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    Just a random, silly thread!

    Which would you all prefer to go to if you received offers from all for Mathematics and also just overall too (not taking into account finances etc)?

    Personally, I'm really gutted- I didn't receive an offer from Columbia (applied Early Decision). But I know it's so competitive all-around (and even more for Internationals) so I shouldn't have had such high hopes

    I know I can always study overseas there in the future (and I love how it is partnered with so many different UK universities), but I can't seem to get over it lol. :/ Do any of you have tips on handling these rejections?

    I was recently given an offer from LSE for Maths and Economics which I am very happy about, but I feel the undergraduate teaching and over all experience at LSE might not match up with Columbia's. Also admittedly, I feel a bit stupid/am currently undermining my achievements because I was not accepted there -sigh- Gah...I know I sound so very overly dramatic, but I am still absolutely crushed even though it's been many weeks since my rejection.

    I am still waiting on my decision from UCL (applied for Natural Sciences-stream focus Maths), and Stanford + MIT (none of which I really have hope to get into now blah).

    I think an undergraduate experience at a USA university would be very interesting, but judging I only applied to the very best ones, I'm dreading I will not be able to have a USA university experience now (even though I can potentially study overseas).

    Would also be nice if any of you had experiences to share
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    Undergraduate education in the US is not that great, even at elite schools like Columbia and MIT. Yes, these American colleges are prestigious, but so is the LSE and UCL, and they cost a lot less money and will provide you with a better education. Give yourself a shake and move on, being rejected isn't the end of the world.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Undergraduate education in the US is not that great, even at elite schools like Columbia and MIT. Yes, these American colleges are prestigious, but so is the LSE and UCL, and they cost a lot less money and will provide you with a better education. Give yourself a shake and move on, being rejected isn't the end of the world.
    This.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Undergraduate education in the US is not that great, even at elite schools like Columbia and MIT. Yes, these American colleges are prestigious, but so is the LSE and UCL, and they cost a lot less money and will provide you with a better education. Give yourself a shake and move on, being rejected isn't the end of the world.
    Yeah I don't necessarily think "elite" American universities cannot match up to UK ones. I suppose it depends on what kind of system fits you better, and I always thought of the American system fitting me the best. I know a few people who studied overseas at Columbia and they really loved it however (despite it being horrendously depressing). I don't know if I would like LSE, especially since I have heard its teaching quality is very poor, and have come across many students there who chose it for its name. I'm just slightly nervous I guess >.<
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    @Student403, care to counter?
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    (Original post by frognation22)
    Yeah I don't necessarily think "elite" American universities cannot match up to UK ones. I suppose it depends on what kind of system fits you better, and I always thought of the American system fitting me the best. I know a few people who studied overseas at Columbia and they really loved it however (despite it being horrendously depressing). I don't know if I would like LSE, especially since I have heard its teaching quality is very poor, and have come across many students there who chose it for its name. I'm just slightly nervous I guess >.<
    In what way does it fit you best? There are Liberal Arts colleges in Europe if that's what you're after.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    In what way does it fit you best? There are Liberal Arts colleges in Europe if that's what you're after.
    I have not explored the Liberal arts schools in Europe (as of yet), and I believe they are probably too late to apply to for Fall 2016 entry!

    I attended a summer programme at MIT not too long ago in the summer, and I had an absolutely blast. Everything was absolutely wonderful. The passion for the subjects, community with those in the programme...

    1) Boston is incredible to me, and it's quite amazing as I see so many students who return to MIT for the remaining half of their December/January breaks to explore the city with other fellow students, and their school. (especially first years)

    2) There is such a sense of community and passion for the STEM fields. I.e. the students allow their creativity and passion for engineering to shine through when they build the handmade wooden roller coasters for the incoming freshers.

    3) I know some people think the resulting degrees might be a bit more broad because the students have to take general classes, but for the private universities I've applied to- they tend to have much stricter "general" curriculums than i.e. public USA universities. And also the university length is four years- I love that extra bonus year, and I think it is fairly nice to do both a "major" and "minor." I know mental health tends to be a huge problem in the 'elite' schools such as UChicago so it sounds crazy to say this, but I also find myself liking how the term weeks are lengthier, and there is more chance to have more lecture time for each module

    4) I also think the mentality of USA and UK university students at the "top" universities are very different. The cultures are very different, and in the UK it often seems like university is just a means to receive a job, and there is a huge job-oriented focus in places like LSE and UCL. Of course, it is emphasised like that too in the USA, but going to university carries so much more symbolism there (i.e. the students really emphasise on making life-long connections/building relationships with the faculty and students)

    The list could go on and on, but I don't feel comfortable to share the specifics as it does get more personal to me!
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    Student403 Any opinions you'd like to share :P?
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    I spoke for two hours with a MIT alumna (majored in math).

    She was the f***ing smartest person I have ever met in person. A class of her own.

    To get in to places like MIT and Stanford, teachers should be asking you for advice.

    The problem people perceive with US universities is the focus. But that is because when you compare it to those in the UK, the lesser focus is because people are going out of their way to do different things. I'm not saying this doesn't happen at elite UK ones.

    Cambridge for maths is undoubtedly where you want to be in Europe. But the curriculum is intense (Zacken will endorse this). This does not leave as much time to explore other fields, hence there is more focus. NOTE: this is not a bad thing. It is a preference.

    If you would prefer a rigourous but less focused curriculum so you have time to pursue your own research and explore your creative side, Cambridge ain't for you. Elite US colleges are.

    Both have their drawbacks and fortes. Both elites are world class. It's about the kind of learning that fits you and where you will thrive.

    I hate when people say one is better than the other. It's a preference. People will thrive and grow at Cambridge who wouldn't at MIT. The converse is also true.

    You need to figure out which style you want.
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    (Original post by Student403)
    I spoke for two hours with a MIT alumna (majored in math).

    She was the f***ing smartest person I have ever met in person. A class of her own.

    To get in to places like MIT and Stanford, teachers should be asking you for advice.

    The problem people perceive with US universities is the focus. But that is because when you compare it to those in the UK, the lesser focus is because people are going out of their way to do different things. I'm not saying this doesn't happen at elite UK ones.

    Cambridge for maths is undoubtedly where you want to be in Europe. But the curriculum is intense (Zacken will endorse this). This does not leave as much time to explore other fields, hence there is more focus. NOTE: this is not a bad thing. It is a preference.

    If you would prefer a rigourous but less focused curriculum so you have time to pursue your own research and explore your creative side, Cambridge ain't for you. Elite US colleges are.

    Both have their drawbacks and fortes. Both elites are world class. It's about the kind of learning that fits you and where you will thrive.

    I hate when people say one is better than the other. It's a preference. People will thrive and grow at Cambridge who wouldn't at MIT. The converse is also true.

    You need to figure out which style you want.
    This.
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    Also I was rejected from MIT early action. It had been my dream place for 4 years. I know how you're feeling and I just want to say trust me: you will end up where you belong and everything will be okay. :hugs:
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    (Original post by Student403)
    I spoke for two hours with a MIT alumna (majored in math).

    She was the f***ing smartest person I have ever met in person. A class of her own.

    To get in to places like MIT and Stanford, teachers should be asking you for advice.

    The problem people perceive with US universities is the focus. But that is because when you compare it to those in the UK, the lesser focus is because people are going out of their way to do different things. I'm not saying this doesn't happen at elite UK ones.

    Cambridge for maths is undoubtedly where you want to be in Europe. But the curriculum is intense (Zacken will endorse this). This does not leave as much time to explore other fields, hence there is more focus. NOTE: this is not a bad thing. It is a preference.

    If you would prefer a rigourous but less focused curriculum so you have time to pursue your own research and explore your creative side, Cambridge ain't for you. Elite US colleges are.

    Both have their drawbacks and fortes. Both elites are world class. It's about the kind of learning that fits you and where you will thrive.

    I hate when people say one is better than the other. It's a preference. People will thrive and grow at Cambridge who wouldn't at MIT. The converse is also true.

    You need to figure out which style you want.
    Thank you for the feedback! I 100% completely agree with you. It was a shame I didn't apply to Cambridge, so I'm waiting on Stanford and MIT now. Meh, even though Maths and Economics at LSE is great, I cannot see it comparing to Stanford or MIT in other aspects (just a personal preference of course). Good luck to you however!
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    (Original post by frognation22)
    Thank you for the feedback! I 100% completely agree with you. It was a shame I didn't apply to Cambridge, so I'm waiting on Stanford and MIT now. Meh, even though Maths and Economics at LSE is great, I cannot see it comparing to Stanford or MIT in other aspects (just a personal preference of course). Good luck to you however! I hope MIT gives you an offer!
    Haha I'm hoping to try again for grad school.. But same goes for you. Wish you all the best
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Haha I'm hoping to try again for grad school.. But same goes for you. Wish you all the best
    Thanks! Do you think you will apply as a Year 2 transfer for MIT? Assuming I don't receive an offer from Stanford and MIT, I think I'll probably end up going to LSE, and potentially applying as a Year 2 transfer to Columbia or MIT (unless I end up really enjoying LSE).
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    (Original post by frognation22)
    Thanks! Do you think you will apply as a Year 2 transfer for MIT? Assuming I don't receive an offer from Stanford and MIT, I think I'll probably end up going to LSE, and potentially applying as a Year 2 transfer to Columbia or MIT (unless I end up really enjoying LSE).
    I don't think it's worth it to be honest. I think it's better to just try your hardest during your undergrad years, do terrific research and make a difference, and apply for a Master's
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    (Original post by frognation22)
    I attended a summer programme at MIT not too long ago in the summer, and I had an absolutely blast. Everything was absolutely wonderful. The passion for the subjects, community with those in the programme...

    1) Boston is incredible to me, and it's quite amazing as I see so many students who return to MIT for the remaining half of their December/January breaks to explore the city with other fellow students, and their school. (especially first years)

    2) There is such a sense of community and passion for the STEM fields. I.e. the students allow their creativity and passion for engineering to shine through when they build the handmade wooden roller coasters for the incoming freshers.

    3) I know some people think the resulting degrees might be a bit more broad because the students have to take general classes, but for the private universities I've applied to- they tend to have much stricter "general" curriculums than i.e. public USA universities. And also the university length is four years- I love that extra bonus year, and I think it is fairly nice to do both a "major" and "minor." I know mental health tends to be a huge problem in the 'elite' schools such as UChicago so it sounds crazy to say this, but I also find myself liking how the term weeks are lengthier, and there is more chance to have more lecture time for each module

    4) I also think the mentality of USA and UK university students at the "top" universities are very different. The cultures are very different, and in the UK it often seems like university is just a means to receive a job, and there is a huge job-oriented focus in places like LSE and UCL. Of course, it is emphasised like that too in the USA, but going to university carries so much more symbolism there (i.e. the students really emphasise on making life-long connections/building relationships with the faculty and students)

    The list could go on and on, but I don't feel comfortable to share the specifics as it does get more personal to me!
    I hope you're not suggesting MIT students are more passionate than their British counterparts. General requirements at elite private universities are just as broad as at public schools, sometimes broader (e.g. Columbia and Brown). University in the UK is not "hugely jobs orientated" (I'm starting to wonder how much research you've actually done :erm:). The only thing I agree with you on is the difference in culture.
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    (Original post by frognation22)
    I am still waiting on my decision from UCL (applied for Natural Sciences-stream focus Maths), and Stanford + MIT (none of which I really have hope to get into now blah).
    If you do get a place at UCL what about the year abroad. Caltech...
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    (Original post by Student403)
    ...
    Pretty much this.

    I have no doubt that you'd come out of a 4 year degree maths course at Cambridge a much better mathematician than you would have from any US university, but you'd miss out on learning and exploring other fields and the such. You might be able to pick up a business course at a US university of a writing course that helps profoundly during your time after university, which, to some people is definitely work missing out on some maths that you'd have otherwise been able to do.

    It varies from person to person, I'd much prefer working on maths than learning other valuable skills as part of my university degree, the intensity and focus build an atmosphere that I think I'd thrive in, but that does, by no means, mean that you would as well.

    tl;dr: UK is more focused than the US and that's not a bad or good thing, it's your preference.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    Pretty much this.

    I have no doubt that you'd come out of a 4 year degree maths course at Cambridge a much better mathematician than you would have from any US university, but you'd miss out on learning and exploring other fields and the such. You might be able to pick up a business course at a US university of a writing course that helps profoundly during your time after university, which, to some people is definitely work missing out on some maths that you'd have otherwise been able to do.

    It varies from person to person, I'd much prefer working on maths than learning other valuable skills as part of my university degree, the intensity and focus build an atmosphere that I think I'd thrive in, but that does, by no means, mean that you would as well.

    tl;dr: UK is more focused than the US and that's not a bad or good thing, it's your preference.
    Well said
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I hope you're not suggesting MIT students are more passionate than their British counterparts. General requirements at elite private universities are just as broad as at public schools, sometimes broader (e.g. Columbia and Brown). University in the UK is not "hugely jobs orientated" (I'm starting to wonder how much research you've actually done). :erm:The only thing I agree with you on is the difference in culture.
    Of course I'm not saying MIT students are more passionate than their British counterparts, just that I fit more into the USA university community more. And I would say the general requirements at Columbia are very much strict (i.e. Core Curriculum, and the modules you are supposed to take are very much limited-they have it set for you)

    In large public USA universities, it's often been "we require 3 modules in a science, 1 in a maths, 2 in arts/diversity credit" etc. It's very much up to the students to decide. I.e take University of Wisconsin:
    "Natural Science, 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
    • Humanities/Literature/Arts, 6 credits
    • Social Studies, 3 credits"
    As a result, I am failing to see how you think General requirements at Columbia, MIT, Stanford are much broader when most of the time, it has been argued the complete opposite.

    The "jobs oriented" is very much directed towards UCL and LSE. Especially the culture I have seen at LSE and after attending the open day!

    I'm not one of those people who believe "Oh the USA has by far the best education system of all!" (After all I am British), but I do believe it provides students like me with more opportunities, as stated above!
 
 
 
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