Going West without going broke

<p>I'm really enticed by the idea of western colleges (I grew up there), but the selection seems very limited and expensive. By West, I am refering to Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, and Washington. My mom really thinks I should go to California, but the UCs and such don't appeal to me. Maybe other Cali schools would. My family is middle class (one kid already in college), and I don't anticipate much need-based aid, so I'm hoping for a good shot at merit-based aid. I have a 4.0 thus far and am 25/1195, but that could very well drop depending on this semster, so I'm not counting any eggs here. I have a 33 ACT, which I will be retaking in June, along with the World and US History SAT IIs. I'm looking into a career as a pharmacist, but good foreign language programs, especially Japanese, would be a major plus. School size-I'm not really sure-but I like the idea of resident colleges and such.</p>


<p>In California, there are three universities with "standout" Japanese programs- Stanford, Berkeley, and UCLA. Stanford and UCLA are particularly known for their contributions to the theory of teaching Japanese. </p>

<p>However, in my experience, the best prepared Japanese learners I've ever encountered came from UC Davis. Now, this may just be because I've encountered a small and devoted sample, but every Davis Japanese student I've ever encountered was very very good at learning the language. Their text is the most comprehensive and challenging I had seen for lower div Japanese.</p>

<p>Outside of Stanford, Cal, and UCLA, I have heard and seen good things from Wash U students.</p>

<p>The most important thing to keep in mind when you consider learning a language like Japanese is, "how can I go abroad to actually learn the language?" The best way to learn Japanese is to live and study in Japan. Stanford and all of the UCs offer excellent study abroad options. UC, in particular, offers EAP, which takes a lot of the hassle and questions out of studying abroad. Oh, and it costs the same as your at-home UC experience.</p>

<p>You should look into Scripps, an all-women's (I'm making the assumption you're female) liberal arts college in Claremont, CA, just 40 minutes outside downtown LA. There are four other colleges, all coed, that make up the Claremont Consortium, and you have the option of taking classes at any of the other schools. Scripps offers quite a few incoming students the James E. Scripps scholarship, which is renewable each year for half-tuition.</p>

<p>Another thing- go to the website of the department and see what kind of instruction the faculty offers, the frequency of course offerings, and the quality of the textbooks used.</p>

<p>For example, some schools may not offer a needed class on a regular enough basis. Others offer it on an annoying revolving schedule. If you feel that you may not be able to take it every quarter for sure, consider that.</p>

<p>And a bit of ethnocentrism here- consider the number of Japanese native faculty in the department. Although I have had wonderful, valuable, educational learning experiences with non-Japanese (gaijin), nothing beats getting the intonation straight from the horse's mouth.</p>

<p>Oh dear, and of course the Claremont Consortium is a great option.</p>

<p>I had several classmates at ICU in Tokyo who were from Pomona. They had said that their abroad experience was quite easy because of the support their school gave them. </p>

<p>And they had a good Japanese language program.</p>

<p>I know someone at University of Puget Sound who is majoring in Japanese, but I don't know anything about the program.</p>

<p>Occidental, the Claremont Colleges (Pomona, Claremont McKenna) might be worth looking into. Excellent smaller schools. Students who like Colorado College really love it, but it appeals to a very specific kid, and I'm not sure what the international opportunities are there. Whitman is a smaller up and coming school in Oregon you might not have heard about but is definitely worth a look. Arizona State honors college gives good merit aid, and is trying to hook top students from around the country. I have no idea what you might look at in Utah or Wyoming...</p>

<p>Dunno about Japanese programs, but both the two below would be safeties given your stats...</p>

<p>Arizona would offer you merit money to offset OOS tuition, but apply early.</p>

<p>The University of the Pacific would also be a great choice for pharmacy. They too, provide $$. Beautiful campus, but Stockton is nothing to write home about.</p>

<p>Whitman is an LAC of about 1450 students in Walla Walla, WA (community of 30,000). Walla Walla is located in the southeast corner of the state approximately 4 hours driving time from both Portland and Seattle. Pomona, CMC, Reed, and Whitman are generally regarded as the top west coast LAC's. <a href="http://www.whitman.edu/japanese/index2.shtml%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.whitman.edu/japanese/index2.shtml&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Only school in Oregon,that I know of, with a pharmacy school-degree is Oregon State Univ. Used to be 5 year program.</p>

<p>University of Montana in Missoula has a very good Pharmacy School....not quite sure about the Japanese. I know they have a "sister-city" in Japan and there seem to be a lot of exchange programs with Japan also.</p>

<p>Actually, UM Missoula has a pretty good tradition with Japanese largely because of the Mansfield relationship...<a href="http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000113%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000113&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Thanks for the suggestions. U of Montana looks particularly interesting, especially as a school I've never thought of before. I especially liked the candor of their disability resources sight (We're not here to hold your hand) , and the campus looks very nice. I'm not really sure about the LAC suggestions, though, because they always seem horribly expensive, and I'm not grinning at the prospect of high student loans.</p>

<p>Any additional input is always appreciated.</p>


<p>I know that the LACs look really expensive, but some of them offer extremely good aid. Whitman, for example, has a really great endowment and offers a lot of good merit aid as well as financial aid. </p>

<p>Also, a smaller, not so widely known school that is really quite nice is Linfield College. Its located in McMinnville, OR and has very very good merit aid. The school wasn't a fit for me socially or I would have really considered it. Its a very pretty school and the professors I met were great. Plus, it has ties to several nearby schools, I think. Its definitely worth looking at. And to give an idea about the price, with my aid at Linfield it was cheaper to attend then one of the state schools I applied to. </p>

<p>So, in short, I really recommend applying to LACs. They might end up being cheaper than state options.</p>

<p>The UC's are a crapshot when it comes to out of state merit aid. The University of Oregon does offer some merit aid to out of state students and is not, in my opinion, overly pricey.</p>

<p>A few others worth looking into that do offer nice solid merit aid:
Oregon: Willamette U
Washington: U of Puget Sound, Seattle U
California: Santa Clara, University of San Diego, University of Redlands, and Chapman U.</p>

Although I have had wonderful, valuable, educational learning experiences with non-Japanese (gaijin), nothing beats getting the intonation straight from the horse's mouth.


<p>I saw this on a reread a the thread, and I must agree. Throughout hgh school, I've had a native speaker and a gaikokujin (be polite, you know!) teacher and while the latter was nice, he was no much for the native speaker. In fact, a lot of people drop out of the program after moving from the gaikoukjin to the native speaker. It's actually quite a problem.</p>

<p>By the way, I will have completed Japanese VI by graduation, if this makes any difference.</p>

<p>Thanks again for all the suggestions, especially the perspective on LACs/aid.</p>


<p>Gaijin is actually not a rude term, if it's used in the right context. The malicious intent has largely dropped from the connotation of the word. I've heard that these days, one is used more with non-Asians, and the other with all non-Japanese, but I tend to just stick with gaijin in everyday speech because it seems more natural based on my experiences there.</p>

<p>Put one in the right context, however...and it's cho-unko</p>

<p>Darn, forgot to mention the University of the Pacific in California, which has an excellent pharmacy program and does I believe, offer Japanese as well.</p>

<p>My son is graduating with a BA in Japanese from Stanford, and he loves their program. He spent two semesters in Kyoto, Japan with the Stanford overseas program, had a blast, and was able to pass a Japanese competency test while there. (Not sure what level; I know there is still one above it that he plans to take.) He has become fluent enough that he is doing some translating for Japanese firms. And he plans to eventually pursue a master's in Japanese at Stanford.</p>

<p>Stanford has an excellent, well-reknowned East Asian languages program. That's great that your son has so done so much with it.</p>

<p>Wolfpiper, places like Montana and Wyoming are great, price wise. My son was interested in "the west." He found out the oboe teacher at U of Wyoming also mushed dogs! But "the North" also captured his imagination. You will find a lot of Japanese programs at both small and large schools. When thinking outstanding language programs IU Bloomington comes to mind.</p>