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Schools Can I study in USA after I have dropped out in EU university?

  1. Apr 17, 2012 #1
    Hi, I am from Spain. I have dropped out from a university (2 years of medicine in Spain without any degree) and now after 4 years I would like to study a completely different subject and that's physics (or theoretical physics if possible) in the United States.

    Is this possible or I have no chance at all?

    Which universities/colleges in the States allow me to study there if I studied unsuccessfully for 2 years in EU university?

    Which unis are the most affordable/best for foreign students?

    I'm going to do TOEFL test in 2013 and at that time I think I would have money for 3 years (if the payment for 1 year is no more than 20 000 dollars) to get a Bachelor degree.

    But I am concerned about the previous unsuccessful study here in EU.

    I would like to fill an application in 2013 or 2014 (depends on my English improvement and my TOEFL score and also on my financial status at that time ;)

    So, any advice or personal experience is highly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2012 #2


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    Yes, it's certainly possible to enroll in a college in the US. You'd be majoring in physics (theoretical physics is not a major). When you apply, they will consider your high school grades and test scores (you'll need to take the SAT, and possibly TOEFL as well) and your college grades, even if you dropped out and even if you won't transfer any classes. Poor grades in college will hurt your application, so if you had poor grades you might not want to aim too high when applying to colleges in the US. I doubt you'll find a school where you can pay for tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, and food for 20k a year. It can easily cost twice that or more.
  4. Apr 17, 2012 #3
    Thanks. With 20.000 I meant only tuition and books not living, public transport or food.

    Which college would you recommend in my situation?
  5. Apr 17, 2012 #4
    Actually, if you can afford that much, you may want to look at Minnesota State University Moorhead and Bemidji State University. The latter actually costs ~15k USD, including room and board! I don't know how "good" these colleges are but my understanding is that most American colleges are good enough.

    Certain colleges who are part of SUNY and/or CUNY might cost around that much as well. I believe SUNY Plattsburgh is one of them.
  6. Apr 17, 2012 #5
    But... but... that's an awful lot of money. What's so special about the US that you want to pay so much for it? :confused:
  7. Apr 17, 2012 #6
    I would like to continue studying on some other university in the US after I get a Bachelor degree, or I would like to start working there and living too. I know that I can study e.g. in UK or Spain too, but the job market, possibilities and many other things are better, in my opinion, in the USA.
  8. Apr 17, 2012 #7
    Thanks a lot for these suggestions, I will check them.
  9. Apr 17, 2012 #8
    Well, although I agree that there is of course 'the American dream' that makes many people want to study in the USA, I can't agree with that sentence. I'm not trying to criticize - if you want to go to the USA, I'm not stopping you - but I'm hoping you're doing it for good, informed reasons.
  10. Apr 17, 2012 #9
    Given the economic climate in Spain, I would absolutely agree with him that his chances are far better in the estados unidos...
  11. Apr 17, 2012 #10
    Well as a fellow Spaniard who has worked and studied in the US for over 8 years, I can assure you the situation is infinitely better for the average Joe in America than for the average Juan in a country where 1 in every 4 is out of a job and most university graduates with 10+ years of work experience earn less than a high school waiter in a NJ smalltown.

    samnathan: Have you considered studying undergraduate physics in the UK? It would probably be easier to get in, not to mention a lot cheaper, and you could apply for graduate school in the US if that's what you want. Foreign undergraduate students in US universities pay much higher tuition fees than state residents, plus you would have to get a student visa. I'm guessing you would also need to take the SAT, whereas in your situation I *think* you could get into a UK university without entrance exams (nor visa worries).
  12. Apr 17, 2012 #11
    I'm not desputing that, but there are other places in the EU to study, too, and some of them can be much cheaper. Again, I'm not saying he (or she?) shouldn't go to the USA. I'm just wondering why he/she wants to go to the USA specifically, and whether it's worth the additional cost.
  13. Apr 17, 2012 #12


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    Why not study in Spain? You are not going to work anyway, but study. I don't follow. Doesn't Spain gives subsidized education for their students, and you end up paying nickels? sorry pesetas?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  14. Apr 17, 2012 #13
    Undergraduate education is indeed very cheap by comparison(1000-1500€ for a full academic year), but I think the concern is career prospects upon graduation. Not much of that in Spain (hence why I'm doing my final year in the UK before having a crack at US grad school/work force(as I am legally able to work there) ). I'm guessing he's also worried about graduating in a timely fashion, and most of the renown physics faculties in the country have a median career completion time of around 8 years (I know several physicists who have taken even longer, due to no fault of their own).

    Btw, pesetas have long been replaced by the Euro

    Edit: By the way, samnathan: if you complete an undergraduate degree in the UK, you will have lived their for at least 3 years, making you eligible for phd studentships. Something to consider.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  15. Apr 17, 2012 #14
    Yes, I was thinking about the UK as my second option too. Which universities in the UK (physics, astrophysics) in UK would you recommend to me? Are in the UK any objective tests when applying (physics,math, etc.) or just subjective opinion of the commision whih decide if I am in or not?
  16. Apr 17, 2012 #15
    I don't know many UK universities but Nottingham, Durham and UCL (I wonder why? :))come to mind as far as physics/astrophysics goes. I can't really answer your 2nd question, try searching individual university websites for their admission requirements for EU students.
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