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Schools I'm in a country where science isn't appreciated, what should I do?

  1. Aug 2, 2016 #1
    This may be a bit too long for a thread, but believe me, this is as short as it can get
    I have always seen myself as a physicist, Always had interest in how the world works, and the mechanics of the universe.
    Now the problem is, I am from a country in North Africa, Algeria, and I don't think it will come as surprising that it's not a country of science, now to explain my current situation, I need to explain how education in this country works.
    First of all there's a Baccalaureate exam, it's a national exam that everyone takes to graduate high school, and your mark will determine what you can choose in the university, luckily enough for me, my marks are enough to get into any university and study anything I want in the whole country, and usually people like me go with medicine, because it's more safe in a way, and by that I mean you will probably find a job very easily, and the money is not bad. Actually, it may be the highest paying profession in the country, due to it's necessity, but I was never interested in medicine, I don't think I can see myself as a doctor, and I don't wanna continue living in this country that does not cherish free thinking and science, now I can choose Physics ( it's called the science of the matter - roughly translated - it's basically Physics and Chemistry and Math in the first year or two, and then you can choose what you want ) But after I have done some research, I have came to some conclusions. First of all, although I am going to be studying in the best university in the country ( not even ranked internationally ) I am not going to have a very good education, so I will probably have to study on my own without the help of the professors, and second of all I will be studying next to people who were forced to study physics because their marks weren't good enough to study something they want ( the system in here is you choose 6 fields of study and the government will give you one of them depending on your marks .. it's really stupid ) which means people that don't even know the importance of physics and science in the first place.
    Now I have heard that Germany is easy to get to if I can speak German ( which I don't ) so should I get a license degree ( the equivalent to a bachelor degree or something - it's a 3 years program - ) and learn German along side and then apply for a German university? Take in mind that I will study physics as hard as I can from different resources and do my best ( I have always thought of myself to be good in math and physics, and I have a general Idea on what I will be studying ) I chose Germany because I hear their universities are free? Because my country doesn't offer scholarships to other countries ( our education is free, and it's not even worth it's price ) I don't think I will be able to afford to study in England or in the US, and for a person named Mohamed ( My parents to blame ) I don't think it will be easy to get accepted, and even harder to get a financial aid ( I can't even pay 10% what these kind of universities require ) or is there another country that has good and cheap education? perhaps one that offers a good financial aid that isn't really hard that I didn't take into consideration? Education in here will be in French ( But I doubt it will be easy to get accepted in France ) and How do I even get accepted? I don't think my university's degrees are accepted world wide. Is being good at physics enough? I am really panicking and I am starting to shift into the Idea that I just got to choose Medicine or computer science, I mean I have got to be able to live, I just wanna study outside the country, and be able to live outside it ( and by that I mean any country that offers good education, so no African or Arab country )
    If I get my Ph.D in here, I will be able to do research maybe, but I won't have any support from the government, no one cares about theoretical physics, like If I choose a field like Dark matter .. I may be the only one in the country who's doing it. And this is bad.
    What should I do?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2016 #2
    Do not panic.You are young. so many options. So much time to figure out what you want.

    Try Ireland? It's also in the EU but they speak English. Course fees range from 3 thousand a year for Irish citizens, 6-9000 a year for EU citizens, and 20,000 a year for everyone else. You would need to have applied for this September last October.

    There are probably a few physics courses in Germany that offer opportunities to study physics in English. That way you can learn German while in Germany and do the post-grad through German. Your written English seems great so IELTS will be a breeze.

    "You can study for a BA in American Studies and a BSc in International Physics Studies in English at Universitat Leipzig, which is currently ranked 289th in the world rankings.

  4. Aug 4, 2016 #3
    Would it be impossible if I get a bachelor degree in my home country, then apply for a masters degree in Germany?
  5. Aug 6, 2016 #4


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    Impossible? No. Unlikely? If the education system is as bad as you believe it to be, then yes.

    Luckly, I'm assuming you write and speak a few languages well. Your English is great for sure. Do you also speak/write French/Arabic? That would open up several additional countries you could study in. I think your best bet is the UK or the US. In the US there are schools that offer free tution and scholarship specifically for foreign students who couldn't otherwise afford the ridiculous international tution fees. These are rare though.

    There's also France, which controlled Algeria until the 1960's or so. I don't know if you have any French blood, but that might make it easier to immigrate.

    Algeria isn't in the EU anymore right? So the UK and France might be more diffucult to get a study visa for, but I'm not sure.

    There's also the option of remaining in your home country and trying to become a professor of physics. If all the bright students leave, the country will never advance and future students in your situation will also contuine to opt to leave. There is, however, only so much one person can do. Espicallly without assistance from the government and if this is something you want to do you may want to still leave and get an education in a large western country then return.
  6. Aug 6, 2016 #5
    my name is ahmed and i am from turkey. hopefully turkey isn't as bad as algeria but we have a similar situation. i took the university exams and i could do whatever i want just like you and i am now studying physics and maths. i don't know if you can get scholarships and stuff but check out turkey we have fine universities especially for bachelor studies and people from islamic countries are very welcome in turkey i have friends studying in my university from pakistan to egypt. though if you can -go to europe lol.
    and study what you want if not you won't enjoy your life i certainly wouldn't.
    and also best turkish universities have english tuition.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  7. Aug 7, 2016 #6
    Okay, yes I do speak Arabic and French ( my first and second language ) I would like to stay away from the US because they require many documents and test scores that are not available in my country or any country easily accessible, I don't mind working for my country because it doesn't have the capacities, I don't want to work here because no one wants to advance in the fields of science, people here have the mentality of Europe in the middle ages, don't get tricked by their smartphones and their nice cars, some of them still believe that Einstein's ideas are false just because he's a Jew ( at least born a Jew ) , they do not believe in the evolution by natural selection, and to top it all, physics in here is something you go to because your marks were not good enough, so I will be studying with people who are there because that's all they could do, physics is considered a dead end job, the problem with this country is they don't want to advance, when almost everyone in here thinks most of science is wrong, you can't do anything about it, that's why I want to leave.

    What are the requirements to study in Turkey I may ask? I think studying in Turkey is not a bad idea, I just don't know anything about it.

    I went to this IPSP university website, and I have a few questions:
    1. Are the physics courses taught in English good?
    2. If I do meet the language requirements ( TOEFL ) what other requirements are there? and is it easy to get to? I mean how hard is it to get accepted?
    3. You said and I quote,"You can study for a BA in American Studies", I am curious what you mean by that

    I am thinking about Russia, since there is a program "Racus" that offers education in Russia, with a year of learning Russian, and it's easy for me cause my country is included in this program, and one of the universities that this program offer is "Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University" which is ranked 471, the only problem is it will cost me something like 6400 dollar per year, and it's 10 years to get a PhD ( 1 year for language, nine for physics ) is it worth it? will I be able to get a good position in Europe or the US or even Russia maybe ( research position )? or maybe I can learn german whilst studying in Russia, get a bachelor degree and then transfer to Russia? or maybe even the US? ( taking into account that I can be really good at math and physics, my grade will almost certainly be high ) what do you think? 64.000 dollar is a lot in here, even split into 10 years, is it worth it?

  8. Aug 8, 2016 #7
    A BA is a bachelor of Arts. American studies is something rich people study so they can say they have a degree without actually doing any work. I was quoting the website and expected you to be more interested in "BSc in International Physics Studies" They are two subjects in the same university.

    You can not learn Russian to a standard that would allow you to study at university in one year. It is not easy like English is. I am an English as a Foreign language teacher who has studied Russian, German, Irish, Spanish, Portuguese, and Czech.. and Czech and Russian take a long time. If you study for 5 hours a day you might be able to do it in 3 years.

    I really think you should look at undergraduate programs in English, there are loads around the non-English speaking world. Then while doing that you can be studying a third language. Latin / "Romance" languages are easy for people who already speak English.
    Although English is technically a Germanic language, it has very little in common with German any more, and German is much harder to learn than the Latin languages.

    I think you are right to want to travel. It is one thing to be in a country where people are indifferent to science, but if a lot of people are openly suspicious of it and mistrustful that can be difficult.
  9. Aug 8, 2016 #8
    Every research group in Europe has an international character. The students, the PhD employee's, the postdocs. Yes, there's often a core of natives or neighbouring country citizens. Then there's a few people from all over the world. Sure, many Indian and Chinese, but also south America, the middle east, Africa.

    Depends a bit on the subject. The more applied, the more third world country people. If you are into fundamental research, you better be willing to settle down in Europe or NA.
    If you are in an applied field, there's plenty of opportunities to try and help your native country move forward, and depending on the country, keep your fingers crossed for nut just funding, but also the political situation and maybe even war.

    If you are good, you work hard, know your stuff, are meticulous and motivated, you know English well and maybe some other language, you can teach or assist teaching, supervise students well, pleasant to teamwork with, that is all that really matters.
    The next Einstein may be born tomorrow in some random country, going to a 'bad' college. Professors in Europe or the US know that this talent is out there, and that they are often less blase than the average North American or western European.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  10. Aug 9, 2016 #9
  11. Aug 10, 2016 #10
    I really like the university, and the prices are very reasonable, but it doesn't say anything about where I would be living? is there a place to at least sleep in the campus? and what about food? how much would I need per month, because even though the university tuition is very cheap, I am really worried I would spend a lot of money living in the capital of Turkey, and I found that the university accepts the Algerian Baccalaureate, I have got more than the requirements, does that mean I will be accepted? cause I read somewhere that this university has a low acceptance rate.
    For your information, I might be at least 30% Turkish.
    ( is there anyway we can contact privately )
  12. Aug 10, 2016 #11
    dorm prices are fairly low 150-300 liras 50-100$, also rents for a three bedroom house near school is 800 liras (might be two bedroom not sure) and there are many facilities at the campus but school cafeteria costs 2.15 liras per meal for students, it offers lunch and dinner. ankara is a cheap city
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