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Old 06-02-2013, 03:53 PM
 
49 posts, read 50,133 times
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I am currently studying BA American Studies and History at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Next year I get to study abroad for a year in the USA. I have the option of the following universities:

California State University, Long Beach
Indiana University
Lehigh University
Marquette University
Mount Holyoke College
Penn State University
Purdue University
San Diego State University
State University of New York Buffalo
University of California
University of Kansas
University Maryland at College Park
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
University of Miami
University of North Carolina Charlotte
University of South Carolina
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

I have the following criteria to meet:

- Good for American Studies and History
- Typical US college experience, however, not a total party school
- Not dominated by Greek life
- More women than men
- Easy to travel around the campus and town for someone without a car
- Major airport (with links to London) nearby
- Not many international students
- I'd prefer a Midwest/southwest university, however I don't mind an east coast one if you can convince me
- Not a massive school (around 15,000 students)

I hope you can help me. My friend Mike suggested I use this forum because you helped him pick Kansas!
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,466 posts, read 1,043,524 times
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University of Maryland is right outside Washington, so you'll easily get flights to London. It's probably a typical college experience too. It is also highly ranked in American Studies apparently. The only drawbacks are that it is a bigger school than you said you preferred and it is on the east coast.

Indiana University is also highly ranked, it's fairly close to Indianapolis, and has your typical college experience. It's in the midwest, so that's a plus. It's a massive school though, and I have a feeling it is Greek dominated, being a Big Ten school and all.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:12 PM
 
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Well...the only universities on that list that are in the West are Cal State, San Diego State, and University of California (does this mean any of the campuses of UC? There are many of them). The rest are overwhelmingly on the East Coast with a few in the upper-midwest. Though if you are looking to be near a major airport with close access to London....the East Coast would be your best bet. University of Marlyand at College Park puts you very close to DC which has two international airports with flights to London.

As far as which of the schools on that list that would give you the most authentic "American College Experience" I'd have to go with (in no particular order) University of Kansas, Penn State, University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, or Indiana. These are all large, public universities with strong academics and an emphasis on school pride, largely through their NCAA basketball and/or football programs. Students in these schools will know how to have a good time, but they aren't "party schools" and academics is still taken seriously.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:40 PM
 
49 posts, read 50,133 times
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Focus on the criteria of being good for history, not many international students and a high female to male ratio

I have browsed College Prowler and found some universities that match the latter two criteria.

( ) = International students
[ ] = Female/male ratio

University of California, Santa Cruz (0%) [52:48]
University of California, Santa Barbara (1%) [52:48]
University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1%) [46:54]
Marquette University (2%) [52:48]
University of California, Riverside (2%) [51:49]
University of South Carolina (2%) [53:47]
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (2%) [52:48]
University of California, Davis (3%) [55:45]
University of California, Irvine (3%) [53:47]
University of North Carolina at Charlotte (3%) [51:49]
San Diego State University (4%) [56:44]
California State University, Long Beach (5%) [58:42]
University of California, San Diego (5%) [51:49]

Which would you advise from there?

Last edited by hrvyspctr; 06-02-2013 at 04:45 PM.. Reason: Wrong percentage for UMass Amherst.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
6,916 posts, read 6,229,906 times
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That list is pretty varied and I don't think a single school meets all of your criteria. However if you want American History I would think that Cal stands head and shoulders above all the other schools on reputation. Indiana is strong in that area as well. Maryland is unique in that it sits 10 miles from the seat of federal government. South Carolina and Tennessee might be good in southern history.

There are several commuter schools on your list and a few small private ones. If you want the "traditional" experience then you would probably want to attend one of the larger state schools. Kansas, Virginia Techand Penn State would also be included on that list although , Virginia Tech and Penn State aren't close to any large airport. Purdue is also a large school but it is mostly an engineering and tech school.

On your second list, only U of South Carolina is "traditional" with UMass Amherst and maybe San Diego State demonstrating an element of that. Cal Davis is the highest ranked University on the second list but it is a science and medical type of campus, and University of California San Diego is highly rated but also a science and biomedical type of campus.

Last edited by eddie gein; 06-02-2013 at 04:55 PM..
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:48 PM
 
49 posts, read 50,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELR123 View Post
University of Maryland is right outside Washington, so you'll easily get flights to London. It's probably a typical college experience too. It is also highly ranked in American Studies apparently. The only drawbacks are that it is a bigger school than you said you preferred and it is on the east coast.

Indiana University is also highly ranked, it's fairly close to Indianapolis, and has your typical college experience. It's in the midwest, so that's a plus. It's a massive school though, and I have a feeling it is Greek dominated, being a Big Ten school and all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_sayin' View Post
Well...the only universities on that list that are in the West are Cal State, San Diego State, and University of California (does this mean any of the campuses of UC? There are many of them). The rest are overwhelmingly on the East Coast with a few in the upper-midwest. Though if you are looking to be near a major airport with close access to London....the East Coast would be your best bet. University of Marlyand at College Park puts you very close to DC which has two international airports with flights to London.

As far as which of the schools on that list that would give you the most authentic "American College Experience" I'd have to go with (in no particular order) University of Kansas, Penn State, University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, or Indiana. These are all large, public universities with strong academics and an emphasis on school pride, largely through their NCAA basketball and/or football programs. Students in these schools will know how to have a good time, but they aren't "party schools" and academics is still taken seriously.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post
That list is pretty varied and I don't think a single school meets all of your criteria. However if you want American History I would think that Cal stands head and shoulders above all the other schools on reputation. Indiana is strong in that area as well. Maryland is unique in that it sits 10 miles from the seat of federal government. South Carolina and Tennessee might be good in southern history.

There are several commuter schools on your list and a few small private ones. If you want the "traditional" experience then you would probably want to attend one of the larger state schools. Kansas, Virginia Techand Penn State would also be included on that list although , Virginia Tech and Penn State aren't close to any large airport. Purdue is also a large school but it is mostly an engineering and tech school.
Thanks I have researched female to male ratio and international student percentages via College Prowler. I have whittled it down to the following universities:

University of California, Santa Cruz (0%) [52:48]
University of California, Santa Barbara (1%) [52:48]
University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1%) [50:50]
Marquette University (2%) [52:48]
University of California, Riverside (2%) [51:49]
University of South Carolina (2%) [53:47]
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (2%) [52:48]
University of California, Davis (3%) [55:45]
University of California, Irvine (3%) [53:47]
University of North Carolina at Charlotte (3%) [51:49]
San Diego State University (4%) [56:44]
California State University, Long Beach (5%) [58:42]
University of California, San Diego (5%) [51:49]

( ) = International students
[ ] = Female/male ratio

Where would you say to go from here?
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:03 PM
 
49 posts, read 50,133 times
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Was liking the look of UMass Amherst until I saw a one-way Amtrak ticket to Boston would cost me $128!! That's the closest airport after all...

However, it is $55 to NYC and $94 to Philly. So not TOO BAD.

Greyhound would get me to Boston for $30.

Amherst looks really great! Any info on this place would be appreciated.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:22 AM
 
893 posts, read 1,099,243 times
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If you were looking at the cost of going from Amherst to Boston on Amtrak, the reason it was so expensive was that you would have to take one train from Amherst to New York, and another from New York to Boston. The train that goes through Amherst on the way to Vermont doesn't run both directions every day, so it would be better to take a train to Springfield, MA, which is about 25 miles south of Amherst and on the Northeast Corridor where many trains run each day and then a bus from Springfield to Amherst.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:29 AM
 
49 posts, read 50,133 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxdtdemon View Post
If you were looking at the cost of going from Amherst to Boston on Amtrak, the reason it was so expensive was that you would have to take one train from Amherst to New York, and another from New York to Boston. The train that goes through Amherst on the way to Vermont doesn't run both directions every day, so it would be better to take a train to Springfield, MA, which is about 25 miles south of Amherst and on the Northeast Corridor where many trains run each day and then a bus from Springfield to Amherst.
Ah, I see. Probably easier to travel to NYC and get a flight from there anyway.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
13,372 posts, read 7,058,283 times
Reputation: 4865
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrvyspctr View Post
Was liking the look of UMass Amherst until I saw a one-way Amtrak ticket to Boston would cost me $128!! That's the closest airport after all...

However, it is $55 to NYC and $94 to Philly. So not TOO BAD.

Greyhound would get me to Boston for $30.

Amherst looks really great! Any info on this place would be appreciated.
I spent my freshman year there. I liked the school a lot as well as the town of Amherst. There's a fair number of international students, though I wouldn't say they have an overwhelming presence. It's fairly easy to get around without a car, as downtown Amherst is within walking distance from the campus, and there are buses you can take to Amherst and nearby Northampton as well. A lot of kids there from the eastern part of the state took buses back home, so that'd probably be your best buy for getting to the Boston airport. It is a typical US college experience. I am not sure what you would define as a "total party school" as opposed to a regular party school, because it has a reputation for being a party school, which is typical for comparable US state schools. If you are going to be there in January and February you will want to bring a heavy winter coat. Besides the obvious fact that it can be cold, it is like a wind tunnel near the 26 floor library on campus, and the windchill there is significantly colder than it is anywhere else, but walking by that was usually the fastest way for me to get across campus from where I lived in the southwest towers. I don't know much about the American Studies program specifically, though at UMass, you are almost guaranteed to get a left-wing slant on it. That can be said for many US colleges, but UMass in particular is notoriously left-leaning. Overall, though, it's a great school. But it seems like you have so many options it'd be almost impossible to get enough information about each school. But that's okay. You've just got to take a chance on one in particular. Good luck.
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