So I'm a Canadian student currently in Terminale in a French Baccalaureate school (french equivalent of grade 12), and I was hoping some of you could help me out with some questions I've got. In Canada, I'm applying to Waterloo and McGill in their mathematics/physics programs. McGill is a 3 year degree, Waterloo a 4 year degree. Personally, I prefer the way the Waterloo program is layed out compared to McGill's, it seems really well structured as to how you approach subjects. McGill's seems kind of messy :p. Is this a legitimate concern or is it just my bias? Also, I don't need to take a prep year at McGill since I'm from the FB system. But, we cover less than what's done in CEGEP, the standard Quebec preparation. Should this small lack of preparation dissuade me from going to McGill or is it something that's easily caught up if I work hard? I know both are good schools in math and physics, but does one have a particular advantage over the other? How would grad schools consider them? I hear Waterloo is sort of a boring town :P, is that something I should think about? Finally in the States I'm applying to MIT and Princeton. I wrote my SAT's about a month ago and scored 2200 (800 math, 730 writing, 670 reading). This is about the average score for an applicant who gets admitted, but I'm applying internationally, so are the demands more rigorous for scores? Also, I constantly read that you need a "hook". What exactly is a hook? I love playing blues guitar and have performed at festivals in the city where I live, and dedicate a lot of my free time to it. Is that a "hook"? I'm not too sure since it's just something I do for fun to relax. In terms of EC's I also teach tennis over the summer, and hope to teach swimming this winter for some cash. Oh and I have a ton of volunteer hours. Do I stand a chance of getting into one of those schools? And one last question: Assuming I get into say MIT or Princeton, and Waterloo or McGill, is the money needed to go to one of the schools in the states worth it? I'd probably have to take on some debt and ask my parents for a lot more help than expected for a canadian school.