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Where and what should I be studying?

  1. Jun 21, 2014 #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm about the graduate from high school but for two years after that I will be serving compulsory enlistment in the army. My subjects in high school weren't science, though I did take math. Despite this I would probably like to gain a degree in STEM, whether with a focus in industry or academia. I don't see this 'leap' as a great problem since I did pretty well in the sciences before I switched focus, and I'm good at math. As I mentioned I have two more years after this before my last chance (at least in my books) to apply to a university.

    So my problem now is that I still haven't gained enough foresight to determine what major I should take exactly, while on the other hand, it's difficult for me to get into science courses in my own country or the UK, for example. So my options are probably to go for a broad-based education like in the US, where I would have time to explore. However, I am deterred by the (quite massive) costs.

    I am not confident I can get a scholarship especially since I want to study science when I'm currently a humanities student. I am considering perhaps taking up undergraduate study in a European country or Canada (?) where Uni is dirt cheap. I'd rather love to do so cos I quite like how the culture seems in the Nordic countries etc.

    So the second part is regarding the major I should take. I am very interested in computer modelling, though I still don't know anything about it overall. I'm definitely not math major material, but I consider physics or chemistry interesting enough to perhaps get a general, specialised or engineering degree in one of them. My interests are philosophical too, so stuff like neuroscience and psychology remain tangentially interesting to me. I'm also open to computer science I guess. I would not mind doing very visual-based things too, as I'm pretty good at illustration, so even technical illustration or graphics for the sciences appeals to me. Also, if things don't work out for me, I may still find a spiritual home in architecture, though it would be a very different route and a very painful parting from my renewed interest in the sciences (I like to apply the content of my knowledge interests a lot). But I'm still very inclined towards creating computer models of scientific phenomena that can explain like the general mechanisms behind them.

    Lifestyle-wise, I like picking up math like drinking water as long as I can see a meaningful use for it (which stumps me as a student drilling abstract problems). I like applying myself to problems that have concrete consequences so perhaps engineering and computer science could be viable in this way. At the same time I have a voracious desire for knowledge, and academia seems like a place where I can explore my research interests. Also I wonder how it would feel to be contributing just your teeny little bit to the growing expanse of human knowledge...

    Another concern is with a masters or graduate programme. I foresee that I would do well enough in my chosen discipline to wanna take them up. My concern is how much my choice of uni for undergraduate study would affect my options later on.

    Yeah, so that's all. You don't have to tackle all my questions, and any input would be much appreciated. Thanks guys :)
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2014 #2
    No I'm not! I'm Asian, actually.
  4. Jun 21, 2014 #3
    Chinese? Just trying to figure out, because knowing this would help. There aren't many places where there is still conscription.
  5. Jun 21, 2014 #4
    Singapore! I take the Cambridge A levels.
  6. Jun 21, 2014 #5
    If you are looking for cheaper places to study, then I recommend Germany. The UK is horribly expensive, even for UK students. Same about the USA, it's very expensive to study there. However, in order to study in Germany, you'll need to be able to speak Germany at a proficient level. BSc level courses are rarely offered in English in non-English speaking countries. It's more commonly to happen with MSc degrees.
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