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NEED HELP choosing a college for my international year abroad!

scorpion1129scorpion1129 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
Hi everyone, I got a scholarship to study at a US college for a year (im from the UK). I have a list of the colleges i can go to. If you have any experience of any of them, good or bad, please let me know. Im looking for a nice campus, good food, and good parties. Thanks!

Alvemia University
Aquinas College
Carlow University
Clarke University
DeSales University
D'Youville College
Immaculata University
King's College
Saint Anselm College
Saint Martin's University
Saint Vincent College
Spalding University
The Catholic University of America
University of Saint Thomas

Alma College
Blackburn College
Centre College
Coe College
Davis & Elkins College
Hanover College
Hastings College
Illinois College
Lees McRae College
Lyon College
Maryville College
Missouri Valley College
Monmouth College
Muskingum University
Presbyterian College
University of Dubuque
University of Jamestown
University of Pikeville
University of the Ozarks
Warren Wilson College
Waynesburg University
Westminster College (Missouri)
Westminster College (Penn)
Whitworth University
William Peace University
Wilson College

Albright College
Centenary College of Louisiana
Dakota Wesleyan University
Ferrum College
Greensboro College
Huntingdon College
Lebanon Valley College
Lindsey Wilson College
McKendree University
Morningside College
Nebraska Wesleyan University
North Central College
Shenandoah University
Simpson College
Southwestern College
University of Indianapolis
Virginia Wesleyan College
Young Harris College


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

  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 2,384 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    Catholic University is in Washington DC. It’s a good school. Good campus and food is ok. Great kids and a lot of people go out into Georgetown and to other schools. And you will be in a cosmopolitan environment of dc.
    University of Maryland ,American and George Washington u are all nearby which is a diverse group of schools that add to the college scenes in dc. Plenty to do at Catholic. That would be my choice from your list.

    St anselms in New Hampshire is a really nice campus. Good food and really small. But food parties. It’s outside if Manchester nh which is pretty dull. But the natural beauty skiing and hiking in nh mountains is only an hour away.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 2,384 Senior Member
    Also Clarke is a really good school and a great campus. City isn’t the greatest but going through a bit of a Renaissance. And not too far from Boston.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,898 Senior Member
    Agree on going to Catholic. Nothing's like the DC experience for college age. It's a pretty city. Very cosmopolitan, but still possible to get to more rural (ish) areas.

    Usually, I advocate for coastal southern CA because it's warm and near the ocean. A great way to do a year. Most of those on the list are not in "destination" locations. Mostly unknowns. Be careful to fully research.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    North Central College is in a Chicago suburb and is, I think, an easy train ride to the city.
  • aquaptaquapt Registered User Posts: 1,641 Senior Member
    @privatebanker I think the Clarke OP means is in Dubuque, IA; you're talking about Clark-without-an-e

    I agree that Catholic U could be great location-wise, and is a solid choice academically. If you would enjoy something more rural, Centre College in KY is a really nice LAC. Read about it on the "Colleges That Change Lives" website: https://ctcl.org/centre-college/ I believe it's the only CTCL school on your list. (Unless Clarke is really Clark in which case that would be an awesome option.)

    Is U of St. Thomas the one in Minnesota or the one in Houston? Also, which Aquinas College? (Michigan, Tennessee, or California?)

    Coe College deserves a look too, if a midwestern location would work for you. Cedar Rapids has a lot to offer - it's not a middle-of-nowhere midwestern experience.

    A lot depends on whether you would like a LAC experience or a bigger school like Catholic U. But personally I would rule out the schools that are more commuter schools with primarily students from the local area/region, unless you have a particular reason to want to be in the city/location where that school is.

    Warren Wilson is a work college in a beautiful area - would be a more alternative experience but could be great if their educational model appeals.

    What are your academic interests?
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,940 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    @scorpion1129: Not enough information about your specific interests, likes & dislikes. Academic & athletic interests also.

    Most of these schools are not well known.
  • scorpion1129scorpion1129 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    edited February 9
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Its going to be hard to choose. The U of saint thomas is the one in texas, the aquinas college is the one in Michigan and the clarke uni is the one in dubique (is that hte one you are talking about?) Not sure what size i want, but one with less commuters i agree with. I'm studying engineering in the uk but the scholarship is for business. I am quite sporty and i would like to try a.football and I like to party. Im mainly just looking for a good college and american experience with a nice campus, city, food, social life and decent dorms.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,940 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    Other than Catholic University in Washington DC, these schools are not well known. There are over 3,500 four year colleges & universities in the US of which 50% or more are fairly obscure & unknown outside of their immediate surrounding locations.

    As you research these schools one-by-one note what percentage of students live on campus. The higher the percentage, the more likely the school will have an active social life on campus.
  • scorpion1129scorpion1129 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Yeah that is a good point. There must at least be a few decent ones lol?
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,940 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    Yes, there should be several solid options from your list of 58 schools. I only know about 15 of the schools in terms of name recognition but not much else. I do not even know in which state most of these schools are located.

    For example, Coe College has a poor financial rating from Forbes, and is located in an interesting and very liberal city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    I know so little about almost all of them that I am afraid to comment.

    Greensboro College is very tiny. 770 students, but only 20% live on campus. But Greensboro, North Carolina is a nice location. You would be the only international student.
  • scorpion1129scorpion1129 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Yeah fair enough, I dont expect people to know more than a few. I dont have to pay so the cost doesnt matter.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 2,384 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    Catholic Uni. D 3 sports and you may crack a team while you’re here. Club sports too. Lots of local athletic leagues and definately soccer and probably rugby. Crew teams. Marathons and triathlons locally. Lots to do. And the partying opportunities are excellent. Dc and the other schools are limitless in opportunities for fun. And not far by train to nyc and Philadelphia and south to warmer climates. Earlier spring and longer fall. Better weather.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,886 Senior Member
    edited February 9
    Most of those on the list are not in "destination" locations. Mostly unknowns<<<<

    For sure, is this for an actual curriculum year with grades in your degree?? What is the cost? If you aren't paying, who is? The cost question is about whether it presents any value. If your list consists of pay to play privates I would consider an alternative plan. The UK doesn't have handfuls of dodgy private schools with questionable reputations. Is religion a thing in your list? What is your UK school?
  • scorpion1129scorpion1129 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    google 'study usa british council northern ireland'. my main university is queens university belfast. im not too bothered about religion
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,898 Senior Member
    Thing is, a lot of us wouldn't send our kids on an exchange year to many of those. They're obscure. Sorry for that. There are lots of lesser knowns in the US that do a fine job educating bright, adventurous minds. But many are less so. Is that really how you want to spend a college year here? You may find a proportion of students at some of those who aren't as intellectual. Or worldly. We have a lot of nice people in the US, but how do you truly want to look back on this year? That you were at a small college in a quiet area or someplace that expands and grows you? Does it matter to you if kids and their goals are quite conservative or quite liberal?

    Look also at their course offerings. Try not to pick a college that's primarily directional, preparing kids for jobs. I agree some, like Warren Wilson, can be treasures. Part of that includes that they attract kids from a large range of US states. Check for that and other demographics at the college and their location.

    Every year, we hear from UK kids with this opportunity. But their choices are usually better known, more selective colleges than so many on your list.
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