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Old 11-24-2008, 08:54 AM   #21
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Default Does the university really matter? Or is there is a difference between local and overseas universities?

The University does matter. Different universities have different strengths. Few, if any are good in everything they teach or offer. All else being equal, choose a university that is strong in the course you are interested in taking.

Local or overseas? It depends on a number of factors, some of which have been brought up by earlier postings.

The quality of teaching, the quality of your course mates & the environment are also very important.

Education is about ideas. Being taught by those considered to be experts in their field of study is very different from being taught by a "normal" tutor. Their insights, perspective they expose you to can help you develop some of your own.

Course mates matters too as the quality of discussions, ideas generated differ greatly in a group of brighter individuals.

An environment that is open to sharing of thoughts, ideas is certainly better to one that has fellow course mates that not only avoid contributing solutions but make it harder for for others to find the solutions.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:57 PM   #22
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get into the best university that suits your needs, then be the best. don't be disheartened if you don't get into your dream university. no employer is going to discount a first class honours degree in a subject that is relevant to them.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:25 AM   #23
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um yea duh of course the university matters. and duh of course there is a difference btwn local and overseas. and i am not talking about how much you are going to earn.

every university has its own culture, its own uniqueness(is there even such a word?). you get a different experience. for example u get a nice and quite environment at NTU, far from all happenings and distractions. a place where u can study in peace and enjoy the 2 hour bus ride home. NUS has more vibrant college life with a big campus. SMU on the other hand has a much more modern feel to it. there are pros and cons to each of them and its up to you which type of experience you want the most. universities in the US are more liberal but you will need a lot of self control to keep urself in check and to study. UK is more stuctured and more traditional.

studying locally lets you enjoy the comfort of studying in you native country, speaking your native tongue. you will know the cheapest place to eat, the best clubs in town. all your friends and families are here. you stay in your comfort zone and build up a local foundation. however, all you see is just a 700sq km island.

going overseas throws you into a temperate region where u experience freezing winters, racists angmohs, totally different cultures, and you will spend your first year there being a total noob =p however, after you have conquered that country, you'll return with new views, you look at problems differently, you might even get a slight brit accent that chicks totally dig.

i don't really care how much you earn after graduation. what i feel is what kind of experience you want to get out of univeristy. its up to you to make the most out of your university life. you wun be learning much outside the books even if you go overseas and stay in hostel 24/7.

even if you study locally, make use of the advantage of studying in your native country to maximise your experience. go for all the different activities, know more ppl, participate in camps, OCIPs, exchange programmes, inter uni competitions, wadever. it will be hell of a blast.

if you are in europe, tour europe! trace the steps of napoleon and alexander the great. explore the ancient cities of rome and greece. if you are in the states, drive across america, go down to vegas, climb the statue of liberty, lose youself in an inter college football game. there is a tonne of things to do overseas. have fun.

each university has their strengths, pick the one that suits you the most, and make the most of of it. most importantly, enjoy your time in uni because you are going to miss it once its over.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:56 AM   #24
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Default local vs overseas unis

hi there!
actually local unis here in sg are offering lots of overseas exchange programmes that gives one an experience of overseas uni for a term or so, which blurs the line between local and overseas unis.
The main diff btw the 2, beyond the brand names of Ivy leagues sch etcs, is the growing experience that one would gain in a new culture/environment.
Sadly, one of the considerations for overseas unis that is usually neglected is the whether one is looking for a university town e.g oxbridge or a smu-city like campus like imperial.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:09 PM   #25
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It's a good point regarding cultural exposure, as this is something more and more companies are looking for when students progress to the world of work. The added benefit of these exchange programs is that one can develop further language skills, depending upon where the exchange takes you.

I would also second the mention that students often overlook the atmosphere of where they're going to study. As far as 'university towns' go, Oxford and Cambridge are themselves different, but furthermore they differ even further to, say, Warwick, which is a campus set aside from and outside the nearby towns. Durham and St. Andrews are others that you might say are not 'university towns' but have strong University presence within them nonetheless.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:48 AM   #26
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The ranking of the universities depends on what the researchers are using, such as how much research the university churns out, how well regarded the professors are by other academics, etc. So whether one uni is not as good as the other is still rather subjective.

I wouldn't say that UK has a richer culture - it certainly has a longer history. And the culture in the unis differ from uni to uni, not just country to country. I daresay London unis will be closer in culture to New York unis than to universities in (say) Warwick. From UK, it can be quite convenient to explore the rest of UK and Europe, while it would be easier to explore the rest of US from an American university.

I do feel that exchange programme is good for getting to understand the culture of another country if it is a long one. It's cheaper than studying full time in a overseas university as well.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:30 PM   #27
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It depends on where you want to work eventually - if you plan to work in Singapore, I suggest a Singapore university, for Hong Kong - HKUST.

p.s. very late, but @highwind: PC means politically correct.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:05 PM   #28
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Default Why Study Abroad?

It is a fact that there is an increasing demand for bachelor holders in the job market. School goers are also jumping on to the bandwagon to get their qualifications. Some opt for study abroad programs to stay and remain competitive in the market.

Let us look at three major benefits in store when you study overseas:

1) Achieve Certification Faster

Some private schools have fast-track degrees which allow you to graduate a year earlier than peers from other schools. This is done through intense curriculums and reduced semester holidays. Graduating before your peers will allow you to search for jobs earlier. With more time to search for a job, chances of landing one that you like will be higher.

2) Learn from Professional Lecturers in a Country Known for Area of Expertise

Some countries are stronger in design concepts while some others are known for legendary businessmen. United Kingdom is known for its strong street fashion while America is known for businessmen like Donald Trump or Bill Gates. Studying overseas will allow you to meet professional lecturers familiar with the country’s design or business practices.

If living expenses in United Kingdom and America are too high for your liking, consider studying in Asia Pacific. Countries like Australia and Thailand are known for strong design-related industries. Designing not your cup of tea? Try taking business studies in China to learn competitive business strategies and other opportunities.

3) New Experiences

This is probably the best benefit you can get out of an overseas education. Living in another country for extended periods of time is a life-changing experience. I have seen cases of spoilt brats returning home subdued. Some even fly back with superb culinary skills after cooking their own meals for a year.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:53 PM   #29
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What are the main benefits of studying overseas?

Studying and living overseas allows you to see the world from an entirely new perspective.
It’s refreshing to interact with people who are so different from you, people whose childhood experiences you can’t identify with at all, people with incredibly unique interests and passions.
This might sound strange, but the most valuable part of the overseas experience for me was feeling out of place. I had a few unpleasant encounters with racism, and I had to continually deal with the “Asian student” stereotype.
I’m Chinese, so I almost never feel out of place when I’m in Singapore because I’m usually in the majority. Living in the US for four years taught me—to some extent—what it’s like to be a minority. Now I’m a lot more conscious about the way I treat minority groups (racial or otherwise).

I think the main benefit of going overseas is pushing yourself far outside of your comfort zone. You’ll live and learn among people who come from very different backgrounds. You’ll challenge yourself to do things you never thought you'd excel at or love.
But, ultimately, the most wonderful experiences are specific to the university you go to and the opportunities you choose to pursue.
For me, one of my most life-changing experiences was going on a semester-long programme called “Leadership and the Arts in New York”. We watched plays, operas, concerts and dance performances almost every single night for a whole semester.
It was a magnificent experience. It changed my view on matters like how empathy relates to leadership, and what it means to exercise ethical leadership. It also gave me a love for the arts, especially for opera, that I have kept with me ever since.

When I was 18 years old, I thought that studying overseas was primarily about getting a different educational experience, especially in the American system where learning is much more broad-based and flexible compared to the Singaporean system.
While I was in university, I had a great time in my academic classes, but much of my learning took place outside the classroom.
Living overseas, for one, forces you to take ownership of your life and to be independent.
If you’re a Singaporean male like me, you’ll have to do National Service. That experience will help you to grow up, but even those two years of your life are still “planned” for you in some way—you pretty much follow a regimented schedule that has already been decided for you.
The newfound freedom of being overseas, away from your parents—as you pick your own classes, activities, friends and sources of entertainment—means that you’ll have to be responsible for yourself in new ways.
I learned a lot about myself from the way I made decisions and reacted to new situations while I was abroad.
But I found that the largest benefit of my overseas experience was the opportunity to exchange ideas and build friendships with people who were so different from me. This helped to broaden my perspective on many issues, and taught me to keep an open mind. I learned to empathise with others and not to pre-judge them.
In my four years at Stanford, I met many exceptional people who’d had amazing experiences. I learned many life skills and life lessons from them.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:34 PM   #30
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Default A Brief Overview on Overseas vs. Local Studies

This debate will never end. Then again, depending on what you want, contrary to what most people think, a local undergraduate course may suit one better.

There are a few factors (there are more, but it would be too lengthy):

- Aims

This is the most important, it's like the idea for an entrepreneur who wants to start a business.

What do you aspire to gain from going overseas? If it is the experience, ask yourself -- what is it about the vaunted 'experience' that you desire? If you find it hard to answer the question beyond saying something cliche like 'gaining more exposure' or 'learning to be independent' and not being able to elucidate on your points, you should think more about why you want to do so, because going overseas for years is very different from having an overseas exchange when it comes to the crunch, so what will motivate you?

Everyone talks about the positive aspects of going overseas, but I'll shine the spotlight on some negative aspects, just to be realistic.

You are sick and have trouble adapting to the weather.
You are facing ostracism, be it racism or just being not in a clique.
You are alone -- you might have just arrived a month and not found a support group yet.
You are homesick.
Your grades are failing.

What do you do?

This could be a very real situation describing an overseas undergraduate somewhere on Earth right now. The joys of overseas study are too overwhelming to be oblivious to, I agree, but neither are the drawbacks. If you can say that you will persevere regardless of the circumstances, and if you can list down distinctly why you would, then kudos to you.

If you are in a local university, even if you are unlucky enough to have all of the above happen to you, you still have your family and friends (provided that you were not some mugging hermit for your academic life thus far) to rely on for support.

If you say that local universities are not academically rigorous or have low standards, I beg to differ (for some courses, they deserve a second look, though I don't know which courses they are) so do take your time to do your homework and research.

Where do you want to go? Earth has a plethora of choices for you to choose from, so where would you want to go, and why?

Singapore, where East meets West (not in terms of history for sure) and you enjoy a safe environment almost unparalleled worldwide?

Is it the UK because you know what course you want and seek an in-depth education?

The US for its liberal arts education where you get a lot of breadth and get to pick your course of specialisation later?

China for the bilingual edge, cultural knowledge and wealth of history stretching back to antiquity?

Egypt for its expertise in Islamic theology and connections to developing Middle East and Africa?

Maybe even... Brazil, as part of the BRICS grouping where you could find untapped potential?

All these questions (and answers to the questions) won't come from a night of thinking before the application deadline, so it's good to start thinking about these, especially when it will help you to understand your personality better.

Of course, not having the clearest idea about why you want to go overseas does not mean that you should not go overseas. I would just advise you to reflect more before coming to a decision.

- Financial situation

You may have the most lofty aims, or strongest ones but without money, you're screwed as hell.

It's akin to living life without health.

Are you going to saddle yourself with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt? That's a lot of money, and even if you do get a high-powered job paying you $5000 a month (which is unlikely), you need to use part of the money for living expenses, not to mention paying off the debt. The interest will kill you too.

At 1% per month (someone I know has such an interest rate from a local bank), $300,000 (a ballpark figure) would be approximately $287,000 even if you paid $4000 a month! If your parents are going to mortgage their house or go into the red zone to launch your dreams, think thrice, not twice, because you may never be able to stand on your feet again.

The value and benefits of an overseas education may be well worth its cost, but it might not be for everyone.

--> Scholarships

This is a subset of the above. If you don't have the finances and a scholarship seems to be your best choice, it might be. Or it could be your worst nightmare for the next 5 or 6 years.

The questions you pose to yourself about your aims will be very useful, not just for getting the scholarship, but most importantly to last you through your bond and make it a positive experience for yourself and the sponsoring company no matter what happens.

I did not talk much about local studies here but I did think deeply about the possibility of studying locally and weigh it against studying overseas before coming to a conclusion. Before discounting local universities as hoi polloi, look at what they have to offer, what facilities they have, their curriculum etc. and find your footing. They may just beat that prestigious overseas university(or universities) that you were eyeing.

I have tried to maintain a neutral standpoint as much as possible, but sitting on the fence makes my bottom hurt so I may have leaned towards a specific side. Please do provide constructive feedback where necessary.

祝你愉快并且一帆风顺, guten tag
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