Exchange student considering US institutions

<p>Hi, </p>

<p>I am studying Civil Engineering at a top UK institution.</p>

<p>I have the option to study at the following US institutions for my exchange year:</p>

Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

<p>Could you please give me some advice regarding the pros and cons of each with respect to:</p>

<p>University atmosphere
Course choice


<p>For course choices, read through the course catalogues at each of the websites, and ask the study-abroad advisor at your home institution. There may or may not be restrictions on the courses that you take during your exchange year.</p>

<p>Syracuse is in the northern part of New York State. Transportation from there to other parts of the country may be a bit challenging. You should be able to get a direct flight from New York City when you arrive. The winters are long, dark, and very snowy. </p>

<p>Urbana-Champaign is in the middle of the country. Transportation from there to other parts of the US will be challenging until you make friends with students who have cars. You should be able to get a direct flight from Chicago. In the winter there is less snow than in Syracuse, but it will be colder and there will be more wind. </p>

<p>Rutgers has several campuses in New Jersey. You need to find out which location you would be at. Some locations would be closer than others to New York City, which means that transportation to campus could be very easy when you arrive. The weather in New Jersey is milder than in Syracuse or Champaign-Urbana, which can be boring or a huge relief depending on your individual perspective.</p>

<p>As a Civil Engineer, this is truly a no-brainer. UIUC by a mile. If Rutgers and Syracuse came close or if they offered a better campus environment, this may have been closer, but as it stands, the choice is clear.</p>

<p>True, from the league tablesit is clear UIUC is the best. </p>

<p>I have 2 other institutions I am considering, outside the US.
How would you compare UIUC to Uni of Melbourne/Uni of British Columbia?</p>


<p>Melbourne or UBC over UIUC for weather and city life. But UIUC over both of them if part of what you are looking for is the US campus experience.</p>

<p>Happymom, I definitely agree that Vancouver and Melbourne have Urbana Champaign beat, but weather-wise, I am not sure Vancouver has that much of an advantage. It may be warmer in winter, but UC has nicer springs and falls and is much drier and sunnier overall.</p>

<p>Also, Urbana Champaign is under 3 hours away by train and roughly 2 hours away by car from Chicago, making it an easy weekend gettaway.</p>

<p>You could be right about that. Not everyone would tolerate the rain in Vancouver.</p>

<p>I grew up in Iowa, and still travel there from the DC area to spend the winter holidays with family. It seems that every trip around Urbana-Champaign on I-74 involves blinding white-outs, and snow packed road surfaces. Some people just aren't up for that kind of stuff, and I think would-be exchange students deserve fair warning.</p>

<p>True, but the OP is British. He should be used to overcast and wet weather. Urbana would certainly be colder, but not wetter or cloudier.</p>

<p>Thanks for your replies. I think that I would go for Rutgers over Syracuse, mainly due to the location. </p>

<p>By any chance, could you compare Melbourne and UBC? Both seem to have high overall world rankings. However, I have heard that for engineering/science, US/Canada is usually better.</p>