Student Experience

Vibrant Campus Life

Poza 2.5Whether you are passionate about music, basketball, chess, math, astronomy or Greek literature, U.S. universities will have a society, club, or association for you to share your enthusiasm for areas outside your field of study. You will be encouraged to further your interests outside class and participate in a bewildering variety of activities. Leadership skills and community spirit are highly valued, as the U.S. education places emphasis on the overall development of the individual through a good mix of academics and extracurriculars.
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"Outside of athletics there are over 250 student organizations on campus, representing fraternities and sororities, sport clubs, academic groups, theatre, music, and pretty much anything you can imagine!"
Claire Lloyd Jones, Assistant Director, International Admission, St John’s University, New York City 

Poza 2.6If you cannot find a society that suits your interests, then get involved - help found one. Be innovative and persuasive – U.S. universities promote meritocracy, so if your idea is appealing to the school and the other students, there are high chances your university provides you with funding for your brand new idea!

"As far as extracurriculars go, I participated in the Italian Club and the Society of Physics Students, which helped me meet new people through interesting activities. For example, along with two fellow Society of Physics Students members, I took part in the University Physics Competition, a weekend-long contest during which teams modeled a real-life situation and wrote a paper detailing the analysis of the problem and their solution to it. "
Stefan Timiras, Trinity College, CT, class of 2015

 

Academic Calendar

 
Poza 2.20The school year is slightly different at each university, but normally runs from late August/early September to late May. Some schools divide the year into two terms of 18 weeks (semesters), others in quarters or trimesters. In addition, universities very often provide six to eight-week summer terms.
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These are optional and students attend if they wish to get through their degree faster, to decrease their course load during the fall-spring terms, or to make up for courses not completed successfully during the regular academic year.

There are at least two main holidays during the academic year: a two to four week break over Christmas and a one week spring break around Easter, between early March and mid-April.

 

Grades and GPA explained


Poza 2.21U.S. universities employ a system of continual assessment and assign grades for each course taken. Tests, essays, or other written assignments, laboratory work and class participation are all used to determine the final grade.
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You need to keep up with the reading and coursework and to attend classes on a regular basis. Coursework must be taken seriously, as professors will assign a percentage of the final mark to each of your assignments (e.g. quizzes, weekly essays, midterm, final examination). In some cases, you might not even sit a final examination!

The students' academic performance is reflected in their grade point average (GPA), Romanian equivalent media generală.

The grading system
Students are graded on the coursework they complete, and most colleges and universities use letter grades as follows:

  • 100-90 =A=4 (excellent)
  • 89-80% =B=3 (good)
  • 79-70% =C=2 (average)
  • 69-60% =D=1 (below average)
  • 59-50%=F (failing)

An undergraduate student must usually maintain a C or 2.00 average in general and a B or 3.00 average in his or her major field in order to receive a degree.

In the U.S., a student’s academic standing is often measured by their grade point average (GPA). The GPA is computed by dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of credit hours. A cumulative grade point average is the GPA for all courses taken throughout the degree program. Most colleges and universities use a GPA scale of 1.0 to 4.0.
Poza 2.22For example, a student takes four 3-unit courses with the following results:
•    Business 101: A;
•    Introduction to Business Law: B;

•    Mass Media and Marketing: A; and
•    Computer Science Techniques Applied to Business: B.

The average is determined as follows:

Grade

Units or Hours

Grade Points

Grade Point Average

A = 4.0

3

12

 

B= 3.0

3

9

 

A = 4.0

3

12

 

B= 3.0

3

9

 

 

12

42

3.5

Visit www.princetonreview.com or www.wes.org/gradeconversionguide/index.asp for a detailed GPA conversion chart. It is for your reference only; you do not need to make the conversion of your grades from the Romanian system into the American one when you submit your official transcripts to U.S. schools!

 

The credit system
American degrees are earned on the basis of the number of courses a student takes. Each course earns students “credits” or “units”, which are commonly known as credit hours. The number of credits earned by each course usually reflects the number of hours of classroom work involved.
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For instance, a course meeting three times a week for an hour each time may amount to three credit hours for the semester or term. On the other hand, an intensive seminar may meet once a week for two hours and also be listed as a three-credit course. Two or three laboratory periods are usually considered to be equivalent to one class “hour”. The undergraduate student program, known as an “academic load”, is normally 15-17 units a semester.

Poza 2.23So how much time will you be allocating to studying, on top of the time spent in class? A good rule of thumb is that for each credit unit you should budget 2-3 study hours every week, on top of the classes. Based on this rule, a student taking 15 credit hours should expect to spend 30 to 45 hours each week studying outside of class – individually or in groups, doing research, going through the reading material, preparing presentations. Overall, this works out to a total of 45 to 60 hours spent on academic work. Studying is a full-time job, with the perk that you get to choose most of your “working hours” and most of the learning content will be relevant to your needs and interests since you’ll have picked most of the courses.

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My fulbright experience

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Students at the advising center

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Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission

Adress: 2 Ing. Nicolae Costinescu Street, sector 1, Bucharest, Romania
Phone: 021.230.77.19
Fax: 021.230.77.38
E-mail: office@fulbright.ro

Fulbright Educational Advising Center

Phone: 021.231.90.15
E-mail: feac@fulbright.ro

 Public hours

Tuesday: 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
 Wednesday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
 Thursday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM