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Study abroad or in states?

  1. Feb 4, 2013 #1
    I would like to inquire the minds of this forum about a situation. Given that you have access to free education in one of the EU countries and also could study in the US, where would you study? If I finish higher education in the states I wold get out of college with a student loan. I don't see myself getting into a great college (UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford) as I always hoped to. In Europe I can get into a good college and have a nice living. I wondering what other members might think. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2013 #2
    Would you like to live in Europe? Depending on where you go, your living expenses and tuition (i.e, total cost of attendance) could end up being significantly cheaper than what you'd pay if you had stayed in the US. You probably won't be able to work your way through college, but you could contribute a lot towards to cost if you get a part-time job.

    European degrees are also very specialized. If you're not sure what you want to major in, attending one might not be such a good idea. Some universities in Germany allow you to minor. Math and physics degrees almost exclusively require one to minor in something. But often, one could just take more courses from their own department instead.

    You could also consider the University Colleges in the Netherlands. They are similar to American colleges, and the tuition fee for non-EU residents is around 7k euros, last I checked.

    The other day, I heard about this MIT physics grad who went for a M.Sc at Konstanz in Germany, and is now doing a PhD in Zurich. (ETH, I think)
  4. Feb 5, 2013 #3
    Thank you for your detailed response. I have lived in Europe. I would first be going to Poland. I know the expenses there are really low and cost of attendance is in Polish złoty. I would live very comfertably there and my savings would cover my whole education there. In the states I would only be able to pay for 1 year of college on my savings.
    Engineering programs in Poland as I've heard are good. I'm still considering Economics as an option. I would have higher chances of getting into a good school as an Economist in the states. What do you think? I always have the option to travel to France or other EU country's in Europe, which is very appealing. Though, the possibility getting into a prestigious college is very alluring to me. Am I shooting too high here? Over-complicating things needlessly?
  5. Feb 5, 2013 #4
    Consider the possibilities that a "prestigious college" could give you, and whether these possibilities are worth the debt you'd take. If you qualify for financial aid, then the debt shouldn't be a concern. Are you a US citizen or permanent resident? Apply to the schools that can "meet your full demonstrated need." There's a list on Wikipedia.

    If you're an international student, then most of the schools become "need aware", meaning that they can, and perhaps will, consider your ability to pay in the admissions decision. That's why the acceptance rate of a college such as Whitman, whose overall acceptance rate is between 30% and 40%, drops to 10% for international students seeking aid.

    If you know French, you should definitely consider France. The "Classes Preparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles" are two years long (three, if you want to repeat the first year to try get a better "ecole"; not that you can't repeat the first year), and your studies would last another 3-4 years at the "ecole." There are various tracks you could go into, but if you go to an engineering (you can also go into math/physics/cs as well, depending on the track you pick) prepa, you can also apply for a "double-diplome" with your ecole, and get a "diplome" from an "ecole de commerce", like the HEC or EDHEC.

    Of course, that would depend on which school you go to.

    It is interesting to note that admissions at the French "grandes ecoles" are based exclusively (as far as I'm aware) on performance on the entrance exams. There is a written portion, and if one passes, there is an oral exam.

    Further, I would urge you to look into whether the degrees from Polish universities would be recognized in the countries you intend to work in. Don't be so quick to dismiss the German, French, Belgian, and Dutch options. For instance, TU-Delft has an Aerospace Engineering bachelor's degree in English. France also has the INSA Lyon, and the "SCAN" track (sciences et Anglais), and that is a "grande ecole" with "prepa integree", meaning that you can enter right after high school.

    Note that at most of these universities, you will probably have to take a few APs. (assuming you're in the US right now) For Germany, you should use something like uni-assist to check if your high school diploma is equivalent to the Abitur.
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