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#1 dereksurfs

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 10:23 PM

Hi All,

 

I'm wondering if anyone here has considered college abroad for you kids? Apparently, there are quite a few American students attending colleges in other countries for a variety of reasons including greater affordability, diverse cultural experiences and other unique opportunities. 

 

There are numerous articles describing such options including countries where Americans can study very affordably. Here's one in the Washington Post.

 

In addition, I've heard there are some very good options in Canada and Australia in terms of quality and affordability. Does anyone here have experience with studying abroad or know a family who has?

 

While some students would not want to attempt this, there are others who may relish the opportunity and experience. Our dd13 is already talking about how she would love to attend college in another country. She's currently studying German and would really like to visit if we could afford the trip.

 

ETA: I just found this interesting discussion on College Confidential.

 

Thanks,


Edited by dereksurfs, 11 November 2017 - 10:32 PM.

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#2 J-rap

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 11:26 PM

My dd went all four years to an outstanding private college in Central America.  It wasn't easy to get there.  It involved several steps, including getting official translators and the Secretary of State involved.  She also had to take and pass a Spanish fluency test.  But she loved it, and it was sure a lot cheaper than the equivalent here.  It was really the perfect choice for her.


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#3 rdj2027

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 11:51 PM

Our oldest attends college in Germany, however, he also attended school in Germany.  #2 son is thinking about it for his M.S.

 

Edited for grammar


Edited by rdj2027, 12 November 2017 - 06:13 PM.

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#4 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 01:22 AM

Our oldest attends college in Germany, however, he also attended school in Germany.  #2 son is thinking about for his M.S.

 

I've heard Germany actually has some of the highest rated, most affordable universities worldwide. Lots of great schools there such as Technical University in Munich. Although I've heard it being tuition free for international students, I don't know that still to be the case. its hard to imagine that being sustainable in the long run. Here's an interesting BBC article about US students getting a free degree written back in 2015.

 

My middle dd really loves the *idea* of going there. Although my wife has reservations about anything abroad. The fact that she is learning German will help her plead her case later with mom if that is really what she wants to do.  ;)


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#5 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 02:05 AM

Here are some more interesting and affordable options: https://www.topunive...s-students-2016

 



#6 3andme

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 03:21 AM

I'm encouraging my ds to consider universities in the UK or Canada. He prefers a colder climate and would rather focus on his area of interest than taking a lot of distribution requirements. Also, they tend to be relatively affordable vs. full pay at US schools, and they don't put much emphasis on extracurricular activities. My biggest concern beside the distance would be employment opportunities post-college.

 

I've been following the Canada and  UK forums on College Confidential. There's also the Student Room website geared to British universities. 



#7 Laura Corin

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 05:12 AM

I work at a UK university that takes a lot of US students. I can answer questions if you quote me.
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#8 J-rap

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 09:00 AM

About Canadian schools.  A couple of my children considered them, but the ones they were interested in still seemed very expensive.  They're definitely a lot less for Canadians, but foreigners pay a higher tuition, and generally you can't get/use the same types of scholarships there if you're a foreigner.  (That was our limited experience, anyway!)

 

 


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#9 Laura Corin

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 09:39 AM

UK universities are more expensive for non EU foreigners too, but as almost all are government funded, that's just the equivalent of in vs out of state fees.

Edited by Laura Corin, 12 November 2017 - 09:57 AM.

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#10 creekland

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 09:40 AM

If a student is interested, I'd definitely encourage it.  My son is merely doing a Study Abroad semester in Jordan, but he loves it.  Travel is often a good form of education by itself - not just being a tourist, but being a traveler and learning the culture, etc.

 

I do have to add one word of caution.  Supposedly US med schools (if that's the ultimate destination) aren't terribly fond of non-US undergrads.  I'm honestly not sure why as many are Universally rated above several US schools they are fine with.  However, there was a student interested in McGill (in Montreal) who pulled it from her list after investigating and getting information.

 

As with any college, I'd investigate where graduates are going and what they are doing upon graduation to get a gauge for the quality of the degree within a desired major.

 

And be prepared for the possibility of meeting "that Special Someone" while overseas.  It's not a definite, but certainly happens.  (FWIW, I don't see that as a bad thing.)


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#11 J-rap

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 09:52 AM

If a student is interested, I'd definitely encourage it.  My son is merely doing a Study Abroad semester in Jordan, but he loves it.  Travel is often a good form of education by itself - not just being a tourist, but being a traveler and learning the culture, etc.

 

I do have to add one word of caution.  Supposedly US med schools (if that's the ultimate destination) aren't terribly fond of non-US undergrads.  I'm honestly not sure why as many are Universally rated above several US schools they are fine with.  However, there was a student interested in McGill (in Montreal) who pulled it from her list after investigating and getting information.

 

As with any college, I'd investigate where graduates are going and what they are doing upon graduation to get a gauge for the quality of the degree within a desired major.

 

And be prepared for the possibility of meeting "that Special Someone" while overseas.  It's not a definite, but certainly happens.  (FWIW, I don't see that as a bad thing.)

 

Yes, who knew this would happen with two of our kids!  And maybe a third now.  I'm not sure how many people one family can sponsor for moving here and becoming permanent residents...  We have two sponsorships so far.  :)  


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#12 Roadrunner

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 09:58 AM

I've heard Germany actually has some of the highest rated, most affordable universities worldwide. Lots of great schools there such as Technical University in Munich. Although I've heard it being tuition free for international students, I don't know that still to be the case. its hard to imagine that being sustainable in the long run. Here's an interesting BBC article about US students getting a free degree written back in 2015.

My middle dd really loves the *idea* of going there. Although my wife has reservations about anything abroad. The fact that she is learning German will help her plead her case later with mom if that is really what she wants to do. ;)


I know a kid who is studying in Germany. His language skills had to be at a very high level (C1) to be accepted and I know some kids took a preparatory year before entering as freshman so they could bring their language skills to that level. So if you are thinking that way, I would consider a year of immersion in high school in Germany just for language skills.
This kid isn't homeschooled, so I don't know if you will face difficulties not having an official diploma. Germany isn't homeschool friendly.
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#13 Arcadia

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:23 AM

My middle dd really loves the *idea* of going there. Although my wife has reservations about anything abroad. The fact that she is learning German will help her plead her case later with mom if that is really what she wants to do. ;)

My kids German school ex-schoolmate is now an undergrad at a Swiss university which cost less than UCDavis. The family is upper middle. He is public schooled and did get accepted to a German university but chose the Swiss one. He met the language requirements through Deutsches Sprachdiplom in 10th/11th grade. He has an excellent AP German exam score but that’s not the qualifying test they want. He might be dual US-German citizen. Many are dual citizens in my kids German school.

We are looking at Canada, UK and Australia. That is our reason for doing AP exams in certain subjects because it would help meet entrance requirements for engineering. My oldest prefer specialization from the get go even though he is thinking of triple majoring. We do have friends and relatives in those countries.

For Germany’s language requirements
“What do these tests look like?
The Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF) is offered in around 100 countries, so you can already take it in your home country.
...
The Goethe-Zertifikat C2, the Telc Deutsch C1 examination and the Deutsches Sprachdiplom (level II) of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs are usually also recognised by higher education institutions. ” https://www.daad.de/...erman-language/

Edited by Arcadia, 12 November 2017 - 10:27 AM.

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#14 jdahlquist

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 12:49 PM

DD strongly considered doing her undergraduate studies abroad (to the point of visiting schools in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).  She decided instead, to study in the US and participate in a couple of study abroad programs as an undergraduate.  Now she is considering graduate school in Europe.

 

One reason that she decided against doing her undergraduate abroad was that she was not sure exactly what she wanted to major in.  She knew that she wanted to major in something in the liberal arts area, but was considering philosophy, religion, literature (and probably a few other things) at the time.  The European schools she was considering were much more focused in their degree plans, without as much general education, broadening type of requirements. She wanted a broader liberal arts exposure that she was going to get at the European schools she considered.  


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#15 Lanny

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 03:15 PM

This will depend upon the Major. For me, for a U.S. Citizen (or a Permanent Resident  who can get permission to leave the USA for an extended period of time, without losing their Green Card), if there is U.S. Accreditation available, for a program in another country, that would be a huge plus, when looking for employment in the USA after graduation.

 

For example, with Engineering programs, one would look for ABET Accreditation in the USA. There are some schools overseas with ABET Accreditation, but I don't believe that is for the entire program, but for specific courses. I'm not sure.  We live in Colombia so on the ABET.ORG web site I searched for Colombia. This is the URL for the Results:   http://main.abet.org...gramsearch.aspx

 

Notice that one (1) of the schools listed in Colombia (Universidad del Norte, in Barranquilla, Colombia) has the number 081007 and that none of the other schools listed in Colombia have a number like that.  That makes me think/suspect/assume that Universidad del Norte is more apt to have approved courses than the other schools.  As it happens, fpr a long time, I have suspected that's the best school here for certain types of Engineering Majors, based only on the ABET Accreditation.

 

OK...   I clicked on the link from ABET.ORG to Universidad del Norte: Here are their accredited majors:

 

http://main.abet.org...6236

 

Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering (one of the titles on my resume), 

 

Now, here's the big if...  I don't know if that accreditation would be OK with potential employers in the USA.   If my DD decides on a STEM career and not attending a university in the USA, I will have her explore that, very thoroughly.

 

In some other Major, there's probably an Accrediting board, similar to ABET, that accredits courses.


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#16 3andme

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 05:16 PM

For comparison, here are some tuition/fees for Canadian and UK universities. Some of these unis vary the fees by subject with the sciences generally requiring higher tuition. Living costs also vary but don't seem too far off from US costs. By contrast, most selective US private unis have tuition in the high 40's or low 50's.

 

ETA: Some of the British University degrees are only 3 years so that should be factored as well when comparing costs. On the other hand, no AP credit is given which can be a savings at US unis.

 

Victoria            -        $ 14,844     ($18,836 CAD)

McGill              -        $ 15,024     ($19,064 CAD) for BA    and     ($39,218 CAD) for B.Sc.

Toronto            -        $ 37,805     ($47,970 CAD)

UBC                -        $ 27,463     ($34,847 CAD)

Mt Allison        -        $ 13,594     ($17,250 CAD) 

 

 

Oxford              -        $ 41,596    (£31,570)

Cambridge       -        $ 39,528    (~£30,000) BA varies by college   and  (~£40,000) for Sciences 

Durham            -        $ 24,112    (£18,300) for BA and   (£23,100) for Sciences

Edinburgh        -        $ 23,321    (£17,700) for BA  and   (£23,200) for Sciences

St. Andrews     -        $ 28,051    (£21,290) 


Edited by 3andme, 12 November 2017 - 10:10 PM.

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#17 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 07:43 PM

Wow, you guys/gals are fantastic in providing some very important points to consider. This is an interesting topic for many families considering the cost of college in the US not to mention the cultural opportunities in living abroad. Thanks so much for all our insights, experiences and thoughts as you've considered these options as well.


Edited by dereksurfs, 12 November 2017 - 08:19 PM.


#18 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 07:49 PM

For comparison, here are some tuition/fees for Canadian and UK universities. Some of these unis vary the fees by subject with the sciences generally requiring higher tuition. Living costs also vary but don't seem too far off from US costs. By contrast, most selective US private unis have tuition in the high 40's or low 50's.

 

 

 

Victoria            -        $ 14,844     ($18,836 CAD)

McGill              -        $ 15,024     ($19,064 CAD) for BA    and     ($39,218 CAD) for B.Sc.

Toronto            -        $ 37,805     ($47,970 CAD)

UBC                -        $ 27,463     ($34,847 CAD)

Mt Allison        -        $ 13,594     ($17,250 CAD) 

 

 

Oxford              -        $ 41,596    (£31,570)

Cambridge       -        $ 39,528    (~£30,000) BA varies by college   and  (~£40,000) for Sciences 

Durham            -        $ 24,112    (£18,300) for BA and   (£23,100) for Sciences

Edinburgh        -        $ 23,321    (£17,700) for BA  and   (£23,200) for Sciences

St. Andrews     -        $ 28,051    (£21,290) 

 

3andme, this is exactly the kind of thing that helps me get a handle on costs in these two countries. While they all look more affordable than more selective schools in the US, one still needs to count the cost of attending abroad including living expenses. Without scholarships the UK will probably not be affordable for us when considering paying for multiple students. Canada by contrast may be doable depending on major as you pointed out. I'm sure there are some smaller schools even more affordable.  Plus, I've heard many of the accreditation for specific majors are very similar to the US.


Edited by dereksurfs, 12 November 2017 - 08:19 PM.


#19 rdj2027

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 07:57 PM

I've heard Germany actually has some of the highest rated, most affordable universities worldwide. Lots of great schools there such as Technical University in Munich. Although I've heard it being tuition free for international students, I don't know that still to be the case. its hard to imagine that being sustainable in the long run. Here's an interesting BBC article about US students getting a free degree written back in 2015.

 

My middle dd really loves the *idea* of going there. Although my wife has reservations about anything abroad. The fact that she is learning German will help her plead her case later with mom if that is really what she wants to do.  ;)

The public universities are free.  The TU Muenchen though is hard to get into and the living costs are quite high.  Germany has tried to charge student fees and it did not go over well with the populace.  There is no tuition but non-EU students are not allowed to work (or at least the hours are so minimal, the earnings would not pay for more than the occasional cup of coffee).


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#20 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 07:58 PM

My kids German school ex-schoolmate is now an undergrad at a Swiss university which cost less than UCDavis. The family is upper middle. He is public schooled and did get accepted to a German university but chose the Swiss one. He met the language requirements through Deutsches Sprachdiplom in 10th/11th grade. He has an excellent AP German exam score but that’s not the qualifying test they want. He might be dual US-German citizen. Many are dual citizens in my kids German school.

We are looking at Canada, UK and Australia. That is our reason for doing AP exams in certain subjects because it would help meet entrance requirements for engineering. My oldest prefer specialization from the get go even though he is thinking of triple majoring. We do have friends and relatives in those countries.

For Germany’s language requirements
“What do these tests look like?
The Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF) is offered in around 100 countries, so you can already take it in your home country.
...
The Goethe-Zertifikat C2, the Telc Deutsch C1 examination and the Deutsches Sprachdiplom (level II) of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs are usually also recognised by higher education institutions. ” https://www.daad.de/...erman-language/

 

Arcadia, please forgive my ignorance since I have just started researching this. It is my 'limited' understanding that certain universities in Germany teach courses in English. In those cases, German language tests would not be a requirement. They describe this in the Washington Post article I referenced above entitled "7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free (or almost free)."

 

Is this no longer the case? Or are their reasons to prefer other options like all courses taught in German beyond the language exposure? For example, I would imagine more programs are available in German vs. English only. 

 

I'm not saying we wouldn't study German and make that a priority. I'm just questioning whether these tests are absolutely mandatory to get into a university there?

 

Thanks,


Edited by dereksurfs, 12 November 2017 - 09:05 PM.


#21 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:29 PM

The public universities are free.  The TU Muenchen though is hard to get into and the living costs are quite high.  Germany has tried to charge student fees and it did not go over well with the populace.  There is no tuition but non-EU students are not allowed to work (or at least the hours are so minimal, the earnings would not pay for more than the occasional cup of coffee).

 

Yes, I would imagine free doesn't mean easy. In fact, the more I read about German universities the more I realize that many are a notch above US equivalents in terms of rigor and pace. For example, for Comp Sci majors, they will typically take more advanced courses earlier on and even masters level courses prior to completion. So it may be quite a jump up in terms of rigor and time management skills necessary for US high school students.



#22 rdj2027

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:42 PM

For majors that are offered in English she will need to pass the TOEFL or have a Cambridge Certificate of English (similar test) and acquire basic German skills throughout your studies.  I do not know if they will test your German skills at a certain point or not.  


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#23 rdj2027

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 09:48 PM

Yes, I would imagine free doesn't mean easy. In fact, the more I read about German universities the more I realize that many are a notch above US equivalents in terms of rigor and pace. For example, for Comp Sci majors, they will typically take more advanced courses earlier on and even masters level courses prior to completion. So it may be quite a jump up in terms of rigor and time management skills necessary for US high school students.

Yes, that is because in order to attend a university, you need an Abitur.  German universities assume that your general ed requirements were covered in high school.  Pretty much all of your classes will be in your major.  For US students there are several ways to be admitted.  For example, an unweighted GPA >3.0 (math must include pre-calc or Algebra/Trig, physics, bio and chem are required)) and ACT>=29 or SAT >=1150.

 

There are other options (like at least 4 APs, one of which must be calc, one science, one foreign language and one social study) plus test scores or having worked in the field of study for at least three years or having attended a college in the US for two years.

 

There are other requirements which depend on the major and the university.

 

To give an idea, my son's first semester as a General Physics major looks like this: Experimental physics (mechanics), theoretical physics (calculations in physics), chemistry, and basic math (he had to take a placement test that covered Calc 1 to be admitted) and his first homework given on Day2 looked a lot like Linear Algebra to me.  I am not sure that their idea of basic math is the same as mine :-)).  He has 4 lectures and 2 recitations per subject per week.  Starting with the second semester, there will also be a practical part/internship every semester.

 

During his last semester, he has to write a thesis.


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#24 3andme

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:20 PM

Foreign universities tend to be very statistics driven and not holistic. They also tend to focus on only those test scores relevant to the subject. This can be a boon for students: who don't have great extracurriculars but test well, have a lower GPA but test well, or have asymmetrical test scores as long as their chosen subject corresponds with their strong test scores.


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#25 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:30 PM

Yes, that is because in order to attend a university, you need an Abitur.  German universities assume that your general ed requirements were covered in high school.  Pretty much all of your classes will be in your major.  For US students there are several ways to be admitted.  For example, an unweighted GPA >3.0 (math must include pre-calc or Algebra/Trig, physics, bio and chem are required)) and ACT>=29 or SAT >=1150.

 

There are other options (like at least 4 APs, one of which must be calc, one science, one foreign language and one social study) plus test scores or having worked in the field of study for at least three years or having attended a college in the US for two years.

 

There are other requirements which depend on the major and the university.

 

To give an idea, my son's first semester as a General Physics major looks like this: Experimental physics (mechanics), theoretical physics (calculations in physics), chemistry, and basic math (he had to take a placement test that covered Calc 1 to be admitted) and his first homework given on Day2 looked a lot like Linear Algebra to me.  I am not sure that their idea of basic math is the same as mine :-)).  He has 4 lectures and 2 recitations per subject per week.  Starting with the second semester, there will also be a practical part/internship every semester.

 

During his last semester, he has to write a thesis.

 

Wow, that sounds intense regarding your son's first year! But for the right students it can really prepare them for a lot.

 

So all that being said, what about for the more 'middle of the road' student. I know that's a relative phrase. Let's say one who attends CC for two years and does fairly well in those courses including the necessary math and science. She really wants that 'experience' but not necessarily in a STEM major at that level of intensity? Are there some German schools less demanding similar to US colleges? Not everyone goes to Stanford, MIT, etc... but may thrive at a state school, for example. Or do all German universities require the same high bar to attend and then maintain a similar level of rigor once in?


Edited by dereksurfs, 12 November 2017 - 10:31 PM.


#26 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:38 PM

I didn't follow any of the links, somIndont know if this has been mentioned, but the University of Ottawa has a program where international students can attend at resident rates if they take at least 9 hrs per semester of their courses in French. They have a lot of supports in place for students to help them succeed. My Dd was really interested in the program until she go sick and then the idea of being so far from home in a very cold climate (we were living in the Deep South at the time) made her change her mind.

For students interested business with a lot international travel but through a US university, USC's cohort programs are pretty amazing.
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#27 luuknam

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:42 PM

Yes, I've considered it. That said, my kids are too young to worry much about it. FWIW, last I checked, NL also has *some* English-only degree programs at a relatively low cost (it's been 13 years, but they were iirc like E5k/year for non-EU residents). But, as a PP mentioned, working a part-time job might be illegal, or seriously limited, or just harder to handle (it takes time and energy to adjust to a new country etc, more so than to adjust to a different state in the US). And, there are typically no scholarships. If finances are the only reason, I'd probably focus on other options than studying abroad (not that you said finances were the only reason). 



#28 luuknam

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:48 PM

So all that being said, what about for the more 'middle of the road' student. I know that's a relative phrase. Let's say one who attends CC for two years and does fairly well in those courses including the necessary math and science. She really wants that 'experience' but not necessarily in a STEM major at that level of intensity? Are there some German schools less demanding similar to US colleges? Not everyone goes to Stanford, MIT, etc... but may thrive at a state school, for example. Or do all German universities require the same high bar to attend and then maintain a similar level of rigor once in?

 

 

I'm not entirely sure about Germany... I think they have a similar system to NL, but I could be completely wrong. In NL, you've got universities (3 years to a bachelor's degree, and a strong assumption that you will continue on to get at least a master's degree as well), and "hogescholen", which literally translates to "high schools", but they're 4 year colleges leading to bachelor's degrees. Some of those have programs in English as well (a couple of my 'dorm' mates were from China attending a hogeschool's international business program, and their Dutch was, uh, very rudimentary when I met them (I think they were sophomores at that point, but I could be wrong... it's been a while, and we weren't that close)).


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#29 luuknam

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:51 PM

For majors that are offered in English she will need to pass the TOEFL or have a Cambridge Certificate of English (similar test) 

 

 

Really? Wouldn't a US high school diploma be enough to prove English proficiency?

 

-the ESL foreigner who attended multiple US colleges without ever taking the TOEFL or similar. 



#30 Arcadia

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:51 PM

Arcadia, please forgive my ignorance since I have just started researching this. It is my 'limited' understanding that certain universities in Germany teach courses in English. In those cases, German language tests would not be a requirement.
...
Is this no longer the case? Or are their reasons to prefer other options like all courses taught in German beyond the language exposure? For example, I would imagine more programs are available in German vs. English only.

What I understand is that their international programs are taught in English. So your choices would be limited to international programs. A good family friend just moved back to Germany so that their oldest daughter can attend high school there instead of here (Hayward). All their children are dual citizens. Dad is German citizen, US green card. So if my kids want to apply there, we do have friends who can be emergency contacts.

E.g. for TUM (The Technical University of Munich)
“Informatics
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)
Type of Study
Full Time
Language of Instruction
German” https://www.tum.de/e...of-science-bsc/

“Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)
Type of Study
Full Time
Language of Instruction
German
Verification of German Language Skills Required” https://www.tum.de/e...of-science-bsc/

“Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)
Type of Study
Full Time
Language of Instruction
German
Admission Category
Aptitude Assessment for Bachelor” https://www.tum.de/e...of-science-bsc/

“Physics
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)
Type of Study
Full Time
Language of Instruction
German” https://www.tum.de/e...of-science-bsc/

ETA:
My oldest is not into sports and only knows UEFA because of me following Bayern Munich for football. So he is looking at colleges which are scores driven admissions rather than holistic.

Edited by Arcadia, 12 November 2017 - 10:58 PM.

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#31 rdj2027

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:51 PM

Yes, some universities are "easier" than others, humanities tend to be seen as "easier" and being an exchange student is a different ballgame altogether.   Community college though does not count. German and EU students have more options and besides universities, there are Fachhochschulen which are more practical in nature than theoretical though I do not know how that would transfer to the US.

 

When the time gets closer, I would recommend talking to the admission staff of the university she would like to attend.  As another poster stated though, they are very statistics driven.


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#32 rdj2027

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 10:57 PM

Really? Wouldn't a US high school diploma be enough to prove English proficiency?

 

-the ESL foreigner who attended multiple US colleges without ever taking the TOEFL or similar. 

No.  On a funny note, when I started my studies in the US, I had a class mate who was from Great Britain and had just received his undergrad degree from Oxford.  Our university made him take the TOEFL, which he promptly failed.  He did pass the second time aroun, got his M.S. and moved on to his PhD in Canada.

I took the SAT so did not have to take the TOEFL.


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#33 luuknam

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:00 PM

Oh, yeah, I forgot - you wouldn't be able to get transfer credit for most community college courses... you could *probably* get credit for something like Linear Algebra or Differential Equations or Organic Chemistry and stuff like that (but almost certainly not for Calculus or regular Chemistry), and then of course only if those courses are in your major (or maybe to fill up the *tiny* number of electives... like, about two electives are allowed total, iirc), BUT the classes are also taught as a cohort... you don't just randomly take classes, if you're majoring in p, you take x, y, z, courses in your first semester, a, b, c courses in your second semester, etc... and you'd probably have to be a full time student for visa purposes, and classes are probably taught differently (like, some sort of integrated engineering math as opposed to the Multivariable Calc, Lin Alg, Diff Eq standard courses most US universities have), etc, so, basically... I wouldn't count on transferring anything in, or at least not on saving time or money.

 

Also, most people who start hogeschool got their high school diploma at the end of 11th grade and start it at 17yo, so someone who's completed 2 years of CC would be fairly old, unless they were young when they started CC. 



#34 luuknam

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:06 PM

No.  On a funny note, when I started my studies in the US, I had a class mate who was from Great Britain and had just received his undergrad degree from Oxford.  Our university made him take the TOEFL, which he promptly failed.  He did pass the second time aroun, got his M.S. and moved on to his PhD in Canada.

I took the SAT so did not have to take the TOEFL.

 

 

That's good to know, that the SAT worked. I think I avoided the TOEFL because I was considered an out-of-state student and not a foreign student due to my marriage to a US citizen (I started CC in the US just a couple of weeks after said marriage, and only barely over a month after arriving in the US... but hey, w/e works, no?). Now I'm really curious what the TOEFL is like, if a native Brit with a degree from Oxford failed it... 



#35 Arcadia

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:25 PM

Now I'm really curious what the TOEFL is like, if a native Brit with a degree from Oxford failed it...

I took the TOEFL because my girlfriend wanted me to be there for moral support and I took the GMAT because I needed the scores for MBA admission. The TOEFL listening comprehension portion tripped my friend up so her score was lower than she expected despite having a degree in business administration done completely in English and having passed the Cambridge General Paper (English) exam in 12th grade. She doesn’t need the TOEFL score for anything, she took the TOEFL for fun.

ETA:
Samples of the listening section https://www.ets.org/...pare/listening2

Edited by Arcadia, 12 November 2017 - 11:27 PM.

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#36 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:36 PM

DD strongly considered doing her undergraduate studies abroad (to the point of visiting schools in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).  She decided instead, to study in the US and participate in a couple of study abroad programs as an undergraduate.  Now she is considering graduate school in Europe.

 

One reason that she decided against doing her undergraduate abroad was that she was not sure exactly what she wanted to major in.  She knew that she wanted to major in something in the liberal arts area, but was considering philosophy, religion, literature (and probably a few other things) at the time.  The European schools she was considering were much more focused in their degree plans, without as much general education, broadening type of requirements. She wanted a broader liberal arts exposure that she was going to get at the European schools she considered.  

 

Yes, this is another very good option to still get that international exposure that a student may crave while providing them a bit more flexibility. Once a US undergraduate degree is achieved, I wonder if its easier to get into grad school in those same countries?

 

The one major difference between European undergraduate programs and those here is the focus on the major area of study. As a result, many take more advanced coursework in their field of study. I wonder how that plays into grad school expectations when applying. For example, are they expecting them to have already taken certain higher level courses prior to entry?

 

Regardless, I think that taking advantage of study abroad programs are a fantastic opportunity as well. I've read that if doing so, its important to make sure one receives adequate credit for those courses. I've read not classes transfer into one's major though they may count toward GE electives if those are still needed.


Edited by dereksurfs, 12 November 2017 - 11:52 PM.


#37 jdahlquist

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:50 PM

Yes, this is another very good option to still get that international exposure that a student may crave while providing them a bit more flexibility. Once a US undergraduate degree is achieved, I wonder if its easier to get into grad school in those same countries?

 

The one major difference between European undergraduate programs and those here is the focus on the major area of study. As a result, many take more advanced coursework in their filed of study. I wonder how that plays into grad school expectations when applying. For example, are they expecting them to have already taken certain higher level courses prior to entry?

 

Regardless, I think that taking advantage of study abroad programs are a fantastic opportunity as well. I've read that if doing so, its important to make sure one receives adequate credit for those courses. I've read not classes transfer into one's major though they may count toward GE electives if those are still needed.

Study abroad programs vary greatly.  Some are US university sponsored programs in which you are enrolled at your home university but study in the foreign country--credit is then seamless.  Some are programs in which the home university has an explicit agreement with the university abroad; then credit is usually transferrable but student may have trouble finding the correct combination of classes.  Other programs exist where there is no direct affiliation between the home university and the international university; credit transfers can be much more difficult in those areas.

 

DD has found that several of the grad schools she has considered in Europe would require her to be trilingual to be admitted, some of that is probably based upon the particular areas which she is considering (probably comparative literature).  


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#38 dereksurfs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:51 PM

Oh, yeah, I forgot - you wouldn't be able to get transfer credit for most community college courses... you could *probably* get credit for something like Linear Algebra or Differential Equations or Organic Chemistry and stuff like that (but almost certainly not for Calculus or regular Chemistry), and then of course only if those courses are in your major (or maybe to fill up the *tiny* number of electives... like, about two electives are allowed total, iirc), BUT the classes are also taught as a cohort... you don't just randomly take classes, if you're majoring in p, you take x, y, z, courses in your first semester, a, b, c courses in your second semester, etc... and you'd probably have to be a full time student for visa purposes, and classes are probably taught differently (like, some sort of integrated engineering math as opposed to the Multivariable Calc, Lin Alg, Diff Eq standard courses most US universities have), etc, so, basically... I wouldn't count on transferring anything in, or at least not on saving time or money.

 

Also, most people who start hogeschool got their high school diploma at the end of 11th grade and start it at 17yo, so someone who's completed 2 years of CC would be fairly old, unless they were young when they started CC. 

 

Interesting regarding the CCs. So courses taken in the US do not count toward University coursework in the EU? Or they would only count if taken from a college or university, not a CC? I can see how that would present some interesting challenges if not going in directly from high school.

 

Since we homeschool and take DE CC courses 'while' in high school, those represent both. However, even in the US, not all CC courses transfer to universities. Typically one must ensure the courses taken are transferable. Some CCs have pre-established articulation agreements with the universities as well.



#39 jdahlquist

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 12:04 AM

Interesting regarding the CCs. So courses taken in the US do not count toward University coursework in the EU? Or they would only count if taken from a college or university, not a CC? I can see how that would present some interesting challenges if not going in directly from high school.

 

Since we homeschool and take DE CC courses 'while' in high school, those represent both. However, even in the US, not all CC courses transfer to universities. Typically one must ensure the courses taken are transferable. Some CCs have pre-established articulation agreements with the universities as well.

 

IME European universities are not focused so much on taking a series of classes to check boxes to attain a degree.  It is more about passing major examinations (which are independent of a specific class) and writing a thesis.  Thus, the concept of transfer classes and transfer credit is not necessarily relevant.  


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#40 Arcadia

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 12:24 AM

Interesting regarding the CCs. So courses taken in the US do not count toward University coursework in the EU? Or they would only count if taken from a college or university, not a CC? I can see how that would present some interesting challenges if not going in directly from high school.


Derek,

TUM has a uni assist program to validate international students transcripts. I believe other German universities would have similar procedures. Just for fun, I was looking at the first math class in engineering at some German universities and it is linear algebra (in German). I’m having an interesting time reading the lecture notes since my 3rd language is German. My oldest is doing linear algebra this academic year so I’ll get him to read for fun the German version after his course. Where I was from, engineering is a direct admit and multi variable calculus as well as AP physics C are a given as prerequisites.

“Uni-assist performs preliminary processing and evaluation of the applicant's university entrance qualification or master qualification materials, running a check of the applicants’ certificates to determine which grades they have on the German grading system. This preliminary documentation (VPD) informs applicants whether they qualify to study all subjects (general qualification), only certain subjects (subject-restricted qualification) or postgradual studies (master's).
...
WHO HAS TO APPLY VIA UNI-ASSIST?

All applicants for a bachelor's or teaching degree, who did not obtain their university entrance qualification in Germany or from a school that offers the equivalent of the German Abitur exam. This also applies for applicants pursuing a spot in an advanced semester of any degree program.
All applicants for a master's degree who did not obtain their qualification for postgraduate studies (usually a bachelor's degree) in a country within the EU/EEA. Applicants with a qualification for postgraduate studies obtained in Switzerland do not need a preliminary documentation.”
https://www.tum.de/e...nce/uni-assist/
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#41 creekland

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 07:43 AM

Regardless, I think that taking advantage of study abroad programs are a fantastic opportunity as well. I've read that if doing so, its important to make sure one receives adequate credit for those courses. I've read not classes transfer into one's major though they may count toward GE electives if those are still needed.

 

Only my youngest opted to Study Abroad, but his college, Eckerd, encourages (not requires) all students to do so.  Perhaps because of that they are very experienced with helping kids select places/courses that transfer credits.  His count toward his major and overall graduation.  I'm a little surprised that all schools aren't up on working this out ahead of time TBH.  It seems like it would be pretty common sense to me.  Maybe that's the problem?  It makes sense.



#42 Laura Corin

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 07:55 AM

UK universities aren't interested in transcripts for applications.  They want external validation, even for those in brick and mortar schools.  So APs or sometimes SAT subject tests are pretty much required.  Be aware that some APs are rated as more valuable and higher level than others.  Here's a page from one university about that:

 

https://www.exeter.a...ourcountry/usa/

 

The relationship between AP and SAT subject test requirements is odd to me in that link, but I don't know either test well.

 

Transferring between universities is not common in the UK so there is not an easy way to transfer credits.  A year of US university would (in the above link) just qualify you to begin the degree.  This is partly because most degrees in England are just three years long.


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#43 Gwen in VA

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 08:03 AM

I would just make sure that the degree can/will open the doors that the students wants it to.

 

As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, do any students from the foreign university attend US grad schools? Or get jobs in the US? Do US companies know what to make of this degree? Are the student's most-wanted grad schools comfortable with accepting students with degrees from non-US schools? (It must depend on both the foreign degree and program and the US grad program, but do check it out!)

 

Many US students have been going to college in Canada for decades, so companies know what to do with a McGill degree, but do they know what to do with a degree from Southampton? (BTW, if you are going into naval architecture, companies know exactly what to do with a degree from Southampton -- HIRE YOU! Southampton has an amazing naval architecture program! But outside of the tippy top schools, do companies know what to make of foreign degrees?)



#44 luuknam

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 11:43 PM

Interesting regarding the CCs. So courses taken in the US do not count toward University coursework in the EU? Or they would only count if taken from a college or university, not a CC? I can see how that would present some interesting challenges if not going in directly from high school.

 

Since we homeschool and take DE CC courses 'while' in high school, those represent both. However, even in the US, not all CC courses transfer to universities. Typically one must ensure the courses taken are transferable. Some CCs have pre-established articulation agreements with the universities as well.

 

 

No, I meant that most of the courses at CCs would be considered to be high school level, not college level. Roughly speaking, anything for which an AP course exists is NOT college level. That's why I said that something like Linear Algebra or Organic Chemistry might transfer, but something like Calculus or General Chemistry almost certainly won't, even though in the US those classes commonly would transfer from CC to decent state university. 


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#45 Laura Corin

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:45 AM

No, I meant that most of the courses at CCs would be considered to be high school level, not college level. Roughly speaking, anything for which an AP course exists is NOT college level. That's why I said that something like Linear Algebra or Organic Chemistry might transfer, but something like Calculus or General Chemistry almost certainly won't, even though in the US those classes commonly would transfer from CC to decent state university. 

 

This is comparable to the UK.  APs are not considered university level qualifications.  They are considered roughly equivalent to A levels, which are taken in the last two years of (high) school in England and are pre-requisites for University entrance.  They therefore provide no credits.

 

Any CC courses would normally have to be validated by an AP exam in order for them to be considered as university entrance qualifications.


Edited by Laura Corin, 14 November 2017 - 02:47 AM.

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#46 loesje22000

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 03:26 AM

If I understand the concept of CC well, most of them won't give acces to 'University' in the Netherlands.
Neither do IGCSE's, only AP's and A-levels gives acces to 'University'
The General Education requirements are covered in Highschool, not at the University.
Transcripts are useless without extern validation.

'Middle of the Road' students, don't go to Universities, they might go to 'hogeschool' (FachHochschule)
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#47 luuknam

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 03:47 AM

Any CC courses would normally have to be validated by an AP exam in order for them to be considered as university entrance qualifications.

 

 

Afaik, you can only take AP exams while you're in high school. You can take CLEP exams after you finish high school, but it'd be very odd to take a CLEP exam after taking the college class covering the same material. And there are no AP or CLEP tests for things like Linear Algebra or Organic Chemistry iirc (or other similar tests, afaik). 


Edited by luuknam, 14 November 2017 - 03:47 AM.

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#48 MarkT

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:01 AM

UK universities aren't interested in transcripts for applications.  They want external validation, even for those in brick and mortar schools.  So APs or sometimes SAT subject tests are pretty much required.  Be aware that some APs are rated as more valuable and higher level than others.  Here's a page from one university about that:

 

https://www.exeter.a...ourcountry/usa/

 

From your link above:

 

https://www.studyacrossthepond.com/

 

which also may be useful for folks considering the UK.



#49 Laura Corin

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:02 AM

Afaik, you can only take AP exams while you're in high school.

 

That's interesting.  So someone can't just decide to study for and take APs at another point in their life?  In the UK, people often study A levels if they want to enter university as a mature student and don't otherwise have the qualifications.

 

https://www.nec.ac.u...gories/a-levels


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#50 Laura Corin

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:03 AM

DP


Edited by Laura Corin, 14 November 2017 - 10:03 AM.




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