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Possible study abroad, which country though?

 
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What country first?
Iceland
57%
 57%  [ 4 ]
Czech Republic
42%
 42%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 7

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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Possible study abroad, which country though? Reply with quote

I'm currently applying for Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship for 2013-2014, this is worth $25,000 towards studying abroad, great, even better two countries I'm interested in are on the list of places that they prefer people apply for. Now the hardest question is which country to put as top priority, currently it's between Czech Republic and Iceland, both have universities that have an established exchange program with my university here. Iceland seems like an interesting place and the Icelandic language interests, but it's isolated horribly, I have a friend who is from Slovakia studying at a university in the same city as the one I could go to in Czech Republic however, also I would be in mainland Europe and could easily go to other countries during breaks. I need to have a top 5 list of universities so also possible are Norway, Poland, Denmark, and Finland depending on if they have universities with programs in English. Currently this is a far off dream, but this year there is a strong push as there hasn't been many sent from our Rotary district in the past and there hasn't been a person from my university in nearly a decade, also I've been in contact with a few people from the local Rotary club as well as a few people at the international affairs office (who work with the Rotary club) so my name should have a familiarity by the time the application is evaluated Wink .
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devo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a friend growing up that was from Iceland. His family and others always commented on how beautiful it was there. It might be sparse, but it could be something to behold if you like the outdoors. I mean, unless you are city person and into European architecture or something. I won't vote just based on that though.
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

devo wrote:
I had a friend growing up that was from Iceland. His family and others always commented on how beautiful it was there. It might be sparse, but it could be something to behold if you like the outdoors. I mean, unless you are city person and into European architecture or something. I won't vote just based on that though.


Well I would go to school at the University of Iceland which is in Reykjavik so I would be a fairly large city of just over 119,000 with the metro Reykjavik area being right over 202,000 in a country of a around 320,000, by comparison I grew up in a town of 2000 people and my university is in a town of around 16,000 (closer to 22,000 during the school year). So comparatively it would be in a large city to me, from research I've done on Iceland in the past for various classes, reports and speeches, it seems that the country would be an amazing place for outdoors, maybe even hunt some puffin while I'm there as it's the few place in the world you can. Right now though Iceland has one major advantage, I have done Icelandic online courses and have some of it down to the point I could get to where I need to go and maybe get a little conversation done and one of the requirements is a working knowledge of the language which I can easily manage using icelandiconline.is which is free. I guess I could just go tour mainland over winter break if I go to Iceland though, I've certainly accumulated enough friends in various places to have a good number of places I could stay for free or have some connections before I go to a place.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to Iceland on a conference and we traveled through it for 10 days. Beautiful country; stark and beautiful. People are very friendly, and most speak good English. It was very expensive when I went, but with the near economic collapse, prices will be more reasonable.

I've also been to the Czech Republic, back in 1980 when it was still Czechoslovakia. Prague is a beautiful city with a long history. I was also in Slovakia for 4 days as part of my work about 5 years ago. Bratislava is also a beautiful, historic city. English would be much less widespread in either country than in Iceland, but I had no difficulty getting around in the cities. Both cities are inexpensive to travel in, in comparison to what Iceland was, and I suspect they are still cheaper.

Both are excellent choices. To me the biggest factor in choosing would be whether I wanted to live in more isolated, but more wild country, vs. access to beautiful, historic cities, not only in central Europe, but throughout the continent. I didn't vote in your poll; both are good choices and the better choice depends on what is most important to you.
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
I've been to Iceland on a conference and we traveled through it for 10 days. Beautiful country; stark and beautiful. People are very friendly, and most speak good English. It was very expensive when I went, but with the near economic collapse, prices will be more reasonable.

I've also been to the Czech Republic, back in 1980 when it was still Czechoslovakia. Prague is a beautiful city with a long history. I was also in Slovakia for 4 days as part of my work about 5 years ago. Bratislava is also a beautiful, historic city. English would be much less widespread in either country than in Iceland, but I had no difficulty getting around in the cities. Both cities are inexpensive to travel in, in comparison to what Iceland was, and I suspect they are still cheaper.

Both are excellent choices. To me the biggest factor in choosing would be whether I wanted to live in more isolated, but more wild country, vs. access to beautiful, historic cities, not only in central Europe, but throughout the continent. I didn't vote in your poll; both are good choices and the better choice depends on what is most important to you.


One issue is it's not ultimately my choice, I have options but I ultimately get assigned a country and I have to accept it or not go which is why I'm currently in discussions with the district to make Iceland or Czech Republic more possible than Ghana, which was recommended, I still have one ace in hole for staying to European countries, but would really not want to reveal that. There's always grad school abroad in mainland though Very Happy
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Y-Guy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off congrats on your application. I've been a Rotarian for over 15 years so I know how tough the competition is for the Ambassadorial Scholarship. Good luck!

As for Countries. You've identified the key aspects of both countries. I've hosted students from Russian, Hungary, Slovakia, Ireland, England, Bolivia, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Depending on your major each can offer some advantages. Our student from Slovakia is an architectural major so for him being in Europe and able to travel and visit the major cities has been an advantage for him he says. He also did the same after his exchange here in the US.

The cost of living is something to take consideration of as it will factor in how much you can go do and see while you are on exchange. I've lived in both Korea and Japan, and found I enjoyed Korea more since I could afford to travel frequently and see the country, while it was more of a financial challenge in Japan.

Good luck with the process, it is competitive so be sure you consult with as many as you can.
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thought I might update this for anyone curious and out of boredom. I applied and was interviewed by the local Rotary club, right now awaiting their decision between all 2 candidates, combine that with me having gotten a fortune cookie today saying "You will soon be awarded a great honor" I'm feeling good about my chances Laughing . As far as the list of schools I chose the list of five was as follows:
1. University of Iceland
2. National University of Ireland, Galway
3. University of Limerick (Limerick, Ireland)
4. Curtin University (Perth, Austrailia)
5. University of Ottawa (Canada) - mostly thrown in as filler
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Y-Guy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats! Is there another interview round? I can't recall the protocol but I think the club will make their recommendation then it's on to the District for approval. Does your local club have a history of those receiving it? Good luck and the fortune cookie never lies!
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Y-Guy wrote:
Congrats! Is there another interview round? I can't recall the protocol but I think the club will make their recommendation then it's on to the District for approval. Does your local club have a history of those receiving it? Good luck and the fortune cookie never lies!


Yes if I advance I go to district and the local club hasn't sent a person in a long time, and the usual winners are from one of two clubs consistently. The local club even highly publicized the scholarship this year and only had two people apply, which is higher than the consistent zero or maybe one in the past. I was told that having Iceland as my top choice would benefit me a good deal as they get a lot wanting to go to the popular countries and almost no one puts the "Encouraged Study Regions".
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gaby
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i voted for iceland but after reading your post, it made me think that i should voted for czech
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