(Aka it’s never too late for some culture)
I just sent an email to some friends of mine to summarize all my plans for 2012/2013, I am publishing them right here in order to help some of you that may have my same ideas about it. Tell me your opinion if you want.
I want to highlight here my plans for the summer 2012 / fall 2012 / spring 2013 I made.
- Summer 2012 (Jun-Aug)
To start I have been admitted and I will participate to the summer school program of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. The course works like this: you can attend two classes, for 4 credits each, or three classes, for 8 credits in total (like the two classes, but just two of these three are worth credits).
It’s easy to participate, they give you credits, a certification and transcripts. These transcripts will be asked by Harvard if in a future you will apply to ANY other Harvard school. At least in Harvard this is considered serious business.
Price: 5400 USD, let’s convert them to 6000 with all the hassle. My opinion: a lot, but may be a start to understand a bit how it works there. It’s still two courses in two months, and it’s Harvard with their real professor. Don’t take their accomodation, it’s 4800 USD for a SHARED room with no toilet.
- Fall 2012 (Sep-Dec)
From September to December I want to participate to the Business Certificate Post-baccalaureate in Columbia University, NY. My goal is to attend this post graduate course, and on the Columbia site they have these course other than this:
You can click on that if you are interested. During the summer they offer
Which are not bad in a UN optic.
The way they works it’s easy. You can attend 4 course for a Certificate in 6 months, or 8 courses for an advanced certificate in 12 months. It’s your choice, they give you a list of courses and you choose what you prefer. Piece of cake.
For this it’s 8494 USD for 6 months, 16992 USD for one year. Imma take 6 months. My opinion: worth it, it’s Columbia and it’s heavy on the curriculum. If you say goodbye after 6 months you still have the certificate, even if you applied for the one year solution. Cool story bro.
- Spring 2013 (Jan - May)
The final monster, Harvard Special Student Status. It’s hard, and you are respected for this, as there are a lot of people that want to enter Harvard without a GRE, WHICH YOU DON’T NEED FOR THIS STATUS. If you did all of the course I said before, you must be good, you just need 3 more recommendations and the job is yours. They enroll you in the University like a Graduate Freshman (I have no idea if it’s the correct greek definition) and you attend the university like everyone else, a Master or a Phd student. In this case shit gets serious as they assume you know all their Phd know, so it’s tough but extremely important.
For one more reason it’s important: after this six months, which can be extended for one year, you can take these exams and then if you want take the GRE that you need while there. If you have a good GRE, not even superawesome, you can apply for the course you are doing for the regular status without losing the credits for the exams you did while in the special status. It means that if you passed all the exams of the first semester or the first year, and you are admitted into the Master or Phd course, you start with the regular status from the second year. Easy, uh?
Check them and choose, the prices are 9394 USD for 6 months and 20334 for one year. My opinion? If you are admitted, then go. Straight, quickly. It’s a very important occasion and you can also have their Placement services, the Alumni network, you know tons of people and you can rely on the campus presentation of many companies that fights to have Harvard students.
So, what do you think?
(I still don’t know how much do this courses count, but if you have the money or your parents blessed you with some help, why don’t you try?)
(Aka When cash was the best way)
I really love some aspects of my every day life here in New York and at the same time I realize that some things I used to believe in are totally inconsistent here. Among these is the legend that cash is the best form of payment. In the middle of the streets, when you buy a burrito from a random guy in that little kiosks you are not supposed to pay in any other way than cash, but it’s not always like this. And I can extend this concept to whole US.
In my place my landlord provided me a series of assets to be used in my home such as appliances, stoves, dishes, cleaning every two weeks and cable tv. I didn’t know what cable tv was before coming to the US as the best we have in Italy is satellite TV and we call “cable” the normal tv we have been forced to install to replace the old broadcasting system. I hate Italian tv, I will never sit there and watch Italian shows. I just love satellite tv sit-coms.
While I was looking for the latest episode of my favourite sit-com on the Internet I found out Netflix represented a good alternative to cable TV. Basically with eight bucks a month you can watch a series of sit-coms and movies through your internet connections, paying easily with your credit card. I decided to subscribe to Netflix but I realized that my credit card (that ironically claims to be fast and American) charged me two or three Euros (not dollars) every transactions, even if it was just a cent. I have the power to be involved in every kind of scams but the one I recognize.
I’d rather pay with my blood than gift the company extra money they don’t deserve, so I chose to open a checking account to a local American bank. I was “chasing” the opportunity to save some money in all the transaction I normally do. I had this plan in mind: if I have to buy something small, a coffee or pay a cab I just use my cash as usual. When I have to buy much more stuff I just use Italian my credit card to make my father pay for me. I realized that the fee of the transaction is standard for all the operations, so I decided to ask my father to transfer the money to my checking account (paying once the fee) and let me pay everything here with my American card. Smart as a fix and three times taller.
Among all the offers I found out that the bank I told you before is the best one if you plan to deposit at least five hundreds dollars a month on the account, and they will waive the fees. Repeat this operation every month to save every month. I also noticed that much more places accept credit cards, even for smaller amounts: have you ever tried to buy a coffee in Italy with the credit card? Did you survive the bartender fury?
Here I pay tv, Sunday soccer, groceries I buy online (and I will tell you about this later) and I withdraw money with credit card. A revolution, if you think that Amazon opened last year in Italy and Paypal has never been used in my city, as far as I know. We are basically afraid of credit cards, we see them as evil monsters that eat our money to give us statements and debit and scams in exchange. Even I the first time that I came here had a suitcase full of 10 dollars bills instead of a simple credit cards, I looked like a narcotrafficant.
By the way, subscribe a debit, not credit card if you move here, it would definitely change your life. Even make it worse if you have my same sensation of having infinite money in it (and every time I open my internet account page I realized they are not infinite at all).
(They love my (few) money)