Author Topic: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!  (Read 1184 times)

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Offline Lizzie Mack

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Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« on: February 16, 2015, 01:50:15 AM »
Before I tell my parents that I want to go to university on another continent I want to ask you some questions/show you my plan so you care point out the holes in it. :)

I want to go to the University of East Anglia because it's the best school for liturature and creative writing in the UK. I want to go to school in the UK because (due to differences between the two countries school systems) it would allow me to focus in on writing and I would be able to immerse myself fully in my degree without having to worry about some math test ruining my grade. Those are my main points. Further points include gaining cultural open mindedness (not sure that would be a plus for my conservative parents, but it is for me), coming out of my shell, and the higher rate of employment that students who have studied abroad enjoy.

My biggest questions are-
Do US scholarships translate at all?

I go to a high school were we are told that we most likely won't pass our AP exams  ???. I am a great test taker and I plan to get extra help outside of what we're getting in class. I'm very scared that  I won't do well and that it will prevent me from getting into UEA. So basically, explain the importance of AP exams in getting into a UK university?

Also, by the time I've graduated I'll have taken five AP exams, but only two of those will be for English (the others are history) and one of those won't be taken until after my UCAS application is due. How will this affect things?

Speaking of UCAS, any advise?

Best way to communicate with people back home?

And probably the least critical of all, What's Norwich like?

Please attack my idea/ambition so I can realize which parts need shoreing up. I expect my parents to be hostile and suspicious and this is, in part, my test run.
Thank you, kindly!
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Offline alisonr

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 01:57:18 PM »
As for funding, some schools have special funding only available to international students, so check into that at your chosen uni. I got some for my postgraduate degree here. Additionally, if UEA has registered with FAFSA, you'll be able to get US student loans to attend. However, there are all kinds of limits put on how much you can take out as an undergraduate so that is something to think about too. I have no clue about AP exams. So someone else might come along and know something.
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Offline historyenne

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 02:18:25 PM »
AP exams are generally considered to be equivalent to A-levels, but I think it's unlikely a school will accept one in lieu of the other. Why don't you contact UAE directly to see what they require of their international students? That seems more effective than asking for speculation on an internet forum :)

https://www.uea.ac.uk/study/international
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Offline alisonr

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 03:50:20 PM »
A pretty cursory look at the page for students from the US will basically answer all your above questions. Here's the link: https://www.uea.ac.uk/study/international/country/usa
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Offline Lizzie Mack

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2015, 04:48:50 PM »
Thank you all so much!
Aren't the wise ones, those who never do anything foolish, even more foolish? -Vincent Van Gogh

Offline PickledSakura

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2015, 10:51:34 PM »
my advice?  Don't put all your eggs in one basket.  If you'd like (and can afford) to pursue a degree in the UK, look into more programs than just East Anglia.  The worst is if you break it to your parents, they come around to the idea, but you've not gotten into your first and only choice.

Also, I  partially chose my universities in both the US and the UK based on their locations and whether or not I could see myself living there/felt comfortable.  I think location does matter a bit more than you realise.  Spending 3-4 years in a new place can turn out to be pretty miserable if it turns out you hate the place you selected.

I don't know much about Norwich, but there really are lots of lovely places in the UK! Why not have a look around on Google Street View, tourist information websites, and any online student forums.

Best of luck with your decisions! :)
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Offline Beatlemania

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2015, 08:56:43 PM »
I wish you luck achieving your goal!  The biggest piece of advice that I can give you is to be aware that the teaching styles differ quite a bit.  You may not have to take math classes in the UK but expect a far lesser degree of classroom and professor involvement in your degree.  It does depend on the course but you will be expected to be more self-sufficient when doing a degree in the UK than in the US.  This may be preferable to you, of course.  Just something to keep in mind!
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Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 09:01:03 AM »
I wouldn't discount any US school with study abroad programmes either, which often mean that you don't need to worry as much about admissions requirements.  It also gives you a chance to live abroad without it being an expensive-'permanent' decision. 
Then you can always come back and get a Master's Degree if you love it. 
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Offline Lizzie Mack

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 10:43:35 PM »
The difference in teaching styles is definitely an attraction to me. I certainly am looking at other options, this one is my first choice, but I know that things don't always work out. Best laid plans of mice and men...
I'm truely greatful for your advice/support! Thank you so very much!
Aren't the wise ones, those who never do anything foolish, even more foolish? -Vincent Van Gogh

Offline mapleleafgirl72

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 09:45:47 AM »
Just curious why you think UEA is best for creative writing? There are several different ranking systems, which take different things into account. See, for example:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2014/jun/03/university-guide-2015-league-table-for-english-and-creative-writing

There's loads of options out there, including UEA.  :)

Offline Lizzie Mack

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2015, 02:44:55 AM »
All of my research up to that point had declared it to be so. It does have a 'good' creative writing program, 'the best' is disputed.
I've brought the issue forth with my parents with great trepidation and to my suprize my father is thrilled, my mother is less so, understandably, but she is  tentatively supportive. All things considered, I look forward to filling out my UCAS in the coming months. Tips are definitely welcome. 
Aren't the wise ones, those who never do anything foolish, even more foolish? -Vincent Van Gogh

Offline RAR

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2015, 04:15:01 AM »
It's been a while since I have gone through the process but I've been in your shoes before. AP exams are important because the UK doesn't think a US high school degree is enough (I beg to differ when I see those A level papers but I digress...) I remember schools asked for a least three exams. Try to shoot for at least a 4 out of 5. Keep a copy of your transcripts (they don't need to be sealed, you can fax them when you apply) and AP score sheets when you arrive in the UK to register for school. The registrar office may wish to see them. Get into contact with the international student adviser at your school if you have any questions.

Financial aid is trickier. US grants like pell grants (unless they have changed) do not carry over. US scholarships may depending upon their specifications so you'll need to read the fine print. Is it for a particular state school or only US? FAFSA carries over and I know they have an info section to select international schools.

You'll also need to look into your student visa. You can't apply for it until you have a university acceptance, but you need to start planning. You will need to show that you have at least £820 per month (nine months is your first year so £7380) after tuition. Your £7380 + your first year tuition must be either cash fund in a bank (checking, savings) account, loan letter showing a loan taken to cover the full amount or government or scholarship sponsorship. For bank accounts you'll need to prove the full amount has been in the account for at least 28 days no more than 31 days from the date of your application.
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Offline Lizzie Mack

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Re: Going to Uni? I've got questions about my questions!
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2015, 03:21:30 AM »
UEA lists it's requirements on it's site as-

"International Baccalaureate Diploma: 32+
OR
High School Graduation Diploma: 3.0+ GPA
SAT subscores (Critical Reading & Mathematics): 600+
ACT composite score: 28+
Non-International Baccalaureate candidates for science and language studies will also require at least two relevant Advanced Placement Tests. Applicants who wish to study science degrees without AP test results may also be considered for one-year preparatory/foundation courses."

I believe everything listed there is obtainable for me.

As for US federal loans? (Again from UEA's website).

"UEA participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans) administered by the United States (U.S.) Department of Education.  Students who are United States citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply for loans through the Direct Loan Program if they have been offered and accepted an offer of a place at the University of East Anglia."

The parent plus loan lends the full cost of attendance, or COA (which is the University's calculation of what the student will actually spend) minus what ever the student has already earned or borrowed. COA at UEA for American undergraduate students is 40,000.

It appears to me that, as you said scholarships will or will not be applicable on a case by case basis.

Thank you so very much!
Aren't the wise ones, those who never do anything foolish, even more foolish? -Vincent Van Gogh