International College Angst

Just returned from teaching a workshop (not about blogging) at a beautiful, mid-sized South American university.  Some observations:

- Students there were incredibly dedicated, motivated and talented.  (Not that they're not here…but they seemed more passionate about learning.)

- No drinking problems.  No wild parties….perhaps because drinking is legal.

- No college sweatshirts, banners, mugs, etc.  This presented a big problem for me, souvenir-wise.

- No dorms.  Everyone lived off-campus with roommates.  Cooking dinner for friends is a popular activity.

- Few, if any, extracurriculars.  Many part-time jobs.

- Application process is very rigorous w/ essays and exams, but nobody had heard of a college tour, college counselor, college confidential-esque website, etc.

- Classes never started on time and there were numerous long coffee breaks.

- I met several students who had completed the equivalent of bachelor and master degrees and were now applying to North American universities for MBAs.  Their wish lists, despite their relaxed undergrad experience and alternative path: Penn, Columbia, Northwestern & UCLA and Berkeley.  So all roads, even the quiet, hidden trails in the snow-capped Andes, lead to biomedical engineering and hedge funds.

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