An interview with Christoffer Schols, from Sweden, a junior studying Financial Services at Berkeley College, New York City campus.
Why did you decide to study in the U.S.A.?
I have always been very fascinated with America as a country because of the diversity of cultures, so I have always known that I wanted to live an America at some point in my life. So when it came time for me decide where to attend college, the decision was quite easy.
Why did you choose this college?
Ever since the first time I visited New York City, I knew that I had to live here at some point in my life, that in combination with being a finance major made the decision to move to New York a “no-brainer”. What attracted me to Berkeley College in the first place was that I had a good friend that went there a couple of years ago and she loved it. She had only good things to say about the professors and the staff, which is something that I put a great deal of value on.
What is special about your school and its location?
The thing that is special about Berkeley College is the amount of effort that the professors put into their lectures, which is something that I personally have not experienced before. Also I really like the fact that Berkeley College is using the quarter-system which I prefer to the semseter-system.
What was your biggest surprise?
Even though I was expecting a lot of cultural diversity it exceeded my expectations by far.
How have you handled:
The only minor problems that I have encountered is in certain science classes where there was quite a few words that I had never heard before, but with online dictionaries this was never a major issues.
It has been tough from time to time, but I have a wonderful family that has always been able to help me if I needed it. That in addition with the very reasonable student loans offered by the Swedish government has been enough to cover my expenses.
...Adjusting to a different educational system?
I would not say that there are any major differences between the American and Swedish educational system, except that American schools use Multiple-choice questions during exams in some cases.
What are your activities?
I hope to become a tutor at Berkeley College starting next semester.
How easy or difficult is making friends?
If anything I feel that people in America are more open to meeting new people, which makes it easier to make new friends.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I want to work in the financial industry, for example with investment banking or asset management.
What is your advice to other students?
Planning, planning, planning! Start planning your education as early as possible and once you start your education make sure to make a general plan of how you want proceed with your education, because changes of majors or schools can take a lot of time. This will make your life and experience a lot more enjoyable.