College across the pond

Though a majority of seniors apply for national colleges, Rank&File talked to four seniors who took it international.


Historical European buildings, flavorful food and art galore—this is a taste of what senior Sanjana Pandeti’s college experience will look like.
Pandeti plans to attend the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands as a cultural anthropology and developmental sociology major.
She said the University of Amsterdam is a good fit because its student body is made up of people from all over the world.
“They have a pretty solid network, so finding jobs in that sense hopefully won’t be too difficult,” Pandeti said.
She said she hopes more students will consider going to college abroad.
“I feel like a lot of students at Marshall don’t really think about going internationally,” she said, “but it’s always an option, so you might as well explore it if you’re interested.”


When senior Sayda Bir chose a school abroad, she never expected to get in.
Bir said she plans to attend Scotland’s University of St. Andrews in the fall and will double-major in social anthropology and international relations.
“St. Andrews provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to school abroad and meet students from all over the world, as well as being able to travel easily through Europe,” Bir said.
She said the school’s academic structure is more appealing than American universities.
Overseas, general education like English or math are replaced with major-related classes of student choice.
“St. Andrews would offer me a wonderful degree for international relations,” Bir said. “Not to mention the environmental legislation they are doing over there in the UK is much more to my liking and something I would like to incorporate here in the U.S.”
Bir said that when she visited in April, she fell in love with the town and campus.
“It is right along the beaches of the east coast giving way to the prettiest views,’’ she said. “It is so calm and quaint during the day, and rowdy at night with all the pubs in town. St. Andrews is the perfect mix of the outdoors and your small town European city.”
Bir said that ultimately, attending University of St. Andrews is an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.


A desire to make connections fueled senior Daniel Heltberg’s decision to go to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Heltberg has family in Denmark and France, which influenced his decision.
“I wanted to live closer to them as my grandparents get older,” Heltberg said. “It is a lot easier to travel to Europe and see other countries.”
Heltberg said he believes his completion of the International Baccalaureate diploma curriculum will help in his move to the United Kingdom.
“I know things are different in the U.S. versus the U.K.,” he said. “From my teachers I hear that IB classes are a good gauge for university.”
He also said he plans to major in environmental science.
“The atmosphere is one of the things I care most about,” Heltberg said. “I wanted to study in a place that values that.”
He said American attitudes towards the environment are off-putting.
“There [is] so much skepticism,” he said, “and I feel like it’s best to move away.”


Senior Aidan McCoy was excited when he learned he was accepted into Swansea University in Wales.
He said he plans to major in economics.
“I was really happy,” McCoy said, referring to his acceptance. “It gives me a completely different opportunity in comparison to American schools.”
McCoy said his goal was to apply to a school in the U.K. because of the opportunities it would offer.
“Being able to study there, I felt like I could learn more about the actual different cultures and the different economies,” McCoy said. “I do want to eventually move over to [Europe] after college and that kind of accelerates that process.”
McCoy said he committed to Swansea University because of its strong academic ranking.
“The surrounding area enticed me too because it has a blend of city life,” he said, “and you can just go out and see cool nature stuff because it’s right by the beach.”