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View Poll Results: Which country would you as an 18 year old fluent in EN and FR study in ?
Switzerland 18 27.69%
United States 26 40.00%
United Kingdom 15 23.08%
Others 6 9.23%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 05.06.2011, 21:28
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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I compare it to what my life was like in Southampton and feel very lucky.
That's funny, I also went to Southampton... but I was there in the late 1970s/early 1980s, when we still got government grants and the whole debt thing was not an issue. Must have changed a lot in the intervening 30 years !

(apologies for going off topic)
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  #22  
Old 05.06.2011, 21:31
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

Okay, wow, thanks for all your thoughtfulness, kind people!

The following is my synopsis of your input:

Quality of Social and Academic Experience: What I am getting from your feedback is that, overall, a US/UK/Canadian university experience is likely to provide a more enriching and diverse social and academic experience. But if you have a child who is more quiet and focused on academics, then universities in Switzerland are still top notch.

Do I assume then, from your responses, that drugs/violence are not at the same level in CH universities as in the U.S.? That is what would assume, but I have never hung out at Swiss schools much.

Degree Marketability/Flexibility: As for degree value, the top name universities of the U.S. might attract more employers ultimately than a degree from CH, except in the area of a technical degree where MIT is about equivalent to ETH and EPFL. Also, a degree from CH is more useful if you plan to work/live in CH and vice versa with the US degree

Cost: Then there is the big question of money. Living expenses are obviously going to be high here in CH - but if your child is going to live with you during college then you are saving a bundle and relieving them of the agony of student debt by having them enroll in CH.

Individual Preferences: A young person should be able to choose their future university, so long as it is a financially feasible situation. Much of this will depend on what kind of experience they want from a university, and where they may ultimately want to live...But it is also in the hands of the student to create a rewarding educational experience, no matter where they find themselves.

Finally, I'm not sure how many former students of CH universities have chimed in. It would be really helpful to know from you folks what your experience was like, especially if it was fairly recent! Thanks!
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  #23  
Old 05.06.2011, 21:45
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

If you want to learn something, CH.

If you want to party, US.

But this is general.

For me, my US education was just like going to school at the ETH, it just cost a lot more!

Tom
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  #24  
Old 05.06.2011, 21:55
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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Do I assume then, from your responses, that drugs/violence are not at the same level in CH universities as in the U.S.? That is what would assume, but I have never hung out at Swiss schools much.
In CH, generally speaking, you do need to have a serious talk with your kids about hash/pot, amphetamins and extasy. But as a good parent, you know that you have to do that in high school already. So on that area, you're settled.
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  #25  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:01
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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In CH, generally speaking, you do need to have a serious talk with your kids about hash/pot, amphetamins and extasy. But as a good parent, you know that you have to do that in high school already. So on that area, you're settled.
And you don't think that needs to be done in the US?

Tom
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  #26  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:02
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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In CH, generally speaking, you do need to have a serious talk with your kids about hash/pot, amphetamins and extasy.
I agree.

If you're funding their education, you don't want them to be ripped off by dodgy dealers, do you?
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  #27  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:07
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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And you don't think that needs to be done in the US?

Tom
Come on, you know me better than that I was trying to be nice by avoiding listing up the endless warnings any normal human being should get before even thinking going to the US.

On a serious note: CH is not a perfect world, but from what I have experienced as a teacher, I would say that those three ones cover most of the drug problems.

EDIT: This applies only if you already had the red bull talk (at the latest last year of primary school)
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  #28  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:11
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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But if you have a child who is more quiet and focused on academics, then universities in Switzerland are still top notch.
That depends strongly on both the university and the life and friends they choose to have for themselves on campus. Just remember, most of what people think about college life in America comes from movies and TV shows... A lot of people go quitely about the business of studying even at the well known (but perhaps poorly named) 'party schools'. I wouldn't say that the Swiss schools will necessarily give your child what they want just because they like to study. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably go to some universities that had a bit more fun and were a little less focussed solely on academic performance.
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  #29  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:18
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

As for drugs/violence on university campuses, I guess I am coming from the mindset of someone used to living in a university town, where every year kids do dumb things like obliterating themselves and dying in trunks of cars, crashing through greenhouse roofs, and making nuisances of themselves by pissing on people's lawns, etc.

Since risk-taking seems to run on both sides of the family here, I wonder whether a CH education would narrow the possibilities of ridiculous, possibly life-threatening freshman behavior...
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  #30  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:22
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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Since risk-taking seems to run on both sides of the family here, I wonder whether a CH education would narrow the possibilities of ridiculous, possibly life-threatening freshman behavior...
Is that behavior a function of their education or how they were raised? I'm willing to bet you can find that kind of trouble here if you want.
If you feel concern that your child is easily swayed by peer pressure, maybe. I wasn't raised like that. I was raised to be the kind of person that even if I want to do something, if you try to use peer pressure on me to get me to do it I'll most likely say no just to not give you the pleasure.
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  #31  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:44
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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Degree Marketability/Flexibility: As for degree value, the top name universities of the U.S. might attract more employers ultimately than a degree from CH, except in the area of a technical degree where MIT is about equivalent to ETH and EPFL. Also, a degree from CH is more useful if you plan to work/live in CH and vice versa with the US degree

Cost: Then there is the big question of money. Living expenses are obviously going to be high here in CH - but if your child is going to live with you during college then you are saving a bundle and relieving them of the agony of student debt by having them enroll in CH.
There are no 'equivalents' to MIT. If your child is an engineering/science/IT nerd, don't think twice. I am married to someone who went to one of these institutions in another country billed as an '$country MIT' and who, when working with a throng of MIT folks, was never one of the club...what you are getting aside from the education is THE NETWORK. I kick myself fairly often for turning down the generous offer from MIT because my dumb 17yo self didn't get that it's not so much about the quality of the education, it's the powerful friends you make and the incredible amount of cred those three letters give your diploma. Few outside of Switzerland have any idea of Swiss institutions. If he/she is talented, don't settle.

Look for scholarships, etc. Besides, with the way the dollar is going, MIT will be cheap soon.
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  #32  
Old 05.06.2011, 22:55
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

that's a good point about mit if this is one of his choices. mit is not only about the education (which is stellar), but the name- which brings amazing professors, researchers, funding, opportunities,etc.
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  #33  
Old 05.06.2011, 23:09
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

This thread turns out in exactly the way one would expect it. Everyone recommends to do the same they did. So my recommendation to the OP - especially listen to people who will openly tell you about downsides...

I'd go for the Netherlands. According to your profile lives half of your family there and when I studied there in English, I did not take any illegal drugs at all.
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  #34  
Old 05.06.2011, 23:20
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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There are no 'equivalents' to MIT. .
Caltech grads might disagree (no, that's not one of mine).
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  #35  
Old 05.06.2011, 23:25
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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There are no 'equivalents' to MIT.
If I hadn't had so many teachers pushing me to go there, I might have.

But I decided where I wanted to go when I was 10, and I did, and have no regrets.

Tom
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  #36  
Old 05.06.2011, 23:32
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

[QUOTE=phdoofus;1219026]Is that behavior a function of their education or how they were raised?

Slightly off topic...but risk-taking isn't about caving in to peer pressure. For me, it's about seeking out adventure and relishing new experiences, among other things. A good quality when not mixed with drugs/alcohol and a bad idea.
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  #37  
Old 05.06.2011, 23:38
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

BTW, according to U.S. News rankings,
for engineering and technology:

1. MIT, USA
2. Stanford, USA
3. Berkeley, USA
4. Cambridge, England
5. Caltech, USA
6. Imperial College, London
7. University of Tokyo
8. ETHZ, Schweiz
9. National University of Singapore and Oxford (tie)
10.Tsinghua, China
18.Delft, Holland
31. EPFL, Suisse
35. Ecole Polytechnique, France
39. Aachen, Germany
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  #38  
Old 05.06.2011, 23:43
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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This thread turns out in exactly the way one would expect it. Everyone recommends to do the same they did..
Read more carefully, not everyone.


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35. Ecole Polytechnique, France
You can forget that one, the OP's children will never get the grades to get in. Type in "concours polytechnique" in your search engine...
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  #39  
Old 06.06.2011, 00:02
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

My kids both chose US universities, despite the cost.
I believe that it isn't the undergrad degree that counts, it is the masters/PhD. If you have the money to cover undergrad and grad level at top universities in the US then go for it. Statistics show that if you have the IQ and Scores to go to an elite US school but go to a non- elite US school, you will still earn the same. the exceptions are Black or Hispanic students and students who are first generation college bound. So it is the student that makes the university/ college, not vice versa.
If you are having to stretch financially/ take out loans, I would say stick to CH. save the money for grad school. In my experience there are more drugs in CH schools than US.

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According to a study by TA-Swiss, the Centre for Technology Assessment, almost everyone in Switzerland is using something every day to enhance performance. The study also revealed that one to five percent of the population is using drugs that are either illegal, prescription or over- the-counter to give them a boost of some form.
http://worldradio.ch/wrs/shows/natio...ks.shtml?24809
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  #40  
Old 06.06.2011, 00:12
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Re: If you were 18 would you want to attend university in CH or the U.S.?

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BTW, according to U.S. News rankings,
University rankings are about as trustworthy as Sepp Blatter.

There was a great piece on the topic on CNN, but I cannot find it online. Universities are in short a very complex multi-dimensional topic that you cannot hammer in a simple table. The example given in the program was that a single score does not tell you if this is a state run mass university with top level researchers or some private school focusing on a specific niche.

Picking a university based on a table like this one is about as safe a method to find the right school as throwing a dart on the globe.

My university for example was overall pretty much rubbish - thousands of students in run down old buildings studying in big classes and using outdated equipment. My specific major however was in a small new building, we had the latest equipment and easy access to our professors who knew each and every student by name... so even judging a university "overall" makes little sense to me.
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