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Greek student help

  1. Feb 23, 2010 #1

    I am a junior high school student in greece, and i want to apply to a college in the U.S or UK .

    I am going to study Electrical engineering and computer science ,because i have always been passioned about electronics , programming and physics . I have also worked on them as part of my free time.I am
    studying c/c++,I design several electronic circuits, and trying to find more time to explore further physics and mathematics.
    I want to apply to some very competitive universities like MIT which is the best in that category.

    Now ,about my grades , i have several problems with language.Especially with classic greek.I just cant do well with it, but i don't want it to harm my image.
    However i am very good at English , I am going for FCE next month and i will go for my advanced or proficiency degree next year.

    I would also like to know if this year's grades are visible in my aplication, and if they are, how can it harm the general image?

    Am i supposed ot take SAT and /or TOEFL to go there , when should i start my preparation?

    Don't forget i aim to go to some very competitive universities.

    I am ready to do a lot of work if i have to , i just want you to give me some guidance achieving my goals.

    Plz help me.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2010 #2
    Actually, Rose Hulman is the best school in the country for Computer Engineering, (it's undergrad only/teaching, so it doesn't get much prestige) and Carnegie Mellon is the best for Computer Science. The MIT program is really good (they do some awesome cross disciplinary work), but not the best. Look through some other threads for the full discussion on prestige/MIT/research universities/etc.

    It'll matter, but it may not kill your application. As long as your record is otherwise strong and you're not getting Cs, you'll probably have a shot of sorts.

    One the major reasons I didn't get into a school was probably 'cause of my senior year calculus grades. Schools see everything on your high school transcript except your last term grades, (even the schools that take you in early decision often want to see grades and can revoke offers if the grades drop).

    You need to take the SATs before you apply to most US schools, so give yourself enough time to retake them. Take a look at the college board website so that you can get a feel for when the exam is offered in your area of the world. TOEFL depends on the school; it should be on the website, otherwise call the admissions people. You register for the TOEFL through the ets website, again take a look for dates. Some schools may not require the TOEFL, but may put you in an ESL (English as a Second Language) course if you haven't taken it.
  4. Feb 23, 2010 #3
    Thanks for the reply

    Thanks for the information.
    The reason I told you about MIT is because of the cross Disciplinary program.I dont want only a CS or EE program, I want both (thats why i chose CE).
    There is the problem ,my greek grades are C's, analogously because we have a 20 point scale, here in greece.
    My 1st term GPA was 16/20 which goes to B.
    shot of s
    Here in Greece we have a three year high-school , so 9th grade belongs to junior high.Is it visible?

    Ok ,so I should take SATs at the year I apply ?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  5. Feb 23, 2010 #4
    By cross discipline, I mean how they integrate with psychology and other social sciences. Computer Engineering isn't really cross discipline, and both Rose Hulman and Carnegie Mellon have better programs, as do many other schools. Cornell has a great robotics program (and has a good reputation-I rarely hear anybody saying that they hate Cornell) and Stanford has done some interesting things. There are lots of schools out there, including international ones, worth looking at for Computer Engineering.

    Only if you send in that transcript, so probably not.

    Summer before, but give yourself enough time to retake.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  6. Feb 23, 2010 #5
    Please be aware of how long the odds of getting into MIT are as a foreign student. Take a look at http://web.mit.edu/registrar/stats/geo/index.html for some statistics... there are a grand total of *2* Greek undergraduate students. Since an undergraduate degree takes 4 years, this means that on average, they let in one Greek student every other year.

    It's a long shot in the best of cases... by all means apply, but realize that it's only one step away from buying a lottery ticket.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  7. Feb 24, 2010 #6
    Ok ,yes I see your point.But I think it is worth the effort.And of course MIT is not the only choice.

    Yes , I 've heard something like that for MIT, and i can say I like the idea to have something more than just a engineering knowledge.
    You ,mean the summer after Junior grade.What is the required knowledge for that won't it require material from senior year ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  8. Feb 24, 2010 #7
    Math goes up to trigonometry, English is much more general.
  9. Feb 24, 2010 #8
    MIT's admission website keeps many blogs in which people from the admissions give advice or answer questions from applicants. I've once read in them that there are some things in applications that are "deal breakers" and those applications won't have a chance. The only deal breaker mentioned in that particular post was "having too many Ds". (The applications which had it were eliminated in their first evaluation. Remember: in MIT's admission your application will be evaluated around 12 times). I doubt they are really going to eliminate you because you had bad grades in Classical Greek. However, having too many bad grades will surely hurt a lot your application, even if you perform really well in standardized tests (I also want to go to some competitive colleges in US: in general, their admission pages say they will pardon a not-so-good score if you have good grades, but won't pardon bad grades even if you perform well in tests). Good news is that they also tend to pardon bad grades or a lower performance if you show them you have focused in some other area.

    Even if you are extremely focused and talented in one area, remember that colleges usually require two teacher evaluations. MIT, for instance, requires one teacher who taught you a subject in the sciences (math, physics, biology, etc) and one that taught you a subject in the humanities (Foreign language, History, Greek (in you case etc)). So, if you don't give much dedication in the humanities, besides hurting your transcript, you may be hurting your teacher evaluation too. It may be hard for you to understand greek, history and stuff (I suffer the same problem with languages), but you must put some effort into it.

    Actually, I'm planning to give the MIT evaluation of the humanities teacher to my language teacher, because I had much more difficulties with her subject than any other subject in my high school (subject is hard and she is veeery demanding!). So I had much more contact with her than, say, my history teacher. She saw my ups and downs in grades more than any other teacher I have, and knows how I react to adversities (one of the question in MIT's teacher evaluation last year!). Since pretty much everyone else in my class also had bad grades in her subject, she created many projects and extracurriculars in order to give students chance to increase a little bit their grades, so she also knows how I do outside normal classroom activities. Think about it, you may be losing a great chance in you Classical Greek classes!

    If you want links for reference (MIT blogs and stuff), ask me, I'll try to provide them.
    Good luck for both of us!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  10. Feb 24, 2010 #9
    I forgot to say this in the previous post: preparing for SAT and TOEFL may take a long time (especially for us, international students, since we 1)don't speak English natively (I'm from a country in south america) 2)Have a educational system different from the American one. Although TOEFL focus on intuition of the language, which is good for people who don't speak English natively, SAT demands some knowledge in formal rules of speech, which aren't normally learnt in language courses (at least the ones I frequented, perhaps in Greece things are different). MIT gives the option for the student to choose to do TOEFL or SAT (but require two SAT subject tests). Most other competitive colleges don't do that. Harvard demands 3 subjects test and SAT for all applicants (TOEFL is not required, but welcome). Princeton demands both SAT and TOEFL. Stanford requires SAT, recommends 2 subjects tests and TOEFL. Cornell waives TOEFL depending on your SAT scores. All this info, of course, refers to last year's requirements and may change this year. Considering the competitiveness of admission, we should probably do both, since the more information they have about us, the easier is for them to evaluate our applications.

    So, start early!

    You can learn a little bit every day: http://sat.collegeboard.com/practice/sat-question-of-the-day
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  11. Feb 24, 2010 #10
    By the way,
    of all the competitive admissions college I plan to apply, only MIT doesn't use common application. Last year's common application required some information about the last 4 years of your education. I don't know if it applies to transcript, but it applies to things such as extracurriculars.

    Here in my country, high school last 3 years too, so you've let me interested if my grades before high school will matter (although they aren't bad). Anyone knows for sure if they will matter? Should we send the transcript of the last 4 years or only of what our country considers "high school"?
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  12. Apr 22, 2010 #11
    Lately I discovered an opportunity to take some IB courses in a private school.
    I can say the cources Curriculum looks pretty impressive .
    Also many of Greek students go to study abroad with an IB in their hands.
    Is it worth the effort (and money)?
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