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Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Old Feb 18th 2007, 2:32 pm
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Default Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Not sure if this is the correct forum, but I will give it a go ..

Looking at studying abroad - most likely in the Boston area from September 2008 onwards. I have been looking at various colleges around the area who offer one year courses, and they seem to be helpful to prospective international students. Also, been looking at possible scholarship funds and so on.

Just a quick outline - I am 22, I have been at College for two years doing a couple of AS/A Levels, and studied a full time GNVQ ICT a few years ago. I plan on doing a couple of evening courses from September 07' til May 08' at a college nearby, and plan on working full time until next spring (08').

Luckily, I have a good friend in Boston, who would be looking at sharing accommodation with myself (touch wood).

Anyone ever studied abroad? Is a student/option of work visa hard to come by for say a year stay? Any general tips would be appreciated from british expats.

Benji.
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Benjizinho View Post
Not sure if this is the correct forum, but I will give it a go ..
Looking at studying abroad - most likely in the Boston area from September 2008 onwards. I have been looking at various colleges around the area who - I am 22, I have been at College for two years doing a
And to think I had to leave school at 15 and earn my living ...

Check the costs of schooling here ..it is not cheap especially for
foreign students..
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Boston is a lovely city....hope everything goes to plan for you.....
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Benjizinho View Post
Not sure if this is the correct forum, but I will give it a go ..

Looking at studying abroad - most likely in the Boston area from September 2008 onwards. I have been looking at various colleges around the area who offer one year courses, and they seem to be helpful to prospective international students. Also, been looking at possible scholarship funds and so on.

Just a quick outline - I am 22, I have been at College for two years doing a couple of AS/A Levels, and studied a full time GNVQ ICT a few years ago. I plan on doing a couple of evening courses from September 07' til May 08' at a college nearby, and plan on working full time until next spring (08').

Luckily, I have a good friend in Boston, who would be looking at sharing accommodation with myself (touch wood).

Anyone ever studied abroad? Is a student/option of work visa hard to come by for say a year stay? Any general tips would be appreciated from british expats.

Benji.
I work in the study abroad office of a university in Virginia.

Your best bet is to see your university's study abroad office and ask what kind of exchange programs they have with universities and colleges in the US. That way, you'd probably only have to pay UK tuition rates, rather than US tuition rates. For instance, the tuition rates for one semester at my university is about $18,000 per semester, but exchange students only pay whatever they would normally pay at their home institutions, even if it's far less than $18,000 (which it usually is).

Why are you so intent on studying in Boston? Personally I wouldn't focus on studying in one place solely because you have a friend you can stay with. There are so many factors that go into being approved for study abroad, and where the student wants to live is not usually one of them. You should choose a university that is best for your study plan, for your personality and interests. You could find a great university within walking distance of your friend's place, but if your GPA isn't high enough to meet their requirements, then what then?

You need to look at the bigger picture and realize that studying abroad is not about living with or even visiting with your friends who happen to live in the area. You have to have stronger, more academically valid reasons to want to study at a particular university besides where it's located. The US is a big place, after all.

~ Jenney
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

I'm currently on a study-abroad placement in San Diego for a year so can give you some tips from my own experience.

As for studying in the US without going through an exchange, tuition fees for international students are very steep. I'm not sure which scholarships you've been looking at, but you need to look very carefully at the likehood that you'll get anything. Scholarships or loans will be extremely hard to come by, and there is no financial aid for international students, which makes this an impossibility for most.

Your best bet, as Jenney mentioned, is through an exchange program with a UK university. Look into the degree courses that offer an overseas placement. I take American Studies so time in the US was a given, but I know many unis offer exchange programs for all kinds of degrees. Also check which US universities they have direct connections with, as if they operate through an ISEP-type program you'll have to list up to 10 unis and won't necessarily get your first choice.
In short, find a UK uni that has a direct (bilateral) exchange with a uni in Boston, and discuss with the study abroad coordinator the likelihood of you being accepted there (they'll have a limited number of places for each uni and Boston will be a popular destination).

Most UK unis send their students on exchanges in the 3rd year, so you'll have two years in the UK before you get to the US. Some send them in the 2nd year, you can usually find this out through their website.

You'll get your UK loan and will pay your fees to your UK uni. But note that you will have to prove funds, (that is, prove you have enough money to support yourself for your entire stay), already in the bank before they give you a visa. Your UK loan will not cover this. I had to prove I had almost $15000 for 10 months in San Diego, and I imagine Boston will be similar. I had to take time out to work before beginning uni, for this reason, so it's important to plan ahead.

If this all works out you will get a J1 visa, which allows you to work on campus for 20 hours a week, however it is difficult to get on-campus work so you shouldn't plan to rely on this. Other factors to consider include the different style of university here, the cost of books (mine are around $600 per semester), the amount of work you'll have to put in, and how this will limits any plans you might have such as travelling etc.

Last edited by ed_san_diego; Feb 18th 2007 at 5:09 pm.
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark View Post
Why are you so intent on studying in Boston? Personally I wouldn't focus on studying in one place solely because you have a friend you can stay with. There are so many factors that go into being approved for study abroad, and where the student wants to live is not usually one of them. You should choose a university that is best for your study plan, for your personality and interests. You could find a great university within walking distance of your friend's place, but if your GPA isn't high enough to meet their requirements, then what then?

You need to look at the bigger picture and realize that studying abroad is not about living with or even visiting with your friends who happen to live in the area. You have to have stronger, more academically valid reasons to want to study at a particular university besides where it's located. The US is a big place, after all.

~ Jenney
Hey Jenney,

Having a friend their or not doesnt matter to me - I made the decision before my friend even moved to the state of Massachusetts, if I happen to find a college in say Nashville, I would give that a shot. I have wanted to study in Boston for the last four years. It was either Toronto or Boston, and I have gone for the latter. If I cant find anything suitable in the area, I will look elsewhere in the states.

I am open minded and not making any decisions on the sole purpose of having a friend in the area, I should have made that clearer in my earlier post. I think you have my intentions mixed up, but thanks for your advice none the less.

Thanks for the advice ed_san_diego - made a lot of things clear.

Last edited by Benjizinho; Feb 18th 2007 at 7:04 pm.
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Benjizinho View Post
Not sure if this is the correct forum, but I will give it a go ..

Looking at studying abroad - most likely in the Boston area from September 2008 onwards. I have been looking at various colleges around the area who offer one year courses, and they seem to be helpful to prospective international students. Also, been looking at possible scholarship funds and so on.

Just a quick outline - I am 22, I have been at College for two years doing a couple of AS/A Levels, and studied a full time GNVQ ICT a few years ago. I plan on doing a couple of evening courses from September 07' til May 08' at a college nearby, and plan on working full time until next spring (08').

Luckily, I have a good friend in Boston, who would be looking at sharing accommodation with myself (touch wood).

Anyone ever studied abroad? Is a student/option of work visa hard to come by for say a year stay? Any general tips would be appreciated from british expats.

Benji.
Good luck...GNVQ's are worth poo over here though...and college, well your looking at for anything half decent, around $30K a year in the Boston area, but there are loads of schools worth looking at, even out in the burbs.

On a student visa, you'd probably get no schlorships over here, unless there private....your student visa won't allow you to work for your first semester, and then after that, only on campus, part time...so you'd need a good $10-20K a year to keep a float...accommodation in boston is horrific, but then you'd probably live out side of Boston itself, where rent will only be painfully expensive.

Wouldn't bother on the work visa, maybe a J1 training type thing, or best bet, have a look at a BUNAC type program....or a college transfer, I know plenty of colleges that do an exchange for a semester to a year....that would probably be cheapest.

Parking is another fun task in Boston, and the winters are pretty tough, saying that, they have been lovely this year...roads are an utter joke compared to Maine though, considering how little snow we've had in comparison.

Good luck with it though, as Boston is fun, if expensive to enjoy...but there is public transport, even though that stops a little after midnight...and you can walk around much of the town.
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Benjizinho View Post
Having a friend their or not doesnt matter to me - I made the decision before my friend even moved to the state of Massachusetts, if I happen to find a college in say Nashville, I would give that a shot. I have wanted to study in Boston for the last four years. It was either Toronto or Boston, and I have gone for the latter. If I cant find anything suitable in the area, I will look elsewhere in the states.

I
what are you looking to study? that'll help with recommendations...

For around Mass-

Bay State- expensive, okay, this is a given.

Hallmark Institute of Photography - really good for photography, really hard to get into, really expensive.

The Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University - in Waltham, really good if your into CGI/animation

The New England Institute of Art - For art

Art Institute of Boston

Massachusetts College of Art

Babson College - Very posh, all girls? use to be at least.

Boston Architectural Center, The

Boston College - Chestnut Hill, nice, affordable student housing, shite parking

Boston University

Brandeis University - Waltham, bit posh, shite location

Harvard University - Well expensive, and that's the posh one, in Cambridge

Northeastern University- On the orange line I think, huge, nice campus

Regis College - Very posh, in Weston...but small.

Tufts University - Medford...poshish, expensive

Wellesley College- Posh, small (One that Mona Lisa Smile was based on)

Wheaton College - trying to be posh, mostly birds, Norton.

Basically there are tonnes out there, community one's I wouldn't bother with though...but that's something I compiled for someone else.

oh yeah MIT...now that's good, but well expensive as well.
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
what are you looking to study?
Hey Bob ..

I was kinda' expecting my GNVQ to be of hardly any use - I did that a good five years ago.

At the moment, looking at three fields: History, Religion, or a yearly vocational course of some sort. I dont expect it to be easy or cheap, and its going to be a long ol' road - If everything was simple, it wouldnt be exciting.

Thanks for the rundown aswell.
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 7:59 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Benjizinho View Post
Hey Bob ..

I was kinda' expecting my GNVQ to be of hardly any use - I did that a good five years ago.

At the moment, looking at three fields: History, Religion, or a yearly vocational course of some sort. I dont expect it to be easy or cheap, and its going to be a long ol' road - If everything was simple, it wouldnt be exciting.

Thanks for the rundown aswell.
Religion

That should be a winner.
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Benjizinho View Post

At the moment, looking at three fields: History, Religion, or a yearly vocational course of some sort. I dont expect it to be easy or cheap, and its going to be a long ol' road - If everything was simple, it wouldnt be exciting.
Scratch the vocational, it just won't happen...but the history, there's a few places here that are good for that, especially American history, North Eastern is worth checking out.

Religion, your on your own...but Mass is a very conservative state even if it pretends to be very liberal.
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Benjizinho View Post
I am open minded and not making any decisions on the sole purpose of having a friend in the area, I should have made that clearer in my earlier post. I think you have my intentions mixed up, but thanks for your advice none the less.
Aah, ok. Yeah, I definitely got that impression from your first post. It might sound strange but we actually do get inquiries from people who are interested in coming to our university for reasons like that, as opposed to academic (ie, valid) reasons! Likewise, we have American students who want to study abroad in certain countries because it would make it easier for them to backpack around Europe, stuff like that -- we're like, "Um, that's NOT a good reason!"

Originally Posted by Bob
your student visa won't allow you to work for your first semester, and then after that, only on campus, part time
Not necessarily. Our university allows it on a case-by-case basis, but most exchange students are allowed to work during their first semester.

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Old Feb 20th 2007, 12:10 am
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark View Post


Not necessarily. Our university allows it on a case-by-case basis, but most exchange students are allowed to work during their first semester.
Uni might allow it, but not on an F1 visa they ain't...
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Old Feb 20th 2007, 12:44 am
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Uni might allow it, but not on an F1 visa they ain't...
Yeah, our exchange students can, not sure about the degree-seeking students.

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Old Feb 20th 2007, 12:54 am
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Default Re: Studying abroad (Boston, US)

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark View Post
Yeah, our exchange students can, not sure about the degree-seeking students.

~ Jenney
My uni did an exchange with san fran, still do, and with other places, but to do the exchange, they still had to have an F1 visa, and to get that, they had to show funds to cover living expenses for at least the first semester, back then, they needed to show they had $10K in funds, and they weren't allowed to work...that didn't mean that some didn't on the sly though.

Don't know what visa's your exchanges are using, but if they are F1, they really aren't allowed work
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