Monday, May 26, 2008

The race for a place in the exchange part

Many of the students that i have talked to have very little awareness of the programme. They usually know about it only during semester 4. I hope that through this website we can at least improve the awareness of the programme right from the start. This way, more students will be able to prepare the necessary work before and would not regret or waste the chance to go for an excellent programme. The recommended preparation time for this programme is 6 to 12 months beforehand.

First thing for you to do is to get your parents support and check whether they are able and willing to support you financially. Never assume, cause they might have a secret stash somewhere. Explain and justify the reasons why this programme will benefit you. Once you have your parents financial and moral support, you will have a free hand to do the rest. Most people failed in this most important step or bring it up far too late for their parents to be able to have the time to put aside the amount of money.

Next, i must emphasis again please build up your gpa. If you fail to do well enough during the earlier semester, it will be harder to increase your gpa later on with the tougher subjects. According to the RMIT website, they will still accept you if you fail ONE subject if you can convince them that it happened under some kind of special situation. Note that a pass will still pull your grades down significantly. Even though the min gpa specificied by RMIT is 2.0, the 'market' rate is a far cry from the 2.0. The market rates are mention in the previous post.

After settling the pre-requisites, the logical thing to do next is to shortlist the universities and the countries that you are interested. For example, if you choose USA then you can narrow the list of universities in the USA. You can also narrow down the other countries you are interested as well. It is also helpful to take a look at where did the seniors go (see first post). Different countries and different universities will offer different experience. For example, a more sub urban environment such as those in college towns or those near cities.

In my case, i wanted a different experience and since there were only two universities that i can choose (down from three), i have shortlisted only a few American universities. they are University of Maryland (UM), Pennsylvania State University University Park Campus, Bentley and Arizona State University.

After selecting, here comes the tough and most time consuming part. Take note, many people overlook the fact that module mapping requires very tedious and meticulous work. Go to the college website through the link in the first post.

  • Search under course listing and the period you are going. Example, Spring Course listing. Taking note that some courses are offered only seasonal so be aware of this. Look for subjects that has either the same name or very similar names to those that you have to take. It will be useful at this point to have a course guide with you.
  • After checking for the same or similar name in the course title, look for the course description and RMIT's course description. If it matches, i have presume the chances are good that RMIT will allow it. You also have to take note of the prerequisites and whether it is offered at an undergrad level.
  • The common problems for finance students is the lack of International Monetary Economics (IME) equivalent and if that's the case you have to do a module swap. Taking IME in semester 5 and doing International Finance (IF) which is more common overseas. Human resource also seem to have some problem with their majors as well. Entrepreneur also have its problems. Marketing has the least problem, usually all their modules can be found.
  • The next issue is between Strategic Management (SM) and Managing Change (MC). According to the school, they are usually offered at a post-grad level hence there will be some problem such as the course are not offered or when due to insufficient people, the universities may drop the class at the last moment. SM is a core subject, that is to say they will not allow you to take other modules as a substitute so it is advisable to do SM over here even if there is SM over there. Another module is MC, it is considered an elective hence RMIT as of what i heard would be less strict with it. In other words, in the event all other subject matches, they will allow you to take a similar modules such as Managing diversity or cross cultural management modules. ( i will tell you when i confirm my modules in 6 months time). According to the school, apparently the major and minors are also consider electives but in this case i got no idea what exactly constitute an elective and can they be swop with similar modules or even other modules. Do double check with our coordinator Hanitah.

The other issue is with immigration regulation, it states that you have to do a full load meaning to say you have to do 4 modules over there. RMIT's unique WIL 2 will be covered locally before you go and the reports send in via online submission. So besides your other 3 modules, you have to take an additional subject of your choice and subjected to availability but the good news is its not counted. Fail or pass it doesn't really matter just make sure you pass the other 3 plus WIL 2 if you want to graduate. Oh yea, you still pay normal school fees so you get one more module for free.

As to whether it is more difficult to score, i can only let you have more insights if i have been selected and sitting for the paper there. However, what i heard is they use positive reinforcement and have smaller tutorial class. One of our student with 2.75 went to UM, worked very hard and scored a 3.74 but well it will not be reflected in the gpa. However, some universities will award a separate dean's list certificate to you if you score above 3.75 or for some 3.5.

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