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Old 12-21-2014, 02:32 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,914 times
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I will be going on my year abroad next autumn (coming from Britain) and have to submit my shortlist by the end of January. I would like to finalise it before Christmas to save stress and I was hoping you would offer some input. The original list had 40 universities in the U.S. but I have narrowed it down to five, though I donít know how to rank them in order of preference as some of them appeal to me more than others. My shortlist is:

Louisiana State University
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri
University of Oklahoma
St. Olaf College

I narrowed it down with the following criteria:

- Under 5% international student population. I did this because I would like to fully immerse myself in U.S. culture and being at a college with many foreigners would spoil this imo.
- In a city/town with less than 250,000 population. i donít want to be in a big city, I want to be in small town/city America and somewhere that is rarely visited by tourists.
- Bottom of the U.S. international visitation tourism list 2013. Again, I donít want a touristic location.
- Must be in the Forbes top 500 U.S. university rankings. Did this because I wish to enter a competitive field and a good university on my C.V. is vital.

So out of the list, and my criteria, can you gleam what I want from my year abroad??? If not then I will explain. The experience i want is that of the typical American college experience (big on sports, frats/sororities, school spirit, etc.). I want to be in the South or Midwest as I view this as more ďtypical AmericanaĒ than the west and east coasts etc. Finally, I am a history student and all of the states I have picked have interesting histories which will be important to influencing my year abroad dissertation (note: I chose St. Olaf because of its proximity to Canada and a potential dissertation topic for me is US-Canadian relations).

So how would you rank those colleges (not on prestige but in terms of what I want)?
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:21 PM
 
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I don't know that much about the other four on your list academically, but Oklahoma's primary academic strengths are meteorology and foreign languages. Its probable that given all of the reservations within the state, that they also would be pretty good at Native American history, but I'm not sure of that. As far as your typical American college experience goes, many former Oklahoma football players and coaches who go to the NFL move back to Norman after their careers are over and the citizens of Norman treat them like celebrities. Another factor is that Norman is not that far from Oklahoma City, and so if you wanted to travel to other parts of the US, you have more flying options than the others except for St. Olaf.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:56 PM
 
4,800 posts, read 10,593,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingbeige View Post
So out of the list, and my criteria, can you gleam what I want from my year abroad??? If not then I will explain. The experience i want is that of the typical American college experience (big on sports, frats/sororities, school spirit, etc.). I want to be in the South or Midwest as I view this as more “typical Americana” than the west and east coasts etc. Finally, I am a history student and all of the states I have picked have interesting histories which will be important to influencing my year abroad dissertation (note: I chose St. Olaf because of its proximity to Canada and a potential dissertation topic for me is US-Canadian relations).

So how would you rank those colleges (not on prestige but in terms of what I want)?
I would eliminate St Olaf College, because the other four have better college sports atmosphere. I'd say Oklahoma has the best sports atmosphere of the remaining three and Missouri and Mississippi have good college atmosphere and Mississippi and Louisiana State have a good fraternity atmosphere. I think I would pick Missouri for you but Mississippi and Oklahoma would be good choices too.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:39 PM
 
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If those were my choices it would be..

Oklahoma or Missouri.

I don't know if it falls into your criteria or not but Illinois state is a great university and located in the size town your looking at. Also has a train station that can get ya to chicago- and back (bout 1 and half hours away).
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxdtdemon View Post
I don't know that much about the other four on your list academically, but Oklahoma's primary academic strengths are meteorology and foreign languages. Its probable that given all of the reservations within the state, that they also would be pretty good at Native American history, but I'm not sure of that. As far as your typical American college experience goes, many former Oklahoma football players and coaches who go to the NFL move back to Norman after their careers are over and the citizens of Norman treat them like celebrities. Another factor is that Norman is not that far from Oklahoma City, and so if you wanted to travel to other parts of the US, you have more flying options than the others except for St. Olaf.
Didn't consider proximity to airport! Good shout. Though I wouldn't be able to afford flights around the country but it would be handy to not be too far when flying in from the UK. Oklahoma have good resources on Native American history from my research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
I would eliminate St Olaf College, because the other four have better college sports atmosphere. I'd say Oklahoma has the best sports atmosphere of the remaining three and Missouri and Mississippi have good college atmosphere and Mississippi and Louisiana State have a good fraternity atmosphere. I think I would pick Missouri for you but Mississippi and Oklahoma would be good choices too.
So the ranking should be:

Missouri
Oklahoma
Mississippi
LSU

?

I am thinking of replacing St Olaf with the University of Rhode Island


In terms of the experiences at these colleges. What would the student life be like at Mizzou compared to LSU for example? Also, are the locations selected distinctly American (i.e. completely unlike anything back home; I want to go somewhere different to my current location hence the choice of Southern states)?
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:49 PM
 
207 posts, read 271,145 times
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Missouri would be the most conservative in terms of culture and atmosphere.

Mississippi/Louisiana state would be the most "different" in terms of culture

All are huge into football.

Mississippi is the most isolated out of them all in terms of access to other cities or travel.

I don't really think you can go wrong with any of them, all would be unique experiences and offer their own traditions. Southern schools tend to be way more into their colleges (LsU-Mississippi-Oklahoma).
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Montana
522 posts, read 556,435 times
Reputation: 746
Quote:
Originally Posted by beingbeige View Post
I will be going on my year abroad next autumn (coming from Britain) and have to submit my shortlist by the end of January. I would like to finalise it before Christmas to save stress and I was hoping you would offer some input. The original list had 40 universities in the U.S. but I have narrowed it down to five, though I donít know how to rank them in order of preference as some of them appeal to me more than others. My shortlist is:

Louisiana State University
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri
University of Oklahoma
St. Olaf College

I narrowed it down with the following criteria:

- Under 5% international student population. I did this because I would like to fully immerse myself in U.S. culture and being at a college with many foreigners would spoil this imo.
- In a city/town with less than 250,000 population. i donít want to be in a big city, I want to be in small town/city America and somewhere that is rarely visited by tourists.
- Bottom of the U.S. international visitation tourism list 2013. Again, I donít want a touristic location.
- Must be in the Forbes top 500 U.S. university rankings. Did this because I wish to enter a competitive field and a good university on my C.V. is vital.

So out of the list, and my criteria, can you gleam what I want from my year abroad??? If not then I will explain. The experience i want is that of the typical American college experience (big on sports, frats/sororities, school spirit, etc.). I want to be in the South or Midwest as I view this as more ďtypical AmericanaĒ than the west and east coasts etc. Finally, I am a history student and all of the states I have picked have interesting histories which will be important to influencing my year abroad dissertation (note: I chose St. Olaf because of its proximity to Canada and a potential dissertation topic for me is US-Canadian relations).

So how would you rank those colleges (not on prestige but in terms of what I want)?
Blaugh, those all suck. Maybe St. Olaf? Have fun...
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:08 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,914 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by north2south. View Post
Missouri would be the most conservative in terms of culture and atmosphere.

Mississippi/Louisiana state would be the most "different" in terms of culture

All are huge into football.

Mississippi is the most isolated out of them all in terms of access to other cities or travel.

I don't really think you can go wrong with any of them, all would be unique experiences and offer their own traditions. Southern schools tend to be way more into their colleges (LsU-Mississippi-Oklahoma).
Thanks for your input, so the South offers more of a "typical college experience"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoanCrawford View Post
Blaugh, those all suck. Maybe St. Olaf? Have fun...
Really or are you being sarcastic?
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:17 PM
 
892 posts, read 1,097,591 times
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I think that Missouri may be more isolated than Ole Miss. It's slightly less than an hour and a half from Oxford to Memphis, while it's 2.5 hours from Columbia to either Kansas City or St. Louis.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:32 PM
 
892 posts, read 1,097,591 times
Reputation: 738
There are quite a number of places in the Midwest that would offer the college experience you wanted, but miss out on some of the other criteria. Penn State and Michigan State are fairly isolated, have a great history department, and lots of school spirit, but I guess misses out on your too many international student criteria. I'm not sure if either are on your list. Ohio State has too many international students and is in a city that's too large for your criteria, but despite the largeness of Columbus, most of the city is in scarlet and gray on Saturdays in the fall and many restaurants close during Buckeye games or have the game on a TV screen. I think that your criterion about 5% or lower international students may be a little misguided as many of the international students are from southern or eastern Asia and like to congregate on their own, and you wouldn't regularly meet them if you didn't have to. Also, most international students are graduate students, and if you are an undergraduate student, you would be primarily in classes with Americans.
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