LIU Post: Location, Location, Location

In America, there’s a phrase to describe the key consideration of business or home: “Location, location, location.” With LIU Post, it’s the best of both worlds: quiet, garden-like campus but just outside the New York City’s metropolis.

Long Island University in the USALocated only 50 minutes from Manhattan, LIU Post, rated as one of the safest college campuses in the USA, is situated on a scenic, 1.25 km² (307 acres) of land on Long Island in the historic Village of Brookville, NY. The campus is a woodland arboretum – a place where you can walk and study among 4,000 trees and beautiful flowers. It is the perfect place to relax with friends, sit and read a book, or prepare for exams, while still having access to the pulse of vibrant New York City.

LIU Post is one of the largest private universities in the United States, with more than 4,600 undergraduate students and 3,300 graduate students from 40 countries. You will have many opportunities to make friends from your own country and interact with American and international students.

LIU Post offers more than 85 bachelor’s degree programs, 72 master’s degree programs, and three doctoral degrees, as well as 62 “accelerated and dual degrees” that combine a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Furthermore, the curriculum fosters an individualized approach to help students achieve their goals. The campus is a friendly and welcoming environment where professors will know you by name and assist you with your studies.

LIU Post is accredited by the Commission of Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In addition, all of the academic programs are accredited by the most prestigious organizations in their fields, including AACSB International accreditation for the business program. Only five percent of the world’s business schools earn this accreditation. The Princeton Review ranks LIU Post in its “Top 300” business schools and graduates of the Palmer School of Library and Information Science earn the top salaries in the United States, according to Library Journal.

LIU Post is home to Tilles Center for the Performing Arts—a world-famous concert hall where many internationally renowned musicians perform. Because of its close proximity to Manhattan, many world class performers include the Tilles Center on their tours, including the upcoming show with actor and musician Steve Martin. The campus also features a museum, three art galleries, a student theater, and a movie theater.

Ashish Agarwal, a 2012 Long Island University dentistry graduate from India, speaks highly of his time at LIU Post through Study Group. He explained the complexities of acclimating to American life and the inherent difficulties international students face. Ashish affirmed that “There is no one like Study Group. While separated from my friends, family, and home, it has been Study Group that has most helped me realize my goals and future.”

Whether it’s studying from a wide array of fields, relaxing on the scenic campus, or heading into Manhattan to enjoy the city life, there is something for everyone at LIU Post.

For more information, please visit our website.

American medical coverage a pain in the rib: an overview of student healthcare and insurance in the United States

When I moved to Costa Rica, I was surprised that I could simply walk into a pharmacy and buy almost any medication without a prescription. (I say “almost” because I needed a prescription for a pain medication when I fractured my ribs—but I digress.) Coming from the United States, this was a strange concept.

For most people, when we travel and live in a foreign country, we don’t think that anything out of the ordinary will happen to us. The stark reality though, is that unexpected things do happen (like my ribs smashing against the fishing boat in the Gulf of Guanacaste). In the United States, health care and medication is largely a privatized system, which translates to the fact that it can be very expensive.

Just for background, health insurance, most simply put, is any form of insurance that provides protection against the high cost of medical services. Here in the United States, it is both a public and private system. While the majority of citizens have private insurance plans, the government subsidizes the majority of medical costs for seniors and low-income children and families. The two government-run programs, Medicare and Medicaid, draw considerable attention from politicians, press, and public voices in the United States.

Nearly 70% of Americans opt for private healthcare coverage. Out of the United States’ entire population, over 60% buy into plans offered through their employers, while just 9% purchase insurance directly. While healthcare plans are managed by a consortium of private companies, the content of said plans are regulated by both state and federal precedents.

Most schools in the United States require students to either enroll in school-sponsored insurance plans, or provide confirmation of a comparable coverage source. Study Group’s Study Care is one such program.

Study Group’s Study Care is, effectively, a form of private health insurance offered specifically to Study Group students. The insurance, which covers everything from doctor visits to surgery, becomes effective immediately after admitted students leave their home country’s airspace (aka, when you touch off the tarmac for the United States). While a small fee of $50 is charged directly to the student following medical consultations, this fee is only a deductible, or partial payment, of whatever expense was incurred by the visit. So, basically, if a doctor visit cost $250, an insured student will only be expected to pay $50 out-of-pocket.

Some specialty services, such as psychiatric therapy, dental care, or addiction rehabilitation, incur greater direct costs, however, for the sake of time, I’ll defer to the Study Care pamphlet which discusses these details in full. Once a student departs the United States, Study Care coverage becomes null and void. Upon re-entry, however, students’ insurance may be renewed if applicable.

For more information please refer to the following links:
Usa.gov | Health Insurance
Review health insurance options, retrieve information, and learn more about this vital industry.

Study Group | Study Care
Comprehensive insurance plan developed specifically for international students studying via Study Group.

US University Ranking System: Clear as Mud

If you think the US university ranking system is as difficult to understand as a foreign language, then you’re not alone. American and international students alike talk about great schools. Marketers use rank as a way to promote a school to prospective students. But what does this all mean?

The US News and World Report is by far the most established ranking system of American universities, with Princeton Review and Newsweek following as seconds, among others. These institutions examine and analyze every imaginable trait of the university—from the number of books in the library to the student satisfaction of the faculty.

Sometimes it feels like the myriad characteristics and qualifications of a school are put together like a magic potion and—“Poof!”—the rank comes out. Believe it or not, there is a method to all these numbers.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education divides colleges into a number of geographic categories that are determined using campus size, academic offerings, location, and student population dynamics. The Foundation breaks down the universities into the following four categories: national universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional universities, and regional colleges.

The US News and World Report then evaluates 16 “indicators of excellence”, which fall into the following categories:

  • Undergraduate academic reputation
  • Student selectivity for the last entering class
  • Faculty resources for the last academic year
  • Graduation and retention rates
  • Financial resources
  • Alumni giving
  • Graduation rate performance

This system has, since 1983, been the cornerstone of the Best Colleges sorting system in the United States.

Does rank really matter? As an Ivy League graduate, my answer to you: “It depends.” The reputation of a school, for example, plays a part in its rank, but doesn’t necessarily guarantee top faculty or resources. Often, schools that have a narrow focus (e.g. music, film and design schools) often get lost in the crowd. Furthermore, each student has different priorities, so rankings may or may not apply. The unique benefit of school ranking, however, is the third party nature of the evaluation.

Use college and university rank as a spring board for your search. Knowing the school’s rank is a great place to start. Consider what you’re looking for in your university experience and evaluate all of the components.

If you’d like to talk with a representative at Study Group about how our partner universities rank and what that means for you, please contact us.

How to adjust to American culture

After college, I moved to Costa Rica for over two years. Even though the time zone was only an hour apart from home, I remember being unusually exhausted. On average, I slept about 12 hours at night and took 2-hour afternoon naps. As this behavior continued over a month, my host family worried that I was sick. As it turned out, respecting my natural instincts was a very normal reaction to new surroundings and language. (The language component was an entirely different challenge—I didn’t speak any Spanish at the time. I could literally only count from 0 to 10, say, “Please,” “Thank you,” and ask, “Where is the bathroom?” You know, the ‘essentials’.)

In my experience living abroad and teaching English to international students studying in the USA, I’ve learned a few universal tips:

  • Prepare yourself for change. When you anticipate change, experiencing it is somehow easier. Start the process before you leave your home country. Begin by recognizing that your expectations for what is “normal” will be challenged. Start by doing some research on the Internet about your new location. Familiarize yourself with the local culture before you even step foot on the plane. Set up ways to connect with your family and friends at home before you leave (e.g. Skype accounts, confirm contact information, and such). Balancing your home support network with your new community will be critical once you arrive.
  • Be a media ‘junky’. Watching television is one of the best ways to learn a new language and culture. (I loved seeing the reaction on my students’ faces when I said, “Your homework today is to watch 30 minutes of television in English.”) Television is particularly useful because it broadens your vocabulary and exposes you to current culture. Also, commercials have a lot of repetition and you’ll pick up on cues for local products. Whether you’re watching a comedy show, posting on Facebook, or texting a new friend, you’ll begin to adapt to the culture and local language.
  • Sleep. In other words, take care of your physical needs. If you’re tired, your body needs rest, so sleep. If you’re hungry, your body needs fuel, so eat a well-balanced diet. Force yourself to align your “clock” with the current time zone and daily habits with the local surroundings.
  • Be curious. Take on a childlike curiosity. My host family in Costa Rica actually had a 3-year old at home, so we became ‘buddies’ in exploring the world through experience and language. Try new things, especially the food. You will have to get out of your “comfort zone” (but if you’ve followed step one—“prepare yourself for change”—this will come naturally). Your understanding of “normal” will gradually shift and expand.
  • Be fearless. It is very natural to shy away from conversation when your surroundings and language are new. It is easy to stay in your room alone. My response to that—“Don’t!” Instead, ask a lot of questions, share your knowledge, and create new experiences. While it may feel uncomfortable to express yourself in a new language, it will become easier with practice. Get involved in your community—go to university events, make new friends, and check out listings for local events in your new town. Over time, you will begin to appreciate the new “normal”.

Last but certainly not least, have fun. Framing your experiences in positivity will ease the adjustment to the new culture. In America, live as the expression goes: “Work hard, play hard,” and you will fit in well!