التحالف السوري لدعم التعليم العالي خلال الأزمات – الأسئلة الأكثر تداولاً
- كيف يمكن التقديم إلى المنح؟
سيكون لكل جامعة إجراءات قبول خاصة بها وجدول زمني خاص بها، سيكون هناك بعض الفرص للدراسة في صيف 2013 وفرص أخرى للدراسة في خريف 2013. وسيكون هناك لكل جامعة معايير قبول خاصة بها (مثل امتحانات التوفل، الآيلتس، السات ..الخ). للتقديم يجب إتباع التعليمات الموجودة في الموقع الإلكتروني الخاص بالمنح. في معظم الحالات سيتم التقديم إلى الجامعات مباشرة عبر الطلب الخاص بالطلاب الدوليين (International Students).
- قمت بتعبئة النموذج ولم يتم إرسال كلمة مرور للدخول للموقع، ما هو السبب؟
بمجرد تعبئة الطلب سيتم تحويلك إلى صفحة يظهر فيها اسم المستخدم وكلمة المرور في حال كنت مواطناً سورياً، في حال لم تكن مواطناً سورياً سيتم إعلامك عبر البريد الإلكتروني بعدم إمكانية التقديم إلى هذه المنح عندها يتوجب عليك تقديم الطلب مجدداً.
- هل يحق للطلاب السوريين الفلسطينيين التقديم؟
نعم، يمكنك التقديم إذا كنت تحمل جواز سفر سوري.
- قمت بإرسال الوثائق الخاصة بي إلى جسور (SyriaScholarships@jusoor-sy.org) أو EducationUSA Syria (email@example.com)، هل يمكن أن يساعدني ذلك في التقديم؟
تم تخصيص عنوان البريد الإلكتروني (SyriaScholarships@jusoor-sy.org) للإجابة على أسئلة محددة من قبل الطلاب فيما يتعلق بالمنح الدراسية ولتقديم الإرشاد فيما يتعلق بالدراسة خارج الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية. وستقوم EducationUSA Syria بتقديم الإرشاد حول عملية التقديم للجامعات الأمريكية وبالإجابة على كافة الاستفسارات المتعلقة بالدراسة في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية
يتوجب على الطالب التقديم إلى المنح بنفسه ولا يمكننا التقديم إلى المنح بالنيابة عن الطلاب بل نحث كافة الطلاب الإطلاع على قائمة المنح الدراسية المقدمة من قبل الجامعات والتقديم بأنفسهم إلى هذه المنح.
يرجى التأكد أولاً من تحقيقك للشروط والمتطلبات، معظم المنح الدراسية تمنح على أساس الجدارة بمعنى أنها ستمنح للمتقدمين الأكثر قدرة على المنافسة.
- هل تتضمن المنح الدراسية دورات لغة انكليزية؟
قد توفر بعض الجامعات المشاركة في التحالف دورات لغة إنكليزية في حال عدم تحقيق متطلبات اللغة، نرجو منكم البحث والتحقق من ذلك من خلال الجامعة التي تتقدمون إليها.
- ما هو مبلغ التمويل لهذه المنح؟
ستقوم بعض الجامعات بتقديم منح دراسية كاملة، وجامعات أخرى ستقوم بتقديم منح دراسية جزئية. في الغالب عند تقديم منح دراسية كاملة سيتوجب على الطلاب تحمل تكاليف المعيشة والسكن. يرجى قراءة إعلان المنح الدراسية بعناية. يرجى التأكد من الموقع الإلكتروني للجامعة لمزيد من المعلومات حول التكاليف الإجمالية للدراسة، ويمكن التواصل مع الجامعة لتوضيح هذا الأمر أكثر.
- من يقوم بإختيار المتقدمين؟
ستقوم كل جامعة باختيار الطلاب وذلك بحسب معايير القبول الخاصة بها، سيخضع كافة الطلاب لمعايير التقديم الخاصة بكل جامعة ولن يكون هناك أي طرف ثالث يؤثر سلباً أو إيجاباً في اختيار الطلبات.
- العديد من المنح الدراسية هي منح جزئية لا تغطي كافة تكاليف الإقامة والتكاليف الأخرى. هل يوجد مصادر تمويل خارجية أخرى؟
سيقع على عاتق الطالب حالياً تأمين مصادر تمويل أخرى، وسنقوم بالإعلان عبر الموقع عن مصارد التمويل الأخرى في حال توفرها
- أنا كنت طالباً في كلية الطب، الصيدلة، طب الأسنان، وأرغب بمتابعة دراستي في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، هل يمكن ذلك؟
في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية شهادات الطب، الصيدلة، طب الأسنان، الحقوق هي شهادات احترافية وغير متاحة للطلاب في المرحلة الجامعية الأولى، وبسبب هذا الاختلاف في الأنظمة التعليمية لا يمكن لطلاب الطب، الصيدلة، طب الأسنان، الحقوق الإنتقال لمتابعة دراستهم في جامعة أخرى.
يمكن للطلاب الذين لم يتخرجوا بعد الإنتقال للدراسة في تخصص آخر قريب من مجال دراستهم. ليس من المرجح أن يتم الاحتفاظ بعدد من المواد الدراسية وهذا يجب أن يتم مناقشته مع الجامعة بشكل منفرد، يرجى الانتباه إلى أنه لا يوجد منح دراسية للطلاب الدوليين في مجالات الطب، طب الأسنان، الصيدلة.
- أنا حالياً طالب في الجامعات السورية، ما هو عدد المواد التي يمكن نقلها أم أنه يتوجب علي الدراسة من جديد؟
بعد التقديم إلى الجامعة وفي حال تم القبول، ستقوم كل جامعة بتحديد المواد التي يمكنك الاحتفاظ بها وذلك بعد التأكد بدقة من كشف العلامات الذي ستقوم بتقديمه. سيكون من المفيد أن تقوم بتقديم ملخص المنهاج الدراسي (قائمة المواد الدراسية) أو شرح عن المواد إلى الجامعة.
- أنا حالياً طالب في إحدى الجامعات السورية، هل يمكنني التقدم للدراسة من جديد كطالب سنة أولى؟
في حال كنت طالباً في الجامعة يجب أن يتم التقديم كطالب يريد الإنتقال إلى جامعة أخرى (Transfer Student)
- كافة الجامعات تتطلب امتحانات التوفل أو الآيلتس، وليس بالإمكان تقديم هذين الامتحانين نظراً للظروف الحالية في سورية، هل يمكن أن تتخلى الجامعات عن هذا الشرط؟
الهدف من هذه الامتحانات هو تمكين الجامعات من تقييم مستواك في اللغة الإنكليزية قبل منحك القبول.
بالنسبة للطلاب السوريين المقيمن حالياً خارج سورية: هذه الامتحانات متوفرة طوال السنة في كافة الدول خارج سورية، يجب عليك التسجيل لامتحان التوفل ITP أو الأيلتس في الدولة التي تقيم بها حالياً. يمكنك الحصول على مزيد من المعلومات حول التسجيل ومواعيد الامتحانات من خلال المواقع التالية: www.toefl.org أو www.ielts.org
بالنسبة للطلاب السوريين المقيمين حالياً داخل سورية: سيتوفر امتحان التوفل في سورية في الرابع من شهر أيار 2013. الامتحان متوفر في مركز ALTC (سابقاً مركز ALC) وفي معهد دمشق اللغوي. امتحان الآيلتس غير متوفر حالياً في سورية.
في حال عدم تمكنك من الوصول إلى مركز الامتحان لأي سبب، فالأمر يعود إليك حيث يمكنك التواصل مع الجامعة بشكل مباشر لتقوم بشرح سبب عدم تمكنك من التقديم إلى الامتحان، وستقرر الجامعات في حال ستقوم باختبار مهاراتك اللغوية بطريقة أخرى.
- هل ستقوم الجامعات بالتخلي عن شرط الحصول على امتحانات GRE و SAT؟
هذه الامتحانات متوفرة أيضاً خارج سورية طيلة أيام السنة، للتسجيل ولمعرفة مواعيد امتحان GRE يرجى زيارة: www.gre.org، للتسجيل ولمعرفة مواعيد امتحان SAT يرجى زيارة www.collegeboard.org
في حال كنت تقيم في سورية ولم تتمكن من التقديم إلى هذه الامتحانات سيعود الأمر للجامعات لتحديد في حال سيتم التخلي عن هذا الشرط أم لأ.
- كيف لي معرفة توفر منح دراسية لدى الجامعات في نفس اختصاصي؟
يجب عليك البحث بشكل جيد ودقيق عن كل جامعة قبل التقديم إليها. يتوجب عليك معرفة ما هي البرامج والشهادات التي توفرها، ما هي التكاليف .. الخ. يمكن الحصول على كافة هذه المعلومات من خلال زيارة مواقع هذه الجامعات على الإنترنت. يرجى الإنتباه في حال وجود منحة دراسية تشمل “كافة الاختصاصات” فهذا يعني كافة الاختصاصات الموجودة في الجامعة التي تقدمها المنح. لذا يجب التأكد من موقع الجامعة لمعرفة التخصصات التي تقدمها. في حال لم تكن المنحة مناسبة لك يرجى عدم التقديم.
- ما هو الموعد النهائي للتقديم إلى هذه المنح؟
كل جامعة لها موعد خاص بها، لمعرفة المواعيد الدقيقة يرجى التأكد من إعلان المنح الخاص بكل جامعة.
- هل يمكن التقديم في حال انتهاء موعد تقديم الطلبات؟
هذا الأمر يعود للجامعة لتقرر فيما كانت ستقبل تمديد الموعد النهائي للطلاب السوريين أم لأ، في حال لم تكون هذه المعلومات واضحة من خلال الموقع الإلكتروني للجامعة، يتوجب عليك مراسلة الجامعة بشكل مباشر للتحقق من ذلك.
- أواجه مشكلة في الدخول إلى الموقع، في كل مرة أقوم بالتسجيل باستخدام اسم المستخدم وكلمة المرور لا يعمل الموقع، ماذا يتوجب علي فعله؟
أول خطوة للدخول إلى قائمة المنح الدراسية هي تعبئة الاستبيان في الموقع، بعد ذلك، ستحصل على اسم مستخدم وكلمة مرور، ثم يتوجب عليك الدخول إلى قسم “Password Protected Section” في الموقع لتقوم بتسجيل الدخول باستخدام اسم المستخدم وكلمة المرور التي لديك. في حال استمرار المشكلة يرجى التواصل معنا عبر البريد الإلكتروني: firstname.lastname@example.org
- ما هو عدد الجامعات التي يمكن التقديم إليها؟ هي يجب أن أتقدم إلى جامعة واحدة فقط؟
لا يوجد مانع من التقديم إلى أكثر من جامعة، يمكنك التقديم إلى أي عدد تشاء من الجامعات، يرجى التأكد من المتطلبات الخاصة بكل جامعة وبكل منحة قبل التقديم.
- كيف يمكن التقديم للحصول على فيزا طالب إلى الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية باعتبار أن السفارة السورية في دمشق قد قامت بتعليق أعمالها؟
للتقديم على تأشيرة دخول للطلاب، يجب أولاً أن تحصل على رسالة قبول رسمية من الجامعة بالإضافة إلى نموذج I-20. يمكن للطلاب الذين يقيمون خارج سورية التقديم إلى السفارة أو القنصلية الأمريكية في بلدان تواجدهم. بالنسبة للطلاب المقيمين داخل سورية يمكنهم التقديم عبر السفارات الأمريكية في الأردن أو لبنان. في حال تلقيت نموذج I-20 وتحتاج إلى إرشادات حول عملية التقديم للحصول على فيزا دراسية، يمكنك التواصل مع Education USA Advisor for Syria عبر البريد الإلكتروني التالي: email@example.com
- أنا غير قادر على الحصول على كشف العلامات الخاص بي من الجامعة، ماذا يتوجب علي أن أفعل؟
يمكن لبعض الجامعات أن تقبل مبدئياً صور منسوخة إلكترونياً لأوراق كشف العلامات، بالرغم من ذلك تطلب الجامعات على الأرجح الحصول على نسخة أصلية أو مصدقة عن أوراقك الجامعية لكي ترسل لك قرار قبول رسمي والاستمارة المتعلقة بالفيزا. إذا كانت جامعتك مغلقة أو قد تعرضت للتدمير يجب أن تقوم بالتواصل مع الجامعة بشكل مباشر وتشرح لهم سبب عدم إمكانية الحصول على الوثائق الأصلية وأن تقوم بتقديم ما يتوفر لديك من وثائق.
It is Ghaith Safi again, but now I will be talking about college, not high school.
After applying to different universities last year, I ended up being accepted by some and rejected by the others. Choosing the college you are going to spend 4 years at is probably one of the hardest things ever, however, it is not that hard when you have everything planned.
To be able to choose what college to go to, you should list all the things you are looking for. For example: Do you want to live in a big city, or a small one? What is the majors you are mostly interested in? Do you want a big school or a small one? and so forth.
After having all those in mind, I ended up choosing the University of Evansville, Indiana. As soon as I emailed them saying that I have accepted their offer, everything changed! They were so in touch with me, and they helped me so much. I skyped with some of the staff, and emailed others too, and literally asked them tons of questions, and they were more than happy to answer them all and provide me with all the information I need.
Each university hold an orientation for a week or two before the classes start so everyone gets to know what to expect at college, and have a way better idea of what college life is. Anyhow, august came and I packed my luggages again and head to the US. As soon as I got to the airport, I found 3 nice ladies wearing the University of Evansville shirts waiting for me and some other international kids. When I introduced myself, they welcomed me and helped me with my luggages and all.
As soon as I got to my dorm, one of the orientation leaders explained what exactly an orientation is. It was basically a lot of fun activities where you get to know your peers along with some educating lectures that tells you what to do at the university and what not to do. They provide everyone with a binder that includes where every office is located, and instructions of what to do if anything happened.
On the last day of orientation, everyone goes to see his advisor that was assigned to him based on his major; I was an undecided major, and so I went to see my advisor Debbie who helped me a lot getting in my current major, which is Chemistry. After each student see his advisor, he goes and register for the classes he decided to take for next semester, and thats when each and every single student start drawing his future by his hands.
Classes started the Monday after orientation, and everything was going so fast and I had too many stuff to do. College is nothing like high school, from the moment you enter a class, you have to study, do homework, and work so hard to pass it. But it is a really fun and awesome experience; even though I had to do all this hard work and study for long hours, I enjoyed ever moment of it, and I still am.
I am not going to make this very long, but I just want you guys to know that going to college in the US is probably one of the best and most fun thing you will ever do in your life, so if you had the opportunity, do NOT miss it!
Thank you and email me if you need anything.
Class of 2016
University of Evansville.
Similar to these days but in 2011, I didn’t know that after a year I would be living a totally new experience and in a totally different country and culture!! Apparently the wind of change didn’t only influence Syria and its components as a country, but it also affected the personal lives of each Syrian citizen inside and outside the country. Syria went and it’s still going through painful labor in order to deliver a new form for Syria.
Simply, Syrian people had decided to create change and seek a better economic, political and social life. And because of that, many of them lost and they are losing their souls as a price for more freedom and democracy! They are sacrificing their lives for others to live in dignity and better conditions.
Through witnessing these tremendous sacrifices, I decided that a step should be taken in my life to contribute to that changing phase that is happening in Syria, and get all the knowledge and the experience needed to participate with my fellow Syrians in shaping a better future for this peaceful country!
The only way to contribute to such change, would be through continuing my post graduate studies in a field where I can get more information and skills in order to serve my goal in serving Syria. Working closely with Education USA- Syria Advisor Mrs. Monica, I was able to choose a program which matches my goal the best. Thus, I prepared my application to the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut to join MA program in Global Development and Peace.
And, because I decided to live the change I chose in my life, I sought an on-campus job. And currently, I am Residential Hall Monitor and I work 15 hours per week and I get paid every two weeks; and for student’s life, such pay checks can help me survive and allow me to meet my needs in terms of buying food, clothes and other expenses. But I should watch my spending wisely. Basically, I am responsible for supervising the freshman students’ in-and-out dorm’s entree, making sure that no strangers or any outsiders enter the dorm without official permission or presenting his/her ID each time he/she wants to get into the building. I have three shifts during the week, and they are all very early ones from 6am-9 am, the reason behind that because I wanted to work in a time where I wouldn’t be studying, and waking up early is something I am used to!
Even though I have work experience since I graduated from my university Higher Institute of Business Administration (HIBA), as a bank employee for five years in the domain of Marketing and Corporate Communication, yet, receiving my first payment check was like receiving the first payment check ever!
My family, husband, friends and I were all worried that I wouldn’t be able to adapt such step especially since I am 28 years old and such change wouldn’t be easy thing to do!
But, everyone believed in my ambition and that I am leaving everything and my beloved ones behind for the sake of learning and getting the international experience I need so I can serve my country Syria the best!
University of Bridgeport is a place where 80% of its students are international students, and instructors are very cooperative in understanding the fact that students come from different backgrounds, thus their primary language may not be English so they coordinate with the students when it comes to the grammatical part of a research paper. It is important to highlight the fact that as graduate students we are responsible to reading a lot of books and articles in order to present complete solid research papers at the end of the semester instead of having final written exams, in most classes we are taught the facts and it is up to the students to create their own position regarding certain topics, it is about logical thinking and analysis.
Concerning social life, and fitting within society in the USA, UB’s administration worked on organizing so many activities during the week before classes, such as planning barbecue picnics in the campus garden, planning trips to New York City, outdoor movies, and cross-cultural events in order for international students get to know more about others’ cultures! Therefore, it was a great opportunity to mingle with other students from different backgrounds and discusses our shared interests and different points of view concerning universal issues politically, economically and environmentally. That was something that helped in easing the“home-sick” feeling, and pushed me to focus more in achieving the main goal I came here for. As a student in such international graduate program, I feel that I have big responsibility to promote the case of Syria as it is in reality. Increasing more awareness about what is happening in Syria will generate a solid international public opinion and that would push us to come up with a peaceful resolution to what is happening now in my beloved country Syria. God Bless Syria!
University of Bridgeport, MA in Global Development and Peace
Hello friends and readers!
I hope you are all safe, and that you are getting the support and motivation you need to create your own path and follow it.
I wanted to write about the nature of learning in American education. Something that not many of us know before we get here, experience the classroom and learning style for ourselves.
Years ago, when I decided that I want to study abroad in the United States, I had believed that I was looking for a better education, opportunity, and a unique study abroad experience. When I came here, my reasons were affirmed, but some new reasons emerged. I found that college in the United States, good colleges that is, educate students differently, so that education encompasses learning new skills, but also learning how to think, write, and speak well.
In Syria, high school prepared me to be test well, have a very broad knowledge of many subjects, including chemistry, biology, math, literature, history, etc. However, It did not prepare me to critically think about these subjects, or one of them. When I learned a subject, I learned it to be tested well in it, so that I can answer all the questions on the exam, get a good grade, and go on to the next level. University education is also conducted in the same manner. We get six or seven courses a semester, study the books from the first page to the last page, and then get tested on the materials in the books and the lecture. Education equaled passing exams with really good grades, and getting the degree that says you have knowledge.
However, in my college in the US, education meant that I engage with the materials and think about them, both inside and outside the classroom. To be more concrete, when I take a course in a subject here, I have to read many books about it, I have to participate in discussions in class, and write research papers on what I’ve studied. This structure requires skills that high school in Syria did not prepare me well to undertake. In my first semester here, I realized that I’ve never written a paper in my life before. I had written some essays in literature classes “ta3beer”, however, these were literary in nature, focused on the language and the poetry, not on academic content.
My first paper in the US was about the global economy. I had to write what I think the global economy is, and whether globalization is a positive or negative phenomena. Suddenly, I had to write what I think about a subject in my second language. I was absolutely fluent in English, nevertheless, I don’t know how to write an English paper. I wrote all my college application essays, but I wrote them from the limited knowledge I had of how to write an essay for college, which was something I learned through research and Internet reading.
In the next few years in college, I learned that one of the most important things you learn in college here, is critical thinking and writing. Critical thinking means that you could read an essay written, lets say, by Aristotle, and you will be able to identify Aristotle’s argument, the reasons that he used to back up his claims, and think about the weak points in his argument. Not only that, but you will also learn how to discuss these topics with your professor and classmates, and subsequently, write a paper that may consist of 10 to 20 pages, where you discuss a very specific topic, and argue for your own claims based on the text and what you have learned. At first, this may sound easy. I said to myself “ I would take that over a Syrian exam any day.” Later, I understood that writing these papers meant that you had to engage in deep thinking and learning, not just learning the materials to be tested on them, but learning them to have strong opinions and thoughts around them.
I can’t say the journey of learning how to write or think critically have been an easy one. Yet, it is probably one of the most valuable things I’ve learned in my education. Although I am a computer science major, and I spend most of my time learning sciences, computation, software, etc. I learned that critical thinking has given me the ability to develop intellectual independence. It allowed me to understand that learning is not simply a process we do for a degree, a title or a job, it is a process that culminates with new insights on life and its various subjects.
Because Syrian high schools do not prepare us for this type of learning, I had to work hard to catch up with these skills. I can’t claim that my writing is as good as people who had the opportunity to write in high school, but by now, after long labor and struggle, I know how to undertake these learning challenges with confidence and curiosity. I want others who are preparing to study in the US to be aware of this difference, and be well prepared to handle it. I am sure that if you were able to get as far as accepted into US programs, you will be able to learn quickly and adapt, but it would have helped me to know this before I came here.
So if you are in the process of applying, or thinking about doing that at some point in the future. Start sharpening your thinking and writing skills now. Read articles in the New York Times and the New Yorker. Notice how writers express their opinions, and read about college research papers, arguments, and paper writing techniques. I would go as far as practice writing one page papers every week about a specific topic in English. In addition to that, read all the books you can read, because reading fast will serve you really well in college. Anything from a novel to a non-fiction book.
To help you with your research a bit, I added couple of links for these suggestions. If you have more questions about this topic, please go ahead and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org I’d be glad to answer your questions in more details. I plan to write about a sample experience in taking a course and how a semester might look like in general.
New York Times: One of the most acclaimed news sources in the United States. Very well written, and the Op Ed (opinion editorials) sections usually contain opinions of writers on various international and national issues.
New Yorker Magazine: Also one of the most acclaimed magazines in the US. The style of writing in this magazine is superb. The topics may include political, social, scientific issues. Reading articles from this magazine regularly will teach you a lot.
Writing papers in college:
What is an academic paper:
By: Sarah Tulimat
After over three years in the United States, the most common question I get from people : How did you learn about Mount Holyoke College? Did you know it was a women’s college and how did you feel about that?
I almost always answer with a big laugh. I learned about Mount Holyoke college by coincidence through reading a blog post of an MIT admission officer. The admission officer was talking about a conference he attended regarding colleges that support international students well, both financially and educationally. Matt, the MIT admission officer, suggested that many international students overlook small good liberal arts schools. Most likely because they only hear of big names such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, etc. However, there are many other schools that provide similar educational quality but are not known to the international students community.
In that post, Matt provided a list of great liberal arts schools that offer financial aid for international students, especially since he knows that financial aid is a determining factor for choosing schools for us. Mount Holyoke, a small research liberal arts school was on top of Matt’s list. From his post, I visited Mount Holyoke’s webpage, browsed through its pages researching admission requirements and students life on campus. The beautiful campus pictures caught my attention, and I quickly started thinking to myself: I like this college, I think I want to apply. Mount Holyoke, however, was much more unique than many other schools I have looked at. It is a women’s college.
In the beginning, I was slightly uncomfortable with the idea. Why would a college in the United States accept only women? I mean, I grow up in Syria.. and even in Syria we did not have universities for women only. Most of us who attend the public school system have to attend girls schools or boys schools. However, our expectation for college completely differs. From that perspective, I disliked the idea that this school I have just discovered and liked is for women only. The only connection I made with single sex education was a conservative and a protective environment. And I did not want anything like that for my college education. I wanted to go to the United States to experience a diverse set of views and ideas, in a much more open atmosphere than that available at home. Well, It turned out, Mount Holyoke, and other famous women’s colleges had nothing to do with conservative and closed minded ideals.
As I read on and researched the college in depth, I understood that it was the oldest women’s college in the world. Back in the day, universities in the United States would only admit men. Women colleges, such as Mount Holyoke, were founded with a great mission — educating women in a time when they weren’t given that right. Since then, many things have changed. Universities began accepting women slowly around 1950ies, until now we live in a world where we cannot imagine that a woman would be denied going to college. Despite this change, women colleges still exist in the United States and the world. Many of them became coed over time such as Vassar college, Wheaton, and others. Some of them, including Mount Holyoke College and Smith, continue to believe that remaining a women’s only college is important to their mission and identity. For these schools, being a women’s college is more about dedicating an entire institution of higher education for the success and development of young women from around the world. This dedication makes women’s college very unique. While going to a coed university is an environment similar of the real world, attending a women’s college allow women to see themselves and their peers excelling and leading in class, students’ organizations and even athletic activities.
Why is that important? I will give you a concrete example from my experience. In Mount Holyoke College, the student government president is almost always a female. The gym is almost always occupied with many females. After three years in the school, I began taking such an atmosphere for granted. In my mind, it is almost implausible to think of a world where women cannot lead or do whatever they want. One day, I was tutoring a student in Amherst, a neighboring college in the valley. Amherst is a great coed school. My student started telling me a story about some of the drama on campus. She mentioned that the recent student government presidency elections became very controversial because of some possible cheating activities. She said that it is too sad because one of the nominee for the student government president position was a female for the first time in over 10 years at least.
I paused for over a minute. Wow, I thought to myself. Is that really possible? Well, I guess, it is. In that moment, I realized that one of the most important things that women’s college provide for its students, is the ability to perceive and experience a world where women can occupy any career or space. Students then graduate from college carrying that experience, which will be directly reflected in how they interact with the world. Nothing will stop them. Simply, they are so empowered and used to the occupying the spaces they wish to be in.
This is the magic power of women’s colleges nowadays. Students come from all around the world and regardless of their backgrounds, they all learn that they can achieve anything if they want to achieve it. Beside being great places to learn, women’s colleges teach students to care about the world around them. Since my entrance to Mount Holyoke, I’ve become a much more aware person. I understand many of the world social problems, and continuously seek to educate myself and others on how to mend them.
So if you are a female, and you have never heard of women’s colleges in the US. Start Googling them now. They are not what you may imagine. They are open minded places for independent individuals filled with great friendships, and some of the best professors in the world. As a shameless plug, check out Mount Holyoke College. And.. Smith. There are many others, and if you are curious about them, go ahead and send me an e-mail to email@example.com
Oh, and I forgot to add, most women colleges I know are pretty generous with financial aid to international students. Keep that in mind, as you look for undergraduate colleges.
By: Monica Ibrahim, EducationUSA Advisor to Syria
Community colleges are a good option for Syrian students who would like to pursue an undergraduate degree in the USA. According to the Open Doors Report, there are currently 161 Syrian student currently pursuing undergraduate degrees in the USA. 38.8% of these students are studying at 2-year community colleges. Community colleges provide the first two years of a university education. The programs of study can culminate in an Associate’s degree or a technical certificate. An Associate’s degree would allow students to transfer their course credits to a 4-year university. A technical certificate awards a student with a certificate in a specific specialty such as medical assistant or culinary arts.
In the USA higher education system, there are two paths one can take in order to pursue a Bachelor’s degree after high school:
1. four- year university or college= Bachelor’s degree
2. Two years at community college + 2 years at four-year university= Bachelor’s degree
There are many advantages to attending a community college. Some of these include:
1. Lower cost—Community colleges are significantly cheaper than 4-year colleges and univerisities. On average, tuition and fees cost $6,500 per year
2. Transfer opportunities—most community colleges have agreements with 4-year colleges and universities (called articulation or “2+2” transfer agreements) which allow students to transfer their community college credits toward a university degree.
3. Less rigorous requirements/flexible deadlines—Community colleges aim to ensure that all qualified students have the opportunity to study at an institution of higher learning. Thus, the admissions requriements are more flexible than 4-year universities, and the deadlines can be later. The SATs or ACTs are not required, and they have flexible English proficiency requirements. Most community colleges have Intensive English Programs to students who require additional English proficieny.
4. Focus on Teaching- Although community college faculty do conduct research and publish articles and books, their main focus is on teaching. Community college students enjoy a great deal of personal attention from their professors.
5. Smaller class sizes- The average community college class size is between 15 and 20 students, allowing international students to easily adjust
Here are some online resources about community colleges:
American Association of Community Colleges:Offers fast facts, resources, historical information, statistics and trends, enrollment information, and more.
Community Colleges in the USA Serves as a student guide to community colleges in the U.S.
50states.com Provides a list of community colleges by state and information for teachers.
You can also check out these wonderful EdUSA Connects Webinars about community colleges:
Community College: 2+2= 4 year degree: http://bcove.me/60tqp8c4
Community Colleges in the USA: http://bcove.me/g8njwoq0
If you have any questions about community colleges, don’t hesitate to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Salam! This is Raja again writing this time from Canada! I had my last final test last week and I’m finally done with freshman year at Harvard! Today, having lived about 9 months in Boston, Massachusetts, I’m going to talk about the general culture there and in the United States in general.
Before coming here, I thought that I have already watched enough movies and TV series and that I knew everything I need to know about life in the States. I was wrong. Boston turned out to be a small exception to the publicized norm. After a few months of arriving, I experienced first hand how Cambridge (the part of Boston to the north of the Charles River, where Harvard’s main campus is located) is very different from what I’ve seen in movies. “We are accepting”, “We do not judge”, “stereotypes are bad…. We do not stereotype” are phrases I heard, and still hear, on a daily basis. People tend to accept things that we, in our culture, might consider wrong or non-virtuous to say the least, like smoking, promiscuity, drinking, and many other things…Atheism is prevalent and anyone who believes in God (or a god) should always expect to go into a conversation with someone about his faith and the topic of evolution is bound to come up (even though no one would ever argue that your faith is right or wrong, because they accept you for who you are)…
Apparently, places like the states of the south (referred to as just “the South”) are very different. People, there are somewhat religious, deny evolution and have a big moral sense of right and wrong. They retain a public moral code somewhat similar to ours (though more lax.) People in Cambridge think that they are not accepting enough- “Texas is not a place you want to be in” is a sentence I’ve heard several times and I think is one that gives you a sense of how different Cambridge is from other cities and states.
Going back to talking about Cambridge and Boston, living comfortably in society there is fairly easy, all it requires is to accept that other people can do whatever they want and that unless they break the law (or come close to that,) they are not wrong (nor necessarily right for that matter). You can dress however you like, do whatever you like, be yourself, basically, without anyone telling you that you’re either right or wrong. You can choose to hold on to your “Arabic moral code” or not- either way, people will still accept you for who you are and will not judge your actions as right or wrong.
As a Syrian living in Boston, it’s been quite interesting. Whenever someone asks me where I’m from, I say Syria! They respond “COOOL!!” this is sometimes followed by a “Where is Syria?” or “Is that in Europe?” Americans tend not to know about places outside the States a lot, even those at Harvard. Making friends was very easy: not only everyone is friendly, but they also all want to know more about this exotic place called Syria! Those who don’t know anything about Syria tend to expect you to act and behave like they do (just because it’s the default thing to do.) Those who do try not to have any expectations or presumptions of you (even though they very often fail, but they still try, I tend to give them credit for that.) One of the good things about a place like Cambridge is that you can always find people like you: if you’re not the party person, you’ll definitely meet people who just like to relax and do nothing on weekends. If you are the party person, you’ll definitely find a group of friends willing to go party with you every single weekend. Most people tend to fall somewhere in between those to categories, so just keep in mind that no matter what your life style is, you will definitely find people like you if you look hard enough and you can most definitely make yourself feel as comfortable as possible once you find those people.
Here is a photo of the common area of my freshman dorm room at Harvard. I shared the dorm with 4 other people:
I just realized how long this is, so I’m going to stop, at least for now. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here and I’ll answer them as soon as I see them.
Best of luck for those taking the SAT this June!