Although I have conducted a thorough research before committing to one university, there are a few things that I wish I had known beforehand. 1) I wish I knew that there were more scholarship opportunities out there - since finances played a great role in the decision process. If I knew about those opportunities, I probably would have chosen an other school that might have fit me better. (the other school happened to be more expensive) 2) I wish I had a better overview and more information about other architectural programs and options within US as well as abroad.
Before attending IIT, it is best to research and get to know the campus, students, and faculty. Currently, I am a commuting students amongst many students that live on campus because they are international students or from another state or neighboring suburb. To get the full effect of college is hard when commuting because I don't get the chance to socialize much. There are many fun events that gather students together and I am making the effort to go to as many events as possible so that I will be able to learn in a fun and comfortable environment.
I wish I had known many things before I came to this school. First, and certainly the most important, is the fact that the entire administration at this school is a complete joke because they do not have the best interests of the students in mind when they make decisions. The next thing I wish I would have known is how boring and dead the campus was, and along with that, how awkward everyone is. Is it normal to see at least 5 people walking and talking to themselves per day? I would certainly hope not!
In my opinion, choosing a school is like doing an investment. Since I got my bachalor's degree in China in July 2010 and decided to come to America to pursue a master's degree, students' emplyment rate and professors' reputation are both important criteria to choose a graduate school. However, information about those is relativly difficult to get from abroad. As a result, if I had taken students' emplyment rate and professors' reputation into consideration, I could have made better choice.
I wish I would have known more about the tuition increase that IIT does every year. Although IIT is known very well for the amount of financial aid they offer their students, there is an approximate 4.5% tuition increase that will be applied to my tuition each year. Not knowing this, it skewed my idea of what I thought I would be paying after four years. I realized after completing my first year that I will be paying more money than expect, but it is a good education nonetheless.
I wish i had known that everyone seems to be very academicaly focused and thats it. The sports programs are not very good, the facilities are average considering this is a very old institution. This campus is not very good looking, meaning you kind of feel depressed walking around, there is nothing nice to look at. I wish i had known it was going to cost as much as it does and that the education you get for the money plus facilities compared to other schools is not very good.
I wish i had known how much each course cost. It would have made me plan financially well before the start of the semester. My semester in the school was a little bit tough for me due to the fact that i didnt know what loans to apply for, how to apply for them, and what that was needed to do in applying for those loans. There was a little bit confusion between the student and the parents loan. I was charged late fees because i didnt pay my tuition on time.
There is a distinct lack of entertainment around campus. The area around campus does not wield much to do without going into downtown Chicago, and then everything within downtown costs money to do. The campus is very small so unless your in a fraternity there is also not much going on around campus itself. Once friends are made on your dorm floor, people hang out a lot to fill in the time.
I wish I had known about the campus life: it's not the most active campus there is, thus making it a little disappointing. However, I wish I had found out sooner about their program called International Entrepreneurship Academy, IEA. IEA is a great program that gives students chances to go into entrepreneurship while they are in school. I also wished I have known about their minors.
I wish I had known how difficult it is to be a transfer student in a 4-year university. Upperclassmen tend to already have the friends they want, so it can be really hard to meet new people. I also wish I were more familiar with the surrounding area. It would have helped the transition go much more smoothly.