College abroad: Redman decides upon McGill University


Divya Sambathkumar, Social Media Manager

Applying to international colleges can be hard but finding the right one can be more difficult. Having someone to help guide you and having the necessary experiences are all important in choosing both the right college as well as what to major in. Fortunately for senior Isabel Redman, she has her family and valuable experiences that influenced her decision to attend McGill University in Montreal.

Already having exposure to international countries and being a dual citizen of both the U.S. and the UK helped Redman make her final decision. She applied to other colleges abroad including five in the UK but finally chose McGill

“I am a dual citizen of the UK and the U.S. so I already knew a lot about the UK schools […] I applied to five UK schools as well and then when it came to that and looking abroad, McGill came up,” Redman said.

Having applied to colleges in the U.S., Redman wasn’t fixed on attending a college abroad but McGill posed as a suitable option for her since it is not too expensive. She was interested in choosing a well-known college located in a city. Since a lot of her friends’ siblings and people from her brother’s grade attend the college, Redman wasn’t hesitant to commit.

“I know a lot of people in my brother’s grade that went and my friends’ siblings that went and really enjoyed it too […] I applied to American schools too, but when it came to the final decision making process, there were more benefits and pros to this particular school outside the country. So for me it wasn’t as expensive as other schools when thinking about student loans. It had everything I wanted in a school like it’s in a city. I wanted a big school,” Redman said.

Redman is also looking forward to meeting foreigners and talking to people who come from all around the world. McGill, being an international college, often has a diverse group of students from all parts of the world.

“In terms of the school itself, it’s pretty international. If was to go to an in-state Massachusetts school, I’m not sure necessarily how many international students there would be but McGill is an internationally recognized university […] It has a really eclectic mix of people and that’s what I was looking for in a university as well. I wanted to be able to expand my horizons, meet different people, see different point of views and experience it,” Redman said.

A reason Redman was comfortable with applying to colleges abroad, especially in the UK, is because of her parents. Both of her parents attended the London School of Economics and Political Science which motivated her to apply there and to three other colleges in London. Additionally, Redman mentioned that a program named UCAS, used to apply for UK colleges, streamlined her application process.

“My parents went to the London School of Economics and Political Science so I know a lot about that and I could talk to my parents. So, it was not that difficult. When applying to UK schools, you apply through a program called UCAS. It’s like common app except it’s much simpler. Basically, you pick five schools, you write a personal statement and it goes to all of them. You apply using the same program to all of them so, it’s much simpler to use. …. It’s easier since they streamline the process a little bit more,” Redman said.

Even though the UK schools are much easier to get into, their process of accepting students is different. Since they need to compare the scores of UK students and American students, they calculate according to the exam score the student wants to provide them with. Redman chose her AP scores which didn’t come out at the time she made her decision so, decided to choose McGill since its application process was more like the one in the U.S.

Redman will be double majoring in political science and international relations but plans on pursuing further education related to human rights which is a reason she wanted to go with a cheaper college. Having family spread out all over the world has affected Redman her entire life. She has been exposed to different cultures and interacted with family from different parts of Europe as well as Canada. Her interests in human rights has always been one of her passions. Humanity subjects have appealed to Redman and during the time she had to decide, she realized that it is a path she is willing to take.

Having family spread out all over the world has impacted Redman throughout her entire life. She has been exposed to different cultures, and has interacted with family from different parts of Europe as well as Canada.

“My life has been spread across different countries. All of my family lived in the UK expect for my mom, my dad and my siblings. My mom was adopted and then she found her birth mom who after she was born moved to Canada[…]I have family from all over Europe. My uncle is married to an Italian woman so they split their time between Italy and the UK[…] my family affects me a lot. I think living in this kind of multinational  experience and meeting these different people, it really fascinated me growing up in that I’ve always been passionate about human rights and what has been going on politically and I am very much a humanities person as well,” Redman said.

International relations and political science appealed to Redman and satisfied her many interests in the humanities. She found that majoring in those two subjects would require the use of history when dealing with cultures and geography as well as English, subjects of which Redman is fond.

“One of the things about international relations and political science is that it is really interdisciplinary and that really suited me because I have so many different interests,” Redman said.

She is looking forward to meeting new people and focusing in on the two subjects she has chosen to major in. She likes how the academic standard in college doesn’t require her to take prerequisite classes compared to what high schools require. Since college allows her to choose her classes and allows more freedom, Redman believes studying won’t be too tedious.

“I’m so excited to go to college. I’m excited to really be able to focus in on classes of things I am interested in. High school is great and all but when you have a prerequisite class that you have to take and you aren’t interested in, it’s frustrating whereas in college the academic standard is higher but because it is something you are interested in, it doesn’t feel as tedious,” Redman said.