Tennessee Tech is located in Cookeville, Tennessee, which is a town of about 25,000 residents. The school has six academic divisions: Agricultural and Human Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, and Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education. Roughly 12,000 students are enrolled, but most of their classes have fewer than 25 students. Tennessee Tech University is one of America’s 50 “Best Value” public colleges and universities according to The Princeton Review and has been named one of America’s 100 Best College buys, which means that their education is worth spending money for.
A transcript must be sent to TTU from CAU and all transcripts must be in English. All international applicants are required to submit evidence of financial support to cover the cost of attendance for the duration of their stay. Exchange students can submit documentation to the Director of International Education to verify proof of English proficiency. TTU also requires a J-1 visa from its students. TTU will send students what is called a DS2019 form, and students must have this when taking the visa interview in order to get their visas as quickly as possible. Two types of health forms must also be submitted to Health Services before a student can enroll. More information can be found at http://www.tntech.edu/internationaladmissions/exchangestudents/.
-COMPASS Placement Test
All students who do not have an ACT or SAT score are required to take the COMPASS as a replacement exam. This exam tests students’ academic preparation in writing, reading comprehension, and mathematics.
TTU has 15 residence halls: 2 halls for men and 1 hall for women, and 12 co-ed halls, accommodating about 2,250 students overall. Rooms are designed for double occupancy but a few single and triple rooms are also available. Rooms include twin beds, desks, chairs, dressers, a telephone, and closets. Students must apply for housing in advance through an online application at http://www.tntech.edu/reslife/applications/. Of the many halls, most international students stay at The MS Cooper Hall. In this hall, a single room is $2,100 and a double room is $2,040 per semester.
Tuition and Expenses
Tuition fees are about $3,300 per semester. 12 credits are provided and $30 must be paid for every extra credit. According to the guide on the university’s website, personal expenses per month are estimated at $250, plus $500 per semester for books and supplies. Also, the most popular meal plan is around $1,700 per semester.
This organization is composed of community volunteers who are interested in the welfare of international students. These people are composed of university faculty, lawyers, doctors, biologists, engineers, bankers, businessmen, and so on. The purposes are: to develop relationships among the international students, the university, and the community, to promote the most effective services for international students and to create programs of mutual benefits for international students. International Friends provides a number of services for international students such as the Host Family Program, or the Speakers’ Bureau.
This group aims to interact with different cultures from around the world, which leads to understanding and harmony. One World plans trips on and off of campus and any student, of any major is welcome to participate. Some of the activities include camping, hiking, water rafting, trips to ethnic restaurants, shopping, and also international sports, food, music, and dance events.
Interview with Lee Kang-hyuk (Department of English Education)
|▲ Lee Kang-hyuk (front row, second from the left) with his friends
1. How is TTU’s environment different from CAU?
First of all, I feel the contrast in culture is the biggest factor that causes the difference between TTU and CAU. Not only CAU, but also many universities in Korea nowadays are encouraging students to participate actively in class. TTU was like this also. The difference is that at TTU, professors constantly stop to check if the students are following the lecture. In response, the students are very active in asking questions expressing their opinions, sometimes even trying to persuade the professor. I feel that the main factor that made this atmosphere possible was the number of students. It seemed that the class size was just right to allow every student participation in class. This was a contrast to CAU’s lecture rooms, in which too many students attended the class. One big difference regarding assignments was that all classes had team projects. It is true that CAU also has group projects, but normally, all of the assignments can be taken care of on your own. However, most of the assignments given out at TTU required many people to work as a team. I was able to feel a sense of duty towards the assignments while sharing ideas with team members and helping each other with difficulties.
2. Are facilities or programs that help out foreign exchange students well prepared?
Yes, I think the programs were well managed. Unlike CAU, TTU’s International Office, which is like the International Exchange Department at our school, was always open to students, which made it a comfortable and open atmosphere. Also, the school hosted events or programs in order to help exchange students adapt to the school. I made full use of the TECH Buddy, and Host Family programs. In the case of the Buddy system, the school receives requests from exchange students and connects them with another student. I think it was nice that we were able to request more than one buddy. Thanks to this program, I was able to spend weekends with my buddy and also travel together. As for the Host Family program, TTU acts as a sponsor and connects exchange students with elderly couples. The couple I met was very kind to me, and I am still in touch with them.
3. Tell us about your most enjoyable and hardest experiences at TTU
I would have to say that traveling was the most enjoyable, yet hardest experience. A trip that was especially enjoyable was one that I went on during fall break to Chicago. I guess it felt really exciting since I didn’t go with only Korean friends, but with exchange students from other countries. I mentioned that traveling was also the most difficult experience. That is because while traveling, I was hit by a car and was taken to the emergency room. I had a hard time walking and of course this was difficult physically, but getting through all the procedures was even more stressful. Dealing with the insurance of the driver or solving problems with the police ended up as memories that I will never be able to forget. I want to tell all the students who are considering exchange programs that health comes first if you really want to enjoy life overseas.
4. Do you have any advice for those who are considering going to TTU?
I recommend that students take the time to make plans beforehand. If you prepare well for the coming days, you will surely be able to achieve much more than others who might have stayed the same amount of time but didn’t prepare as much. Also many people think that TTU is only an engineering school because it has the word ‘tech’ in it. The school might have started off in the engineering field, but the liberal arts schools are constantly improving. From my personal experience, I feel that the liberal arts school has a nice curriculum as well as capable professors. As for the environment, the school is located in a Catholic region, and the overall state is considered safe. The people are kind and programs for exchange students are well prepared, so I think TTU is a school worth recommending. Also, help from others is crucial when adapting to a new environment. Don’t hesitate to contact people who have already experienced TTU so that you can receive as much information as possible about the school in advance. It will be of much help.
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