The cost of tuition at Harvard for a master’s student
Master's degree at Harvard is a rather expensive undertaking. You need to study for two years. The training itself costs approximately 42,000 USD per year. Additionally:
- 1,000 USD for medical expenses;
- 2,000 USD for training materials;
- 9,000 USD for accommodation;
- 5,000 USD for meals;
- 2,500 USD for miscellaneous fees and other expenses.
The scholarship covered only my studies, I was given about 1,000 USD per month, everything else had to be earned. Fortunately, in case of excellent academic performance, a computer programmer in the United States can earn 10,000-15,000 USD in three summer months (if, of course, he finds a job in a reputable company). The summer part-time job came in handy for me, because it was simply unrealistic to work during the academic year. The workloads were very intense.
What were we taught at the master's degree in the USA?
The first year mainly standard subjects were offered: operating systems, theory of algorithms, databases. In the second year, students had the opportunity to choose subjects that correspond with their interests and the chosen specialization. This approach can be logically justified like this: first, the student must study a certain necessary minimum (very extensive, I must say), and then make a choice in favor of a highly specialized field (for example, I was always interested in information security and, in particular, cryptography).
A Harvard graduate student is required to participate in scientific research in addition to his studies. Even during my first year, I literally didn't have a second to spare. There was a lot of material, and it was not possible to learn everything at once. A flurry of new information literally bombarded me from each side. I consoled myself only with the fact that "all of it will bear sweet fruits eventually" With such a pace of learning, there was practically no time left for social life. Even if you really like the process of studying, sooner or later the workload will weigh you down. Burning out is quite common at Harvard.
But I have no complaints about the quality of knowledge. The technical base is really top of the line. All the equipment we worked on was brand new. We were constantly introduced to the latest developments in the field of computer technology. The intelligent combination of theory and practice is the hallmark of the Harvard educational process.
Who teaches and studies at Harvard?
People who work in the most famous corporations often conduct workshops. Among our teachers there were already a huge number of practitioners, real professionals who took part in the development of operating systems and DBMS. Some lectures were given by people whose names I knew from the books they wrote. These were truly internationally recognized professionals.
Another advantage of the educational process is the huge number of smart, purposeful people. In order to be on an equal footing with them, you have to take your studies extremely seriously.
I especially enjoyed studying with Indians. They are very smart, but at the same time friendly and sociable. The Americans, on the other hand, keep to themselves, they generally stay away from foreigners. However, everyone at Harvard understands the importance and necessity of teamwork. Here you feel especially strongly that today only a team of professionals can achieve real success. Therefore, simultaneously with leadership qualities, students develop execution skills.
In general, Harvard quickly became part of our identity. We are all proud to study here. However, it is not that easy to study at a university filled with "the best of the best" to the brim. Those who used to be a big fish in a small pond suddenly realize that there are those who are doing the same things as they do, but only better. In such a competitive environment, simply trying harder is no longer enough. Even if you were the best at your previous university or school, be prepared for the fact that at Harvard you will turn from a princess into a pumpkin.
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