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Some advice, if you mind?

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Hi, I am currently sitting my IB exams in a few weeks and well, I just wanted to enquire about the following: I applied for the UK, received my conditional offers and picked two of those to be my firm and insurance (Royal Holloway- University of London for their new BSa/BSc in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) and Kent for International Relations with Politics plus a year in Japan), but I am not sure if I actually wish to spend the next three/four years of my life in England. Don't get me wrong, I am actually very proud of having the opportunity of studying in two amazing universities, yet as I said before, I am still not sure if England will fit me the best. What I was considering on doing was taking a gap-year, do my SATs and the TOELF and then reapply for the US if I get my grades and maybe try to use the course credits which is given on some liberal art colleges for IB students.

Not only I am Spanish, but I am also American, thus meaning that I have the double nationality and that in the UK, I am considered a Home/EU student and the same happens in the US, as I would pay the fees of an American citizen. But I don't really know what to do. My prediction for the IB is around the 36/37 points and I just wanted to inquire about some opinions on what should I do. However, I have to take the TOEFL, because I was pretty much forced to take English B at higher level as guess what? My school doesn't even offer English A2, while they happen to offer Spanish A2 at standard leve, but that's another completely different discussion anyways.

With that being said, any help is greatly appreciated and thanks beforehand.

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Since you appreciate the UK universities that have already offered you a place, I presume that you are concerned about whether you would be happier with an English or US lifestyle? Since you have US nationality, I presume that you know the US. Have you spent time in England on vacation, and what cultural or social activities are important to you? Just as New York is very different from San Francisco, London is quite unlike Canterbury!

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Since you appreciate the UK universities that have already offered you a place, I presume that you are concerned about whether you would be happier with an English or US lifestyle? Since you have US nationality, I presume that you know the US. Have you spent time in England on vacation, and what cultural or social activities are important to you? Just as New York is very different from San Francisco, London is quite unlike Canterbury!

Actually I have lived both in the UK and the US (plus Brazil, Belgium, Spain, etc, etc..), so I am quite experienced when it comes to that. As a city, I love London, but would I spend there all my time? Probably not, as RHUL is actually in Egham, which is around forty-five minutes from Waterloo road and a rather small town. I have spent some holidays in Canterbury, but never actually lived there, so I can't say for sure. Basically, I love going out, traveling and I believe a great city for me would be one which has a bursting cultural life. ^_^

To be honest, I don't have a clue on what to do after I finish my exams and (hopefully) achieve my diploma.

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Yes, I have lived in North London, quite some distance from the city centre, which made it rather difficult to participate in many activities except at weekends. And as you know Canterbury is very far from being a great city! So if these are the only UK universities that interest you, the US might be the better option.

In some ways not yet having a fixed idea about what you want to study at university gives you greater freedom, which can be nice.

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I would go to the place that allows me to finish quicker. I believe that a Bachelor degree in the UK lasts 3 years, and I think in the US it is longer. I would go to the UK, then.

Also consider that you may want to go to Spain in the holidays and a flight UK-Spain is cheaper than a flight US-Spain.

Check also the prestige of the universities you were accepted in the UK and compare it to the prestige of universities in the US.

Is money an issue for you? Because then you could go to the cheaper option.

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This seems to me something of an individual dilemma where you're not sure, rather than something you can receive information about. You're already aware that both of the Universities in the UK you've applied to are in areas where there's not that much to do/about as far away from London as you can get whilst still being London which is I guess the only thing I was going to say. Also neither University is in the top set of UK Universities (although they're still decent) so they're not mega-prestigious. But then it's rather shallow to select just on overall reputation and often these places offer excellent courses in specific areas - so don't take that as them being bad, just if you were considering prestige neither are in the Russell Group which comprises the main 20 British Universities :P

Why do you not think the UK will suit you? And why do you think the US would suit you better in those areas? Also, do you really want to do a gap year? What do you want to do afterwards? Have you got the finances to cope with taking an extra year - and would you find it easy to go back into education after such a big gap? Also those courses are both very different and in the UK the course you select is quite binding, you've not got flexibility to postpone the decision like you have in the US - do you really want to do PPE/Int Relations? Those are questions you kind-of have to ask yourself. Perhaps our answers to those would not be the same as yours, so it's difficult to give advice unless you have specific questions.

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This seems to me something of an individual dilemma where you're not sure, rather than something you can receive information about. You're already aware that both of the Universities in the UK you've applied to are in areas where there's not that much to do/about as far away from London as you can get whilst still being London which is I guess the only thing I was going to say. Also neither University is in the top set of UK Universities (although they're still decent) so they're not mega-prestigious. But then it's rather shallow to select just on overall reputation and often these places offer excellent courses in specific areas - so don't take that as them being bad, just if you were considering prestige neither are in the Russell Group which comprises the main 20 British Universities :P

Why do you not think the UK will suit you? And why do you think the US would suit you better in those areas? Also, do you really want to do a gap year? What do you want to do afterwards? Have you got the finances to cope with taking an extra year - and would you find it easy to go back into education after such a big gap? Also those courses are both very different and in the UK the course you select is quite binding, you've not got flexibility to postpone the decision like you have in the US - do you really want to do PPE/Int Relations? Those are questions you kind-of have to ask yourself. Perhaps our answers to those would not be the same as yours, so it's difficult to give advice unless you have specific questions.

Sorry for not replying before, but life and studying got into the way ;) . And if I recall correctly, Kent has been placed 7th-8th for their Politics course on a few uni rankings, whilst RHUL is among the top five for humanities, if I recall correctly. It has also been ranked on the top 100 world universities (coming at 88th). But honestly, I don't go looking for prestige, as with my predicted grades (36) I could also have applied to York or Warwick if I wanted to. In fact, a good university for me is that where I feel that will suit best my needs and wants. The student environment of RHUL is lovely and is not that far from the city centre of London, and on the other side, Kent is not too far from London (just a two-hour drive away) and also, it is pretty close to mainland Europe.

In case I am finally going for the gap year, I will probably use it to learn new languages (maybe Mandarin and Japanese?), get some work experience at a law office in Gibraltar as I am currently in the south coast of Spain and probably travel a bit. Just in case, I am already taking my SATs this July, so all that's left now is to wait and see what results I get both on those and on my IB exams. Honestly, I ended going for PPE/International Relations by pure chance. Originally, I was intending to apply for History, but after arguing with my parents a lot and both of them saying that the only working option for a History graduate was to work on an university or a school and even going to the extreme of saying that they were not willing to pay for my education if I choose it, I had to seek an alternative which would allow me to study History in some way, but without having to graduate with a BSa on it, was going for courses which were related with History in someway and that's why I went for PPE/Int.Relations, as they offer some history modules.

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