Hi everyone! I am a current high school junior from Los Angeles, California beginning my college search. I know that there are many opportunities available to me as a student int he United States, but I am also considering studying in Scotland at either St. Andrews or Edinburgh. I know a lot of you will question why I would forsake amazing American universities to go abroad, so let me tell you a little bit about myself. I have always been very global, my favorite classes at school are languages (Spanish and French), history, and international relations classes, and I travel a lot. Traveling is one of the only things that keeps me happy and I even run a growing travel blog that has already gotten a couple sponsors. Furthermore, I have always loved international relations and I am certain I want to go into international relations, law, or business when I grow up. As I am relatively certain regarding my goals for the future, I would like a streamlined college education with fewer core classes and more focus on students' individual areas of interest. That is one reason I like colleges in the UK.
My primary factors in making a college decision are as follows (not in order of preference):
1. Good academics
2. In a city
3. Good social life
4. Easy and relatively cheap to travel around region
5. Has a strong international relations program
6. Will allow me to continue studies in French (bonus if I can complete a double major)
7. Not near California
8. Very strong alumni network
9. Good living accommodations
10. Research opportunities
11. College will provide good networking and will look good to future employers
12. College has a Model UN program
13. College will allow for good internships
14. College has a good advisory program and career center
The alternative to studying abroad for my entire college experience would be to study in the States and then take my junior year abroad. Again, I am very global, independent, and I love taking risks. My primary concerns about going to college abroad are about networking and coming back to the US after college. Will I be able to compete with my peers that stayed in America to study international relations? Will American employers take me seriously? Will I be able to get into top US colleges to earn a Master's Degree? Will I be able to build a strong network in the US?
If anyone who sees this is a current foreign student or recent grad of a UK university, it would be so helpful if I could email you and hear an insider's perspective.
Thank you so much! I know this post was long and exhaustive, but this has really been on my mind lately.