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Choosing a good college

  1. Jan 5, 2013 #1
    i am from Greece and my name is Anthony Kalogirou and i am in year 12 (17 years old )
    In May i am taking my exams so i can enroll myself at the Greek physic university .

    From a little kid i always loved maths and physics so from my early age i decided to become a physicist . I have read a lot of physic books about relativity , quantum physics and understood that quantum physics attracted me most. One of my dreams is to get my masters at a foreign university
    As my mother was born in Australia and i have lived there for 3 years i am also a Australian citizen and i have been told that R-mit is a great university .
    Except from physics i also love playing basketball so i would rather go to a univeristy that competes in a good basketball league
    I always thought that Chicago would be a great option as the city has Tevatron but i would like if you could recommend more universities that i could study ...
    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2013 #2
    If you are looking for the University names then go to World University Ranking, All the top ten university is good for Physics Graduate Study.
  4. Jan 5, 2013 #3
    yes but you see i am not satisfied with only their place in the world ranking ..
    1st) as i told you i would like be suitable in teaching quantum physics
    2nd) if it is an american i would like it to participate in NCAA perhaps as i also love basketball or if non american if it has a basketball team !!!
  5. Jan 5, 2013 #4
    Studying at an Australian university would be incredibly easier for you. I am not trying to discourage you, but getting admitted into a US university/college with financial aid, as an international student, is incredibly hard. If that is what you want though, by all means go for it.

    But if I were an Australian citizen, I would have only applied to a handful of US colleges (probably Reed, CalTech, MIT, Chicago, Columbia and Swarthmore), and if I hadn't gotten in (which is incredibly likely), I would have gone to Australia with no regrets.

    Not sure which are the best, but my cousin who went to one in the Group of 8 swears by them. Case in point, last year's Nobel Prize in physics works at the ANU...if that means anything to you, or if that is any indicator of quality.

    At any rate, if going to the USA is what you want, then be prepared to apply to a *wide* range of schools. The more money that you have, the more options you have. UIUC, and The University of Michigan are fine colleges to study at. Studying at a community college and then transferring to a 4-year college is another wonderful, and relatively cost efficient option. BUT, if you can't afford more than 25 thousand dollars per year, then you cannot consider them. Arguably, you could go to one of the cheapest community colleges for international students (not necessarily the same as those with the cheapest rates for out-of-sate students), but eventually you'd have to transfer.

    So, if you're low on cash, admissions is incredibly competitive, and only a select few schools can provide financial aid for you. As a rule of thumb, those are the top 60-ish liberal arts colleges (as per the US News Rankings - word of advice: don't pay too much attention to them, unless you want to work in business consulting or investment banking) , and some of the big name schools, like the MIT, Stanford, UChicago, CalTech, Duke, and the Ivy League.

    Next, admissions isn't just based on grades alone. In general, having mostly As is good. If you don't have mostly As, that's not the end of the world, but the odds are against you. International applicants applying for aid are placed in a more competitive pool. Even at colleges with acceptance rates above 40%, the acceptance rate for international students drops to 10% or below. (Whitman, for example)

    Of importance are also the SAT Reasoning Test, and SAT Subject Tests. (neither is required, but the former is required at most of the aforementioned colleges, and is a de-facto requirement for international students requiring aid) You need great scores on those too. Shoot for 700+ on every section.

    Back to admissions. It's meant to be "holistic." So, everything is considered. Application essays, supplement essays and short-answers (where applicable), activities (the more "high impact", the better - i.e, graded papers for my teacher? no big deal. won physics olympiad? much bigger deal), teacher recommendations, and the headmaster/counselor recommendation.

    I think that's about it. If there's anything else you don't know, ask. BUT, before you do that, Google it. In fact, everything I've said could have been found by a simple Google search, but I didn't want to discourage (as so many have (not on PF, but the US Embassy and "friends"!), when I was 17) you, and took out 10 minutes to write this post.

    Good luck!
  6. Jan 5, 2013 #5
    You have helped me allot ...
    believe me i searched that type of information at google along before i encouraged my self to ask here ...
    first of all .. I was thinking of graduating first from the univeristy of athens and then try to get my masters in a foreign one..
    I sent a email to the secretary of the physic deparment in athens and she told me that graduates with at least 6/10 or 7/10 score can easily get a full or a half scholarship for their masters abroad ..
    i kind of prefer the american ones because i also want to try my luck in basketball and the ncaa league is a good opportunity ... Thats why i dont want to look for English universitiew like Cambridge or oxford ...
    Look basketball and science is my life and i cant live without either one ... as i much as i train as a player i also study physics and maths .. i cant separate them .. i don't believe Australia can give me this opportunity but i am going to search it ...
    However Australia as i am a citizen can give me the money to enroll myself in one australian university and pay it back i after i graduate
    financially my family isn't so strong to pay 25 thousand and more each year i think i can cover the bill with a job ....
    thanks though !!!!
  7. Jan 6, 2013 #6
    If you want a solid education in physics, then most European physics programs can give you that. A friend of mine, whom I actually met over physics forums, studied at the University of Leipzig (B. Sc Physics), and was accepted for part III at Cambridge.

    I don't know whether you'd get an experience that is similar to the US, but the UK and Oz, would give you a solid education, in addition to the opportunity to play basketball. That said, this is something that you should research on your own. EU citizens can study in European countries fir very little!
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