours: 12 Number of Arts and Humanities hours: 9 Number of Social and Historical hours: 9 hours Number of Mathematical and Natural Science hours: 9 Number of Culture Studies Hours: 9 Number of hours in Major: 40 Number of hours in second concentration:30 This is not an approximation of an average degree - it is not exact and should only be used a reference.
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Programs BUSINESS & MBA
Diversify your skillset Business and MBA programs Article by: Kyle Dugger
In a world where business management is increasingly at the forefront of emerging industry, companies are more interested than ever in professionals trained to handle a variety of different fields. A Master’s of Business Administration degree (MBA) is a comprehensive degree program that specializes in marketing, accounting, operations management, human resources, and corporate strategy. Unlike specifically targeted Master’s degrees in certain fields, such as an exclusive Master’s in marketing, MBA students are provided general instruction in a versatile and wide array of business skills, still geared toward a specific concentration. 56 STUDYING IN AMERICA
What is an MBA exactly? MBA degrees are most commonly targeted at managers and other key personnel with their hands in many facets of a business. Rather than specialists in certain fields of industry, MBA holders are equipped to handle several areas of expertise. So, instead of an HR rep with a Master’s in Human Resources who only deals with HR, an MBA would handle some affairs for HR, but also facilitate other departments.
MBA concentrations Despite focusing on general training in most key areas of a company, MBA programmes still offer concentrated areas to appeal to a student’s particular skills and interests. Most commonly, these concentrations include accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, real estate, strategy, and international business. Most MBA diplomas require students to dedicate around a third of their
course load to their intended concentration. Generally, students from many different academic backgrounds pursue MBA diplomas because of the vast array of possible concentrations offered by the programs.
Time frames Most commonly, MBA programs take around two years, or 18 months of study, to complete. These general diploma tracks fall into one of four major categories: full-time MBAs, accelerated MBAs, part-time MBAs, and executive MBAs. Full-time MBAs are the most common, and generally require work experience and classes during the normal workweek. Accelerated MBAs, as their name might suggest, are more demanding but faster programs than full-time MBAs. Accelerated
programs offer fewer and shorter breaks than a normal academic timeframe, and enable students to complete their degree more quickly. While accelerated MBAs generally require less than two years of study, the coursework and dedication required from students is significantly higher than those in more relaxed programs. Part-time MBAs generally meet for class during evenings in the workweek, offering students the chance to work a job or tend to some alternative responsibility during regular hours. Due to the less demanding schedule, however, part-time MBAs can take up to three years or more to complete. Usually, professionals already in a job will pursue a parttime MBA in order to flesh out their CV or widen their range of professional opportunities. Finally, executive MBAs, or EMBAs, are programs custom tailored for executives and businesspeople that already have full-time jobs, but still want to continue their studies. Generally, students in EMBA programs have more professional work experience than other MBA students. The decision of which program to take varies greatly from student to student, and is dependent on a number of different scheduling and academic factors. For advice on which diploma path is right for you, it’s always best to consult with a counsellor or advisor from your university.
Is an MBA worth the cost?
In the city of leaders, there’s always room for one more.
Based on 2010 estimates of course fees in the US and UK, an MBA is one of the most expensive postgraduate degrees available, costing as much as $50,000 in tuition fees alone. Of course, tuition rates fluctuate from university to university, however, there is little question about the high cost of obtaining an MBA compared to other degree programs. For most students, the question then becomes, is achieving an MBA worth the high cost? A look at the long-term benefits offered to MBA graduates provides a clear answer. According to a National Association of Colleges & Employers’ Job Outlook survey in 2007, employers that recruit MBA graduates hired 22 per cent more of them in 2007 than in 2006. This trend of greater corporate reliance on MBA graduates is only increasing. For students already in the job market an MBA can mean a significant increase in salary, some experts estimate the increase as high as 25 per cent. While the startup tuition fees of obtaining an MBA are high, the end payoff is a more substantial annual salary and the potential for faster corporate advancement.
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STUDYING IN AMERICA 57
Programs GAME PRODUCTION
Designs on a future in
Game production Article by: Emily Crane
Computer and video game production is an up and coming career that attracts many students, international and domestic, across the United States. Pulling students from many different areas and disciplines, a career in game production offers a high level of attraction for individuals with varying levels of skills in computer/ technical work, graphic design, science and math, art and drawing, and so much more. A flexible degree A good degree in this field should introduce students to multiple aspects of games production including analysis, design and production management of computer games. Games production programs should also provide a broad foundation in computing and creative technologies to prepare students to enter the industry. Students can develop skills and demonstrate their creativity in disciplines such as 3D modelling and animation, computer games design and implementation, project management and quality assurance. Studying games production provides the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, and competence not only in traditional game production, but also in written and verbal communication, project management and team collaboration, which can be applied to interactive media and post-production industries. The different disciplines involved in games production help to give students a range of professional and transferable skills that can be applied both in the games industry and beyond. Recently, games production programs have become increasingly more
58 STUDYING IN AMERICA
flexible in their administration. In response to growing popularity of online learning, which offers international students the chance to earn a high quality qualification without the expense and upheaval of re-locating, games production is now offered as an online degree. Interaction with professors is only a click away and provided you have the software available at home to complete your assignments, there is no reason why studying games production cannot be done from the comfort of your own home.
Course content What is covered in any games production degree will vary according to the particular policies and experience of the faculty within the school. As an example, the International Academy of Design and Technology offers students the opportunity to develop their creative talents in the following areas: • Advanced Modeling • Survey of Game Industry • Game Theory & Mechanics • Business Concepts of Game Industry • Drawing Techniques • Digital Imaging • User Interface • Principles of Design • Storyboarding & Storytelling • Texturing & Lighting
• Game Animation • Game Play Scripting • Web Game Development • Level Design • World Building • Sound Design • Game Production
Degree checklist With any degree choice, there are many factors to consider. Many of these can be applicable to a wide range of courses, however, there are some questions specific to games production that you should ask any prospective institution: • What does the game production program cover? Always check that a program is going to help you gain the skills you need. Your game production training should help qualify you for an entry-level job in the industry. A good way to check this is to look for job listings, and then compare the requirements to the curriculum of the program. A good program will adapt to meet the needs of an ever-changing industry like game design. • Are the tools of the program up to date? When you are earning a game production degree, it is vital that you work with the tools and
technology that is current in the industry. When applying for your first job in the industry, you need to show evidence that you are fully competent in the technology they are using. In such a fast-moving industry, selecting a program that offers you access to state of the art resources is crucial. • What will my career prospects be like? Getting your foot in the door in the video game industry, even with a qualification in game production, can be tricky. Look for schools that have strong ties with the industry and find out where college alumni have gone after graduation. Many schools will help you locate job opportunities and internships using their connections to the industry.
The role of a game producer The job role of producer specifically for games was established in the early 80s and has since been defined in a huge variety of ways by different teams and companies. There may be many positions within the industry that are referred to as ‘producer’. Producers can be internal to the company or external. Internal producers tend to have a more hands-on role perhaps working for the developer on one game or a few small games at any time. External producers may act as executive producers meaning that their responsibilities focus mainly on overseeing several projects worked on by a number of developers. They keep updated on the progress of the
game design development and form part of the upper management. There are also line producers who concentrate on project scheduling and costing to ensure games are delivered on time and on budget. Your first job as a producer is more likely to be internal. As an internal producer you can expect to have the following responsibilities to ensure the timely delivery and final quality of the game: • Negotiate contracts, including licensing deals • Liaise between the development staff and the publisher or executives • Develop and maintain schedules and budgets • Oversee creative and technical development
• Schedule quality assurance testing • Arrange for beta testing and focus groups • Arrange for localization
Salary expectations According to the 9th Annual Survey conducted by Game Developer magazine this year, game producers are the third top earners out of game development positions. Associate Producers with less than three years experience earn an annual average of $43,800 while those between three and six years of experience earn an average of $55,700 annually. Executive producers with over six years of experience earn an average of $103,000 a year.
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STUDYING IN AMERICA 59
Programs GOLD MANAGEMENT
Golf management Make leisure your career
60 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Article by: Tom Miller
In today’s tenuous job market a degree that boasts 100 per cent job placement is sure to attract a lot of attention. For students pursuing the PGA golf management degree, the guarantee of a job working around the game they love is a dream come true. Getting a degree in golf management Combining parts of business, marketing, sports management, and parks and recreation, the PGA golf management program offers students a career in the world of professional golf. Since 1996 nearly 8,000 students have graduated from one of the 20 universities offering the degree. Those 8,000 students were able to easily move from their education into their jobs, a process many recent college graduates struggle with. The PGA regulates the golf industry and since each of the 20 universities offering degrees in golf management are certified by the PGA, students can feel confident in the PGA’s claim of 100 per cent job placement.
How it works The golf management program is a combination of university classes and internships. Throughout their degree students get real world experience through internships. The degree takes between four and a half and five years to complete because students spend several semesters as interns. In order to graduate, students must pass the Playing Ability Test and the PGA checkpoint tests to ensure they are prepared for a job in the industry. Getting such a wide background of skills and experiences makes graduates valuable to employers in the industry.
What does a golf manager do? Upon completing their degree in golf management, students
become certified members of the PGA. This certification makes students eligible for different jobs throughout the golf industry. Students with degrees in golf management have gone on to work at golf courses and resorts, manage a retail golf store, and even work at PGA headquarters. Students who graduate with a degree in golf management combine their love for the game of golf, with the business skills necessary for a successful career in the golf industry.
Interested in golf management? The PGA has certified 20 universities to offer a golf management program. Penn state, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and Florida State University are among the wellknown colleges that currently offer the degree. The PGA certifies all 20 schools, but each school has different course requirements, so not every program is exactly the same. Students in the golf management program are expected to develop solid academic skills outside of their major through general education requirements. Since the programs at each of the 20 universities are so focused on golf, students are able to develop a real sense of camaraderie with their classmates. “Most of my classes have at least 2-10 PGA students,” said Kai Aoki a student at UNLV’s golf management program “which makes for a very entertaining class.”.
Combining golf management with business and marketing Business administration and marketing are two popular subjects commonly associated with golf management. Some programs require students to take classes in those areas while others allow students to pick up minors in them. The skills found in marketing and business classes are extremely useful in the field of golf management. The degree is sometimes even offered by business schools, allowing students to graduate with a business school degree as well as the certificate in golf management.
Golf management around the world Students at the University of Birmingham have access to one of England’s most unique degrees. The golf management program at Birmingham defers from the US programs by offering students academic courses on theoretical sciences applied to golf. Students take courses from a mixture of subjects including physics, business, coaching, and equipment technology. Like their American counterparts, students in the Birmingham degree spend time working with the PGA. As students progress throughout the degree they take classes in event management, physiotherapy, and finance. Students who have completed the three-year program have gone to work at golf facilities around the world and in the UK, as well as obtaining Master’s degrees.
American universities offering golf management • Arizona State University • Campbell University • Clemson University • Coastal Carolina University • Eastern Kentucky University • Ferris State University • Florida Gulf Coast University • Florida State University • Methodist University • Mississippi State University • New Mexico State University • North Carolina State University • Penn State University • Sam Houston State University • University of Central Oklahoma • University of Colorado, Colorado Springs • University of Idaho • University of Maryland Eastern Shore • University of Nebraska, Lincoln • University of Nevada Las Vegas
STUDYING IN AMERICA 61
• Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees • Practical, Career-Focused Education • ESOL Online or On Campus • Golf Management Degree Program • Small Classes with Individualized Attention • 15 Campuses in Florida and one in Shanghai
50 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Questions from the Studying in America Group on Facebook Just in time to go along with our re-launched website, we’ve started answering your questions on our Studying in America Group on Facebook. Students from around the world have been posting their questions and we’ve been giving them the best advice we can! Here are some questions from the Wall. Saifur Rahman Khan
I am a Bangladeshi pharmacist and want to persue a PhD in the USA. I took the GRE exam recently. Unfortunately, I got very low score, 1020, Quantitative 710 & verbal 310. I have four years of experience and some publications, what suggestions do you have to help me get into a good program?
I will graduate from college in Egypt in a few years, but I’d like to start planning to study in America now. What should I do?
Studying in America Saifur makes a great point about the importance of the GRE. Although some schools don’t require students to take the GRE, many schools do and having a good GRE score can go a long way when applying for graduate school. There are two common tests, the GRE and the GMAT. Both are standardized tests that test students in different subject areas. The GRE is comprised of three parts: Verbal, Analytical, and Quantitative. The two main parts of the test, verbal and quantitative, are scored from 200-800. The analytical section is scored 0-6. Scores are not the be all and end all of your application, but they can be a huge asset. Ideally you should aim to score above 400. Saifur actually did quite well on quantitative, so retaking the GRE after doing some studying might not be a bad idea. A good score combined with unique experiences makes for a stand out application. If re-taking the GRE gets rid of the only blemish on your application, it is probably a good idea.
Studying in America It’s always good to start planning things early, especially your academic plans in America. You need to figure out a few things first: Where in the US do you want to study? What do you want to study? What can you afford? Those three questions will direct your search more than anything else. If you’re serious about studying in the US, you will need to take either the SAT or GRE depending on whether your studying undergraduate or postgraduate, and you will need to apply for a visa. While you cannot apply for a visa years in advanced, it would be wise to become familiar with the process before your application window opens so you’ll be prepared for any problems you might encounter.
Studying in America answers questions from students all around the world. Whatever you need help with, our Studying in America Group on Facebook, Twitter account, and newly launched website (www.studyoverseas.com) make for great resources in your college search. STUDYING IN AMERICA 63
Dear Studying In America... Choosing to study in the USA as an international student can be both exciting and a bit daunting. Luckily, Studying in America understands the worries that students have and is here to help. Dear Studying In America,
Dear Studying In America,
I’m thinking about going to the United States for graduate school, but I’m worried about getting around to my classes and other activities. I don’t have money for a car. How easy is it to get around without a vehicle?
I’d really like to study in the United States, but having a social life is still very important to me. One thing I love about where I live is the parties, clubs, concerts, and things to do. What’s the social scene like in the US and on college campuses?
Rika Miyake, Japan Rika, you certainly wouldn’t be alone even among domestic students going to college without a car. On most college campuses, only a small per cent of students have vehicles of their own. The majority of students rely on walking and the usually excellent public transportation system offered by their university or city to get to classes and around town. In most cases, students with university identification are even offered free or highly discounted rates on the local buses. If you’re concerned about bus fares or scheduling, you could also consider bicycling on campus. Riding a bike to school or work is popular in college cities, and most facilities are very accessible and offer bike racks just outside. Who knows, you might even get the opportunity to meet new friends who also enjoy cycling. The most important thing to remember about on-campus transportation is that American universities understand the needs of both international and domestic students, and make every effort to ease any problems that might arise out of transportation issues. If transportation is your only worry about studying in America, then it sounds like the US is right for you.
Frank Reinecke, Germany Frank, while American universities are dedicated and professional centers of academic activity, they are also the scene for what most Americans call the best years of their lives. From rock concerts, full-blown DJ house parties and free salsa dancing classes to poetry readings, intellectual speakers, and intramural sports, the American college experience is about a blend of academia and social success. After all, successful people are usually interesting as well as capable, equipped with the rich experiences and people skills born out of at least some adventure. For more information on getting involved with social groups on campus, you could ask a resident assistant or attend callout meetings for university clubs and organizations. It might sound too good to be true, but there are literally more things to do on a university campus than you could ever accomplish before you graduate. Rest assured, Frank, studying abroad in America is not only an opportunity to excel academically and sharpen your professional skills, but you’ll have the time of your life while doing it.
If you have any worries about studying in the USA, then why not let Studying In America help. E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org 64 STUDYING IN AMERICA
Issue 4 Volume 2
Barry University .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. .SIA 42 Belk College of Business ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .SIA 57
Central Michigan University .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. .SIA 31
College of Charleston.. Studying in. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. .SIA 23
DePaul University Chicago .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 20
Eastern Illinois University ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 39 International Academy of Design and Technology ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 59
Kaplan University... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . . IFC
Keiser University ... .in .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 62 Studying �
Lake Land College .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. .SIA 37
Layton Christian Academy ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 47
McCallie... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . OBC Mercer University ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... SIA 55
Southwestern Academy ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 46 The Chronicle of Higher Education ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 07 The College Community of St. Norbert ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... SIA 28 The University of Louisiana, Monroe... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 25 University of Illinois at Chicago... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 50 University of Nevada, Reno ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... SIA 16 Washington University in St. Louis – Biology and Biomedical Sciences.. . .. . .. . .. .SIA 21 Western Carolina University ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .SIA 51 Westminster College Fulton, Missouri .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. .SIA 17 You can also read this new edition online at: www.web-markets.net/library/online/sia/4_2/001
Studying in America is targeted at students seeking a course in the USA. It is a printed magazine with a corresponding e-magazine and websit...
Published on Apr 18, 2011
Studying in America is targeted at students seeking a course in the USA. It is a printed magazine with a corresponding e-magazine and websit...