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NEED HELP choosing a college for my international year abroad!


Replies to: NEED HELP choosing a college for my international year abroad!

  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,322 Senior Member
    I think that Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is very close to Iowa City & the University of Iowa.

    The University of Iowa has about 28,000 students & should offer all the entertainment that you are seeking.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,280 Senior Member
    edited February 10
    Yes, Coe is about 30mn to Iowa City. From there, you can easily go to Chicago and the Twin Cities, two major US metropolis.
    Attending Catholic U of America would be strange as a Protestant. I guess it could be educational since the context is very different from Northern Ireland's, but it's probably as Catholic as you can get in the US.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,280 Senior Member
    edited February 10
    Yes, understand that in most parts of the country you travel (in equivalent) from Bath to Bournemouth to find ONE city, or perhaps from County Antrim to Dublin (?). You can commonly drive five hours and still be in the same state. There aren't many trains, although there are buses - check out Megabus for instance. There are trains along the east coast, which is why people have been recommending CUA, but I really don't know what it'd be like to attend CUA as a Protestant. Also important, the concept of college towns - these are towns centered around a university, therefore walkable and designed with students' needs in mind. Cedar Rapids (and, to a much lesser extent, Iowa City - Iowa City exists on its own although it has a large percentage of students) would be excellent examples of these.
    Will you be 21?
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 29,329 Senior Member
    edited February 10
    How serious is your interest in business? Are you obligated to study that because of your scholarship? Do you need to be able to use any of the credits you earn in the US to apply them to your degree program in the UK?

    If you don't need to be able to use the credits for anything, and you aren't obligated to study anything in particular, then this year can be just random classes you are curious about. In that case, you do want to examine the specific course offerings. For example, both Monmouth and Shenandoah are known regionally for their theater programs, but at Shenandoah theater is a conservatory program and it would be difficult to enroll in those classes or to participate in any productions.

    If you are interested in focusing on business, then you can compare your list with the list of collegs and universities with AACSB accredited business programs at aacsb.edu

    Some of these colleges and universities have websites that are difficult to navigate. That might be a good criteria to consider too. :)

    Lastly, don't neglect to consider weather. You might need a whole new winter wardrobe!
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    edited February 10
    Well, if you scratch Catholic U because of Catholicism, then UST would be equally off the table. (Unless you have a clear preference between majority-white Catholicism and majority-Latinx Catholicism...)

    On the one hand, most of your peers at either of these schools would be Catholic. On the other hand, you would't have to worry about the school's graduation requirements, so it may well be that you wouldn't have to take any religiously-oriented classes if you didn't want to. Only you can determine whether the Catholic context would be an issue for you.

    To me, this reads like a choice between a relatively self-contained residential LAC campus experience (Centre or Coe) or a smaller urban university in a cool location, with a business school, that happens to have a Catholic frame of reference (Catholic or UST). Coe strikes a balance because it is in a small city, but nobody would mistake Cedar Rapids for Washington DC or Houston. It really depends on your priorities and where you think you'd feel comfortable. (But with those four schools setting the bar, I still don't see another obvious contender on the larger list.)
  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,169 Senior Member
    Agree with the overview provided by @aquapt. Catholic and UST offer the most interesting urban locations. If you want an interesting, more urban location these are likely your best options. Other schools will offer a more rural LAC experience.

    Coe and Centre are solid. The other school I may suggest to look at is Shendandoah. I teach at James Madison... about 1 hour south of Shenandoah... and, while the Shenandoah campus is relatively small, Winchester is a cute town, only about 1 hour south of Washington DC.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 3,343 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    UST in Houston? This uni is small at 3000 and again with the catholic. And Houston with no transport, little money and ? too young to drink, might have little to offer. No way will this be a US college experience. The trendy Montrose nightlife requires serious money and an ID.
  • GreymeerGreymeer Registered User Posts: 674 Member
    Southwestern is in Georgetown here just outside of Austin, TX. Come have some BBQ and enjoy some live music festivals.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,948 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    @Greymeer - I had that thought at first too, but OP's list says Southwestern *College* - which I believe is a small college in Wichita, KS. If it had been Southwestern *University* near Austin, I would have recommended OP consider it for sure.
  • GreymeerGreymeer Registered User Posts: 674 Member
    Hmm. My bad.
  • scorpion1129scorpion1129 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Thanks everyone. The scholarship is for STEM so i think i can study any stem or business related degree. I will only be 20 for most of it unfortunately. Not sure about location. Closer to the east coast would be easier for flights and possibly closer to more places to visit. I like warmer weather so i guess closer south would be good.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 4,623 Senior Member
    Catholic university doesn’t make you attend mass or bible study. And there are non practicing students of all faiths. And classes are professors. Especially business and stem. Good kids and great location.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,976 Senior Member
    Catholic U is in a major city. Lots of people take advantage of their academics. Not just Catholics. And OP isn't looking at 4 years there, finding a life partner, never moving on. They do have a high proportion of Catholic professors (and maybe some policy on that.) But in OP's courses, business and presumably some stem, there won't be indoctrination.

    I feel the city outweighs the fact they are a Catholic institution. No, they aren't Jesuit (with their openness to dialogue.) But I'd weigh the Catholicism same as other important factors. Don't just head for a smaller college, posibly nowhere, with possibly different dynamics, just because they're not affiliated with a church.

    I can't find info on jut how Catholic the CU student body is. Obvioously, there may be some social rules in effect (I doubt they're dispensing birth control, though who knows?) But DC is so dang vibrant.

    All along in this conversation, I'm aware of Europeans Iknow who did do some study at small unknowns here. And they had a great time. But I think OP needs to figure what he really wants, hopes for. And if he's the sort who could go to a small unknown and make the best of it. Only part of these exchanges is about the college itself, its courses, its food, its social life. It's also about the exposure to US culture. OP needs to self examine, I think.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 41,280 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    Catholic U is very different from other Catholic universities in the US. No birth control, indeed. ALL Vatican rules are upheld. It's under papal bulla.
    We shouldn't make light of the Catholicism - and yes it's a good university in a great city.
    It might be interesting for OP but it might also be difficult. When op was born there were people shooting each other and bomb attacks. That civil war had been going on for decades. People have had peace for fewer than 20 years, more than 3,500people have died with about half between the ages of 15 and 29. Try to imagine being Jewish from Israel and being suggested a Muslim college or Muslim from the Palestinian Territories and being suggested Yeshiva University. It might matter to OP or it might not. Op could live in an area where a wall separates Religious groups, or might have attended a school where religions mix. The whole thing might be irrelevant-but it might not. It could be an incredible opportunity. It could be incredibly personally difficult. You might also want to escape the religious polarization and pick a secular university. We can't just dismiss the university's fundamental mission as irrelevant - it might be, it might not be.
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