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Matthew:排名高的学校就一定好吗?来自美国本土学生的选校经

责任编辑:xiang.deng来源:天道留学时间:2016-06-06 16:52:15点击:

基本上计划赴美留学的学生和家长,都把各种大学排名尤其U.S. News排名是作为选校的标杆,那么,排名高的学校就一定好吗?美国孩子是怎么选择专业和学校的?文理学院和综合大学之间又怎么选?下面我们一起来看看来自美国本土学生的选校经。

关键词: 美国大学选校美国大学排名文理学院VS综合大学

Matthew

Bowdoin College(LAC TOP5)政府及法律研究文学学士,辅修西班牙语,CELTA证书持有者教师。作为一个语言高手,学习高手,Matt精通英、西、意、葡四国语言,且通晓希伯来文。Matt亦作为National Forensic League认证的辩论教练培训学生。有用两年的美国高中工作经验。

  基本上计划赴美留学的学生和家长,都把各种大学排名尤其U.S.News排名是作为选校的标杆,那么,排名高的学校就一定好吗?美国孩子是怎么选择专业和学校的?文理学院和综合大学之间又怎么选?下面我们一起来看看来自美国本土学生的选校经。

排名高的学校就一定好吗?来自美国本土学生的选校经

  本文为天道外籍顾问Matthew老师原创,转载请注明出处和作者,违者必究!

  1. Chinese students and parents seem to have a very strong “school fame  complex,” in which they are only targeting top 50 universities or only Ivy  League schools. Is that very different from U.S. students? Can you share how  U.S. high school students choose their schools and majors? What do you think  they pay attention to in the application? What about you?

  问:据专家分析,中国的家长和学生普遍存在“名校情结”,选校时,非前50名校或者非常青藤学校不去。美国孩子是怎么选择专业和学校的?美国学生看重什么?

  I think the “addiction” to rankings is not something that is unique to  Chinese parents and students, but part of a larger issue that many families are  facing today when it comes to higher education. It seems that in almost all  areas of the world, parents who are concerned about the futures of their kids  want to send them to the best university or college possible to ensure that  their child’s future will be bright. There have been numerous studies in the  U.S. and abroad about the starting income of students who graduated from the Ivy  League and other “elite” institutions compared to those who didn’t. Some  employers, parents, and children believe that a name like Harvard or Yale  carries with it a “seal of approval” that will set them up for financial success  for the rest of their lives.

  The only real difference that I see between Chinese parents and children is  that a higher ranking school from U.S. News and World Report indicates that a  school is better than a lower ranking one. These ranks are misleading as certain  “lower ranked” schools have programs or departments that are equally good, if  not better, than the top universities and colleges. I think the ranking of  schools in China into tiers (top, mid, and lower) causes Chinese parents and  students to add more emphasis on the number.

  U.S. high school students generally choose their majors and schools in a  similar way to Chinese students. Most students aren’t sure what they want to  apply for, but do have a general sense based on extracurriculars, activities,  and courses. School choice is usually based on reputation of the school,  parents’ encouragement (especially towards their own alma maters if they have a  strong reputation). The biggest difference is in the school visits, which do  play a big role in U.S. student school decision-making. Most Chinese students  are limited to the Internet and don’t get a real “feel” for the school.School  research is a must. Reputation is NOT enough. A student needs a real reason that  is specific to them why they want to attend. Concrete examples are a must that  reinforce the student’s claim to wanting to go. The more specific, the better.In  applying to schools, I fell into the ranking trap and had a somewhat rigid  mindset to what types of schools I wanted to attend. I wanted top LACs and some  of the smaller Ivy League universities. I focused my search on schools with good  Political Science, History, and Economics departments. I did visit the schools  and managed to eliminate some schools just based on how they felt. I would say  my application was not as good as it could be in hindsight.

  答:我觉得重视排名不仅仅是中国学生家长的专利,但是重视高等教育的排名是近来显露的一个问题。世界上所有的家长都担忧孩子们的未来,他们想要送孩子进最好的大学来保证一个有前途的未来。相比那些没有入读名校的学生,进入名校的学生得到了空前的关注。雇主、家长和学生们相信一个类似哈佛或耶鲁的校名代表了高收入、成功生活的“准入证”。

  我认为其中最不同的是,中国学生和家长坚信U.S.News上排名高的学校好于排名低的。院校排名有一些误导,比如一些排名低的院校依然有很好的项目或者系部,不亚于排名高的院校,中国学生家长把排名简单的解读为不同等级,如顶级,中级和一般。

  我觉得中美两国高中生择校选专业的方式很相似,大多数学生是不知道要申请什么的专业的,但是他们都有会大致的方向—根据活动、课程设置得来的。选学校,通常看中学校的声誉,父母或家族的校友情况,最大的区别在于“学校参观”对美国学生来讲最重要的一步。但是中国学生因为地理因素等等受限,更多的是在网络上参考。选校搜索是必备的步骤,学校的声誉都是次要的,学生需要申请的真实动机,越真实越具体越有帮助。在我申请时,我也陷入了排名的困境,以及到底选择何种类型。我想进入顶级文理学院或者小型常春藤院校,这是我理想的学校类型,以及我的专业范围限定在政治、历史、和经济学以内。我参观了这些学校,去除了我感觉不好的,事实证明选校也有着我自己的个人风格。

  2. Chinese students are very interested in the universities on the East  Coast, does location really influence that much of the decision making process?  How can it affect study, life or maybe career opportunities? I see there are  some stereotypes related to universities that are located on the East Coast(NY),  West Coast (California), and Northeastern areas. Are any of them true? How do  you see that?

  问:很多(中国)学生倾向于选择东部热门城市的学校,学校的地理位置会从哪些方面实际影响到学生的学习和生活呢?目前有几大著名大学聚集地的说法,在您看来,真的如此吗?

  Location is important. Cold weather in the Midwest and Northeast can be  really difficult to adapt to. If you absolutely hate the cold, stay away from  these schools. California is also a very popular destination for students  because of its climate. Most California schools are difficult to get into  because of the massive Asian-American population in this state.

  As for the difference between a school in a major city versus a school in a  more suburban or rural area, cities are more dangerous, but have more  opportunities available to students outside of campus. If a student chooses an  LAC or university that is essentially in the “middle of nowhere” then they  should expect more limitations to what they can do, but these schools do bring  in outside entertainment and opportunities.

  答:地理位置非常重要。要知道中西部和东北部的冬天可能不是凭借想象就能适应的。如果不喜欢严冬,那就要远离中西部和东北部的院校了。所以,加州的院校总是那么的受欢迎,因为那气候简直太棒了。大多数加州院校都太难进了,因为大量亚裔美国人的存在吧,他们太刻苦了。在大城市的院校和在远郊的院校也有着极大的差别,听上去有些危险的城市,同样意味着更多的机会,而机会是吸引人的。如果选择中部“荒芜区”的院校,那就意味着要接受地区的限制,比如没有公共交通、没有大型超市、没有中餐。但是这些院校会提供一些基本的娱乐和其他利于学习的机会。

  3. In about 10 years, Chinese students will know more about the LAC schools  and will be willing to study in them. We know you went to a top LAC school, why  did you choose it? Was there anything in particular that made you choose it?  Could you share some of your experiences?

  问:近年来,文理学院显得愈发瞩目,和综合性大学的区别加大,我们知道您在本科阶段就读了一所非常优秀的文理学院,在这一现象上您是怎么看的?有没有什么特别的因素促使您选择文理学院?

  I chose Bowdoin because it was a smaller learning environment that had the  reputation (in the Princeton Review at least) of having top-quality history,  economics, and political science departments.

  I had a mix of universities and LACs, but weighted more towards LACs. I  knew little about LACs, but I researched a little about some of them and decided  to do a school visit. I visited Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby all on the same trip  and had an interview with an Admissions Officer. I also took the tour of  numerous schools, listened to the information sessions, and then eventually cut  down my list to about 8 schools I was interested in. At the end of regular  decision, I was left with two real choices, excluding my safety, UVa and Bates.  I had been waitlisted at Bowdoin and Davidson and rejected from Brown and  Dartmouth. As I was a Virginia resident, it was considerably cheaper to go to  UVa and I figured if I was going to get a similar education, might as well save  some money. I was not particularly happy with UVa as it was almost a safety for  me. I had too much of an ego to actually evaluate UVa as a school that provided  a top quality education because my high school regularly sent students to  UVa.

  Around May, I was informed that I had gotten off the wait list at Bowdoin  and only had 24 hours to make my decision. I jumped at the chance because I  wanted to go to a school far away from home that had a smaller campus where I  could interact with professors on a more personal level, and go to one of the  highest ranked LACs. In hindsight, while the academics were important and I do  believe I got a top-quality education, my mindset was poor and I should have  done more research and given more universities a chance. Bowdoin was too small  of a community for me and I constantly felt bored outside of class. It was also  cold and snowed all the time, which was not right for me personally. I should  have taken these things into account and not be a “ranking addict” and  close-minded. This is what I stress to my students in making school choices.

  答:我申请了鲍登学院是因为她是一所小型研究性顶级私立文理学院,在PR发布的排名上极有声誉。鲍登学院有着非常优秀的历史、经济学、政治专业。

  综合大学和文理学院我都申请了,但是我更看重文理学院。我高中时也不太了解文理学院,搜寻了一些信息后,我选择去看一看。我一次性的参观了贝茨学院、鲍登学院、科尔比学院并且有机会和一位招生官面试。我还有另一个学校访问之旅,那一次我参观了更多的学校,听了很多讲座,回来后我制订了一个8所学校的申请名单。在RD结束前夕,我排除了大部分选项,留下两个院校,当然这出了我的保底院校—UVA和贝茨学院。我在鲍登学院的等待清单上,布朗和达特茅斯拒绝了我的申请。我是弗吉尼亚州公民所以就读州内院校UVA能够有更优惠的学费,所以如果我被类似的专业录取我肯定会选择学费优惠的那一所。UVA是我的保底学校,所以我当然不满足于入读UVA。我的高中基本上把大部分学生送到UVA去,而我一个自认为自负的人,当然不认为我只能去UVA这样的大学。

  那年的五月,我接到通知说我有24小时来决定是否入读鲍登学院。我当然愿意,我愿意入读小型精英院校,这意味着更多的和教授学习的时间;我也希望在远离家庭的地域体验大学生活,当然更重要的是顶级文理学院可以给我更广阔的前景。只有在事后,我才明白,学术更重要。我们每个人都有思想狭隘的时候,如果可以重来,那么我希望做更多的选择,参考更多的大学。鲍登学院还是太小了,就读期间我常常感到乏味。而且毗邻加拿大的地方,实在是太寒冷了。我太年轻考虑不周全,年轻时我也是个排名控。这是来自前辈的经验,希望我的学生们能够重视。

  4. We saw there are a bunch of organizations doing college RANKINGS, and  the RANKINGS are more and more detailed, such as the major departments’rankings, area rankings, etc. How do U.S. students and parents treat those? Is  it necessary to consult these rankings?

  问:美国的各种机构热衷排名,而且这些排名榜单越来越精细。在美国,学生乃至家长是怎么对待这些榜单和机构的呢?排名是不是一种有效的参考手段呢?

  Similar to Chinese parents and students, U.S. students and parents do pay  attention to these. As I mentioned above, the only real difference is that I  think Chinese parents and students put more of an emphasis on the number rather  than dividing the ranks into “tiers.” I think this has something to do with the  way Chinese schools are ranked and should be changed. Schools ranked 1-30 are  not necessarily better or worse than each other, just different.

  Michigan has arguably one of the best journalism schools in the country,  but is only ranked 29 in the U.S. News and World Report. UNC is ranked 30th, but  in this is due to its acceptance rate being skewed by in-state acceptances.  Out-of-state and international students are accepted at rates similar to those  at the most elite institutions, rather than what its ranking seems to indicate.  I think the rankings are fine to consult, but should only be consulted as a  beginning part of the search. Once a student narrows down the field a bit,  actual school research is FAR more important.

  答:和中国家长学生类似,美国的孩子们也很关注各种排名。正如我上面提到的,唯一的区别是我认为中国家长和学生把更多的重点放在了数字而不是将其分为“层次”,我认为这与中国大学的排名方式有关。排名1-30之间的学校不意味着排在前面的就好,只是各有所长而已。

  比如密歇根大学有可以说有着全国最好的新闻学院之一,但在U.S.News综合排名中仅名列29。北卡教堂山排名第30,这是因为它更倾向于录取本州内的学生,而州外生源和国际学生的录取率很低,所以排名30并不意味着学校不好。我认为排名可以参考,但只能在选校初期阶段,一旦学生的选校范围缩小一点后,实际上学校的研究更重要。

  5. Are there any other ways to know more about the universities? As for the international students, this would be the weakest field in their application. How do U.S. high schools work on leading/guiding students for getting more  information about the universities?

  问:除了一些排名以外,学生还有没有更好的方法途径去了解学校。这一点对国际学生来讲会更显迷茫,在美国高中阶段学校是怎样来引导学生的呢?

  Internet and even emailing the school for information packets are probably the best way for international students who don’t have the opportunity to visit  the school itself. There are also traveling information sessions that are somewhat useful, but occur infrequently. U.S. high schools get their information  the same way, but the main difference is ease of access. Students who wish to  apply to a school can usually visit it if they really want to.

  答:对于无法参观美国院校的学生来说,网络搜索和给意向院校发邮件是最重要的。美国有些学生也有同样的困境,但是不会像中国学生那么难。如果你想申请,那最好亲眼看一看,还是有很多旅行机构可以提供协助的。

  6. What do American people think are ideal jobs? How does one get an ideal job? What are your career plans when you return back to the USA?

  问:美国人眼中理想的工作是什么?如何去找到自己心中理想的工作呢?您未来在美国就业会有何种设想?

  I don’t think Americans have an idea for an ideal job, although I will say  that there is some cultural importance placed on those who are entrepreneurs and  eventually become “his or her own boss.” Hard to say if one exists, especially  in a very complex and ever-changing job market. The answer to the second  question is networking. Networking, networking, networking. Internships and real  world experience are a must and then using those contacts to network can  significantly increase one’s chances of finding his or her“ideal” job. There  has been more of an emphasis in getting a master’s degree in order to get the  higher paying jobs in the United States, so that usually becomes part of the  calculation as well. My plan upon return is to apply for a master’s in  International Economics and also an MBA. I have been exploring options and have  found some programs that will allow me to pursue both. Beyond that, I would like  to do international business or negotiations, primarily with a focus between  U.S.-Latin America relations.

  答:我会说美国人对理想的工作也没有什么特别的见解,每个人的文化背景差异在择业上也有很大影响,在巨大且错综复杂的就业市场上很难定义这个问题。如果说一个美国人如何去做一份自己理想的工作,那我会说“与人交流、联系”。实习和全职工作经验是必备条件,在具备以上条件后,与别人交流、联系去获得自己理想的就业机会。当前的美国有个越来越明显的趋势——硕士学位能够应聘到高薪工作,所以,尽快去申请吧。我回到美国后也会申请硕士,我意向的专业是国际经济和MBA,我也在为自己的申请做准备,未来我的目标是做美国和拉美国家的国际经济贸易谈判。

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