I’m an incoming college freshman and I’ve narrowed down my choices to either the Ateneo (locally) or Fordham in New York. I’m pretty sold on the academics at Fordham but feel that I am not exactly emotionally ready to move halfway across the word just yet.
I don’t know whether to take the plunge and move abroad this year or maybe take a year here in the Philippines and reapply again for sophomore year.
Transferring from a foreign university to a US university is not ideal because the academics are structured differently. It’s also somewhat harder to make friends as a transfer student because most students establish their circle of friends in their first year on campus.
Why do you feel not ready to study abroad yet?
American universities are pretty much like big boarding schools if you live on campus. The university will house you and feed you, and if you need help with anything (whether you feel sick, something in your room breaks or you need help opening a bank account), the university employs people who will help you and/or direct you to the appropriate resources.
College coursework is also highly structured and supervised. For example, most courses will have weekly homework and multiple exams, very much like high school.
I cannot say definitively that my own experience is representative, but what I struggled most with was the travel from my home country to my college. College life was comparatively easy.
I think you should go to Fordham. Try it, see how it goes.
If you’re to homesick after a year, you can always take a leave of absence, spend a year in the Philippines, see what you want to do.
In addition, if you spend one year in the Philippines at a university, you’ll have to reapply, you won’t be able to reapply to the same universities or you won’t have the same shot there, and you won’t have financial aid.