College Advice?


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I am looking into BYU-P, Georgetown, the University of Virginia, and Cornell. Not necessarily in that order.

I want to major in international business (which each school has; Cornell and UVA are top 10 in the nation). Then I want to double minor in 2 different languages. I want to minor in Arabic (I would have to start at beginner's level), and I want to minor in German (I would be starting at intermediate because I'm taking AP German my senior year). Additionally, I want to do Army ROTC in college. And obviously I want TO GO ON MY MISSION.

Is it possible for me to do all of these? How am I going to have enough time in the day to complete all of the credits to major in international business, minor in Arabic, minor in German, and do Army ROTC?!? PLUS I have to take all of the general studies classes!

Any advice how I can manage doing this? So far the only advice I've had is this:

The summer before college take as many general studies courses as possible. For the first year of college take more general studies classes and finish most (or all) of the required ones, and also take some German classes. Then go on my mission for 2+ years. Return to college and finish all of the general studies courses, and maybe take some more German classes. For my 3rd year begin Arabic and International business classes. 4th year clean the house and finish everything. Years 1-4 do ROTC, but that means my summers will consist of training instead of more school.

Any different advice?

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I would discuss things with the relevant parties about the hiatus you plan. I was expect BYU to be fairly familiar with people taking a 2 year mission break, other universities (and even BYU, information is good) I'd make sure to discuss the issue with them well beforehand. You should be able to talk to them about the policies and procedures before you are accepted or attending.

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I can't speak to BYU, but I can to Georgetown, UVA, & Cornell. The latter three are highly selective programs. If you are an 'A' student in high school, you will be surrounded by 'double A+ good' students : ) , students who spent summers overseas or in language camp. I'm not saying you won't be able to do the work, I am saying that these three schools represent some of the most competitive programs in the country.

You need to check with the schools to see if you can even do a minor; many schools have done away with them. A double minor in languages, especially where you don't know one of the languages, would seem to be asking for trouble, and I say this as a person who took Mandarin, German, & Old English in college, after Latin and Spanish in prep school. Some people are good at languages; but if you haven't taken Arabic, you don't know how much work it will entail for you until you take it. It may wind up kicking your rear and leaving little time for a second language.

Now, if you did a major in one language and a minor in another, that would be one thing; but a major in international relations and 2 minors seems excessive. Plus, why do the German? Just because you already know it? Is there some connection between Arabic and German (in terms of international relations), of which I am unaware? Also, IR is very broad. You will probably be asked to specialize in an area - in that case, I'd only take the one language, or if you are set on doing two, take two related (at least geographically) languages, Arabic and Hebrew for example.

I'm a professor in a grad program. I see applications with undergrad transcripts every year. Let me just say that there are some students who start out with great ideas and then just crash and burn and end up majoring in basketweaving, and other students who give serious thought - and time and energy- to their program and end up with something special. If you are thinking of grad school or the government (NSA, State Dept), you better have a good GPA, which means no messing around with a lot of stuff that sounds good, ends up with you getting a 2.2 GPA.

I'm not trying to be a downer. I'm from DC and have known lots of Georgetown grads from various programs over the years. I've also known a few from UVA and Cornell. They will eat you for lunch (the UVA grads will be more polite about it) if you aren't ready and able to work hard. I'm just saying that you need to think through your plan. Figure out what regions of international relations you are interested in, what aspect (trade, law, etc?), and what language(s) will be useful. The colleges should provide info on what languages are expected for which specialties. Good luck.

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I attended BYU Provo for several years, with the intent to major in business management. Many employers (quite a few of whom were not Mormon) would visit and lecture, and they often stated that although BYU's business programs may not rank quite as highly as those of other schools, BYU business grads were sought after world-wide as they have the reputation for ethical and moral behavior.

HOWEVER it is NOT easy to get into BYU's business school. I don't remember the exact requirements, but you need a good gpa and you must get a minimum grade in several prerequisite classes. And that is just to be considered. Hundreds of students apply and they can only accept a fraction of them, so you need to exceed the requirements, not just meet them. I assume the same goes for any business school.

A business major is a pretty intense one to choose. The business professors at BYU are excellent and you are given many opportunities to learn from visiting lecturers and well-known and successful businessmen, a lot of hands-on experience, a good foundation of business connections, valuable internships, and a thorough education. But you need to be committed to your studies to do well.

As an international business major, you will need to take foreign language classes, so that will go hand-in-hand with your desire to double-minor in languages. At BYU, a foreign language class can be used as a substitute for a math class for the purpose of general education requirements, so you could kill two birds with one stone that way. However, keep in mind that BYU considers a language class the equivalent of a calculus class-they are intense. But you will LEARN the languages, really learn them. I can't recommend BYU's language programs highly enough. And, if you serve a foreign-speaking mission, you can test out of several language classes while still getting credit! Actually, if you've already know some German, you can try to test out of one or two of the more basic German classes.

I know very little about BYU's ROTC program, except that the building is on the edge of campus and that you are required to take an extra class or two for it.

BYU is, obviously, very lenient about people serving missions. I have had many friends leave on their mission and return years later, picking up where they left off. The professors are very accommodating, allowing for what they need to re-learn.

Again, I have only attended BYU, so I can't speak knowledgeably about other schools. But I recommend it highly for anyone who wants a high quality education, good religious support, and a wholesome environment. I never had drunk people making noise at 2am or banging on my door. I never had problems with roommates/dormmates playing loud/inappropriate music while I studied or late at night. I never had to leave my room because my roommate "had someone over". I never had to deal with roommates entertaining large groups of noisy people late into the evening. People were respectful, I never felt awkward because of the way someone was dressed, I only ever heard swearing a few times off-campus. It was the perfect study environment. Or close to it-nothing is perfect, and of course not everyone at BYU will be.

You want to take on a great deal. I applaud your ambition and your desire to do only what you are able to do. I don't know if you will be able to do everything that you want. If you will need to earn money while going to school, you will not be able to do everything. I worked 20 hours a week, on-campus, taking my general classes and a few business classes, and that wasn't easy. But then again, I'm not a 'driven' person.

So after all that, here's some advice:

1) Determine if you will need to work while going to school

2) See if classes required for your major/minors can also be used to fulfill general ed requirements (this is definitely possible at byu...some general ed classes can also be used to fulfill two general ed requirements)

3) See if classes required for your minors can also be used to fulfill the requirements of your major. This will reduce the total number of classes/credits you will need to take.

4) See if you can test out of any language classes for credit. If you can, but won't get credit, you need to decide if you need those credits enough to take the class.

5) Find out what exactly will be required of you if you join the rotc-time spent in classes, time on weekends, how it may interfere with your other schooling, what the total time commitment will be. It may even be the case that a couple rotc classes will count towards your general ed requirements.

6) Do mock-up 4-year schedules: I strongly recommend you do this! Once you know the class/credit requirements for your major/minors, and you have figured out what you can test out of, what classes can be used to fulfill multiple credits, etc, sit down and write up a general plan of what classes you should take and when. It doesn't need to be specific-for example 1st year, fall: test out of german 101 & 102, take: sci gen ed, intro to business, german 103 (counts as general ed math credit at byu), etc. Basically, figure out if you have the time to take all the classes. Keep in mind that it may be better to wait til after your mission to do language classes.

**It isn't always the best idea to get all your general ed requirements out of the way as fast as possible...sometimes you may want a more basic, less demanding class when you are taking a full course load of advanced classes.

7) Based on your mock-up schedules, figure out how many credit hours you'd be taking each week. A good rule of thumb is for each credit hour, plan for 2 hours outside the class. So if you have a Calculus class at BYU, that is a 4 credit class that meets one hour, twice a week. Thats 2 hours in class plus 8 hours (4 credits x 2 hours) outside of class, for a total of 10 hours each week solely for Calculus. That means that if you take 5 classes for a total of, say 14 credits, and spend 10 hrs a week in class, you should set aside 38 hours each week solely for school. That's almost a full-time job. Add in anything required for the rotc or a job. Based on how much sleep you need each night, and allowing for breaks (if you don't want to burn out, you will NEED relaxation!), do you feel your goal is attainable?

8) Remember, a degree does not need to take exactly 4 years total. Take longer if you need to.

9) Call the guidance counselors at the schools you want to attend. They get paid to answer these exact questions. They know the answers, or know where they can be found. They can help you with planning and not over-burdening yourself.

10) Go on your mission no matter what

I know it's overwhelming and possibly discouraging to be given all this info. But you set your sights high, and attaining such high goals will not be easy. But if you are dedicated, have a strong will, and don't take on more than you can handle, you will definitely be able to do most of what you want to do. Good luck!

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Guest xforeverxmetalx

I don't know if this is an option for what you want to do, but why not consider learning German and Arabic outside school? Assuming fluency (or close enough) is your goal? There are fluency tests available for certification if your career path requires proof. And there are more than enough resources online, even for free, including just befriending a native speaker and practicing with them on Skype.

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I am at BYU right now. I would warn that they are pretty strict about the number of credits you have when you graduate. I am a double major, and I had to submit a graduation plan and not deviate. For me, a minor was out of the question due to the rules. You may run into problems there with two minors, although I don't know that--I don't know the sizes of the German or Arabic minors.

Before my mission, I was majoring in Middle-East Studies/Arabic (MESA). As far as I could tell, BYU has a great Arabic program. I was surprised at how much I could say by the end of 101. Definitely enough to surprise Arabic speakers on my mission in Russia (although I forgot a lot while I learned Russian).

I have several friends in ROTC. They are very busy. It seems to require a lot of time. But I only know what I have seen.

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