Missmoose
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Hi guys, so I'm keen to study abroad and have the option to go for one semester in my second year. My options are :

  • Occidental College
  • Pitzer College
  • University of California
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Maryland
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

    Can anyone give me any opinions on these? I'm leaning towards Wisconsin or NC @ Chapel Hill. California sounds cool but my uni rates how hard it is to get in on the highest score (1 out of 3) and it is the most over-subscribed study abroad choice at my uni.
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Edminzodo
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(Original post by Missmoose)
Hi guys, so I'm keen to study abroad and have the option to go for one semester in my second year. My options are :


  • Occidental College


  • Pitzer College


  • University of California


  • University of Chicago
  • University of Maryland


  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • University of Oregon


  • University of Richmond


  • University of Wisconsin


  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

    Can anyone give me any opinions on these? I'm leaning towards Wisconsin or NC @ Chapel Hill. California sounds cool but my uni rates how hard it is to get in on the highest score (1 out of 3) and it is the most over-subscribed study abroad choice at my uni.


TERRY GILLIAM WENT TO OCCIDENTAL. THERFORE IT SHOULD BE WORSHIPPED AND TURNED INTO A TEMPLE. :awesome:

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feyy
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Oooh, Chicago.
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devil09
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Wisconsin and UNC balance strong academics with thriving social and athletic scenes, with Wisky being a bit more of a party school. Both are in nice college towns and very liberal. The main differences are size (Wisky is noticeably larger than UNC) and weather (Madison gets MUCH colder than Chapel Hill). Chapel Hill is much smaller than Madison, but the Triangle metro area (Raleigh-Chapel Hill-Durham) is significantly larger than Madison and growing rapidly.

Maryland is similar to the two above but slightly weaker academically (except CS/engineering), and its location is a bit more bland. A major plus is easy access to DC (~30 min by metro).

Rutgers and Oregon are much less attractive options than the three above.

Chicago was traditionally a pretty intense and monastic place, but it has mellowed out considerably in the past decade or two, and these days it's very similar to the Ivies and other top private universities. If you value academics over everything else, it'd be great. For a classic American college experience, there's better options on your list. It's in a great city, though - lots of arts and culture, nightlife, museums, etc.

Occidental is in a boring suburb of LA, and getting anywhere from Pitzer is a huge hassle without a car (it's not easy even with one). If you're dying to try life at a small college, I'd go for U Richmond instead.
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Missmoose
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(Original post by devil09)
Wisconsin and UNC balance strong academics with thriving social and athletic scenes, with Wisky being a bit more of a party school. Both are in nice college towns and very liberal. The main differences are size (Wisky is noticeably larger than UNC) and weather (Madison gets MUCH colder than Chapel Hill). Chapel Hill is much smaller than Madison, but the Triangle metro area (Raleigh-Chapel Hill-Durham) is significantly larger than Madison and growing rapidly.

Maryland is similar to the two above but slightly weaker academically (except CS/engineering), and its location is a bit more bland. A major plus is easy access to DC (~30 min by metro).

Rutgers and Oregon are much less attractive options than the three above.

Chicago was traditionally a pretty intense and monastic place, but it has mellowed out considerably in the past decade or two, and these days it's very similar to the Ivies and other top private universities. If you value academics over everything else, it'd be great. For a classic American college experience, there's better options on your list. It's in a great city, though - lots of arts and culture, nightlife, museums, etc.

Occidental is in a boring suburb of LA, and getting anywhere from Pitzer is a huge hassle without a car (it's not easy even with one). If you're dying to try life at a small college, I'd go for U Richmond instead.
Thanks for the insight. I think I'd prefer a bigger university as I'm at a uni now with over 20,000 students and I've grown up in London. I'm going to be studying Politics and International Relations and so far my research tells me Wisconsin is a good place for that subject. Do you know anything about the university of California? I know it has multiple campuses and I can apply to any of them.
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madamemerle
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(Original post by devil09)

Rutgers and Oregon are much less attractive options than the three above.
Any particular reasons?

As a visitor to the US, I'd suggest Rutgers offers a great location to explore the East Coast, so it might be attractive in that regard (super close to NYC, North East Regional/Acela routes easily accessible, as well as other Penn Station Amtrak routes...which makes travel to all the major eastern seaboard cities really easy, as well as fairly easy access to Virginia, NC etc). It's also a strong research school...not much difference between Rutgers and Wisconsin Madison academically really? I mean Madison is delightful compared to almost anywhere, definitely to New Brunswick, but it's far less better situated for travel.

As far as Oregon goes: yeah, not as strong a research school, but...as an undergrad exchange student I don't really see the experience being all that different at any large state school, so I'm not sure it's that important, and Oregon is still a very good school. It has a lot else to recommend though, not least a strong campus community,and a beautiful environment. Its also a part of the US that isn't visited that much from the UK...you'd get a less common experience, which might have some value.

This isn't to challenge your above advice, which is super useful, but just to suggest that Rutgers and Oregon might have a lot to offer, too.
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ssswims
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(Original post by Missmoose)
Hi guys, so I'm keen to study abroad and have the option to go for one semester in my second year. My options are :

  • Occidental College
  • Pitzer College
  • University of California
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Maryland
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

    Can anyone give me any opinions on these? I'm leaning towards Wisconsin or NC @ Chapel Hill. California sounds cool but my uni rates how hard it is to get in on the highest score (1 out of 3) and it is the most over-subscribed study abroad choice at my uni.
From the perspective of an American, the schools with "wow" factor are California, UNC, and Chicago. Chapel Hill and Chicago especially. I think you would probably enjoy Chapel Hill most... A great student body, beautiful weather, beautiful campus, rigorous coursework.


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feyy
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BTW, the University of California is a group of universities, some more "wow" than others.
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Missmoose
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(Original post by feyy)
BTW, the University of California is a group of universities, some more "wow" than others.
Yes, I know that. Several of my relatives have gone to Berkeley
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Okorange
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I would recommend UNC Chapel Hill. Its warm and sunny there, unlike Wisconsin. California is a great option, once you get California though how do they decide which campus you go to, i'm sure UCLA and Berkeley are probably going to be oversubscribed.
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Missmoose
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(Original post by Okorange)
I would recommend UNC Chapel Hill. Its warm and sunny there, unlike Wisconsin. California is a great option, once you get California though how do they decide which campus you go to, i'm sure UCLA and Berkeley are probably going to be oversubscribed.
I am swaying towards either California or UNC. I have 3 choices so I will probably put both as a choice. With California they treat every campus as its own university, therefore I could apply to multiple California campuses if I wanted to. I'm tempted to avoid doing that though. Thank you for the advice.
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madamemerle
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Do they say which are less popular?

Almost any UC will likely be a great experience (except maybe Merced), but if you are particularly keen on an oversubscribed one you could choose somewhere closeish, eg you might put Irvine to still get the SoCal vibe and be nearish LA, if UCLA is oversubscribed.

My pick would actually be UCSC, because I think it would be a wonderfully different place to spend a year abroad, a beautiful area, and, by all accounts, a really fun campus community ... but it's not the easiest place to be without a car if you wanted to travel.



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Gridiron-Gangster
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Chicago or UNC imo
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