|By Lfill (Lfill) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:06 am: Edit|
My daughter, who changes her mind daily about what she wants in a college, is now interested in schools in Europe. Can anyone tell me what it takes for an American to get into Ox, Camb, St. Andrews? Are there others to look at?
|By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:37 am: Edit|
There's a book called How to Get Into the Top Colleges by Richard Montauk (Prentice Hall) that has a very complete section on applying to European universities and the differences between their educational system and ours. The focus is mainly on schools in the UK. It's the most thorough discussion I've seen on the topic - if your daughter continues to be interested in these schools, I'd suggest you get a hold of this book (you can probably order it from Amazon) and have her read it very carefully. It's not so much the getting in that's important to consider - it's the differences between the systems that she needs to weigh up front.
|By Cupcake (Cupcake) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:51 am: Edit|
There are thousands of higher education colleges in 'Europe'. It's a whole continent and home to 300 million people. Do you mean you only want to consider studying in the UK? If not, how good is your daughter at languages? In some countries, such as the Netherlands and Germany, many universities teach most, if not all, courses in English. However, not being able to speak the local language could be very socially isolating outside the classroom.
I'm a student at Oxford. Most US undergrad students here (of which there are very few. Yet there are LOTS of US grad students) have done a year of college in the US first. This is because the courses here are very specialised. No minors. Students have to apply to study a particular subject and stick to it. It's not a good idea for the indecisive. In the equivalent of high school in the UK, at age 16 students choose 3-4 subjects to take and drop all others. For example, I took Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths for the next two years. Therefore, by the time I was 18 I had reached a much higher standard than US schools do in those subjects. But of course I had done no arts subjects for 2 years so my standard in those would have been much lower. UK universities value a much narrower and more focused academic record whereas US universities value a broader education and being 'well-rounded'. It's quite a different attitude. I don't want to put you off. I'm just telling you how it is. I orginally came to these boards because I was thinking of applying for a PhD in the US. I decided against it because it seems to me that ECs and things outside the classroom are very important. I do not have any of these things. UK universities do not care about ones private life. Grades are the all important thing.
The deadline for applications to Oxford and Cambridge for entry 2005 is 15th October. undergraduates can only apply to one, not both, in any one year (sorry,that's the rules.) You apply to all UK unis through one central admission service, UCAS.http://www.ucas.ac.uk/ You can only apply to six. There are about 100 to choose from.
The application process differs in other European countries.
Has your daughter considered applying to US universities which offer a year abroad programme? Check out this site for some useful information from current year abroad programmes.
|By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 12:17 pm: Edit|
In case you change your mind:
There is no EC or leadership or requirement or attempt to build a "well-rounded, diverse class" for grad school in the US,. What Ph.D. programs look for is exactly the same as Ph.D. programs in the UK and the rest of Europe: solid preparation, evidence of promise as a scholar (the statement counts for a lot), great recs, strong GREs.
|By Cupcake (Cupcake) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 07:25 am: Edit|
Too late, I am already half-way through my PhD at Oxford and have a sponsor. Maybe I will get to visit Cold Spring Harbor for a conference though as I collaborate with a lab there. I have already been to Caltech for a visit. I was thrilled to see the hummingbirds!
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