Community College or University in Australia?

<p>Hi all,</p>

<p>I'm a 18-year-old boy from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who has completed high school education. Right now I'm contemplating my options for further education. I originally intended to apply as freshman to some of the reputable universities in the USA (e.g. NYU, USC, UCB), but my parents were not happy at the fall intake, due to them perceiving the late intake as a complete waste of time. So, they're currently forcing me to leave in spring. I tried to reason with them, but they won't budge an inch, so my plans are kind of screwed up.</p>

<p>Here's my three options after this screw-up:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Head to community college in the States. All CCs in USA usually begin in spring, so I can make it there in time. The thing about CCs is that they seem to have a bad reputation among the general education public. As one of my friends from China who went to Harvard stated, CCs are favorite places for students who have financial difficulties or who get less desirable academic results. But I looked deeper into CCs, and I discovered that if one works hard and gets at least a 3.7 GPA in his or her CC years, not to mention heavy and active involvement in ECs and community services, he or she can indeed transfer to really good schools such as UC Berkeley or Uni of Chicago, or even some of the Ivies such as UPenn or Columbia, which are my dream schools. And oh, my Chinese friend also stated that given my good academic portfolio (I scored really well in the Malaysian final government exam, was one of the only 2 Malaysians sitting for the Advanced Placement exam this year, and took the SAT. Scores listing are below), I shouldn't spend my time in a CC. He recommended the 2nd step, as stated below.</p></li>
<li><p>Do my undergraduate studies in a top Australian university. Aussie unis begin in spring, and I'm targeting the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne, both of which are #1 and #2 in the rankings. If I do indeed enter the Australian universities stated above, and I am sure I stand a real good chance, given my academic standings and co-curricular achievements, I will take a double degree in Economics and Business Admin (Oh yeah, I forgot to say, I am an aspiring businessperson). In short, what to do in these universities is simple: get real good grades, graduate with honors, be active in extra-curriculars and have fun. He said if I do so, it'll be worth my time more and should I decide to do my MBA in a top business school in USA, which I plan to, my initial credibility will also be solid.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>And the last one, which I thought randomly:</p>

<ol>
<li>Study undergraduate in the top Australian university like #2, but halfway into the degree course, transfer to a top school in USA like Columbia or UChicago. I know this seems unorthodox or childish, but I really want to study in the USA and frankly, Australia is at the bottom of my list, although idea #2 sounds really feasible and practical. Plus, it's my dream to study someday at a top Ivy League school, and I hope to realize that dream as soon as possible. </li>
</ol>

<p>*Note: Notice that I didn't talk about tuition fees or finances. That's because I'm discussing on the assumption that I do not suffer from any financial constraints and my parents can afford all the three mentioned methods (that's why they're being dictators and forbidding me from heading for fall intake). So, while giving advices and opinions, please offer them on the basis that I do not have to worry about money or expenses.</p>

<p>And last but not least, my AP and SAT scores:</p>

<p>AP: i) English Language and Composition: 4
ii) US History: 4
iii) World History: 4
iv) Chinese Language and Culture: 5</p>

<p>SAT 1: i) 1780/2400
ii) Oct 2011 test result out on 20th Oct</p>

<p>SAT 2: US History - 780/800
World History - 710/800</p>

<p>I know this thread is really long, but I sincerely hope that the experts and fellow students here at CollegeConfidential can help me waddle out of this mess. I'm confused and not sure which pathway to take, so I guess I need advice from y'all out there. I really appreciate your time, your advice and your help.</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>Many good colleges and universities in the US do admit new students for the spring semester. You may however have missed the application dates - especially since international students need more time to get through all of the paperwork. </p>

<p>If you haven't already paid a visit to the EducationUSA advising center in Kuala Lumpur, you need to do that. EducationUSA</a> - Center Profile - Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) The counselors there will help you find out what you need to know about educational options in the US.</p>

<p>i am an international student from kuwait and I chose to attend CC for my freshmen year this year to finish at least 30-33 credits, however I graduated from high school with a very low gpa so your situation is completley different than mine. sometimes it depends on your major also. however, if you decide to come to the states, cc is not really a bad choice, i think its a good way to start your education in the usa like not going straight to a huge campus and huge university population, what's cool about cc that you can knock out the harder classes depending in your major of course, like calculus, biology, physics, micro and macro economics are fairly easy A's at CC. </p>

<p>so to be honest if i were i would take spring and summer at CC then transfer to a four-year university in the fall, you should at least finish 21-24 credits during your time at CC. </p>

<p>what's your major btw? I am transferring to Indiana University next fall from a CC and that may be choice for you? their business school is ranked #10 in the US, if your not a business major then Purdue University is also a highly respected engeering school.</p>

<p>
[quote]
3. Study undergraduate in the top Australian university like #2, but halfway into the degree course, transfer to a top school in USA like Columbia or UChicago.

[/quote]

That's a bad idea, both admission-wise and academically. Admission-wise, there seems to be a bias against international transfer students from foreign universities. (I have seen several universities state explicitly that they do not accept transfer applications from non-US style universities at all, although they are happy to accept foreign transfer students from other American universities or American-style universities abroad.)</p>

<p>Academically, it's a bad idea because an American degree program is structured differently from college degrees in other countries. In Australia you would probably study your major exclusively for 3 years. In the US, you'd probably take less than half of your courses in your major and a good chunk of the remaining courses for general education requirements (English, math, science, history, etc). American students traditionally focus on general education requirements early in their college career and their major towards the end. If you transfer to the US half-way through college, you'd spend a good chunk of your time with first-year students in introductory gen ed courses.</p>

<p>There's also a good chance that some of your Australian credits wouldn't transfer at all. If you start college in Australia in the spring and transfer to an American university after two years, it might take you longer to finish your degree than if you enrolled straight in an American university a semester later.</p>

<p>I agree with post above me. If can't get an admission to a university next spring and really and to study in the U.S. then a CC would be your best shot just to guarantee that your classes are %100 transferable.</p>

<p>It's very simple. Apply for both Australian and US universities, and begin at an Australian university for at least one semester. Then, if you are admitted to a university of your liking in the US, start over there in the fall. Then you don't miss anything.</p>