The University of West AlabamaBy Asian Correspondent Nov 24, 2011 3:30PM UTC
The University of West Alabama (UWA) has seen growing enrolment lately. Up until around a decade ago, the student body was holding at about 2,000. In the years to follow, it grew by more than 250 percent, giving administrators cause to invest in the campus and classrooms. This is an ideal situation for today’s students, as they are greeted with brand-new facilities, modern labs and a few cutting-edge programs.
The result is a modern university with traditions dating back to the early 19th century. Today’s students are capitalizing on the school’s storied reputation as well as its extensive and modern course offerings. In all, it hosts more than 60 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs along with educational specialist programs, all of which are competitively priced from an international student perspective.
The campus occupies 600 acres in West-central Alabama. While most of the student population hails from the US, there’s a great deal on offer here for international students as well. UWA advisors are on hand to ease overseas students into their new life on campus.
In 2011, UWA launched a unique program that aims to integrate international students with their US counterparts. The International Village operates fully furnished apartment units that are bridging Eastern and Western cultures directly on campus. Two international students will be paired with two American students in a single unit. Apartments are fully furnished and include individual bedrooms, bathrooms and community living space. International students are also paired with a student mentor. It is an innovative way to bring different cultures together and presents a unique opportunity for Asian students who want to glean as much as they can about American culture while giving a bit back in the process.
International students also have the chance to go on outings through the university. Trips to other major US cities are scheduled throughout the year. Past destinations have included NASA headquarters in Houston and the Alamo in San Antonio, along with New York City, New Orleans and Atlanta. These are important cultural hubs in the US, and they have plenty to offer international students eager to see and do as much as they can while in the country.
A High-Value Degree
Another significant draw for the University of West Alabama is its competitive price. This is a well-respected school, but it offers students substantial value for money. International students can generally attend for about US$24,000 per year. This is an all-inclusive fee that covers the cost of tuition, textbooks and room and board. Many comparable schools in the US charge more than UA$50,000 per year, putting UWA in a much more affordable price bracket. More information is available through the UWA admissions department.
But the benefits of attending UWA go well beyond value-for-money appeal. Esteemed faculty, modern facilities and small class sizes all factor into the equation. The average student to teacher ratio is 18:1, ensuring plenty of individual attention and assistance.
UWA offers a full roster of undergraduate and graduate programs, some of which are offered online. These are made available through eight different schools on campus. Degrees are offered in Business, Technology, Liberal Arts, Education, Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Healthcare.
One of the newest degrees on offer is in actuarial sciences. This discipline applies statistical and mathematical methods to assess risk in financial and insurance sectors. It is a burgeoning field that Fortune and Money magazine lists as 11th in the nation in terms of growth and 12th in terms of median salary. Backed by rankings like this, it is no wonder students are actively seeking out universities that offer an actuarial science degree.
Experts project more than 20 percent growth in the industry over the next 10 years. With this in mind, students can apply for the program now and earn a bachelor’s degree with plenty of time to get a career footing while the sector is still growing. The coursework at UWA covers all of the essentials, including economics, calculus, probability and statistics, financial mathematics and computer-based sciences.
UWA’s actuarial sciences program is also still young. That means students enjoy small classes and brand-new facilities. The program takes four years to complete and sets graduates up for master’s or doctoral programs in financial mathematics, financial mathematics or statistics. Graduates are also prepared to complete the verification of education experiences (VEE) requirements that are set up by the Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society.
There are plenty of other programs and majors to explore at UWA. Programs in business are a major contender for international enrollment. The business department is well-networked and offers dynamic internship opportunities through major corporations. Every year, students build their networks and explore future opportunities through UWA career fairs. Companies that have attended in the past include Becker Professional Education, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Naheola Credit Union and the US Marine Corps.