Just a quick note to let you guys know I’m still here! i have been super busy with final papers the past few weeks and just arrived in Monaco to visit my boyfriend Andrew’s family. The flat we are staying at doesn’t have internet and wifi is scarce and expensive in Monaco. Fortunately, we just found a restaurant with 24-hour open access. Yes!! So I’ll be up and blogging the next few days. Merry, happy, and carry on!
Archive for December, 2008
Even though tuition is usually cheaper in the UK than in the States, it is still expensive and most British universities offer limited financial aid. Scholarships are a great way to defray the cost of tuition, as well as bolster your cv. Below, I have outlined the different kinds of scholarships you can apply for to study in the UK.
US Scholarships for UK Study
These scholarships offer full rides, but are extremely competitive to get and the applications are lengthy and time-consuming. Be realistic, only apply if you surpass the qualifications and have enough time to seriously dedicate yourself to the application.
“Marshall Scholarships are available to finance young US citizens of high ability to study in the UK. The scholarships are tenable for two academic years (22 months) and cover tuition fees, living allowance and some study expenses, fares to and from the US and, where applicable, a contribution toward the support of a dependent spouse. Up to 40 scholarships are awarded annually.”
-Taken from the University of Edinburgh’s Scholarship website.
“The Fulbright Commission offers approximately 20 traditional scholarships to US graduate students in any subject wishing to study in the UK. The scholarships aim to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the UK. They cover tuition fees and 10 months’ maintenance sufficient to cover housing, travel, food and other living expenses.”
-Taken from the University of Edinburgh Scholarship website.
“One of the largest and most competitive scholarship programs in the US, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship provides awards of up to $50,000 per year for up to six years of study to deserving low-income college seniors and recent college graduates (who graduated within the past five years).”
-Taken from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship website.
UK Scholarships for International Students
“The Chevening Scholarship Scheme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), targets the future generation of leaders, decision-makers and opinion-formers early in their careers. Globally, approximately 1,000 new scholarships are awarded each year. The scholarships may cover all or part of the total study costs. ”
-Taken from University of Edinburgh Scholarship website.
“The United Kingdom 9/11 Scholarships Fund provides awards for study in higher or further education in the United Kingdom to children or dependents of victims of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.”
-Taken from the British Council website.
Unfortunately, this scholarship has already been phased out in England and Wales and may be phased out in Scotland and Northern Island. Probably due to the dwindling economy. Check the website for details.
“ORSAS awards offer international postgraduate students the opportunity to carry out a broad range of research at well-established UK academic institutions of worldwide recognition. ORSAS award holders make a valuable contribution, not only to the British research base, but also to economic, scientific, educational and other aspects of life in their own country. “
-Taken from the ORSAS website.
International Student Scholarships
Most British universities offer scholarships specifically for international students, check your university’s scholarship website to see what’s offered.
Also, check to see if you university offers departmental or subject specific scholarships
Contact your undergraduate and prospective grad universities’ scholarship office to inquire about scholarships that fit your specific interests and profile. You’d be surprised by the types of scholarships there are.
If you want to apply to a scholarship, plan accordingly. Read the requirements carefully. Give yourself enough time to fill out the application, write essays, collect recommendations, and PROOFREAD. Also, get your university’s scholarship adviser, a professor, or a friend to help you in the process.
If you have received a scholarship or grant before, contact your sponsors to see if they might be willing to re-new your award for grad school. Remember you are most likely to receive funding from people who have funded you in the past.
George Square, University of Edinburgh
Photo by flickr user yellow book ltd
The New York Times recently published an article entitled “Going Off to College for Less (Passport Required)” on the recent trend of Americans attending university abroad. This article focused on American undergraduates studying in the UK, specifically at St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh. While I agree with some of the points brought up in this article, it oversimplifies the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a degree abroad.
According to NYT writer Tamar Lewin, tuition at a university in the UK is cheaper than a top private university in the States.This may be true, but you also have to consider the fluctuating exchange rate, visas, cost of living and travel, financial aid, scholarships, job opportunities, and many other financial factors.
If you plan to return to the States after you complete your education, keep in mind it may be much more difficult to get a job. You probably won’t have the same advantage of alumni networks. This doesn’t mean you can’t find a good internship or job after you graduate, but you may have to work harder.
The article basically said that attending a university abroad, like St. Andrews, is an attractive alternative for Americans who can’t get into ivy leagues. While this may be true for some, there are many students who choose to study in the UK over the States because of the specialized programs of studies and international experience. This article also implied that Americans are able to get into prestigious British universities because they pay international fees, which are usually twice as much as UK/EU fees. This may be a valid claim, but it doesn’t mean that the Americans who are accepted aren’t qualified to get in.
As mentioned above, one of the reasons why Americans decide to pursue their undergraduate in the UK is because of the “specialized courses of studies”, which allow students to focus on their specific fields of interest and by-pass subjects unrelated to their interests. This system works well for undergraduates who have a strong grasp of what they want to study, but may not work for those who have no idea what they’re interested in studying.
Many Americans in the article discussed the value of international experience. However, being abroad does not necessarily mean you will have a more “international” experience. I have met Americans abroad who spend most of their time with other Americans at global coffee-shop and restaurant chains.
Personally, I think my experience at the University of Washington in Seattle was just as diverse and international as my experience has been at the University of Edinburgh. University is international as you make it out to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of travel and study abroad, having lived on three different continents in the past five years. I just think people should be more critical about why they are choosing to pursue their degree abroad.
Cost, prestige, specialization, and international experience are all valid reasons, but your decision should go beyond this, especially if you are applying to graduate school. Your focus should be on the specific school, program, and faculty, rather than the country.
In the next entry, I will discuss why and how I chose to study at the University of Edinburgh.