Where to Send Marwan to Study in America?

Yep. That’s where I am right now, and I can vouch for all of that being true.

The Johns Hopkins University offers summer graduate classes in the DC/Baltimore area, but there isn’t really any arrangement made for dorm living. The trend in the U.S. is for graduate students to live in an apartment near campus; it is assumed that dorms are provided for young undergrads while they learn the area, and most places let you move out of the dorms by junior year, and force you to live out of the dorms senior year unless you have a good reason to.

That said, Marwan could enjoy the Ohio State University (the nation’s largest!) in Columbus, which is a great middle-American town. Southwest flies out of CMH, so he would be a quick-and-cheap flight away from Baltimore, Boston, and several other classic US cities. I bet he’d also enjoy taking classes at any of the Florida Universities, which would be a Saudi-like climate, only more humid, and with crop-tops, Daisy Dukes, and bikinis. God Bless America. :smiley:

I don’t know anywhere you can go to take a one- or two-month graduate course, though. In the sciences, it’s assumed that your graduate classwork is important but that the lab work you do (either as a grad assistant or for your thesis) is what really “educates” you. Experience, not book-larnin. My wife – who is currently taking graduate classes at UMCP if you want opinions on their programs – is finding that her lab work and conferences are much more educational than her classes. I know that this is also true in the engineering disciplines. I recognize that our technical education is probably more rigorous than what he can get in the Kingdom, but he should really consider getting a degree if he can afford the time.

In a lot of cases, US grad schools make you “drink the Kool-Aid” by only accepting X amount of any other school’s credits towards a degree, and individual courses don’t really count for anything on a resumé. Basically, you will pay for N semesters of classes, no matter what, before they give you a piece of paper, and that piece of paper is what counts. Basically, it’s important for Marwan to know that his courses, unless they’re somewhere really tough like JHU or MIT, are not really going to make him that much more employable (although perhaps the job market in Saudi is more nuanced).

Also: because of the questionable utility of “one or two classes,” declaring on his Visa application that he only wants to take one or two graduate classes in America is going to raise BIG red flags, and may make his procurement of a Visa very difficult.