“I think the college life is one of the most important experiences everyone needs to go through. I chose Skyline College. It was awesome to study here for the past two years! The study environment was a great fit for me and my professors and friends supported my academic journey.” – Wing Nam Leung, international student from Hong Kong
Nestled between San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge and the world’s technological capital in the heart of the Silicon Valley is San Mateo County, a diverse community of over 700,000 people in Northern California.
The county, with its beaches and mountains, peaceful suburbs and high-tech urban cities, represents the ideal study location for the international student community. It is home to the San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley, whose first campus was set up nearly a century ago in 1922. There are now three distinctive institutions – Skyline College, Cañada College and the College of San Mateo – serving more than 40,000 students annually. They provide the first two years of a bachelor’s degree in more than 90 academic programs and prepare students to transfer to a university to complete the last two years of a bachelor’s degree. For students whose English language proficiency is not quite ready for college, Cañada College and Skyline College offer an Intensive English Language Program that guarantees admission to the three colleges upon completion.
Image courtesy of Skyline College
All three Colleges boast cutting-edge facilities rivalling those at many prestigious private universities. Over the past several years, the colleges have spent more than US$675 million for projects including new, LEED certified buildings, smart classrooms and labs, contemporary facilities and upgraded campus infrastructure. Such heavy investments in the future of San Mateo’s local and visiting youth ensures them an elite and world-class education, and is perhaps just one of the reasons why the county’s student population is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of age, ethnic background, preparedness for education and life goals. In addition to first class facilities, the colleges also feature award-winning staff and faculty, boundless networking and internship opportunities with nearby Silicon Valley tech companies. The three colleges are also the safest in California and among the safest in the country.
The main attraction for international students hoping to study at one of the colleges is their wide variety of elite university transfer programs. Upon completion of their two-year program, transfer students can gain entry to a four-year accredited university to complete their undergraduate degree.
“It is hard to put into words how much the College of San Mateo has done for me and how appreciative I am. I am excited to be attending such a prestigious Ivy League university, but I have no doubt that my work at CSM has prepared me to succeed.” – Gabriel Denham transferred to Columbia University (pictured right).
“I attend Skyline College [and] I’m currently majoring in Psychology,” says Kelvin Cheah, a hard-working student with first-hand experience in the San Mateo Colleges system. “Various programs at Skyline College offer you help – especially with tutors, homework, study habits [and] workshops,” Kelvin continues.
“I’m psyched about transferring to a CSU, especially since I’m able to go more in-depth with my major in Psychology. It allows me to learn more about it, especially since I’m trying to become a counsellor,” Kelvin concludes, eager with anticipation as his ambition fast-becomes reality.
San Mateo’s guaranteed transfer programs provide direct entry to 55 globally prestigious U.S. universities, including:
- University of California, Davis
- University of California, Irvine
- University of California, Santa Barbara
- Arizona State University
- Portland State University
- San Jose State University
- Tennessee Technological University
- University of Oregon
- And the University of Washington, Tacoma, among many more
Students attending one of the three colleges know, upon enrolment, that they are guaranteed a place at one of these, and many other, elite universities, so long as they meet minimum academic requirements. To take advantage of this invaluable opportunity, all students need to do is cite their chosen university on their San Mateo Colleges’ application. They will then receive a conditional letter of acceptance from that University with their San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley admission packet.
Another little known secret about the San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley is the Global Beca scholarship program, which offers scholarships specifically for international students and can range from $500 to the full cost of tuition.
“I am most proud of the creation of the Global Beca scholarship program because it creates opportunities for students who might not be able to afford to study at one of our colleges,” according to Jing Luan, President of the San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley.
Image courtesy of San Mateo College
“This year alone we gave out more than $100,000 worth of scholarships, including full tuition scholarships to students from Ethiopia, Nepal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Myanmar, South Africa and China.”
Whether their passion lies in the realm of science, arts, the humanities or beyond, the San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley guarantee youths bright opportunities for the future, instilling in them the confidence needed to progress to a superior world university in the heart of the United States.
As the international student population’s preferred study abroad destination, representing what is inarguably the most exceptional education system in the world, the guaranteed university transfer offerings help students unleash their academic potential and propel them to the top of their game.
Visit the International page here
If you’re interested on the Intensive English Program, you can visit their website here.