Everything is bigger in Texas! That’s the first thing Texans usually say to describe Texas. Typically, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear about Texas is either desert or hot. It is true that it is how the weather usually is in Texas. However, the stereotype about Texas being mostly made up of desert is totally wrong, especially in Austin. As the capital of the lone star state, Austin is the greenest city in Texas; so you don’t need to worry about the typical stereotype of Texas. Furthermore, according to business week magazine, Austin is ranked 12th in US best cities. Moreover, Austin offers various foods from different countries and is home of the best barbecue restaurant in the United States.
A brief peek at UT Austin
As I mentioned before, everything is bigger in Texas. UT Austin has more than 50,000 students with more than 24,000 faculty and staffs with an area of approximately 432.5 acres(1.714 km2). As a result, UT Austin ranks as the fifth largest single-campus enrollment in the nation.
The University of Texas at Austin offers an excellent college experience, especially for business and engineering majors. According to US News 2013, Cockrell School of Engineering is ranked 10th among engineering schools in the US, led by the Petroleum Engineering program that is ranked 2nd and the Civil Engineering department that is ranked 5th. Moreover, most of UT Austin’s engineering programs are also ranked in the top 10 in the US. As for UT’s business program, McCombs School of Business ranks 8th in the nation with its Accounting program topping the nation, Marketing ranked 3th, and other business majors ranked within top 10 in the nation. Not only that, UT Austin’s college of communication also ranked second in the world for its advertising program. Lastly, UT also offers a business foundation certificate for non-business students who want to have business knowledge.
Furthermore, for those of you who love sports, UT is exactly the right college for you to go. UT Austin has the wealthiest sports program in the nation. We have great sports programs that are usually ranked in ESPN’s top 25 for last couple years. If you wonder which famous athlete came from UT Austin, I can proudly say that Kevin Durant is a UT Austin alumni. If you are lucky enough, you can even meet him when he watches either football or basketball games here. Moreover, you can learn more about American football from us, the best football fans among US colleges. Last but not least, UT Austin also offers intramural sports competition, which is a competition for students in UT Austin. As a part of UT Austin, we have an Indonesian team that participates as well.
There are a lot of different paths to get accepted to UT Austin. If you are a senior in high school and think about going straight to UT Austin, you need to have a minimum TOEFL score of 80, an SAT score, a high school diploma, and two essays that usually tell about why you choose your majors and your future plans. The detailed information about applying to UT Austin can be found here. The requirements for each major usually differ from each other and you can find them on the departments’ websites.
On the other hand, if you are currently enrolled in community college, you have to meet minimum transferable credits and take specific classes prior to your major. The details about applying can be found here. Most of the time, the minimum GPA requirement for each major is different, so you might want to check the minimum GPA requirement for each major.
As for the curriculum, UT Austin uses a semester-based curriculum. One academic year consists of two semesters. An international student is required to have a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester to maintain the full-time student status. Usually, Indonesian students take 15 credit hours on average or 5 classes per semester.
Tuition Fee & Living Cost
As for the tuition fee in UT, it differs according to each school you are in. Below is the table of tuition fee for each school in UT for 2013.
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Living cost in Austin is relatively low compared to other major cities in the United States. The living cost per year is about $11500.
Career Services & Research
Another reason why UT is ranked among the best campuses is because of its outstanding career services. UT supports its students who intend to pursue professional careers after graduation by providing each department with its own career services.
Every semester, there is a career expo held in UT to help students get employed. The career services prepares students with employers’ info session, resume review, mock interview, etiquette dining practice, etc. Furthermore, each department’s career services also has its own career website. This website connects the students and employers by posting jobs from employers. After the employers select the candidates, they will hold either on or off campus interview before deciding to give a job offer.
UT Austin also supports entrepreneurial students by offering several courses related to entrepreneurship. UT Austin offers several workshops and invites guest speakers to give the students more experience about entrepreneurship.
As for students who want to do research, UT Austin offers excellent opportunities. For engineering research, UT Austin has a separate research center called the JJ Pickle Research Center that is not located in the UT area. Some people may wonder how they will get there if they don’t have a car. Worry not, UT provides shuttle buses to go to the research center from the UT area.
Apart from the outstanding undergraduate programs, UT Austin also has notoriously good graduate programs. There are a lot of Indonesian students who are pursuing their master or PhD degrees, mostly in Petroleum Engineering, Geosciences, and Accounting. As for accounting, UT Austin has a special program that enables Accounting students to get both their bachelor and master degrees in five years.
After graduating from UT Austin, usually the alumni will be asked to join the Texas Exes Network, an organization created just for UT Austin graduates to socialize and give back to UT students. Most of the time, the alumni will come back to recruit current students to work for their respective companies. Not only that, they also shared their experience of working to current students. Meanwhile, as a part of UT Austin, we also have Texas Exes Indonesia Chapter which consists of Indonesian graduates. Furthermore, our current ministry of trade, Gita Wirjawan, is also an alumni of UT Austin.
Life as a Longhorn
There are a lot of student organizations in UT. Each major usually has its own student organization and honor society that help embrace each person’s talents. Once a year, there will be a event called e-week. This event basically serves to hone engineering students’ critical thinking by offering engineering related games. Students from each department usually compete against one another and the winner will be awarded with trophy and present from the sponsors.
If you don’t feel like being stuck at your own major, you can sharpen your organization skills by joining each school’s student council. For example, Cockrell Engineering School offers the possibility to join the Student Engineering Council as long as you are an engineering student. The main reason students join the organization is to learn how to work with others and hone their leadership skills. Furthermore, UT Austin also holds some special events for the international students to get to know Texas better. All you need to do is sign-up and you will be invited to embrace the possibility. Once a year, UT Austin holds rivalry week, a competition between business and engineering students. This competition usually consists of fun activities.
As Indonesian students, of course we want to maintain our Indonesian bond and extend our Indonesian network. After all, people from our country will most likely be the ones who understand us best. To comply with your need of Indonesian interaction, we have our own Indonesian Student Association which is famously known as PERMIAS Austin. Our PERMIAS consists of approximately 70 Indonesian students who will gladly help you expand your Indonesian network. You can check our PERMIAS Facebook page here or our website here. Moreover, our Indonesian Student Association is registered as a legal organization under UT Austin. This enables us to hold events at UT Austin’s area and use its facilities. For example, we hold a monthly event that actively introduces Indonesian culture to the people outside the group.
Hook ‘em Horns!