Major in TESOL(master), choosing between NYU and UIUC?

Hello, everyone! I am an international student and now I have got offers from both NYU and UIUC, to study TESOL as my master’s degree. And the major concern of mine is about the money. I guess study in NYU for 2 years could be very expensive. I only got 1000,000 CNY (157400.00 $) for study abroad, wondering if I could use that sum of money to cover all the expenditures of studying in NYU for 2 years(still need thoughts from you about this). However, UIUC provides me with a teaching assistantship that could provide me with full coverage of tuition and part of the medical insurance, and it pays me salary monthly, promised. I can apply for a graduate assistantship in NYU as well but I think the possibility of getting it is low. I still want to go to NYU to study mainly because of its high QS rank and fame.
How to choose between them? Thank you for your time and consideration!

By TESOL, are you referring to teaching English as second language (I was not familiar with it and had to Bing it)?


Congrats on your offers! So it sounds like you have been given a million CNY which works out to be $157,400 given the current exchange rate. This is slightly less than $80,000 per year if the exchange rate holds. How much is NYU charging you per year for tuition? It is hard for me to estimate your living expenses, as I don’t know what you are willing to put up with. New York is an extremely expensive city, even for those who are prepared to live frugally. Personally, I would choose UIUC. It has a very good reputation. And it sounds as if the TA position there is guaranteed. You will not need to worry about money.


THX for your reply! It is unclear for me how much the tuition in NYU TESOL will be. It was in total of 60,000 dollars last year (2 years of TESOL tuition) but I can know my tuition for 2022 fall enrollment only after my completion of selection of courses, which needs me to contact and work with the advisor of NYU. As for the living condition I can put up with, I choose to live frugally if I don’t have much budget for optional costs. For example, I’ll live off-campus and I’d rather share a rental place with another roommate and cook food by myself. But even that’s still not enough for 2 years study in NYU I guess. Now in my heart, I weigh UIUC more than NYU because its attractive TA that covers my tuition and a comfortable living environment it offers :slight_smile: And another question, should I always give tips to the takeout delivery man every time I order takeout? Since I will be new to America in the latter half of this year and I am not quite familiar with the customs.

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If tuition is $60,000 total ($30,000 per year) then you will have enough left over to live in NYC. But if it is $60,000 per year, then you would have less that $20,000 each year left over for expenses and that will be miserable and stressful and nearly impossible (although at least you would not worry about tipping the delivery person because you could never afford to order takeout even once.) If it were me, I would go to Illinois. In my opinion, smaller cities and towns are the best environment to get to know a language and culture on a deep level. In huge cities like NYC, people are too busy. I would go to Illinois, make real friends, and experience the real America. And it would leave you enough money to order takeout (and tip the delivery man as you should.)

Thank you for your thoughtful idea! I think at the end of the day I will choose to go to UIUC as well because of its beautiful nature scene and affordable livability (not very into the city-is-the-campus thing in NYU). By going to UIUC, I can find out if I am OK with studying abroad and if I wanna make any changes in the future, I still got money.


I grew up in the NYC area and went to grad school at UIUC. You will find life more relaxed in IL than NY and the people will be more friendly. Also, Midwesterners generally have more “clean” accents, and you would encounter a host of strong accents in the NYC area.

Don’t think that UIUC is some pastoral nature scene. There is the university, some warehouses and light industrial, the town, and cornfields to the horizon.


THX for your experience! Yeah, accent is an important factor that I missed considering about earlier. I guess in NYU where the most international students swarming into, there will be huge accent differences that hinder me in my TESOL completion. And I think the way UIUC admission officers wrote my offer letter is more friendly and nicer than NYU’s offer letter, which might prove that they are indeed more friendly than people in NYC. I met their professors in an interview from UIUC and they seem super nice, which leaves me a good impression.

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Anyone offers an argument for NYU?

Green, I was referring to native New Yorkers having strong accents, not international students or recent immigrants. Someone raised in the Bronx or Long Island might have a very pronounced accent. As a state school, UIUC will draw heavily from IL and the Midwest. BTW, there will be a good number of international students at UIUC, especially in the STEM fields.

Another reason to avoid NYC… the crime rate has been rising. Major crimes are up 38% over the same period last year.

Thank you for your info! :smiley: What it feels like to study in UIUC? Are people super nice there? I wrote letters to NYU asking about financial aid, but they didn’t reply to me yet in days, which makes me feel I am ignored and thereby I have one more reason to choose UIUC.

I was at the graduate business school there in the 1990s, so things might have changed. The professors were generally helpful and approachable. Most of my classmates were from IL and the Midwest. Generally, people on campus were nice.

Good to know😁