Since I didn't want to spend extra money on housing and live with my close family members instead, I preferred a university that would be easy to commute to, and of the few schools I got accepted into, Syracuse was my best option. I was also satisfied with their Computer Engineering program, hence I applied through their online portal with an application fee of $75.
The MSC program was quite expansive. Apart from the core courses, we also had a variety to choose from including Aerospace Engineering, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and the like. It gave me the required knowledge not only in my field of study but also in related sectors and how I could diversify further.
I had taken the GRE exam and scored 315. As an international student, I was also required to prove my English proficiency, so took the IELTS exam and scored 7. I had a 3.5 GPA in my bachelor's degree. Apart from these test scores and my academic credentials, I also submitted letters of recommendation, my personal statement, CV, and financial documents.
Our department assisted us well in grabbing good internships from good companies and me and my classmates interned in various companies like MIT Lincoln Laboratory, IBM, and China Telecom Americas. It was a fun experience.
Placements and job opportunities were absolutely great with companies like Yahoo, IBM, Alibaba Inc., Amazon, and Bank of America visiting our campus. The job roles offered were mostly some sort of Software Engineer or a Net Developer or a Technology Analyst. Pay packages ranged anywhere between $45,000 and $120,000.
More than the academics at the university, what I enjoyed were the events. Both the professors and the students were a lively bunch during my one year of study and various events kept popping up, maybe an innovative project launch or a talk by a renowned professional. It gave me the true vibe of a computer engineering student and particularly in our profession, it's all about innovation and ideas. We also had several student clubs and organizations to get involved in.
My program was a one year program and the tuition fee was around $49,000. While some of my friends were awarded merit-based scholarships by the department, I availed the SWE scholarship that covered $15,000 of my tuition fees. The scholarship was awarded to me by SWE which is a corporate organization.
I was awarded the SWE scholarship from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). I completed the application through their official website and my good academic credentials helped me bag the scholarship. I was granted $15,000 to cover my tuition costs.
Apart from the senior faculty, my professors held terminal degrees from reputed universities. As expected in a Master's degree, the curriculum is challenging but the professors made us grasp the concepts as much as they could and were always available for us to clear any doubts or give us guidance during office hours.
I lived with my family so housing cost me only around $1,600. Transportation cost me around $700 in a year since I wasn't far from the university. Books and supplies cost me around $1,500 and personal expenses cost me around $1,000. Health insurance amounted to somewhere around $1,700.
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