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Regarding graduation in UK/US.

  1. Mar 18, 2012 #1
    I am from India and I want to major in physics from any good college in UK/US. But I am utterly confused for what exams do I need to qualify after my high school to get into one of the top colleges and how should I start preparing for them. I also want to know that what is the difference between admission procedures for universities in UK and that in US.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2012 #2
    Such information is easily available by making use of - wait for it - Google. Or any other search engine for that matter. You might find some useful information on Wikipedia as well.

    Since I'm in a good mood, I'll give you a quick overview.

    US degrees are 4 years long and UK degrees (except in Scotland and Ireland, I believe) are 3 years long. However, they do have a fourth year which upon completion results in a so-called undergraduate master's. For physics, that would be an MSci (not to be confused with the postgraduate degree, MSc) or an MPhys.

    A very important question is "How much money can you afford to pay?". Tuition fees will vary from one institution to the next but in general, UK tuition fees for non-EU citizens are set at 12k pounds per year and in the US, it can is usually in the range of $15k-50k.

    You should let the numbers scare you off. UK universities do not usually have much in the way of funding for international students. It is also possible, depending on what kind of "high school diploma" you have (you're more than fine if you're doing IB or A-Levels, though), that you will not be eligible for direct entry and will have to do a foundation course. The same applies for Germany, which you might want to look into, because tuition fees per semester range from 0 to 800 euros. In general, Eastern Germany is cheaper to live in.

    With the USA, you should be be able to apply without any problems if you have an Indian high school diploma. You should also register for SAT I and SAT II (subject tests - however, not all colleges require this but those who do, usually require two of them) exams. More info on this on CollegeBoard's website on and on Wikipedia.

    Now, the tricky part with USA colleges is that the majority of them *will not* consider admitting anyone who cannot afford to pay their tuition fees and cannot prove they have enough money to cater for their living expenses. Period.

    Look up the terms "need blind", "full need" and "need aware". While you're at it, learn about "early decision" and "early action".

    The good news is that there is a handful of colleges (do your homework - figure out which ones they are) who are willing to offer substantial amount of money, in the form of scholarships and/or financial aid. Financial aid can be in the form of loans, grants (money that does need to be repaid) or an on-campus job. Often, it's a combination of all three. Ideally, one would want a financial aid package which meets their full-need without loans! (and perhaps no work-study!)

    Some more bad news...being from India makes things quite harder for you. There is *a lot* of competition. You should have very good grades and on top of that, there should be something that you do in your free time, that you can talk about. Something you're passionate about. I'm of the opinion that the number of activities you're involved in are not that important, so long as there is some kind of depth to those that you actually do.

    You'd also need 2-3 letters of recommendation from teachers and your school principle/admissions' counsellor.

    This might be of use to you. I haven't gone through it though.
  4. Mar 18, 2012 #3
    thanks a lot.
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