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Transferring from the UK (4-year uni) to a US California Community College - Better or worse?

H666666FH666666F Registered User Posts: 3 New Member

Intro to my past year:
I'm an international student to both the US & UK. I have always imagined myself going into either a tough university (NYU, UCSD etc..) or a decent university with a fun sunny beachy life (UCSB, UCI, LMU..) to balance the experience, but unfortunately I haven't had the chance to attend either after high school, as I was not well prepared and I have also been very pressured to attend a university in the UK also as my father is not very fond of the idea of studying in the US - so I chose Cardiff for Mechanical Engineering.
At Cardiff I had to attend an Engineering Foundation Program that includes no English modules - only maths and technical subjects (which I have passed with what is considered as excellent scores - average of 80.2%). I still had the US in mind and have applied to 4 UC campuses, which I have been rejected by for either being a lower-division transfer with not enough credits or because they prioritize CCC student transfers.

Since I have completed a year in the UK I believe transferring to the US into a school with lower edu. Standards than Cardiff I would be pointless, therefore I would have to go through community college (as I would not be accepted next year for upperdivision aka junior level transfer either, without the general prerequisite requirements).

The question
What are your thoughts on transferring from Cardiff into a Cali. community college to later on attend say ..a tough UC after having completed the foundation year? Do you think transferring into a tough school is worth wasting this year and possibly another semester (as it is Almost mid July now and colleges start mid August during fall) aka graduating in another 4.5 years rather than 3 and convincing my parents it is a good idea?

There are many reasons to why I haven't enjoyed the UK much but I could "push through" or I could move to Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) / Irvine Valley college (IVC), where I have applied and been accepted.

(Mom thinks it would be worth trying to convince my father to move only if it is something I really believe would be better for me and my sister/friends believes it would be a stupid decision and a step back as it would be better to do as well as I am doing now, in Cardiff, than move and possibly graduate later and with a messy background/grades.)

Help! Let me know what you think.

Replies to: Transferring from the UK (4-year uni) to a US California Community College - Better or worse?

  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,342 Senior Member
    Find out if you can do a semester or year of exchange from Cardiff to a university near the beach in California or somewhere else warm like Australia. Finish your degree at Cardiff. You can always consider a post-graduate program in California.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    Well, what is your reasoning and possible goals?
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 1,450 Senior Member
    You haven't started your real degree in the UK, I think your sister is right. Do your degree in Cardiff (my sympathies, wouldn't be my top pick for a UK uni spot for an international either LOL). I suppose you have looked at whether you can change to another UK uni as your real degree hasn't actually started yet? I read that it isn't unheard of but would take you doing groundwork by contacting the universities about available places. Try the student room.co.uk.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,640 Senior Member
    I don't know how grades in the UK compare with grades in the US. However, in the US 80.2% is not going to get you into any of the UC's. If you were to move to a community college in the US you would need to do a LOT better to transfer into a top university here.

    I think that transferring to a community college in the US at this point might create a large risk that after two years at the community college you might not have many options.
  • H666666FH666666F Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @happymomof1 I have seen their possible exchange programs but for engineering there aren't exactly top US universities and almost non in California but LMU to inhance my CV, there are though UC summer programs.
    To transfer completely, I only would if I were to attend a top Mech. Eng. university as I would be missing a year or likely more as I said. Would you know if it would prove just as good if I have taken some abroad programs along with my degree at Cardiff as to attending a top university in the US?

    @PurpleTitan Last year I only thought about being in the US, studying under the US educational system, and unfortunately spent this whole year worrying about transferring, which I am now hesitant to go through, since I would be taking a "step backwards" and joining CC which could affect my graduation date (I am not rushing but it doesn't seem reasonable to go through 5-6 years of what is actually a 3-4 year bachelor?) also as I am now familiar with Cardiff's environment and so on.. Not an easy choice, especially trying to convince my father to allow me to do so
    I've only gone through foundation year which everyone seems to believe is very different from actual uni years/thinks I'm rushing with my judgement since I wasn't too happy about being in the UK from the beginning (I never thought My choices would be affected by the cold weather this much lol.. February was scary haha)

    @Sybylla I have looked into other unis in the uk as I had in mind that the US might not be an option, but to be honest as u have said since I haven't started my real degree yet in addition I am now a bit familiar with the city/the school, if I were to stay in the UK I should try the first year and maybe transfer the year after if it proved unsatisfactory - also Cardiff is probably one of the best choices live and study mechanical engineering in the UK as it's a Russel Group uni and a safe student city from my experience.. so my only worry at the moment is whether to complete my degree in the UK or start with CC in the US then transfer to a top uni as it is an option limited to this year (transferring schools in the UK should not be too hard in the upcoming years).

    @DadTwoGirls well not even the UC intl admissions offices have an idea LOL so it's understandable that you wouldn't either. In many of the top UK universities, above a 70% is considered a distinction a "1st" and the tougher the uni the harder it is to achieve a 70% and above, most my class mates have finished the year with a pass or are taking their resits this August, so I am pretty confident with my grades and what I can achieve knowing that this course hasn't been easy and I have done very well, and community college would be of much lower standard from what I have read and understood from friends (which is also one of my worries about CC - if anyone thinks so or not.. Let me know please). I feel completing CC should not be a risk in that sense/keeping up a good GPA, but the availability of the courses and finishing on time/ delaying my transfer, and maybe after transferring trying to adapt as a 3rd year transfer with all the home students etc. could be..

    please feel free to share your/your friend's experience, good or bad.. It would be very helpful, as I feel I am leaning towards staying in Cardiff ..it sounds much more convenient in a sense that I know the place/university/people and will hopefully finish in the next 3 years. Many seem to have underwent CC, I would love to know your opinions on it/how well you did/how long it took to graduate/where to & from ..etc. I wouldn't want to make a decision without fully educating myself by weighing the possible risks and benefits! I have done that last year, whoops! Not again!

    (And thank you to those that have commented, I didn't expect to get replies right away and I'm happy to have!)
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    @DadTwoGirls: 80% under the English Honours system (at least at the uni level) is outstanding.
    70% and above is a First, and as an example, around 15% of Oxbridge grads will graduate with a First. 80% is rare. Many departments in many unis would go years without anyone graduating with over 80%. That said, I don't know how prevalent 80+% is pre-uni.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 4,237 Senior Member
    @H666666F, as you are learning, you were not a transfer student and you have not actually started university. A UK 'foundation year' is (confusingly) also known as a post-graduate year in the US. It is a year for students to get their credentials together- improve their grades or test scores, take missing classes and (especially in the UK) work on their English or meet pre-requisites for courses.

    It is unfortunate that you didn't know that, as your foundation year marks would have helped in admissions as a first year student in the US. It's very late, but there are still colleges with openings for 1st year students in the US (that would be more academic than the ones you mentioned). This list was accurate as of 30 June, so you might start there: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/college-openings-fall-2017. Many of them don't have engineering, and engineering programs are admitted separately (the state universities listed may be your best bets), but it's a start.
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