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University goals

Discussion in 'Serious' started by TempGong, 6 Oct 2009.

  1. TempGong

    TempGong What's a Dremel?

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    Let me first introduce my self, I am 16 years old and I live in Greece. The school life here is pretty harsh the last to years, and the system is messed up in all shorts of ways. I want and will try my best at the exams here but whatever the result I want to leave this country for both academics as well as my life. What I want to study is computer engineering and I really want to be good at it, yes we have a department somewhat close to Computer Engineering but you have to do 5 years just for the essential training that in other counties you do on three, also what frightens me most is the irresponsibility and ideals of both the greek students and teachers. So, I've been thinking of either going to somewhere in Europe nor to somewhere in US (Canada preferred for laws and such.) and I would discuss even going to Asia.

    If I go to Europe what are the best Universities and which country holds the best future, I was thinking of Germany as well as Scotland or Ireland.

    If I go to Canada whats gonna be the situation about academics? Career future?

    If I go to Asia (Japan mostly), computer engineering is known, they have good academics, what about work and cost of living there?

    I would like what do you think of where you now that you've seen the situation (for those older and more mature) as well as those that have not yet finished Uni. Also, I would like to know what do you think of our county, Greece, you outsiders.

    I can speak and write quite well in English, but a new language means a new experience.

    [side note] You know you come to a moment in your life when you have to choose crucial stuff and in Greece, as in many other countries, you have to choose quite early on your life and I wont to be sure that I made the right choice. I will after finishing school try to have a good grasp of all the countries that I would like to go and then decide, but my mind needs a target, a target to make me forget the mess here and focuss on the mess there :lol:. [/side note]
     
  2. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    i dont know much about computer science as a degree subject but from what i understand the UK isn't a leader..

    If you want to be that 'good' are you already living and breathing code? if not i suggest you start asap, as the absolute best of the best university's will only take on students that know more than how to tie there shoe laces.
     
  3. TempGong

    TempGong What's a Dremel?

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    I see, I have been told that by people from here as well... but you know its not only the quality of the university but also the two more years that we have to do here.

    Gnu/Linux and Mac OS X coding appeals to me and I would like to contribute to Open Source programs, like ScrotWM, but given the current situation the only time that I get to the computer I want to just talk to my friends, look up forums and check facebook for about one hour then the fun is out and I am back to studying.

    So, I would like to learn C but I dont have the time!

    I still want to know more about other countries... and I already know that I might have created a false Utopia about other countries. Non the less a conversation will help me settle my mind.
     
  4. vic11

    vic11 What's a Dremel?

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    I'm a 2nd year undergrad international student in California, US, studying Computer Science and Engineering (sort of like Computer Engineering) at a top public university.

    The most important fact that I emphasize to all those aspiring international students coming to the US, is the following: How's your financial situation? Can you really afford ALL 4 years?

    Second, start planning really early!Prepare your coursework, look for advanced placement tests, study for standardized tests, once you have a clearer idea of where you want to go.

    I can only talk about colleges here in the US though, but if your goal is to get into a top private one, you better be REALLY good (great scores, extra curriculars, awards) to get significant scholarships, or else you would be paying $50k/year. Public universities are not that cheaper either, with all the economic crisis still ongoing. Another option, which many international students take, is to go to a Community College for two years then transfer to a University. You end up saving a lot and sometimes the environment found at Community Colleges is a lot less competitive and relaxed that you might actually have more time to settle down.

    As for trying to get a head start in computer science, look for ebooks on Java, C++, Python. If you like watching video lectures more than reading ebooks, you could check out MIT's open courseware. Stanford also has a great Intro to Computer Science series in their "Stanford Engineering Everywhere" website.
     
  5. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Stay away from Scotland. I'm a native Scot studying at Aberdeen (2nd year Maths and Philosophy) and I'm generally disgusted by the stupidity and lack of effort put in by most of the students. The internationals in my courses tend to be the best at the subjects, tend to work hard and do really well. The British students tend to be lazy, stupid, and uninterested. I suppose it's a good way of easily being among the best student in the classes, but it's not good for your education. If you do come to Scotland, definitely look at skipping 1st year, since chances are your education system teaches you what you'd learn in 1st year while you're in school over there.

    But do keep in mind as I say that British students tend to suck. Furthermore, as an international you'll be expected to get far higher grades to get into our uni's, so you really probably will be more qualified than other students here. As an example, my (Finnish) girlfriend tried and failed to get into Edinburgh uni, even though she got very high grades in Finnish high school (which is bloody good, from what I can tell), yet I had picked up just 3 Highers at A at a community college, something any idiot could do, and I had the required grades for any uni in Scotland.
     
  6. Bogomip

    Bogomip ... Yo Momma

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    Edinburgh University has the best CompSci department in the UK, and is also among the best in the world.

    Although I did not study a computer science degree, I had some limited exposure to the department and found to be very well organised and have very challenging courses. I also know people who did do a compsci degree and would recommend it :)
     
  7. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    Although i do generally agree with that i would qualify it by saying those students who are motivated to study abroad are probably a cut above the average student anyway. If you can walk, talk and spell your own name my uni would take you. :D
     
  8. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Indeed, I agree. And considering that they also have to have higher grades comparative to averages, I suspect a lot of internationals who come here find that they're surrounded by people who're less intelligent, and less interested in actually learning and doing well at uni.

    For the most part (not entirely, thankfully), I feel like I'm surrounded by people who want nothing more than 4 years of drinking, and complain when they actually have to do work.
     
  9. eek

    eek CAMRA ***.

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    I imagine the fact that they pay so much more has something to do with their commitment. I guess us 'locals' at university always have family close at hand to fall back on should anything happen (kicked out for not getting grades, or just needing more cash) whereas those that come from overseas tend to be a lot more independent and don't have anyone close at hand should they run into trouble.

    Plus all I did at uni was get drunk and moan about work for 4 years... it didn't do me any harm. IMO university is about more than education, it's about leaving home for the first time, finding your own feet, supporting yourself, having a good time and making life long friends. Being able to get a well paid job at the end of it is just a bonus (at least it was before the recession!).

    There is no real benefit to doing 'well' at university unless you are just trying to prove something to yourself. Most decent jobs only require a 2:1, and the stuff you learn is so theoretical it's unlikely you'll ever use most of it.

    For reference, I did computer science at warwick and got a first.
     
  10. TempGong

    TempGong What's a Dremel?

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    So I've been thinking this quite a while lately, The truth is that Greek schools on the last three years get really harsh because there is an idea that whoever doesn't qualify for a University is a scum of society. Also, all Universities here are public so the competition is huge. The problem is that the difficulty has rased tremendously in comparison of other countries. (for example everything you do on the first year of university we do it on the last year)

    Thinking my academic future is really frustrating. I am the average Greek student so with a little push I can achieve a grade to get me to the University. But the options I have here are too general, meaning there is no vanilla Computer Engineering. Various things are passing from my mind and I have the stereotypical Greek parents to make things worst by pushing me everyday. That, however, showed no results with my sister who got 19.6/20 on the exams and choose the classes our parents told her because she didn't have a career plan on her mind and here we are half a year later asking to change classes from an Engineer to a doctor.

    All that makes me really confused and I want to clear things out so this thread stays (as well as the above questions.) However, I will probably wright more info while we get closer to the exams. I know its some random rant. And because I am dyslectic It's a bit all over the place (we think things all together and connect them in a weird order) but yeah I needed to get this out of me.
     
  11. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    As you're dyslexic, kudos to you for learning another language - I wouldn't have guessed you weren't English with the spelling and laziness a lot of people have here.

    Trying to learn another language to go to university in another country may take much longer than just going somewhere english speaking though.

    You could do worse than the UK or Canada, just pick somewhere you can get out and see the country around you as well, as being stuck in some remote university with nothing to do would suck!!
     
  12. cpu121

    cpu121 What's a Dremel?

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    In defence of Scotland, we do tend to be a bunch of whinging gits anyway! I'm in fourth year now and can say that attitudes tend to change in third/fourth year. The work gets harder and starts counting towards your degree. By then, the people who came for four years of drinking are either doing irrelevant courses, dropping out or shaping up. Someone mentioned local students being able to fall back on family - that's probably quite true of Scotland as we tend to have more students who go to their local university than move to another city.

    It should be mentioned though that one advantage for EU students studying in Scotland is that they're eligible for free tuition as per Scottish students. In addition, the cost of living is generally lower (compared to England) so Scotland could be a relatively cheap way of getting a good quality education.

    If you're considering the UK at all (though international universities are also discussed too) you should visit http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk to find out more.
     
  13. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    I don't doubt that people are either forced to start working, or at least do a little if they're doing fluffy degrees, in third and fourth years. But in a lot of my courses in my three semesters here I've felt like they're catering to the idiots who don't want to do any work, and probably aren't going to achieve much of note while at uni. It's infuriating to sit through tutorial after tutorial, week after week, knowing I'm learning nothing because a bunch of annoying alcoholics need to be brought up to speed on all the content they missed from not coming to lectures or doing any reading.

    True though, it's cheap :D
     
  14. MacWalka

    MacWalka What's a Dremel?

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    I went to Strathclyde Uni in Glasgow for 5 years and got a first in Chemical Engineering. It certainly wasn't easy. The course I was in had a high attrition rate. Probably lost around half of the course by the time graduation came compared to first year.

    4th year was by far the hardest year of my life. First semester that year was 6 classes with the exams in January right after the Christmas break. The exams wern't easy.

    Second sememster was all project work. Three projects at the same time. One was a design of a biodiesel chemical plant. Another was to design a control scheme in an exisiting plant and the third was a research and design project into different technologies to create a hydrogen fuel economy.

    specofdust is right though, there were a heck of a lot of Scottish wasters in first and second year. By the time third year came round, they were all gone though.
     
  15. format

    format What's a Dremel?

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    This.

    I'm in Strathclyde atm, and studying politics. There are a lot of people there for the ride, and not really interested in the subject.

    But as for the advice 'stay away from Scotland'... it's not really fair - some Scottish Universities have very very good reputations.
     
  16. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Agreed. Good reputations - I'm extremely greatful for that, since the good reputation implies that people outside the uni's don't know just how bad some of them can be - at least judging by how bad Aberdeen can be at certain aspects, and it is one of the better uni's in Scotland.
     
  17. Fod

    Fod what is the cheesecake?

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    Er. There are some very good UK universities teaching CS. Also, being able to program is not a pre-requisite for a computer science course. I went into a CS course at UCL with only basic VBA knowledge and good grades, and came out with a first class MEng and an offer to do postgrad study. In fact most lecturers prefer 'blank slates' if you will - some of the geekier students ended up dropping out/failing due to having pretty strong, and wrong, preconceptions about how to program, and almost everyone who did well had little to no prior programming knowledge.

    What is absolutely essential, however, is that you are able to think analytically; approach problems systematically and solve them using logic. My advice would be to focus on maths and physics at high school level. Be good at those and CS will be a breeze. Sure, dabble in computing, but keep it fun. No need to get serious before you need to.
     

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