ED Dartmouth or EA Yale for international student

<p>HELPPPPP!! I'm a Vietnamese student applying end of this year (as an international student frm Vietnam) and i'm seriously stuck with that question! I've been thinking about it for over a week now (plus doing a lot of research online @ collegeconfidential and ************** n wikipedia :D - i cant visit the states just yet) and i seriously can't decide!</p>

<p>The biggest concern i have over Yale is New Haven's environment... i heard its quite crime-ridden and i'm one of those who run a high risk of losing all of my stuff within a few weeks... i'm living in a very safe country now (singapore) and yet i've lost my phones + ipods like ten times? And quite a lot of ppl actually said that ppl in New Haven are not so friendly towards Yalies.. </p>

<p>As for Dartmouth, I really really love Dartmouth (my rm is green n my wallpaper is Baker Tower :D) but it's so isolated ! I'm quite a shopaholic (having lived in cities all my life) and the thought of not being able to do tt scares me a little.. i'm also quite concerned tt Dartmouth's vibrant Greek scene will b a disadvantage to intl students? like if i want to venture out of the intl stud community its kinda hard? and i'm not tt into outdoor sports.. I play squash and badminton competitively but they're all indoor sports so.. LOL :D</p>

<p>So what do you guys think? I have the impression that its a bit easier to get into Dartmouth ED than Yale EA (since its non-binding --> more applicants).. is it true?</p>

<p>I'm a sociable kid.. was prom queen n miss popularity once and everybody kinda describes me as a typical social butterfly.. Not study crazy :D but somehow i got the grades... Dartmouth is often described as a "tight-knit community" n it strikes me as "tight-knit WHITE community" and i seriously dont wanna spend 4 years of college just among international students.. ):</p>

<p>Oh one last thing, i'm interested in pursuing political science so will it put me at a disadvantage? since vietnam is a communist country! should i highlight the fact tt my dad is western educated, my mom is half German and my family's political view is liberal? </p>

<p>Thank you guys so much!! :) (repost this thread in Yale box too)</p>

<p>As one of the "most global universities" in the world (see <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/2829887-post1.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/2829887-post1.html&lt;/a> ), Yale has a large and very active Vietnamese community, so you may want to try to contact them and ask what they think. </p>

<p>New Haven is a large city, so has all kinds of different people living there, and overall is now considered to be easily one of the best "college towns" in the United States (just like other central city areas in the U.S. and Europe, it has changed dramatically over the past 10 years). There are literally hundreds and hundreds of restaurants (ranging from incredibly expensive, NY Times 5-star to cheap student-y places), stores, cafes, theaters, bars, clubs and other activities within a couple blocks of the Yale campus, so much so that the streets have so many pedestrians, some of them have to be closed to traffic on weekends. Downtown New Haven, which surrounds Yale University, is a magnet for the 50,000+ college students in the immediate surrounding area. It is also within an easy day trip of New York City via commuter rail that basically runs 24/7, as well as very close to Boston. Dartmouth is far more isolated by comparison, as it is several hours by car to any city of any size.</p>

<p>Check out DINING/NEW</a> HAVEN; Delicious Food, Delightful Check - New York Times for the New York Times' review of one of the Vietnamese restaurants in New Haven.</p>

<p>Both are fantastic colleges. You are correct that Yale is significantly more difficult to get accepted to.</p>

<p>Also, keep in mind that the acceptance rate for Yale is less than 10% and the rate for Dartmouth isn't much better. Getting into either of these schools is like buying a lottery ticket. You need to have many more realistic choices in addition to these 2 schools.</p>

<p>Hey guys, thanks so much for ur help :D
Yup i know its extremely hard to get in tts why i'm contemplating applying early to either school to lessen the competition (supposedly, but EA yale shld attract truckloads of competitive applicants so..)
Yale has a large Vietnamese community? you sure? cos i only know 2 ppl studying there, 1 guy and 1 girl.. i'm not sure how well they mingle with other ethnic groups though.. Is there a lot of "clumping" at either school? like the international ppl go together n thats it? interaction between ppl of diff. natioanlities is vry impt to me.. (i'm as far frm a stereotypical "asian scholar" as can be... i dont study tt much LOL)</p>

<p>How about the political science thing? do u guys actually know any international student (one frm a communist country at that :P) majoring in PS?</p>

<p>Students of all different backgrounds definitely interact, because the housing systems and small class sizes at each school encourage/require it. Read about the residential colleges, etc. You would really have to visit for yourself to see how it works, though. But it is safe to say that you'll get a lot more of the clumping/cluster/clique effect only at bigger schools like Northwestern, Harvard, UC-Berkeley, etc.</p>

<p>Wait for someone from Dartmouth to reply before you make a decision...</p>

<p>Ah, perfect, I'm an international from Malaysia at Dartmouth, and my UGA (RA at other schools) is from Vietnam. Email <a href="mailto:anh@dartmouth.edu">anh@dartmouth.edu</a> if you want to get in touch with him for Vietnamese-specific questions.</p>

<p>I think you really need to visit to get to know the school - visiting really helps you solidify your preferences and helps you figure out what living there is like. If you want a cosmopolitan experience, Boston is only 2 hours away from Dartmouth, and the bus leaves straight from campus every 2 hours. I know "only 2 hours" sounds strange, but it feels incredibly short, and my only regret is that I haven't found more reasons to make regular Boston trips. For generic shopping, the town of West Lebanon has quite a few malls (not sure if they'd satisfy a shopaholic though).</p>

<p>Re the international experience, you're quite right that Dartmouth is mainly white. I would say, though, that the main reason internationals seem so close is that they choose to self-segregate; if you choose to find friends outside the international community, it's pretty easy to do. All of my closest friends are Americans.</p>

<p>Where you stay also plays a huge role. Many internationals apply to the East Wheelock cluster (clusters are our ripoff of residential colleges; basically they're a grouping of dormitories, but you don't live there permanently and there's not a huge sense of identity based on cluster), which is promoted intentionally for nerdier students.</p>

<p>I personally feel that a lot of the people there are a bit too odd for my liking, but whatever makes them happy - you'll be able to make a lot of American friends there too, but you will also find it a lot easier to maintain friendships with internationals because most of them stay there, and that contributes to self-segregation. I've found people almost anywhere are quite friendly though, and you will find your niche.</p>

<p>If you're all for self-segregation, the Dartmouth Asian Organization and the Vietnamese Students Association are extremely active. I think we actually might have pho in Collis (the student center's cafe) once a week or something like that. You won't be alone.</p>

<p>Greek societies do dominate social life, but they are surprisingly welcoming of non-members; you just need to show a Dartmouth student ID to get in anywhere. Only about 2/3rds of eligible students pledge, and one issue in the recent student assembly election was how to get internationals more involved with Greek societies.</p>

<p>I don't think coming from a communist country puts you at a disadvantage. I think applying from Singapore (you go to one of the Singaporean junior colleges right?) helps, especially because your teachers and counselors will be familiar with the application process; it's harder for internationals who go it alone through the whole process. There are a lot of internationals at Dartmouth who attended school in Singapore, by the way - you might see some old faces here.</p>

<p>To answer your ultimate question, I'd apply EA if I were you, only because you don't seem really sure Dartmouth is where you want to go. ED is binding; EA is not. If I've helped set you at ease, though, I strongly encourage you to apply ED. You sound like a strong candidate, and I'd say we need more internationals like you here; I don't really have anything personal against the international community at Dartmouth, but I'm slightly worried there's a bit too much self-segregation going on. It doesn't affect me at all personally, because you choose your own friends, but in the big picture...yeah, it's an issue.</p>

<p>Thanks for such a great reply :D i'm not into self-segregation at all ! tt's why Dartmouth's predominantly white community poses a problem to me. In singapore i hang out with the local kids and blend in really well (hence the "popular" status), but it's easier here (s'pore) i presume cos we're all asians and according to others i dont look "international" (read: nerdy, bespectacled and carrying big backpack). But in the states i'll just be another short Asian girl n socializing outside of the international circle seems like a formidable challenge..
I went to talk to my school's counselor (i'm in National JC - pretty nerdy school) and he advised AGAINST applying to Dartmouth because "the Greek scene is violent" and the drinking scene is too big for his taste.
I'm not so concerned about the drinking thing. My dad is a big drinker n i might inherit the genes :D (not saying tt i'll always drink and get drunk) but the Greek thing is exactly my concern too. Quite a few posts on other school-reviewing websites said something like "you feel pressurized to join a frat/sor just to survive socially". I'm new to this whole Greek thing, and like all things new it might take a while for me to get used to .. and the familiarizing period might not be all that pleasant (i shriek whenever i visualize my first few months there - shorter than the rest of the world and probably feel quite left out /: ).</p>

<p>Yeah for now i'm leaning towards SCEA Yale, see the admission results, have a visiting trip to the states and decide. That's kinda risky though, cos i believe Yale SCEA applicants are very strong (those who would apply/get into HP) and RD-ing Dartmouth decreases my chances pretty drastically. But well i guess i can't ED anywhere before i actually visit and make sure that i will like the place.
Social life matters a lot to me, y'know. Like I am not one to lock myself up in a room for four years and count down to the day i get my degree. i need to enjoy the process too :D</p>

<p>You sound like a great + fun guy haha :D in all honesty i find the international community in Singapore (consisting of mostly Chinese, Indonesians, M'sians and Vietnamese) too full of odd people for my liking :D there are fun ones, but there are way too many of those who bring thick stacks of notes to the canteen/gym and cant take their eyes off the pages for the next few hours.</p>

<p>Hahaha, it's not a "formidable challenge" by any means - you just find people you like to hang out with, and things take care of themselves. Americans might have a bit of trouble with your accent at first, but other than that, you'll be fine. Some internationals have a nasty habit of thinking themselves above Americans, which some find off-putting (a Singaporean wrote about this in her column for The Dartmouth last week), but I have never found someone who was not willing to be my friend because I was an international.</p>

<p>As I said, housing seems to be the main determinant, because you will naturally spend the most time with those who live nearby. Even in East Wheelock, it's not an internationally-dominated community by any means, so you will be easily able to find Americans to hang out with. Self-segregation is something for campus administrators and student pressure groups to worry about; for the individual student, it's really really a non-issue. We're about 10% of the campus, which I think is a fair amount - we're big enough so that people can't justifiably ignore us, but not so big that we wind up keeping mainly to ourselves.</p>

<p>I have to say your GC is quite wrong; he seems to be basing this on stereotypes from Animal House. The Dartmouth Greek scene is not like the typical shcool's, not by any means. Unlike at other schools, any Dartmouth student is welcome at a Greek party. Here, Greek societies are more for throwing parties than anything else, and people are incredibly friendly. Even after a couple of upperclassmen kick your butt at pong, they'll give you their blitz nicknames (email addresses) and offer tips on how to improve.</p>

<p>That's not to say we don't have problems; some frats are rowdier than others, and if you rush, there is indeed hazing. (I don't think that is really a problem for girls - all the Greek hazing I've heard of comes from frats, not sororities.) A few months back, the issue du jour was insufficient female-controlled social spaces. Ultimately though, if you're like most internationals, you won't really spend every other night at the frats (which is seriously what quite a few students do) - that's fine too. Many Americans don't want to drink wantonly or rush, so you won't be alone at all. 1 in 3 upperclassmen is not a member of a Greek society; you're not isolated even if you're not Greek.</p>

<p>If you didn't like those crazy nerds in Singapore, you might really enjoy Dartmouth. Everyone works hard and plays hard too, even those who don't frat hard. I'd say that most internationals here are less nerdy and much more sociable than those you'd find in Singapore.</p>

<p>Haha i do doubt my GC's credentials a lot :D (he boasts a lot of stuff - like oh i got this person into harvard and **** like that, but mostly not true) and i'm trying hard to bend the rules so tt i wont have to involve him (he's the only GC in school, but part-time, and doesnt know a thing abt anyone except himself! and it doesnt seem like he's gonna make an effort to know us either cos he does private counseling and earn truckloads of money outside /: BLEH)... :D
Thanks so much for all ur replies John (i presume tts ur name). Really helped address my concerns.
I'm all for the "work hard play hard" motto by the way :D How's the weather in Hanover? Does it rain a lot in summer? i only heard ppl complain about the cold winter (which does irk me a little b/cos the coldest i've endured is like around 10 degree Celscius? and i couldn't get out of bed! :D once i've managed to drag myself out of the blanket i'm fine though. Cos i do run around quite a bit so it kinda warms myself up.)</p>

<p>Yeah, I'm John. :p</p>

<p>It depends on the person, but I got used to the cold very easily. It's not a big deal, just wear warm clothing. The dorms are actually heated quite well - I am a bit infamous in my own dorm for walking around shirtless indoors. (I'm even more infamous though for walking around in shorts and sandals during the winter, but other people from warm climes didn't complain about the weather much either.)</p>

<p>Hanover is extremely cold when compared to coastal locations like NYC, New Haven, Philadelphia, etc. Being right on the ocean keeps the temperatures much warmer in winter, and usually more moderate in the summer as well.</p>

<p>posterx, what are you smoking? New Haven is one of the worst college towns in the country. It's extremely unsafe, cold and functions more as a social outlet to a adult professional rather than a college student. Who can afford to eat in 5-star restaurants as a college student? Get real.</p>

<p>I just mentioned a bunch of low cost student-oriented places -- probably more within a few blocks of Yale than within a few blocks of every other Ivy League college, combined -- so I'm not sure what your point is. New Haven is a hub for the 50,000 students in the area. By enrollment, Yale is only the third-largest college or university in New Haven. The place is an excellent college town -- easily one of the best in the country.</p>

easily one of the best in the country.


<p>That's one of the most subjective things I've ever heard.</p>

<p>Sure, but I'm speaking as someone who has been to and spent significant time at hundreds and hundreds of college campuses around the United States and abroad. Visit for 2-3 days, talk with students and professors, and do the research for yourself.</p>

<p>I personally prefer Dartmouth over Yale, but your description of yourself makes me feel that you're a better fit for Yale. My boyfriend goes to Yale, so I've had quite a few opportunities to hang out around NH, and the shopping is high-brow and excellent (and all within walking distance of campus). Also, contrary to what you've heard, I've found that New Haven residents occupying the area immediately around the university are very nice and friendly to students. The only times you'll really venture outside that immediate-area are for sporting events, and only then will you encounter the less friendly side of New Haven.</p>

<p>If you're the type of gal who loses her things, you are no less likely to lose them in Hanover than you are in New Haven... and if you're careful, no one's going to steal anything, either.</p>

<p>Like I said... overall, you seem like more of a Yalie to me.</p>

<p>Now all you have to do is get in. :) Good luck!</p>

<p>Oh, and about PoliSci--I won't pretend to know anything about the major/department or whatever, because well... I don't. What I do know (again, as a result of my bf) is that Yale's political scene is very active and there are vying factions for every kind of political group. Bf had the chance to work with Singaporean MP Penny Low (who was visiting as a World Fellow) over his first semester there, which should evidence Yale's dedication to bringing in various political perspectives.</p>

<p>That said, I know absolutely NOTHING about Dartmouth in this area, so let my post stand as a perk of Yale and certainly not as a knock to Dartmouth (which I have said numerous times already would be my choice in this situation :P).</p>

<p>Yale basically has the best political science/government program in the country, along with Harvard. The opportunities there are beyond anyone's wildest imaginations. Dartmouth is a minor player by comparison.</p>

Sure, but I'm speaking as someone who has been to and spent significant time at hundreds and hundreds of college campuses around the United States and abroad. Visit for 2-3 days, talk with students and professors, and do the research for yourself.


<p>Could you explain your occupation?</p>