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UCLA Vs. UMN Twin Cities (MS Electrical Engineering)


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Hello everyone, 


So far I have received 2 offers both without funding (I'll be funded by my employer at my home country) and I'm a bit confused. The schools' environment are very different (weather, living expenses, size of campus, ...etc). For the academics, I find both programs interesting (my area is control systems) and I like both advisors. However, my advisor in UCLA is more famous (a relatively young, energetic full prof. who had 30+ former graduate students) and I believe that this will help me for future networking opportunities and when I apply for the PhD and  in a top 10 school. While my advisor in UMN is an associate prof. who has interesting work and had few former graduate students. So, for the academics, my heart kinda goes with UCLA (plus, UCLA has a better reputation in my country)


But when it comes to living expenses, it really hurts to see a small studio near the campus for about $1300/month in LA while it is worth about $500 in Twin Cities. My initial estimation is, living in LA will cost me an additional $1000/month, and that's $24000 for the whole duration. On the other hand, there are plenty of things to do in LA in my free time and has an amazing weather (I'm not a big fan of snow, and I don't know how difficult will it be to live in a very cold winter).


So, is UCLA worth the $24000 difference? given that it has a better reputation my home country and I'm also planning to continue toward my PhD (not necessarily at the same school)

Edited by khaled
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