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The Search 选校

(2010-03-23 10:00:00)
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教育

分类: The_Search_选校

So far, the Sophos Blog has mostly focused on advice about how to get into an American university. Before you can get into a university, however, you have to apply, and before you apply, you have to decide where you want to apply. For many prospective applicants, this can be daunting. Everybody knows Harvard, Princeton, M.I.T. and Stanford, but there are over 3,500 colleges in America.


The very idea of a college search might seem foreign to you. In China, colleges are clearly ranked and your gaokao score determines where you attend. In America, the process of choosing a college is extremely dependent on the individual. Two students could be equally intelligent and apply to two completely different sets of schools. The reason for this is because there is so much variance between all those 3,500 colleges. Some are better at one academic program but worse at another. Some try to create one type of social atmosphere, while others try to create a different one. Schools also vary in terms of cost, location and what kind of students typically attend there. In order to make sure that you are successful once you arrive in America, you have to find the college that best suits you. Finding that college will require hours of individual research from you. That may sound difficult, but we’re here to help.


Choosing between those schools is not simply a matter of getting the information. I can tell you that Amherst College is the number one ranked liberal arts college in America, is located in a rural setting and that 98% of undergraduates live on-campus, but that information probably doesn’t mean a lot to the average high school student, especially one from China.“The Search” will hopefully both expose you to the criteria that are important when choosing a college and also give you the tools and context that you need to evaluate that information.


All of this will help you avoid a number of common mistakes made by Chinese students wanting to go to America. The first is only considering the top schools that they are familiar with and ignoring the dozens of other schools that could offer an excellent education. The second is choosing schools simply by their ranking in publications like the U.S. News and World Report or Princeton Review. While these rankings are helpful, they are very imprecise, and it is always more helpful to research the specific advantages and disadvantages of each school and see how those match up with your own needs.


The Search will be broken down into the following eight major categories, each of which will have a number of subcategories:


  • Type of University: In this category we will discuss the issues of university prestige, the choice between a liberal arts college and a university and school size.
  • Academics: Here we will discuss school academics, including specificity of degrees offered and breadth of degrees offered.
  • Location: Here we will discuss the choice between urban, rural and suburban schools, as well as other issues pertaining to where a university is located.
  • Cost: Here we will discuss the tuition that different universities charge, other costs such as housing and food and the availability of financial aid to international student.
  • School Culture: Here we discuss the differences in social life between different universities, including topics like fraternity/sorority life and sports culture.
  • Resources: Here we discuss how schools are different in terms of the monetary and physical resources that are available to their students, and how this impacts student life.
  • Extracurriculars: Here we discuss the options that different schools offer for activities outside of the classroom, such as research and pre-professional activities.
  • Student body: Here we discuss the composition of the students who attend a university, including levels of Chinese and international students, and ethnic diversity in general.
  • Post-grad: Here we discuss how each university facilitates opportunities after graduation, including a school’s alumni network and career advising.
 

For each category, we will first detail 2-3 of the most important subcategories, then provide a summary post. After we have finished going through all of the categories, we will go back through the main categories and write up posts for some of the less important, but still worthwhile, subcategories. At the same time, in each of our posts we will try to mention and discuss a few universities that you may not have heard about. 


迄今为止,索斐博客主要致力于提供关于如何进入一所美国大学的建议。但 在你进入一所大学之前,你必须申请大学,而在你申请之前,你必须决定你想要申请去哪儿。对许多有申请意向的学生而言,这 可能是件叫人望而生畏的事情。人人都知道哈佛、普林斯顿、麻省理工和斯坦福,然而,在美国有超过3,500所大学。


对你而言,或许选校这个概念本身很陌生。在中国,大学被明确 地分为三六九等,你的高考分数决定你上哪所大学。在美国,选择一所学校是一个极度个人自主的过程。两个一样聪明的学生可能会申 请两组截然不同的学校。其原因在于,在那3500大学间,有着如此之多的差异。有的强于某个专业,但在另一个专业 上较弱。有的致力于营造某种社交氛围,其他的则试图营造另外一种。在花销、位置以及典型生源上,学校们也各不相同。为了保证你 一到美国就能很快成功,你务必要找到最适合你的大学。寻找心仪的大学需要你花很多时间进行独立的调查研究。这听起来可能有些 难度,但我们会给你帮助。


在学校间作出选择并不仅仅是简单的信息收集。我可以告诉你阿默斯特 学院是美国排名第一的文理学院,它坐落于乡间,98%的本科生住校。但对于一般高中生(尤其是来自中国的)而言,这些信息可能并没有多 大意义。“选校”专题将有望使你接触到选择学校时的重要标准,同时也将给你带来评估这些信息所需的工具和背景。


这一切将帮助你避免想来美国求学的中国学生常犯的许多错误。首当其冲 的是,只考虑他们熟悉的那些顶尖名校,而对其他许多教育品质优越的学校不屑一顾。其二,是选校时只参照出版物上的排名,像是《美国新 闻与世界报道》或是《普林斯顿评论》。尽管这些排名有所帮助,但它们是很不准确的。调查研究各所学校的具体优势和劣势,看 看它们与你自己的需求有多吻合,这样的做法一定会更为有益。


“选校”专题将被划分为以下8个主要类别,每一项都会有一些子类别:


  • 大学的类型:在这个类别中我们将讨论大学的声誉、在文 理学院和大学间作出取舍,以及学校规模等话题。
  • 学术:在这里我们将讨论学校的学术概况,包括所授学位 的特性及所授学位的范围。
  • 位置:在这里我们将讨论在位于城市、乡村及城郊的学校 间作出选择的问题,以及与学校地理位置有关的其他话题。
  • 花销:在这里我们将讨论不同大学收取的学费、其他花销(诸 如住宿费和饮食费),以及是否有针对国际学生的助学金。
  • 学校文化:在这里我们将讨论不同学校间社交生活的差异,包 括像兄弟会/姐妹会生活及体育文化这样的话题。
  • 资源在这里我们将讨论不同学校提供给学生们的财力资源和物力资源有何区别,以及这将 怎样影响学生的校园生活。
  • 课外活动:在这里我们将讨论不同学校所提供的课外活动选项,例 如研究及职前活动。
  • 学生构成:在这里我们将讨论大学的学生构成,包括中国 和国际学生比率,及一般的种族多样性。
  • 毕业之后:在这里我们将讨论各大学如何向学生提供毕业后的机会,包 括学校的校友网络以及择业指导。

就每个类别,我们将首先对两到三个最重要的子类别进行详细说明,然后提供一 篇总结性质的博文。在将所有类别过了一遍之后,我们会重新回到那些主要类别,并针对一些次要的,但仍值得一提的子类别发表博文。与 此同时,在我们的每篇博文里,我们将试图提到和讨论几所你或许闻所未闻的大学。

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