Saturday, September 19

American College System from a Scottish Perspective....

Here I am in South Western Pennsylvania, in a town of 15,000 people, 1,500 of which attend Washington & Jefferson College, a Private liberal arts school that requires the individual's parents to pay around $45,000 per year.

For this semester I am 'one of them'.... or correctly was one of them. Aberdeen University has more students than Washington, PA has residents so I was expecting a different experience. The second night involved an evening at the Presidents house. Much was said about taking what we could from the different 'Liberal Arts' system. How we should use this experience to broaden our intellectual horizons and take courses in Maths, Religious Studies, Business and Spanish. Admirable though the idea is having taken 8 then 5 subjects at High School and three in my first year of University I was quite ready to finally narrow my study down to what I'm truly interested in. Suffice to say I took three courses in International Relations and that was that.  I will not hide the fact that after two weeks I did not like the college culture (I know British Students have a bad reputation but we're positively serene in comparison) nor the system they operated on, but, there are a few definite positives for anyone thinking about studying in America at a Small Liberal Arts College.

  • Class sizes - 8-20 people max, infinitely superior to any of my classes at home or that any of my friends at various Scottish Universities are in. Professors are much more engaging and as the primary function of a Liberal Arts College is to teach far more attention is placed on it!
  • General Support- Once more I suppose you get what you pay for? Numerous scholarships available for Internships and Studying Abroad. Just in a totally different league.

I shall stop there as there's no fun in a long, negative rant about one persons bad experience.

P.S: For the record I would love to go back to New York and Washington again.

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