General Reflections about the Trip
(found etched in front of 21 Burdenko after we returned to Moscow)
"I believe that the trip was very helpful. I had a chance to actually look at the universities where I want to apply and this helped me to make my choice."
"I decided that I would like to do a post-graduate program in an American boarding school after high school. This will help me to truly understand the American educational system in the USA before I attend university there. This trip helped me to clarify my goals."
"I liked this trip, because we saw different types of educational programs. I liked Yale and Harvard a lot. The trip helped us to know how to make a choice where to study."
"I waited for a long time for this trip to America... America is a country where many people believe that all dreams can come true.
Now that I'm here for ten days, I can see why! I am so impressed, especially by New York City! What a colorful, fast, multi-cultural, accepting and fantastic city it is! It is true when Jay-Z sings that "New York is an Empire State of Mind."
There we visited [...]Columbia University. Columbia is a multi-cultural place where students of all religions, races, cultures and nations study together. The campus is beautiful, with an infrastructure that meets any needs the students could possibly have. Columbia is the oldest university in the USA; it was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter from King George II of England.
I liked the atmosphere at Columbia; it's one of excitement for learning and friendship.
Barrack Obama studied there! More than 54 Nobel Prize winners have been professors at Columbia. This shows that the university offers the highest level of quality in its education.
I was impressed by how involved students are involved in their campus. They don't just study there; friendship is very important and most students participate in a wide variety of activities. Since 1968, they even help to manage the university. They can vote on school policies! Columbia is a very socially-minded place.
Graduates of Columbia University are very well-rounded, having studied a wide variety of subjects. They have great opportunities to develop their minds and to better themselves and the world around them."
"During our trip to the USA, we visited several universities and each one of them had something to offer its students. I liked Columbia most of all. I liked the campus and how it made you feel while you there—inspired to study. It also offered many different types of facilities for its students. As our tour guide mentioned, there are sixteen different libraries, each with something unique. If I study abroad, I would like to study at Columbia."
"Most of all, I like Columbia University. There are many different opportunities there. They even have an advertising program which interests me... I also liked the students' way of life. For now, however, I can't decide whether I will study in Russia or America. If I choose America, I would like to study at Columbia!"
New York University
"New York University was the first university we visited. There were things I both liked and disliked about it.
First the negative parts... I did not like the campus. All the buildings are on different streets, so there's no enclosed campus. It's hard to tell where the school actually is since it's mixed in with the city. I didn't think it was very comfortable.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed our tour. The guides told us so many interesting things about their school, and they made you want to study there. I enjoyed seeing dormitory rooms! They were nice! I also thought their library was fantastic.
I personally wouldn't want to study there, but I can see why others really like it."
"New York University is located in the center of New York City. Studying there is a great opportunity, especially if you want to have your own business or if you like economics. It is also a great university for people interested in the arts, or people who are very creative.... I didn't, however, like the campus. I also don't think the university has a family atmosphere, something that would be really helpful for foreign students trying to fit in... That said, the people were very kind and welcoming."
"New York University was the first one we visited. I don't know why, but my impression was definitely not very good, especially after seeing other universities like Yale, which I liked best... The presentation wasn't very interesting and it didn't motivate me at all to want to study there at all... The tour didn't impress me at all, either. All the buildings were in different places. Although they are near each other, it just doesn't feel like one university. The cafeteria, where we ate lunch, also wasn't very good. The food wasn't very healthy and the building was awful. All in all, I don't think that I'll study at NYU in the future."
"Yale is the most amazing university in America because there are so many opportunities there! It's extremely hard to get in there, though. If you want to study there, you have to work very, very hard to be accepted! Yale professors are fantastic, so if you go there, your studies will be so interesting! I loved the class I attended there that morning. The professor loved teaching and it was exciting. I'd like to study there!"
"Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the heart of Boston, is the university we liked most during our trip to the USA. As soon as you get there, you take in the beauty of the gigantic campus with its big green fields and old oak trees, perfect for studying and relaxing.
In order to apply there as an international student, you are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and two SAT subject tests. You don't need to take the SAT 1 exam, which is considered really hard for international students!
MIT mainly specializes in sciences, so if you are really into science, then MIT is the right place for you. MIT has rigorous physics, biology and chemistry programs, and it offers all students, including freshman, the opportunity to do real research and participate in lab activities. MIT is a very unique place.
While taking the campus tour, we had a chance to take at a look at the very well-equipped labs, comfortable classrooms and cafeterias where you can eat a variety of different cuisines.
In conclusion, MIT is a great place to study science and spend four years of your higher education."
Tanya Lukyanova & Maria Kustikova
"I have always heard about Harvard from my friends, parents, and at school.... But I had no idea that it would be such an amazing place to study! Harvard is a fantastic university!
At first my group and I went to a lecture about Architecture and the Italian Renaissance. It was very interesting and I really enjoyed it!
After the lecture we had lunch in one of the Harvard caf?s. It wasn't big, but the food was very tasty! There was pizza, sushi, salads, soups, fruits, Indian food, Mexican food, Italian food, and so on...
After lunch, we had a tour of the university. I liked the architectural style of the campus! The buildings are made of red brick and are very beautiful. It is a very calm, sunny, and happy place.
I think that Harvard offers many great opportunities to get a good education. I recommend that you visit it; I'm sure you'll enjoy it."
"This university is really nice and big. The presentation about it was very interesting. There are many opportunities there for studying, sports, arts and internships. It's too bad that the weather was so bad that we couldn't go on a tour. I really enjoyed visiting it, though, especially since my grandmother lives nearby! I liked you can study anything at all there! The professors are world-class and really involved with the students. I think it would be exciting to study there."
"Last, but not least, we visited Dartmouth College. We had heard a lot of positive comments about this university from Mrs. Smith, who graduated from there.
Dartmouth is an Ivy League university that has an emphasis on foreign languages. It is literally one of the best universities where you can study languages. It is also famous for Political Sciences, Sciences, Engineering and Humanities.
We were amazed by the educational system there. By the end of freshman year, most students in the foreign language classes can already communicate with foreigners. For instance, the students who were taking Russian were easily able to talk with us, native Russian speakers.
Moreover, Dartmouth is famous for its awesome campus. It is situated in the heart of Hanover, a pretty small town in the state of New Hampshire. If you really want to study in a calm and academic atmosphere away from big, busy cities, then Dartmouth is the right place for you!"
Tanya Lukyanova & Maria Kustikova