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Wrapping My Head Around Problem Based Learning

Relevance: 100%      Posted on: November 10, 2020

I’ve received several emails since my last blog asking about Sam’s program at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Just like the full university name (I’ve been told that Erasmus University is not accurate, without the Rotterdam at the end…), the program name is also a mouthful. Sam is in the Management of International Social Challenges program.  Students in this program learn about international problems that are multidisciplinary in nature. These include issues like “migration, pandemics, terrorism, climate change, economic stability, international crime”, and more. Students learn to look at and analyze these issues through the lens of a variety of disciplines, including…

Sam’s Adjustment to Life in Rotterdam

Relevance: 74%      Posted on: October 27, 2020

It’s hard to believe that Sam is already midway through his first semester at Erasmus University Rotterdam! As any of you know, he started the summer off by breaking his wrist and had to have surgery. We kept nagging the hospital and insurance company for our part of the bill, which I think they found confusing. When we finally received it, we discovered that his student health insurance covered 100% of the charges. What a great surprise! Sam spent some of the summer here in Portugal with us, and part of it hiking the Camino de Santiago with friends before…

Education Quality in the US and Europe

Relevance: 50%      Posted on: August 20, 2016

As many of you know, I’ve been reading great books recently about some of the problems with higher education in the US.  You probably saw previous blogs about the problems regarding admissions and rising costs that we face.  But what if you have the money and are willing to play the admissions games?  Will the end result of your top US college choice be worth it?  According to my reading, the answer is no.  Let’s set aside the return of investment, as it relates to employability (we touched on that here).  Let’s talk about the quality of the learning experience that…

Opting Out of the Rat Race

Relevance: 45%      Posted on: July 17, 2016

Every single day I feel relieved that we found out about college in Europe at the beginning of our son Sam’s high school experience. As I’ve said before, the college admissions process in this country is something that bothers me just as much-if not more than-the problem of the outrageous cost of college. Since our kids will eventually go to college in Europe, our family will avoid the frantic aspects of college preparation throughout high school.  Instead of going to financial aid workshops or driving kids to and from SAT prep classes, my evenings can be spent in my sweats…

Sam’s Change of Plans

Relevance: 40%      Posted on: May 4, 2020

We are really starting to turn a corner here in much of Europe.  Curves are flattening, restrictions are gradually and methodically being lifted, and we’re even starting to think about late summer travel possibilities.  Ellie’s volunteer trip to Thailand was cancelled (of course) so we’re thinking of starting some of our college trips right before high school starts for her. I loved Finland even in the winter so I imagine it will be amazing in late August/early September.  Word on the street (ok, in the different higher education facebook groups…) is that universities will be starting back this fall. Which…

Navigating College in Europe with Ellie

Relevance: 33%      Posted on: August 26, 2020

It’s hard to believe summer is ending, mostly because I don’t really remember it starting…From March until now seems like it’s been one long season called Covid. It’s been a pretty good summer, all things considered. As I mentioned before, Sam hiked the Camino de Santiago with friends, spent some time with us here in Portugal, and then returned to the Netherlands to move from the Hague to Rotterdam. I was concerned that he would check out academically after deciding to change schools in the spring, but he ended the second semester with really strong grades in all his classes.…

How to Pay for College in Europe?

Relevance: 24%      Posted on: May 2, 2016

Saving for college has always stressed me out. We put money away every month, but I’ve known for a while that it won’t be enough to make a dent in US tuition costs. I read an article that said, of families saving for college, the average amount saved is $15,346. Given that 4 years of tuition alone averages between $37,640 (public, in-state) and $129,620 (private), I’m not the only one who is falling short in the college savings department!  Financial advisors know that it’s farfetched to suggest that parents have enough saved for the full 4 years of college, but…

How Does the Travel Ban Affect Students?

Relevance: 24%      Posted on: July 8, 2020

I know there are a lot of questions about the travel ban and, because I want to be super careful not to provide inaccurate information, I can’t speak to many of the specifics. There are a few things I DO know for sure. First off, the ban does not apply to students.  Secondly, and related to the first point, is that the ban is based on country of residence as opposed to citizenship.  International students have student residence permits from a European country which exempts them from the ban.  We had a member fly back from the US to the…

Why You Shouldn’t Be Worried About Knowing Your Area of Study

Relevance: 23%      Posted on: October 13, 2020

One of the biggest differences in applying to universities in Europe is that you are applying to a specific program, as opposed to applying to just the overall university. This is basically like declaring your major ahead of time and since there generally aren’t any university-wide core requirements, switching majors/programs often means starting over. Don’t stop reading this based on that fact! This doesn’t mean that you are stuck studying only one thing. This doesn’t mean that you must know exactly what you want to study. And this doesn’t mean you have to know what you want your career path…