By Willard Dix
Most Americans think that “Indian food” consists mostly of some curries, rice, naan, and a few vegetarian dishes. Yet for those willing to explore, the variety of Indian food provides an almost infinite and delicious number of options. Just the division between North and South Indian cuisine indicates spectacular differences worth trying if a diner is willing to experiment.
Similarly, most non-Americans considering U. S. colleges and universities know of only a very few. Those like Harvard and Stanford are so famous they overshadow the other nearly 4,000 institutions that make up American higher education. But those willing to explore the college world beyond those internationally known names will find a variety as compelling as any Indian dish.
A Variety of Options
Unlike most of the rest of the world, the United States does not have a single national university to which most students aspire. Each state has its own public university, such as the University of Michigan, the University of California or Louisiana State University, with each of those also having branches in smaller cities and towns. They enroll mostly state residents but also welcome those from other states and many from abroad. And they offer a wide menu of courses and majors. The University of Illinois, for example, offers respected degrees in fields as varied as business, engineering, education, and agriculture.
Four-year private colleges and universities make up the remaining menu, offering educational opportunities for students in every field one can imagine. While an individual private college may not have as many options for students as a large university, it still provides exceptional educational experiences, whether students seek a bachelor’s degree or wish to earn an advanced degree in the future. Small colleges such as Kenyon, Amherst, Davidson, and Lafayette offer many majors along with programs that allow students opportunities to put their educations to work.
Because of their fame, schools like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and MIT receive many more applications from students in the U.S. and around the world than they can admit. Schools like these reject as much as 95% of their applicants. However, many other institutions in the U.S. accept more than 50% of their applicants. Most gladly welcome students from abroad. American colleges strongly believe that having students from many backgrounds on campus is valuable for everyone’s education, and they are eager to enroll students who will bring unique and varied viewpoints to their campuses.
Brand Name Isn’t Always Best
There are so many lesser-known U.S. colleges and universities that might fit a student’s tastes and desires better than a more familiar one. The schools might be smaller, so students receive more attention; they may have unique programs found nowhere else; or they may have well-funded and equipped laboratories that give undergraduates high-level experiences. Many lesser known but highly regarded institutions specialize in areas such as engineering, the arts, or business. The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Babson College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute offer exceptional programs. Having so many options encourages broad thinking about what students want in their lives and careers.
Making Your Choice
When it comes time to decide where to attend college, parents usually feel that students should be satisfied with their options. At the end of high school there are so many items on the menu that it’s up to the student to choose with parents providing guidance.
Luckily, the internet makes searching for and evaluating colleges easier than ever. Parents and students can search sites like Study in the USA, Big Future or the Common Application together to see the varied menu. Each site (as well as many others) offers ways to search colleges, such as by school type, majors, and region of the country. Discussing these options as a family can be very helpful when considering making such a huge decision. Whether a student is interested in engineering or literature, there will be several good choices available, with the added bonus that many institutions allow students to major in more than one area if they wish.
Looking beyond “name brand” institutions will help you find American colleges and universities uniquely suited to your child’s talents, interests, and abilities. Their variety, while bewildering at first, will provide exciting opportunities for any student.
Willard Dix is a freelance blogger at forbes.com.
By Ryan Hickey
If you are an international student going to school at a U.S. university, extracurricular activities are a great way to get involved in American culture, meet new friends, and continue your hobbies throughout your tenure. Although getting good grades in your classes is important, going to college is also about pursuing what interests you and growing as a person. Joining extracurriculars like student organizations and academic clubs, training with one of the competitive or club sports, and getting involved in Greek life can improve your overall American college experience.
Believe it or not, extracurriculars can even help you get admitted into a U.S. college. Admissions officers value students who are involved in activities outside of the classroom. When applying, be sure to highlight anything you do in your spare time, including playing an instrument, volunteering, professional work experience and notable hobbies. Schools are drawn to students who are well-rounded and want to pursue their personal and professional goals.
Likewise, if you plan to stay in the States, employers will notice these types of activities on your resume. Building a resume is part of American culture, so it is important to get involved with activities that interest you and help develop an arsenal of skills. Just like schools, employers want to know who the person is behind the numbers.
The only real question to ask yourself is, “What extracurricular activity should I get involved in?” The answer is completely up to you, and you should consider all of your options. What do you enjoy doing and what are you good at? Who do you want to surround yourself with and what kind of network do you want to build?
Colleges and universities offer a vast number of clubs and organizations for every type of student. Academic clubs are the most common student organizations and are as extensive as the amount of degrees, including clubs for aeronautics, engineering, psychology, English, theatre, entrepreneurship and degree-specific honor societies. There are also community service organizations if you want to do altruistic volunteer work, political and activist organizations, recreation and traditional sports organizations, student government and other leadership opportunities, and religious or spiritual organizations. Many international students will join an international student club on campus in addition to other clubs and organizations. There truly is an organization for everybody. Here’s how to get started:
Use Your University’s Resources
Get in contact with your school’s admissions office, student life center, athletics department and other areas of interest. Ask them about how other students get involved and what types of extracurricular activities they offer. In almost every case, there will be a club, organization, sport or Greek society that will help you pursue your goals.
Fraternities and sororities are a great place to gain friendships for life. Greek organizations offer camaraderie and support during your time in college and beyond. Be sure to research all of the different Greek life organizations so that you find one where members share your own personal and professional interests. These are societies where you can become something larger than yourself, help your community, gain lasting connections. and meet like-minded friends. Many Greek organizations do community service work and host events and parties; members gain a sense of belonging away from home.
While there are recreational sports clubs that offer non-traditional activities like rock climbing, kayaking, ultimate frisbee, and dancing, most colleges will also have college-sponsored sports teams. Though it can be difficult to get on a team in the bigger schools, some of the smaller schools will offer the same sports at a lower competitive skill level. Even if you don’t think you were very good when you played sports in secondary school, if you want to compete in college, don’t discount trying out. Especially if it is a Division III or IV school, it’s worth the shot and a great way to meet new people doing something you enjoy.
No matter what your interests are, American colleges and universities offer extracurricular activities for nearly anything you are interested in. Being part of the campus life is essential for becoming a successful professional and active citizen. The first step is to decide what you want to do, and then start researching on your college’s website for what they have to offer. If all else fails, ask what the process is for creating your own organization. You never know where it could lead you.
A graduate of Yale University, Ryan Hickey is the managing editor of Peterson's & EssayEdge and is an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions.
by Kate Kirk
Making the most of your language program isn’t just about going to class. Of course, there is a lot of learning that happens in a classroom, but what many students don’t know is that a lot of what they learn and how fast they learn comes from what happens outside the classroom. Therefore, it is important to know what resources your school offers. If you don’t know where to begin, here are a few resources to enrich your English as a Second Language (ESL) experience.
Your first resource is your ESL administrative staff. After all, they are the ones that helped you get to the U.S. to begin with! Your administrative staff members have office hours devoted just to you. By taking advantage of these hours, you can double-check immigration regulations, ensuring that you maintain your status while in the U.S. Some offices might also have staff that offer personal advising. Don’t be shy about directing any questions to your ESL staff! They can point you to the right resources. It is also a chance to practice using your English.
Free Software: Many campuses also offer discounted or free access to online software and applications. There is also technical support available to help students with computer problems.
Work and Volunteer:
Both on-campus employment and volunteer work are great resume-builders and look good on college applications.
In addition to events, your ESL office may offer a conversation partners program, where you are paired with a native speaker to practice your English speaking skills.
There’s no such thing as being born “good at languages.” However, there are people who learn languages well, but that has nothing to do with them being naturally good at it. It has to do with their attitude and the way they approach learning.
1. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS AREN’T AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS.
A Dutch friend of mine speaks English, Spanish, German, French, and, of course, Dutch. I asked her what she thought was most important in learning a language. She answered immediately: “Courage.”
Good language learners face the fear of making mistakes. They experiment and take risks. For example, trying out different ways of learning vocabulary until finding a way that suits them best. They are not afraid of making mistakes because they know that with every mistake, they gain a small victory toward improving their language.
2. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS FIND A STYLE OF LEARNING THAT SUITS THEM.
You may already have heard or read about learning styles. The idea is that everyone has a style of learning that suits them best. You want to figure out how you learn most easily and apply your preferred learning styles to your language learning.
When you learn something new, do you like to talk about it or think about it? Or do you get new information in pictures or words? Do you find it easier to learn facts or concepts? These are just a few of the questions that help you discover how you best learn. Visit here for more.
3. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS ARE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THEIR LEARNING PROCESS.
Good language learners take responsibility for their own learning. Besides regular language classes, they create opportunities to use the language. They know practice is very important and are willing to take risks and appear foolish if necessary.
Good language learners are independent. They do not expect to learn English only by sitting in the classroom, and they do not rely on the teacher for all of the learning. They are organized and active. They look for creative ways both inside and outside the classroom to try out what they have learned.
4. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW THE LANGUAGE WORKS.
Good language learners try to understand the language as a system. They pay attention to form and look for patterns. They develop good techniques for improving their pronunciation, and for learning grammar and vocabulary. They welcome mistakes as a way of learning more about the language.
5. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS KNOW THAT LANGUAGE IS USED TO COMMUNICATE.
Good language learners pay attention to meaning. They have good techniques to practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They push themselves to speak and try to become fluent. They look for opportunities to talk with native speakers.
6. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS ARE LIKE GOOD DETECTIVES.
Good language learners are always looking for clues to help them understand how the language works. They make guesses and ask people to correct them if they are wrong. They compare what they say with what others say. They keep a record of what they have learned and think about it while they monitor themselves.
7. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS TRY TO THINK IN THE LANGUAGE.
It may not be easy at first, but thinking in English is worth cultivating as a vital skill that will improve all areas of your language learning. To help you think in English, carry on a dialogue with yourself in English when walking along, sitting on a bus, or taking a break from other studies. Use English whenever and wherever you can.
8. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS REALIZE THAT LANGUAGE LEARNING IS NOT EASY.
Good language learners know that it takes time and effort to become proficient and that sometimes progress will seem slow. They are realistic in setting learning goals. They are able to assess their own strengths and weaknesses and to evaluate their own approach to learning. If their learning method isn’t working, then they find a better method.
9. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS ARE ALSO GOOD CULTURE LEARNERS.
Good language learners have a good attitude toward the culture where the language is spoken. They know that learning a language means learning the culture as well. They learn the customs of nonverbal behavior and the important values of the culture. They learn how to behave in stores and restaurants, how to behave with strangers, and how to behave in society. They learn courtesy conventions; for example, they learn that “How are you?” is a greeting formula in English, not a real question. A good language learner knows that language and culture are two sides of the same coin.
10. GOOD LANGUAGE LEARNERS HAVE A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO LANGUAGE LEARNING.
Good language learners work through any feelings of frustration or lack of confidence. They are able to cope with the challenges of learning a new language; they can live with having good language days and bad language days. They don’t let themselves give up, instead reminding themselves how important it is to keep going!
By Charles Duquette of Maryland English Institute.
By Rachel Jenkins
In the U.S., we refer to the months of November and December as “the holiday season” because of the major holidays celebrated from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. The United States is a nation of many cultures that has adopted holiday customs from across the world, and we’ve developed a few of our own that stand out. Here’s a handy guide to those traditions for international students in the U.S.
You may have seen it on TV – the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., crowds gather at stores across the country in the early hours of the morning in search of the best discounts on presents for the holidays. The event got its name from a phrase used in business – “in the black” – which means that a company has made a profit.
Eggnog is sweet seasonal drink that has been popular around the holidays in the U.S. since its colonial days. The drink consists of milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and can be made with or without egg whites and rum/whiskey. While the drink originated in England, it’s a treat reserved just for the holidays in the States.
Decorating Houses with Lights
It’s common to see houses decorated with everything from white lights to blow-up decorations across the country. Going beyond public parks and city squares, American families and neighbors (like this city block in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) often see their impressive house decorations as a point of pride and cause for bragging rights.
Eating Pumpkin Desserts
You may have heard the phrase, “as American as apple pie.” It may be even more appropriate to say so for pumpkin pie. Every autumn in the U.S., farmers harvest pumpkins that bakeries and families turn into a variety of holiday treats between Halloween and Christmas. The most famous of these is pumpkin pie, a sweet and hearty dessert typically enjoyed with family after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Try a slice this year!
Watching the Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve in New York
For over 100 years every New Year’s Eve, thousands of tourists flock to Times Square in New York City to witness “the Ball drop.” A 12-foot ball of Waterford crystals that weighs over 5,000 kg descends from the top of One Times Square as people in the U.S. count down to the new year. If you can’t make it to New York to see it yourself, you can watch it on TV.
The Mummers Parade
The Mummers Parade is thought to be the oldest folk festival in the U.S. The parade is a unique celebration on New Year’s Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and consists of a number of string bands who play music and wear homemade elaborate costumes to ring in the new year.
Time Off in December and January
Most U.S. schools and many businesses are closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day so families can spend time together. For college students in the U.S., the holidays mean it’s time for winter break, which usually lasts from mid-December to mid-January. Here’s how you can spend your month off.
Mixing Cultural Traditions
The U.S. is home to people from all over the world, and holiday celebrations are no different. Read how international food truck owners on Temple University’s campus share their cultural traditions with students this time of year.
Whether you are an international student spending the holiday season in the U.S. for the first time or the fifth time, these traditions are sure to get you into the spirit. Happy Holidays!
Rachel Jenkins is the Marketing Coordinator for International Affairs at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
By Jennifer Privette
In 2018, around 891,330 international students studied in the United States according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report. While their U.S. counterparts were most likely studying humanities, international students focused on STEM and business majors, majors which tend to lead to high earning careers.
Here are the top 10 U.S. majors among international students …
Humanities is the study of human society, culture and the human experience. Disciplines within the humanities are the arts, history, religion, philosophy, linguistics and language.
International students studying Humanities: 17,040
9. Intensive English
Many international students begin their academic journey in the U.S. by first studying English in an intensive English program. Students often transfer to academic programs upon completing their English studies.
International students studying Intensive English: 25,845
8. Health Professions
Not to be confused with physical and life sciences, health profession areas of study include physical therapy, nutrition, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and more.
International students studying Health Professions: 35,169
7. Fine and Applied Arts
There has been a gradual increase in international students choosing fine and applied arts majors in the United States over the last few years. Fine and applied arts majors may be studying architecture, visual and performing arts, music, graphic design and urban planning.
International students studying Fine and Applied Arts: 63,795
6. Physical and Life Sciences
There are an array of majors within the physical and life sciences including various biology disciplines, neuroscience, cognitive science, astronomy, chemistry, geology and geophysics, physics, math, statistics, meteorology and more.
International students studying Physical and Life Sciences: 78,700
5. Social Sciences
Social sciences and humanities can seem similar, especially when some majors such as history can fall under the college of humanities at one university and social sciences at another. In general, the social sciences engage in qualitative and quantitative analysis. Majors include journalism, political science, psychology, sociology, women’s studies and many more.
International students studying Social Sciences: 83,708
4. Other Fields of Study
Coming in at number four is a whole lot of other majors. According to the latest Open Doors report for 2016/17, international students are studying liberal arts, multi-interdisciplinary studies, park, recreation and leisure, and personal and culinary arts.
International students studying Other Fields of Study: 88,720
3. Math and Computer Science
The top three majors produce graduates with some of the highest earning careers and these include math and computer science. Areas of discipline include mathematics, software engineering, computer programming, and information sciences.
International students studying Math and Computer Science: 186,003
2. Business and Management
With the increase in globalization, business has remained a top area of study for international students. Graduates are valuable to the job market and can look forward to high earning positions. Business majors can include accounting, international business, marketing, finance, business administration and management, and supply chain management. Students can also go on to earn their MBAs.
International students studying Business and Management: 196,054
Coming in at number one is engineering. There are numerous types of engineering areas of focus, but the most popular are civil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical. Engineering provides graduates with many job opportunities and in high earning positions.
International students studying Engineering: 232,710
Jennifer Privette is the former editor and assistant publisher of Study in the USA magazines and StudyUSA.com.
BY AMANDA COHEN
School is stressful. It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman taking 16 credits or a second-semester senior taking the bare minimum, being in a school environment can be tough and — for many people — anxiety-provoking.
However, sometimes the most stressful part of school is not having a plan or enough time to actually de-stress. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to cope with stress that don’t take much time. Here are some ideas:
Go for a Walk/Jog/Run
Even if you don’t love to exercise, start incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your routine. Walking, jogging or running is a great way to clear your head and can help both your mental and physical health. Even if you just do something for 15 minutes each day, it will make a difference, and I bet you will end up increasing your workout length because you will start to feel the amazing benefits. If you go to a school where it’s warm enough to be outside, then run outdoors. If not, go on the treadmill.
While doing your cardio, either revel in the silence and enjoy the mindlessness of the activity, or listen to an awesome music playlist that puts a smile on your face and/or calms you down.
Remember to take whatever exercise you decide to do at your own pace and go about it in a way that fits into your schedule. Don’t try to work around anyone else’s schedule and exercise plans. Exercising with other people can be great, but sometimes working out alone can be less stressful.
Take a Yoga Class
Yoga is a great activity to do early in the morning or at night right before you go to bed because it helps create a feeling of calm. Practicing yoga combines fitness, focus, and an overall sense of healthy well-being. Often, yoga is offered for free at university gyms, or local yoga studios may have financially manageable class packages so that you don’t have to worry about sacrificing your bank account for the benefit of your mental health.
Classes are offered in a variety of difficulty levels so that you don’t hurt yourself. Plus, even though all classes focus on being present in the moment, some classes will be more focused on introspection while others will be more physically challenging. Pick which class is best for you and try to go regularly if you can!
Do Some Meditation
Meditation has wonderful de-stressing benefits, and it doesn’t take much time out of your day. The art of meditation is simple. You sit straight up, either on the floor or in a chair, close your eyes, and take deep, purposeful breaths. The recommended time for meditation is around 10 minutes, but even 5 minutes of meditation will do wonders for your overall mental well-being.
However, if you are like me and have a hard time meditating on your own, there are apps that you can download on your phone that can help guide you through the meditation process.
Cook Yourself a Meal
In the past, when I was stressed, I thought that ordering lunch and dinner for delivery would help because it would give me more time to attend to other things I needed to do — like homework. However, I found that when I took the time to cook dinner for myself, I felt a lot better and healthier, physically and mentally.
The meal doesn’t have to be an elaborate one. You can check cooking websites to find some easy and quick recipes.
Some simple, go-to meals that take 30 minutes or less are: baked salmon; rotisserie chicken with rice and veggies; pasta and salad; veggie burgers (you can buy these frozen) with frozen sweet potato fries. Cooking will eventually become a part of your routine, and studies show that healthier foods that are cooked at home actually help to create stronger mental health.
I hope these tips were helpful. Don’t forget that you can get help from your support system: family, friends, professors, advisors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and more. However, if your stress continues and you are worried about your mental/psychological well-being, you should go to your local university counseling/mental health center or your local emergency room.
You aren’t alone, and you will get through this!
Amanda Cohen is a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
From uloop.com, Online Marketplace for College Life
International students travel from all over the world to come to the U.S. to participate in graduate study. Universities in the U.S. offer capacity for study that many countries are not able to offer their citizens, which is why many students pursue graduate education abroad. Graduate education allows students to garner advanced knowledge of prior studies, with specific interest in a discipline. Students seeking careers in many fields are required to obtain specialized training through earning an advanced degree. A graduate school experience offers an environment rich in academic and social experiences that foster intellectual and personal development.
Graduate education teaches students how to research and apply knowledge,” says Brandy Randall, Associate Dean of the North Dakota State University College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. “In advanced degree programs, students are learning how to tackle problems that don’t yet exist.”
Institutions across the U.S. offer a variety of graduate programs such as Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the arts and sciences, Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) and doctorate degree programs in professional practice. Programs are available in science, technology, engineering, math, health, human development, arts, education and professional degree programs.
American graduate education is high quality, with research laboratories, facilities and libraries that are equipped to meet the needs of graduate students to ensure success in their fields. U.S. institutions focus on the global economy, building relationships and networking with international graduate students benefitting both international and domestic students, which increases opportunities for careers and international collaboration.
“It has been a truly enriching experience to study in this country. I have been fortunate to work with wonderful faculty, colleagues and staff, while developing my personal and professional skills. I have grown tremendously and am eager to translate my expertise into further professional endeavors after graduation,” says Corina Todoran, a Ph.D. student in Education Doctoral Programs, who is from Borsa, Romania
Faculty and students build strong working relationships by collaborating in the lab and conducting research together. Students often feel fortunate to work closely with innovative faculty mentors who are recognized and respected internationally for their contributions to their fields of study.
Application and Admission Standards
Admission to a graduate program is a selective process intended to identify applicants who are outstanding among recipients of baccalaureate degrees. Most institutions require applicants to have earned a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution of recognized standing. In addition, applicants must have adequate preparation in the chosen field of study and must show potential to undertake advanced study and research as evidenced by academic performance and experience. To attain full standing in a graduate degree program, aim for a high cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0, or equivalent. (Each graduate program will have different admissions standards, including GPA.) Many universities require additional evidence of academic performance.
Students must be admitted to a graduate program prior to registering for courses. Prospective students should be prepared to submit the following:
Opportunities Within a Program and After Graduation
Many programs offer opportunities to collaborate on research and scholarly activity in the form of research and teaching assistantships to qualified students. These awards recognize superior teaching and research contributions of graduate students. Graduate assistantships contribute to professional development with the primary purpose of helping students successfully complete their academic program. Assistantships augment other educational experiences and provide financial support to help students focus of their educational goals.
After graduation, many international graduate students choose to live and work in communities near the university they attended. Advanced degree holders often choose careers in academia, research, manufacturing, industry and business with employers who seek well-educated and trained graduates.
Lisa Hauck is the Assistant Dean for Recruitment, Admissions and International Initiatives at the Graduate School, North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota.
By Lorena Roberts
If you’ve ever been stranded on campus without your wallet or an umbrella, you know how inconvenient that can be. You wake up in the morning thinking you don’t have a thing to worry about, when in reality, it’s going to pour down rain between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when classes are in full swing (and you have a pretty long walk).
To save yourself from embarrassment or from being uncomfortable, here are 16 things you should always have with you while on campus.
Laptop. Phone. Tablet. Any charger you could possibly need should be with you on campus. Nothing is worse than walking into class feeling prepared and having a dead laptop.
2. Spare outfit/Shoes
This might not seem that important until you have an important meeting and you’ve spilled coffee all down your shirt. Or until you step in a giant puddle and soak your shoes. You definitely want to save yourself from blisters and bleeding feet.
3. Day planner
How will you plan anything or keep track of assignments if you don’t have your day planner (or agenda) with you? Make sure you have your planner before you leave your house or dorm room.
4. An extra set of pens
Taking notes with a pen that’s low on ink is the worst. If you’re like me, you have a favorite pen. I always keep a spare in the zipper of my purse. Of course, I have a million other pens I could use. But if I’m really needing to feel fancy and write something important, I want to make sure I have the right pen to do so.
Keeping extra deodorant in your bag will be your saving grace — especially in the summer or if you go to school in a warm climate.
6. Gum/Floss/Travel toothbrush
You don’t want to walk around all day with your breath smelling like your first cup of coffee in the morning or with your lunch stuck in your teeth. If you keep some oral health essentials with you at all times, you’ll be a lot more confident in your smile.
If you’re someone who needs something to eat every few hours, take a snack with you to campus! It’ll be easier to appease a grumbling tummy with a pack of crackers or an apple from your bag than to track down a snack-filled vending machine.
When you’re trying to have a really good study session but that girl behind you won’t stop giggling, you’re going to wish you had some headphones to drown her out. Your walks to class will be more enjoyable as well.
9. Wallet (including your student ID)
You never know when you’re going to need your wallet for some reason on campus. I always have mine with me in case I need to walk off campus for food. It’s also important that I have my student ID in case I need to check something out from the library or use the printer.
10. Spare notebook/paper
I always have an extra notebook and paper with me. If I ever need to leave someone a note or write down something important, I’ve got it covered.
11. Water bottle
When you hike up that hill, you’re going to wish you had something to swig. You’ll appreciate having a water bottle with you at least once a day. Just make sure you wash it out every now and then.
12. Hand sanitizer
Walking around campus means opening doors, grabbing handrails and touching other people … Ick! You never want to sit down to eat something (even a snack) without squirting some hand sanitizer on your palms beforehand. Channel your “inner mom” and pull out the sanitizing wet-wipes to wipe down your table as well. It’s always flu season on campus!
13. Sticky notes
In case you need to remember something really important, carry some sticky notes around for quick reminders. I do this all the time. If my day planner has a sticky note on top, I’m sure to pay attention to it.
14. Hat/Hair accessories
When I used to have long hair, I always made sure I had a hair band on my wrist or a hat for hot days.
I’m not suggesting you carry around a large bottle of medicine, but having some emergency headache pills will keep you from skipping class on those days when there’s an annoying pounding in your head.
16. An umbrella (even if it isn’t supposed to rain)
You can’t always trust the forecast. I’ve been caught on campus in a rainstorm MULTIPLE times without an umbrella.
From uloop.com, Online Marketplace for College Life
By Jon Marcus
Alana Wolf entered Cornell University as a student for the first time this fall. But unlike most of the other nervous new arrivals, she wasn’t starting as a freshman.Cornell admitted her on condition she go somewhere else for a year and come back as a sophomore. It was an example of a little-known policy universities appear to be increasingly using to balance their own enrollments and take students who might otherwise not make the cut on the first try — from children of alumni to full-paying foreign students who need work on their English to low-income and first-generation graduates of high schools that have provided them poor study skills.
Cornell never told Wolf, who is from Millburn, New Jersey, why she was admitted conditionally, she said. But having fallen in love with the campus when she spent three weeks there on a college-preparation program while in high school, she is looking forward to entering its top-ranked hospitality program — regardless of how she got there.“It was a really cool opportunity,” said Wolf, who spent her freshman year less than three miles from Cornell at neighboring Ithaca College. “Some people think, ‘Oh, she didn’t get in the first time.’ They see it as a curse. But I choose to see it as a blessing.”
It’s a blessing being bestowed on more and more applicants to college, according to admission consultants and observers of the largely secretive admission process.
“When students get a response that they’ve been admitted conditionally, in many cases it’s likely to be a surprise, like, ‘I didn’t even know that was an option,’” said Eric Endlich, founder of Top College Consultants near Boston, who advises college applicants. “It’s not typically mentioned in the application materials or the promotional materials that colleges provide.”
Many students who have benefitted from it see conditional admission as a perfectly acceptable route to their top-choice campus. Universities tout it as a way they can admit more low-income students who deserve a chance but might not have had the same advantages of better-prepared applicants from private and suburban high schools.
But much of the momentum behind conditional admission — also called deferred admission, alternative admission, conditional transfer and provisional admission — comes from the competitive and enrollment pressures even top institutions face.
By sending them off to spend their freshman years elsewhere and requiring them to meet certain academic targets, for instance, colleges ensure that students are motivated and likely to make it all the way to graduation rather than cost revenue by dropping out. It also saves them at least a year’s worth of financial aid, if the student qualifies for it.
Since nearly one in five full-time freshmen admitted in conventional ways do drop out, according to the U.S. Department of Education, having a line on applicants ready to start as sophomores also helps those schools fill empty seats and beds and keep tuition coming in.
That’s gotten harder during an ongoing enrollment slide now entering its seventh year; there were nearly 2.9 million fewer college students in the spring semester last year than at the last peak in 2011, the National Student Clearinghouse reports.“With the general softening of the market, conditional admission lets institutions hedge their bets,” said Kim Reid, principal analyst for the National Research Council for College and University Admission. “Especially in parts of the country where there are fewer academically credentialed students, there probably are schools that are having to go deeper into their pools of applicants and admitting students who aren’t as academically prepared.”Enrolling them as sophomores, however, prevents those students from being counted in statistics about average high school grade-point averages and admission test scores of entering freshmen, used in all-important rankings such as those produced by U.S. News. And it can make an institution’s selectivity — the proportion of applicants accepted — look higher than it really is, since students admitted as sophomores aren’t included.
“There’s both a cynical and a non-cynical logic to having some of these programs,” Reid said.
Many universities and colleges that have conditional admission were reluctant to discuss it. Some officials outside of admission departments said they didn’t even know it existed.
“They don’t want too much focus on this,” Endlich said. A spokesman for Cornell said about a quarter of its 700 to 750 transfer students each year come to the university through this process, which it calls the “transfer option.” Wolf said she has already talked with several, and will be sharing a dorm room with three.
New York University has conditional admission, but a spokesman said it’s seldom used, and mostly reserved for high school graduates missing admission requirements because of illness, a death in the family or some other unanticipated crisis.
The conditional admission policy at George Washington University, begun five years ago, requires students to spend their freshman years at the American University of Paris, its partner in the program, before returning to the Washington, D.C., campus as sophomores. About 30 students annually are accepted in this way, the university said. Under pressure to increase their proportions of low-income students, elite universities in particular are using conditional admission to accept them, not only avoiding imperiling their rankings but also lowering their risk by sending these students somewhere else for a year to see if they can handle college. Most require that the students meet minimum academic standards and earn a predetermined number of credits. to accept sought-after international students, who often pay full tuition (and sometimes even an additional stipend) but may need more work on their English skills. Several public universities offer the option for this purpose, including some California State University System campuses, the University of Minnesota, Rutgers, Ball State and North Carolina and North Dakota state universities. Some require non-native-English-speaking applicants to spend a year brushing up on their language skills; others send them to intensive English programs until they meet a given level of proficiency.
Southern Methodist University began to offer conditional admission about 10 years ago, when its popularity was on the rise and competition to get in intensified, in an attempt to keep the door open for all of these kinds of students — as well as children of alumni, faculty and staff — said Wes Waggoner, associate vice president for enrollment management.
“There are certain students who are important to the university who quite honestly have many advantages in their life, just as there are also students who are interested in the university who don’t have those advantages,” Waggoner said.
SMU offers conditional admission to 1,200 applicants a year, he said; 75 to 100 typically say they will eventually enroll, and 35 to 50 actually do.
Waggoner’s candor about the reasons that it’s used shows how conditional admission is a symbol of the many pressures universities are under, Reid said: “to keep the headcount up, to keep the revenue up, to keep admitting [low-income and first-generation] students, to keep development offices happy.”
But the universities, he said, would just as soon not draw attention to it.
“It’s kind of the right thing to do,” Reid said, “but you don’t want anyone to know about it.”