Forum: Ruby Studying in the US

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5da4c52f43677f395aff5bde775593c2?d=identicon&s=25 Daniel Schierbeck (dasch)
on 2005-12-02 22:55
(Received via mailing list)
Hi fellow Rubyists!

I've been on this list for a little while now,and I feel like you're all
very open and helpful. That's why I direct my question to you.

I'm at my senior year at the Danish (north of Germany, south of Sweden)
equivalence to the US high school. My grades are excellent (about an A
average, though I'm not completely sure about the conversion. I expect
to finish with an average of over 10, if there are any Danes that know
what that would amount to in teh US system.) I was hoping to study in
the US either next school year or the year after, depending on what my
options are (and perhaps it's already too late to apply for next year,)
but I'm not sure I will be able to afford it - We have a public (free)
education system in Denmark, so I do not have any college savings. What
I want to know is what my options are in regard to scholarships and
whatever funding there may else be.

I've been looking at colleges like UC Berkeley, which I believe is a
state college, but I've also been dreaming of going to more prominent
colleges, such as Boston College, though that may not be realistic.

My grades are good enough to get me into pretty much any education I
want here in Denmark, but I'd very much like to get away for a few years
and try to live across the pond. I also find the selection of courses
more interesting. Here we specialize a lot earlier.

I'm mostly interested in the scientific and mathematical areas, so I
think I'd pick math, CS, or the like as mayor.


Thank you for listening (reading?) to me,
Daniel Schierbeck
7cf9493614c47ce48f8a56407a050085?d=identicon&s=25 mrkode (Guest)
on 2005-12-02 23:19
(Received via mailing list)
here in sweden they pay your tuition fees when studying abroad. I
suppose
you should hear with your guidance councellor.

/Johan
F3b7109c91841c7106784d229418f5dd?d=identicon&s=25 collinsj (Guest)
on 2005-12-02 23:39
(Received via mailing list)
Just so you know, UC Berkeley is a VERY good school.

-Justin
Ac60831d3dd673be6a3fad14211bbfaa?d=identicon&s=25 sillydeveloper (Guest)
on 2005-12-02 23:47
(Received via mailing list)
As is Carnegie-Melon.

AE
31af45939fec7e3c4ed8a798c0bd9b1a?d=identicon&s=25 M.B.Smillie (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 00:44
(Received via mailing list)
If you're not enrolling full-time at a university for the entire
degree course, then the most usual way to study there is on some sort
of exchange program.  Most universities would be unlikely to
knowingly take you on for only 1-2 years, and even if they did,
trying to transfer your work and credit back to Denmark could be
problematic.

You would normally study abroad in your second or third year of
university.  It would be relatively unusual to study abroad for your
first year, and probably wouldn't do you all that much good
academically, anyway.  Especially if you're going to a school like
Berkley, you'll get a lot more out of it academically in your third
year than in your first.  This is a broad, and perhaps slightly cruel
generalisation, but if you're not in a "smart" school like Berkley,
the first-year courses may annoy the hell out of you - the US high
school system doesn't quite compare to most European ones.

The first thing I would do would be to see if your university in
Denmark has any exchange programs operating with universities
abroad.  Since you've done well enough to pick the university you
want in Denmark, look into what exchange programs they have when
you're choosing.  If where you end up doesn't have an exchange
program (or if they're to universities you're not interested in), you
can usually still arrange your own exchange with a little bit of leg-
work and communication.  Application dates will vary, but they can be
as early as November or December, so if you want to go on exchange in
your second year, you're in for a very busy first term at university.

The next thing to worry about is funding.  Someone will pay an arm
and a leg for you to study abroad, so you'll have to make sure it's
not you.  Once again, your own university in Denmark will have the
best information for you regarding sources of funding from Denmark
(but don't expect them to have *all* the information).  If you want
to go to a particular school in the US, contact their international
students' office (they will all have something that fits that
description).  It may even be worth contacting the relevant
departments for information.

I'm not familiar with Denmark in particular, but if the system works
anything like Sweden and Norway, you might consider waiting until
you're almost finished in Denmark and going to the US to study for
part of a Master's degree (the 'typical' degree you finish with in
Sweden and Norway is more similar to an American Master's than
Bachelor's degree).  The minus of this is that it's further in the
future, but the plus side is that it will be easier to find funding,
you'll be more likely to find a place you like to study, and you'll
be more likely to be studying something really interesting (rather
than just taking first-year programming classes).  And by then you'll
be of legal drinking age in the US as well.

Finally, I'll let my own nationalism slip through, and suggest that
you think about Canada as well as the US.  The University of Toronto
is a good school for CS and math, and is a great city.  Simon Frasier
University near Vancouver is smaller, but has a good reputation as
well, and both Vancouver and Toronto are fantastic cities to live
in.  Canadian universities also generally cheaper than the US, even
when paying international tuition rates.

Best of luck,
matthew smillie.
47b1910084592eb77a032bc7d8d1a84e?d=identicon&s=25 vjoel (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 01:21
(Received via mailing list)
Justin Collins wrote:
> Just so you know, UC Berkeley is a VERY good school.

True, but out-of-state tuition has increased dramatically in the last
few years.

There are a *lot* of opportunities for student work in the engineering
departments, though.
E1abde65ff2b0cbbc416f83e02457a69?d=identicon&s=25 michael.schwab (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 01:25
(Received via mailing list)
>
Congrats on (nearly) finishing your preparations for college.  It's a
great time if you do it at all correctly.  While I don't have any
experience at universities in other nations, I want to caution you
against moving to the US.  Our political screw-ups have a really sad
effect on our day-to-day lives.  I'm not just talking about
counterproductive drug policies and arrogant torture policy; the
hypocrisy goes much deeper than you might realize.  Our cities and
towns have been built in a way that favors cars so strongly that bikes
are an uncommon sight in many communities, and drivers lose touch with
their peers because they are always behind a thick layer of steel and
glass.  This in turn makes it quite dangerous to ride bikes in such
communities, because drivers aren't aware that you might be on the road
as well.  So parents forbid their children from biking; social
isolation mounts among those who are too young to drive or too frugal
to own a car; the economy fails to provide any entertainment for those
under 21 because they aren't mobile enough to be profitable; and the
only diversions kids show interest in are alcohol and pot.  But these
substances are forbidden and users persecuted, which doesn't reduce
consumption but forces it into unsupervised situations, where it
becomes all the more dangerous (especially because of the copious
driving involved in this constant cover-up).

College life is a wonderful escape compared to growing up in the
suburbs, especially if you're at a school like mine that recognizes
that alcohol is a health issue and not a disciplinary issue (sadly I
don't know of any other US schools that have such an enlightened
policy).  Still, the culture of substance abuse persists; and our
national obsession with big-box sporting events also has a crappy
effect because it drastically increases social segregation on campus
(and essentially steals the lives, and destroys the cartilage, of those
who are talented enough to be recruited).  Great teachers are far
between, as are students who unabashedly show an insatiable interest in
anything.  Schools in other nations may not have the same social unity,
but at least people know why they are there (to learn) and they value
that opportunity pretty highly.

Now, I know that people abuse substances the world over, but I am
certain that the patterns of use in most places are not so pointless
and boring as they tend to be here.  Go somewhere (like Canada) that
has a drinking age of 19 or lower; you'll find yourself in a much nicer
environment.  Personally, I am hoping to get myself to your part of the
world by any means possible... I understand your regard for US schools,
but I again caution you against leaving the warm embrace of social
democracy.

California is a bit of a different story.  Failing Europe or Canada
that's probably where I'll end up, so if you make it there let me know!

-Mike
310a5a16e39e2b381e102f2b1e245856?d=identicon&s=25 corey (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 01:37
(Received via mailing list)
Geez. If our country is so despicably horribly why don't you just
pack your bags and move to some place more 'enlightened'? Amsterdam
perhaps? If that's too radical a change for you, maybe try one of the
many other Western European countries you hold so near and dear.

Or better yet switch to a PoliSci major and make a difference. Until
then take your meandering diatribe and pipe it to /dev/null next time.

Corey
38a8230ed3d5c685558b4f0aad3fc74b?d=identicon&s=25 joevandyk (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 01:37
(Received via mailing list)
On 12/2/05, Mike Schwab <michael.schwab@yale.edu> wrote:
> I want to caution you
> against moving to the US.  Our political screw-ups have a really sad
> effect on our day-to-day lives.  I'm not just talking about
> counterproductive drug policies and arrogant torture policy; the
> hypocrisy goes much deeper than you might realize.

Ok, this is getting quite OT from the original OT post.
C1bcb559f87f356698cfad9f6d630235?d=identicon&s=25 hal9000 (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 02:10
(Received via mailing list)
Corey Jewett wrote:
> Geez. If our country is so despicably horribly why don't you just  pack
> your bags and move to some place more 'enlightened'? Amsterdam  perhaps?
> If that's too radical a change for you, maybe try one of the  many other
> Western European countries you hold so near and dear.
>
> Or better yet switch to a PoliSci major and make a difference. Until
> then take your meandering diatribe and pipe it to /dev/null next time.

Thank you, well said.

Hal
Eb9493c94d8db9887e5f15284d2c767f?d=identicon&s=25 ptkwt (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 03:23
(Received via mailing list)
In article <4390c1da$0$152$edfadb0f@dread11.news.tele.dk>,
Daniel Schierbeck  <daniel.schierbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
>the US either next school year or the year after, depending on what my
>options are (and perhaps it's already too late to apply for next year,)
>but I'm not sure I will be able to afford it - We have a public (free)
>education system in Denmark, so I do not have any college savings. What
>I want to know is what my options are in regard to scholarships and
>whatever funding there may else be.

US schools (even public ones now) are extremely expensive.
Most US students end up with school loans that take them many years to
pay
off.

>I'm mostly interested in the scientific and mathematical areas, so I
>think I'd pick math, CS, or the like as mayor.


Unless you've got a significant amount of money saved up, I would advise
you
to study in Europe.  You could try a different country in the EU like
the UK
or even Italy, for example.  In the past US uni's were highly regarded,
now
I'm not so sure it's going to be worth the money vs what you'll pay in
Europe...

Last year I was on a research fellowship in Italy (Genoa) and I as quite
impressed with their system.  The grad students had various labs they
belonged
to based on their interest.  In the lab you had your own computer
assigned to
you.  It's not like that in the US- you have to go to a computer room
full of
computers and wait for one to become available (at least that's how it
is at
PSU even for grad students).  I was really impressed with their system
there
in Italy - the grad students all seemed to have funding (meaning that
they
were even getting a monthly allowance) - that is definitely not the case
here
in the US.

So, while the grass may seem greener over here in the US, I really think
you
folks in Europe have a great thing going: low (or free) tuition, and the
Universities still seem to be well funded (unlike here).  You'll save
yourself
a lot of money and trouble by not coming to the US for your studies.

Phil
Eb9493c94d8db9887e5f15284d2c767f?d=identicon&s=25 ptkwt (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 03:27
(Received via mailing list)
In article <4390CC9A.4030603@seattleu.edu>,
Justin Collins  <collinsj@seattleu.edu> wrote:
>Just so you know, UC Berkeley is a VERY good school.
>

Very good and very difficult to get into.

However, I heard a contradictory oppinion: I know an assoc. prof
(researcher) at UC
Berkeley who was formerly at Portland State Univ (where I'm finishing up
my
Masters).  He told me that while UCB is doing a lot of cutting edge
research
in certain fields,  he believed that students were actually better off
at a
smaller, less well-known school like PSU because at Berkeley the profs
rarely
teach.  You're taught by grad students at UCB and the profs are
basically
unapproachable.

Phil
Fee23d1fc58edee59e05d7a52dcf172e?d=identicon&s=25 blargity (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 04:16
(Received via mailing list)
On Friday 02 December 2005 20:22, Phil Tomson wrote:
> So, while the grass may seem greener over here in the US, I really think
> you folks in Europe have a great thing going: low (or free) tuition, and
> the Universities still seem to be well funded (unlike here).  You'll save
> yourself a lot of money and trouble by not coming to the US for your
> studies.

Seconded.  And before I get yelled at for not moving out of the states,
I did,
so I'm entitled to say it might be better somewhere else.
E1abde65ff2b0cbbc416f83e02457a69?d=identicon&s=25 michael.schwab (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 04:36
(Received via mailing list)
Don't take it so hard.  I'm not trying to hate on the US, just trying to
raise
awareness about some problems that get overlooked.  I actually am
majoring in
poli sci, but doing so isn't any sort of shortcut to making a
difference.  The
best way to do that is to talk calmly with peers about changes that need
to be
made.  I realize the list has a narrowly defined purpose, but I'm
willing to
risk annoying a few people for the cause.  This is our world to live in,
so we
have to be clear about what we'll put up with and what isn't
acceptable.  There
are a lot of smart and influential people on the list, and I thought you
all
deserved to know the real story of life in the suburbs, and at a major
university, because these are really important issues that affect
millions of
lives!  I don't want to sit back while people suffer - I want to raise
my voice
about how easy it would be to fix so much.  I know that there are people
from
many parts of the world on this list, and quite a few may be
considering a move
to another place - they deserve to know what they'd be getting into.
These
aren't trivial things that I'm writing about.

Sorry to go off topic again.  I'll be more careful.





Quoting Corey Jewett <corey@syntheticplayground.com>:
149379873fe2cb70e550c6bff8fedd0c?d=identicon&s=25 jeff (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 09:05
(Received via mailing list)
Daniel Schierbeck wrote:
> the US either next school year or the year after, depending on what my
> My grades are good enough to get me into pretty much any education I
> want here in Denmark, but I'd very much like to get away for a few years
> and try to live across the pond. I also find the selection of courses
> more interesting. Here we specialize a lot earlier.
>
> I'm mostly interested in the scientific and mathematical areas, so I
> think I'd pick math, CS, or the like as mayor.

I got my undergraduate degree in Computer Systems Engineering at Boston
University, and had a great time getting it.  Boston is a wonderful
place to go to college, and a great place to live if you can stand the
winters.

Your best options probably will be private scholarships.  BU is
expensive, but gives a lot of merit-based scholarship and grant money.
You should have a good shot at some of that money, given your scholastic
accomplishments.  It also has great programs for foreign students.  Your
English already seems excellent, so you will be one step ahead of other
students.

I don't know what BC's programs for foreign students are like.  Life at
BC seems to revolve around two religions:  Catholicism and Football.
5da4c52f43677f395aff5bde775593c2?d=identicon&s=25 Daniel Schierbeck (dasch)
on 2005-12-03 16:15
(Received via mailing list)
Matthew Smillie wrote:
>
> If you're not enrolling full-time at a university for the entire degree
> course, then the most usual way to study there is on some sort of
> exchange program.  Most universities would be unlikely to knowingly take
> you on for only 1-2 years, and even if they did, trying to transfer your
> work and credit back to Denmark could be problematic.

Thank you very much for your detailed reply!
I was hoping to study for a full 4 year period, though I know it's not
going to be easy, so I'm also prepared to try other ways. There are a
lot of exchange programs, but it seems like most are directed towards
the economic fields (we have to specialize when we finish high school.)
I know that there is a good chance I'll be able to study abroad for one
or two semesters, but it just feels like such a short period of time.

> You would normally study abroad in your second or third year of
> university.  It would be relatively unusual to study abroad for your
> first year, and probably wouldn't do you all that much good
> academically, anyway.  Especially if you're going to a school like
> Berkley, you'll get a lot more out of it academically in your third year
> than in your first.

I think it may be too late for me to study abroad in my first year,
anyway, so it's kind of a relief that it's not there the action is.

> The first thing I would do would be to see if your university in Denmark
> has any exchange programs operating with universities abroad.  Since
> you've done well enough to pick the university you want in Denmark, look
> into what exchange programs they have when you're choosing.  If where
> you end up doesn't have an exchange program (or if they're to
> universities you're not interested in), you can usually still arrange
> your own exchange with a little bit of leg-work and communication.
> Application dates will vary, but they can be as early as November or
> December, so if you want to go on exchange in your second year, you're
> in for a very busy first term at university.

I think that's the sanest approach, too. Unfortunately, I'm don't think
it's possible to be on an exchange program for more than a year or so.
But of course, if I could arrange my own exchange while enrolled in a
danish university... That actually sound very interesting

> The next thing to worry about is funding.  Someone will pay an arm and a
> leg for you to study abroad, so you'll have to make sure it's not you.
> Once again, your own university in Denmark will have the best
> information for you regarding sources of funding from Denmark (but don't
> expect them to have *all* the information).  If you want to go to a
> particular school in the US, contact their international students'
> office (they will all have something that fits that description).  It
> may even be worth contacting the relevant departments for information.

I think there's a better chance of getting scholarships from the US than
from Denmark. I've only heard of one organisation here, and there are
all kind of weird restrictions in their scholarships (like that I can't
return to study or work in the US or even apply for a green card before
several years after the exchange period is over.)

> the US as well.
I'm realizing from your post that going abroad for my first year isn't
that good an idea. I now think I'll wait 'till my second, though that
makes it harder for me to choose an education here. Yes, it's the legal
drinking ago that did it. Ours is 16 :)

> Finally, I'll let my own nationalism slip through, and suggest that you
> think about Canada as well as the US.  The University of Toronto is a
> good school for CS and math, and is a great city.  Simon Frasier
> University near Vancouver is smaller, but has a good reputation as well,
> and both Vancouver and Toronto are fantastic cities to live in.
> Canadian universities also generally cheaper than the US, even when
> paying international tuition rates.

That may also be an option. How's the weather in those cities? The
Danish weather is driving me crazy (cold and rainy).


Thank you so much for your reply, it really helped me a lot!
Daniel
5da4c52f43677f395aff5bde775593c2?d=identicon&s=25 Daniel Schierbeck (dasch)
on 2005-12-03 16:31
(Received via mailing list)
Mike Schwab wrote:
> This in turn makes it quite dangerous to ride bikes in such communities,
>
> Schools in other nations may not have the same social unity, but at
> democracy.
>
> California is a bit of a different story.  Failing Europe or Canada
> that's probably where I'll end up, so if you make it there let me know!
>
> -Mike

Thank you for your reply. I know that studying in the US will be very
different from Denmark, where there's a very high degree of
independence, even in high school. I hate driving, and love riding a
bike in the fresh air (I even live in the self-proclaimed "bike city" of
Denmark, Odense). I also realise that the drinking laws aren't as
liberal as here, where the drinking is 16.

But neither of those points make me not want to study in the US. I'm
drawn by the American ideas and dreams. To tell you the truth, it's
after spending time on mailing lists such as this.


Cheers,
Daniel
5da4c52f43677f395aff5bde775593c2?d=identicon&s=25 Daniel Schierbeck (dasch)
on 2005-12-03 16:39
(Received via mailing list)
Phil Tomson wrote:
>> to finish with an average of over 10, if there are any Danes that know
> off.
>> I'm mostly interested in the scientific and mathematical areas, so I
> impressed with their system.  The grad students had various labs they belonged
> Universities still seem to be well funded (unlike here).  You'll save yourself
> a lot of money and trouble by not coming to the US for your studies.
>
> Phil

Yes, I know that Europe's a lot cheaper. I'm still considering it, but,
realising that many people on this list are Americans, I wanted to know
what it's like in the US, and how hard it is to study and live there.

Here in Denmark all students recieve an education aid of approximately
$700-800 per month. There even is an aid to high school students (though
I can't really see the point of that) of at least $100 per month, and
more if your parents have a low income.

I'd be able to take that aid with me if I were to study abroad, though
I'm not sure I will if I do the full 4 year period.


Cheers,
Daniel
1b5341b64f7ce0244366eae17f06c801?d=identicon&s=25 khaines (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 18:00
(Received via mailing list)
On Saturday 03 December 2005 8:37 am, Daniel Schierbeck wrote:

> Here in Denmark all students recieve an education aid of approximately
> $700-800 per month. There even is an aid to high school students (though
> I can't really see the point of that) of at least $100 per month, and
> more if your parents have a low income.
>
> I'd be able to take that aid with me if I were to study abroad, though
> I'm not sure I will if I do the full 4 year period.

When I went to college in 1989, I went to the University of Wyoming.  In
my
years there, I was always surprised at the numbers of scandanavians
there for
engineering or computer science.  Your educational stipend might help
explain
it, though.  With a stipend like that at a less expensive school like
UWyo,
all you are left to cover, really, is your living expenses.


Kirk Haines
Fee23d1fc58edee59e05d7a52dcf172e?d=identicon&s=25 blargity (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 18:25
(Received via mailing list)
On Saturday 03 December 2005 11:00, Kirk Haines wrote:
> years there, I was always surprised at the numbers of scandanavians there
> for engineering or computer science.  Your educational stipend might help
> explain it, though.  With a stipend like that at a less expensive school
> like UWyo, all you are left to cover, really, is your living expenses.
>
>
> Kirk Haines

Actually, no, at least not until he gets state residency (Wyoming state
residency) as it's 305 dollars per credit hour out of state tuition at
UWyo
alone.  So he can take ONE class on that stipend.

http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/fsbo/fsbo/tuition_and_fe...

I went to Oregon Institute of Technology, and out of state tuition was a
lot.
It is also the cheapest public school in Oregon.  Heck, even my IN state
tuition was expensive.  You have to take 16-18 credit hours a term to
come
out with a degree in 4 years there, and 16 credit hours out of state
costs
you 5,509.25 just in tuition per term, so multiply by 3 and you can see
just
tuition is 16,000+ dollars.

http://www.oit.edu/Default.aspx?DN=3079,3033,3031,...

That's not a cent of living expenses.  Prices have gone up since '89 it
would
seem.

I think he should study in Europe.
Eb9493c94d8db9887e5f15284d2c767f?d=identicon&s=25 ptkwt (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 20:44
(Received via mailing list)
In article <4391bb05$0$177$edfadb0f@dread11.news.tele.dk>,
Daniel Schierbeck  <daniel.schierbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
>Phil Tomson wrote:
>
>Yes, I know that Europe's a lot cheaper. I'm still considering it, but,
>realising that many people on this list are Americans, I wanted to know
>what it's like in the US, and how hard it is to study and live there.
>
>Here in Denmark all students recieve an education aid of approximately
>$700-800 per month. There even is an aid to high school students (though
>I can't really see the point of that) of at least $100 per month, and
>more if your parents have a low income.

Sounds like a  sweet deal.  Believe me, we have nothing like that in the
US.
You're on your own here.

Oh, and $700-800/month won't go very far in Berkeley (or anywhere else
in CA)
where your rent will be at about that much by itself.

>
>I'd be able to take that aid with me if I were to study abroad, though
>I'm not sure I will if I do the full 4 year period.
>

again, it sounds like a sweet deal.  That's why many American students
are
envious of the European students.

Phil
1b5341b64f7ce0244366eae17f06c801?d=identicon&s=25 khaines (Guest)
on 2005-12-03 22:51
(Received via mailing list)
On Saturday 03 December 2005 10:21 am, Kevin Brown wrote:

> Actually, no, at least not until he gets state residency (Wyoming state
> residency) as it's 305 dollars per credit hour out of state tuition at UWyo
> alone.  So he can take ONE class on that stipend.
>
> http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/fsbo/fsbo/tuition_and_fe...

$700 * 12 = $8400
$800 * 12 = $9600

He has between $8400 and $9600 in education money coming to him per
year.

At the higher amount, $9600, with current costs, that would pretty much
cover
tuition and fees, leaving him with books and living expenses.

I'm sure there have to be some other decent schools around the US that
are
also in that ballpark regarding costs.


Kirk Haines
This topic is locked and can not be replied to.